Category Archives: skepticism

HorganGate: The troll pretends to answer his critics

Well, I’m trying not to get too deeply sucked into the fracas about John Horgan’s Admonition to Skeptics, so I’ll just note that there are two good critiques, one by Orac on Respectful Insolence and the other by Steve Novella on Neurologica.  They’re similar, but both worth reading, and both make the point that Horgan’s complaints […]

Shermer responds to Horgan

 This is the second of three responses to John Horgan’s piece of hauteur in Scientific American. In his blog post, he explained why he’s become “nuts”: The biological theory that really drives me nuts is the deep-roots theory of war. According to the theory, lethal group violence is in our genes. Its roots reach back millions […]

Krauss on Horgan

Lawrence Krauss, Michael Shermer, and Steve Pinker have written responses to John Horgan’s splenetic Scientific American blog post arguing that skeptics are criticizing the Wrong Things. Lay off Bigfoot, homeopathy, global warming, and GMOs, he says; we should be going after physics, medicine, and—war! (Horgan seems to have overlooked pervasive skepticism of physics and medicine.) One of […]

Criticizing skeptics, John Horgan officially becomes an Internet troll

I’ve had my contretemps with science writer John Horgan on this site, but, except for what’s in the title above, I’ll try to refrain from ad hominems. But I will characterize Horgan’s latest post on his Scientific American blog, “Dear ‘Skeptics’, Bash homeopathy and Bigfoot less, mammograms and war more,” as contrarian, ill-informed, and misguided. (This […]

RationalWiki guts a reader’s attempt to correct its article on female genital mutilation

JAC: I haven’t used RationalWiki very much, as its articles are not only not as thorough as those in Wikipedia (though some day Greg will produce his long-awaited post, “What’s the matter with Wikipedia?), but also appear slanted toward the Authoritarian Left. Although created to counter the odious Conservapedia site, it seems to have swung […]

Something new to read

by Grania Spingies There are some interesting-looking books in the Sunday Book Review in the New York Times which are going onto to my Wish List. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson I’ve long come to think of the Internet as the thing that has turned our planet into a village. With all […]

Shermer has a woo experience, admits there may be something to it

UPDATE: I’ve heard from Michael, who emphasizes that he does not think that the experience implies the supernatural or the paranormal, and he points to a clarification (mentioned by a reader) that Shermer recently published in a “Big Ideas” piece on Slate.  Distressingly, that piece is part of a discussion/advertisement sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation […]

The New York Times profiles James Randi

There’s a really nice and informative piece about James Randi for tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine (already online), called “The unbelievable skepticism of James Randi.” It’s chock full of information about Randi’s history, his Amazing Challenges, his run-ins with Uri Geller, his relationship with José Alvarez (plagued by legal troubles over immigration status), and his […]

A professor gives his students an object lesson in religious bigotry

UPDATE: I didn’t check the date carefully on this story, which I read as August 2014. My error: it’s August, 2012, so the story is two years old. My apologies. I’ll leave it up, however, as I think it’s still of value to discuss this, but be aware that the fracas is dead by now. And […]

Carol Tavris on accusations vs. skepticism

After this post I’m going back to atheism, cats, food, and biology—at least for a while; but I thought that this talk, given by Carol Tavris at this year’s The Amazing Meeting, was a good complement to the discussion we had about Dawkins two days ago. Not all will agree with what she says, of course, […]