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26 MIN READ TIME

How I Got Hooked on the Skeptical World

SUSAN GERBIC

Growing up in Salinas, California, during the 1970s, if you wanted to know anything, the outlets for finding it out were minimal. We relied on the newspaper, radio, and a couple of TV channels for our information. If you wanted more detail, there was always the Encyclopedia Britannica and the public library. Finding anything critical of the paranormal back then was difficult.

If it was mentioned, it was inevitably sensationalized—either advocating for the phenomenon or leaving you with “no one really knows. . . .” I was extremely gullible and naive, had no one to ask, and the Cold War was in full swing. It was a time of badly wanting to believe in the paranormal, life after death, and that a caring deity would not allow WWIII to happen. That is just what life was like then.

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About Skeptical Inquirer

40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION PART II ODYSSEYS SCIENTIFIC SKEPTICISM NUCLEAR POWER and the Psychology of Evaluating Risk MICHAEL MANN and the Climate Wars Superstition Masquerading as Science

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Editor’s Letter
We conclude our fortieth anniversary celebration of the Skeptical Inquirer
NEWS AND COMMENT
August 2016 saw the end of arguments in the administrative
The news undoubtedly won’t faze committed “chemtrail” believers who long
Belief in magic is connected to a lack of economic
A visitor to a famous—and famously haunted—hotel in Colorado claimed
On August 5, 2015, contractors working for the U.S. Environmental
A young woman was killed in April 2016 outside of
A show that aired in February claimed that the Apollo
SPECIAL REPORT
Psychiatrist Makes Devilishly Weak Case for Demonic Possession
INTERVIEW
Physicist and CSI Fellow Mark Boslough interviewed noted climatologist and geophysicist Michael Mann, who will be speaking at CSICon Las Vegas
INVESTIGATIVE FILES
Joe Nickell, PhD, is a skeptical demonologist. His many books
PSYCHIC VIBRATIONS
Sheaffer’s “Psychic Vibrations” column has appeared in the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER
THE SCIENCE OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
Focus on Community-Based Strategies and Avoid Denigrating Parents
SKEPTICAL INQUIREE
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
NOTES ON A STRANGE WORLD
Massimo Polidoro is an investigator of the paranormal, lecturer, and
ODYSSEYS IN SCIENTIFIC SKEPTICISM
I needed a work-study job, and the new physical anthropologist
I discovered the Skeptical Inquirer shortly after its name change
I was delighted to be invited to contribute to this
Recently, the science writer John Horgan took skeptics to task
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer are celebrating
Growing up in Salinas, California, during the 1970s, if you
When I was twelve years old, UFOs were real. More
For someone who may well be the only full-time skeptical
For the twenty-fifth anniversary observance of CSICOP (now CSI) and
ARTICLE
Could it be that opponents of nuclear energy contribute to worsening global warming by failing to evaluate its risk rationally?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Geoffrey Dean’s SI article “Does Astrology Need to Be True?
THE LAST LAUGH
November 4, 1936: After Richard S. Lambert was said to