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86 MIN READ TIME

Skepticism Reloaded

AMARDEO SARMA

Forty-two years have passed since the birth of CSICOP, the Committee for the SciF entific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (now the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, CSI), and its magazine, Skeptical Inquirer. Soon after its birth, there was a wave of skepticism across the globe. A great visionary was at the center of the explosion: Paul Kurtz, a philosophy professor who saw skepticism as a global worldwide endeavor. The Australian Skeptics took off in 1980 with Mark Plummer as president. A decade later, in the mid-1980s, CSICOP encouraged skeptics all over the world to form their own groups.

Mark Plummer, then executive director of CSICOP, and Wendy Grossman, founder of the magazine The Skeptic in the United Kingdom, toured Europe in this mission, resulting in many new groups.

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About Skeptical Inquirer

Wildlife Apocalypse: How Myths and Superstitions Are Driving Animal Extinctions SkepticismReloaded Cell Phones, Cancer, and Chance Lotus Birth Fad

Other Articles in this Issue


Editor’s Letter
We were on a walking trek in wilderness Tanzania. Our
NEWS AND COMMENT
CBS is one of America’s premier television networks. It practically
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must take a much
In March 2018, a month after the fact, the FAA
Longtime radio talk show host and paranormal promoter Art Bell
“A lie can travel half way around the world while
The mystery of Ata the mini-mummy began when seemingly humanoid
With their book UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens, Donald R. Prothero
RESEARCH REVIEW
New NTP Results Inconsistent; Random Chance Likely at Play
SPECIAL REPORTS
In the 1970s and 1980s, belief in the paranormal was
On March 18, 2018, CBS Sunday Morning featured O an
The Halloween 2017 terror attack in New York brought forth
INVESTIGATIVE FILES
Joe Nickell, PhD, is CSI’s senior research fellow. He has
BEHAVIOR & BELIEF
Stuart Vyse is a psychologist and author of Believing in
SKEPTICAL INQUIREE
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
FEATURES
Demand for wildlife body parts for scientifically unproven medicinal remedies and paranormal trinkets is causing a world-wide crisis for many endangered animal species, including rhinos and elephants
A leading skeptic addresses the essence of contemporary skepticism and highlights the vital nonpartisan and science-based role of skeptics in preventing deception and harm
An alternative birth practice called lotus birth—not cutting the umbilical cord after delivery—is a poorly studied phenomenon with high risks and low benefits. It’s also not traditional; the fad dates back only to the 1970s
Several years ago, I came across the manual for a
A nineteenth-century Spanish story offers a devastating critique of pseudomedicine. In at least twelve ways, it anticipates the bogus rationales offered for today’s quack medicine
An Alleged Dinosaur with Breasts in a Medieval Carving
FOLLOW UP
After my article “Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened”
REVIEWS
In 1997, Michael Shermer wrote I one of the classics
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
NEW AND NOTABLE
AT LEAST KNOW THIS: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
In his survey of the academic backdrop to today’s rampant