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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptic > 21.4 > EXTINCTION AND PREHISTORY

EXTINCTION AND PREHISTORY

THIS MEGALOSAURUS JAW FRAGMENT WAS THE FIRST DINOSAUR FOSSIL EVER DESCRIBED BY SCIENCE.

Rembrandt Peale was mistaken about his carnivorous mastodon with the upside down tusks, but he was no fool. By 1803 when he was writing about the mastodon and touring England with the skeleton, Cuvier had already published powerful evidence that extinction was a real part of nature. Rembrandt was impressed by Cuvier’s description of “no less than twenty-three different species of animals…whose existence in former ages is attested by their fossil remains,” including the Siberian mammoth, the American mastodon, giant ground sloths, huge deer, and so on. None of those fossil species were known to still be alive.

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DECEPTION IN CANCER TREATMENT SPECIAL ISSUE: The Cancer-care Industry’s Marketing is Among the Most Deceptive on the Consumer Landscape. SPECIAL SECTION: Classic Skepticism: The Amityville Hoax at 40; Alien Sulls: Do the Mysterious Rhodope Skull and Adygea Skulls Belong to Aliens?; The Real Meaning Behind the Nazca Geoglyphs; Clown Panics: Sightings of Mysterious Clowns Rattle Nerves ARTICLES: The Case for a Galactic Defense System; Is “Spirituality” so Broadly Defined that Testing for it is Meaningless?; Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?; Luck and Regression to the Mean: One of the Most Fundamental Sources of Error in Human Judgment; Political Obfuscation: Thinking Critically about Public Discourse. COLUMNS: The SkepDoc: Anti-Aging Claims: The Fountain of Youth is Still Only a Legend, by Harriet Hall, M.D.; The Gadfly: Can Working Memory Be Trained to Work Better? by Carol Tavris REVIEWS: “Three books about the Salem Witch Trials and their legacy: The Witches: Salem, by Stacy Schiff; In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, by Mary Beth Norton; America Bewitched: America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem, by Owen Davies JUNIOR SKEPTIC: Mammoth Mysteries! Part Two, by Daniel Loxton