Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 460+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 38000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $17.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for $1.48
Then just $17.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
AU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points
16 MIN READ TIME

The Spectrum of Skepticism

—KENDRICK FRAZIER

The concerns of scientific skeptics cover an astonishingly wide range of issues, with an equal variety of emphases and approaches. The articles in this issue typify that.

Jeanne Goldberg’s cover article, “The Politicization of Scientific Issues,” is as timely as today’s headlines, but she approaches the subject with deep philosophical and historical context. In her first essay for SI, she takes us back to Lucretius, who insightfully championed a naturalistic, scientific worldview; to Galileo’s disgust at critics not looking through his telescope to see for themselves the wonders of the solar system; to our Enlightenment-era “citizen-scientist” Founding Fathers, who treasured both philosophy and science; to subseq uent nineteenth-century trends of religiosity and anti-authoritarianism in America’s westward expansion; to America’s continuing strands of anti-intellectualism that Richard Hofstadter described more than half a century ago; to today’s War on Science (not just a telling phrase but the title of Shawn Otto’s voluminous and insightful 2016 book on the topic).

Stephen Barrett, MD, famed for his Quackwatch website, examines “The Fakery of Electrodermal Screening,” one of many bogus devices and techniques alternative practitioners promote with little to no regard for scientific evidence or, apparently, ethical scruples. In “The Fallacy Fork: Why It’s Time to Get Rid of Fallacy Theory,” philosopher Maarten Boudry engages in some inward-looking self-criticism of one of the key tools skeptics use: pointing out the logical fallacies the credulous employ. Calling out such fallacies may seem useful to skeptics, but Boudry argues provocatively that they aren’t what they’re cracked up to be and they are counterproductive in skeptical analysis. Skeptics might at first disagree, but his argument demands reflection. And in “Bigfoot as Myth: Seven Phases of Mythmaking,” our longtime senior research fellow, Joe Nickell, does another type of skeptical treatment: a broad synthesis of fifty years (since the famous “Bigsuit” photo) of the evolution of the Bigfoot myth, from its earliest origins through a series of transformations. But, he concludes, it all still adds up to one thing: imaginary creature.

Read the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptical Inquirer
Purchase options below
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue September October 2017
 
$4.49
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new Skeptical Inquirer subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription $25.99 billed annually
Save
4%
$25.99

This article is from...


View Issues
Skeptical Inquirer
September October 2017
VIEW IN STORE

Other Articles in this Issue


NEWS AND COMMENT
When a pollster that’s been surveying public opinion about evolution
Turkey already ranked even worse than the United States in
The first few months of 2017 have not been good
The Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE) is one of the
INVESTIGATIVE FILES
Joe Nickell, PhD, is now well into his fifth decade
A MAGICIAN IN THE LAB
James Randi began his career as a stage magician and
NOTES ON A STRANGE WORLD
The Terrifying Story of the Most Infamous Ritual Murders in Italian History, Part 2
THE SCIENCE OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
Facilitating Conversations about Science and Religion
BEHAVIOR & BELIEF
Stuart Vyse is a psychologist and author of Believing in
SKEPTICAL INQUIREE
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
SPECIAL REPORTS
I trust that I need not persuade readers of Skeptical
In 2012, journalist John Bohannon of the respected journal Science
FEATURES
Looking through Galileo’s Lens or through the Imaginary Looking Glass
Souped-up galvanometers are being used to assess people’s health and determine what they supposedly need. Tests expose them as preposterous, and government agencies should stop their use
Why It’s Time to Get Rid of Fallacy Theory
During its history, the hairy man-beast has evolved through at least seven mythical embodiments
NEW AND NOTABLE
Listing does not preclude future review
REVIEWS
In this little red book, Don S. Lemons has assembled
President Trump—who has called climate change a “hoax” and has
Rose Mackenberg was a female private detective in the 1920s,
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
“Surviving the Misinformation Age” (May/June 2017) offered my incredulous skeptical