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 410+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 33000+ 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 €11,99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for €1.09
Then just €11,99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Germany version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Überall lesen Read anywhere
Zahlungsmöglichkeiten Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
Bei Pocketmags bekommst du
Sichere Abrechnungen
Web & App Reader

New and Notable

—Kendrick Frazier and Benjamin Radford

THE ASTRONOMER AND THE WITCH: Johannes Kepler’s Fight forhis Mother. Ulinka Rublack. Astronomer Johannes Kepler was a key figure in the scientific revolution, defending the Copernican view of a sun-centered universe. However, his role in defending those accused of witchcraft is far less well known. In 1615, when Kepler was at the height of his career, his mother Katharina was accused of witchcraft. The trial lasted six years, and Kepler conducted his mother’s de fense. In The Astronomer and the Witch, Ulinka Rublack discusses this episode in Kepler’s life and how it offers a fascinating glimpse into his worldview. While providing rational explanations for phenomena that his mother’s accusers attributed to witchcraft—for example, Rublack notes that Katharina Kepler had accidentally brought suspicion on herself by asking for her fathers’s skull, since “Skulls ranked among the legally recognized means of sorcery and could render anyone dealing with them under suspicion of being a witch”—Kepler did not question the existence of magic or witchcraft; in fact, he believed in them. And Kepler was hardly alone; as Brian Levack notes in his book The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, “In the context of witchcraft the word ‘skepticism’ usually denotes the attitudes of those who doubt or deny the existence of witches or the possibility of their crime. Judicial skeptics did not necessarily adopt such a stance. . . . Judicial skepticism could, and in most cases did, coexist with a firm belief in the reality and possibility of the crime” (p. 254). The Astronomer and the Witch is a fascinating blend of science biography and examination of witchcraft beliefs and persecutions. Oxford University Press, 2015, 272 pp, $29.95.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptical Inquirer - November December 2015
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
November December 2015
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
Only € 2,83 per issue

View Issues

About Skeptical Inquirer

The Man Who Solved the BERMUDA TRIANGLE ‘MYSTERY’ LARRY KUSCHE Looks Back on His Classic Investigation BIOCENTRISM: A Curious ‘Me’ Universe The Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming and much more....

Other Articles in this Issue

Editor’s Letter
In a recent essay (SI, March/April 2015), I went back
Whether it is Stephen Hawking’s guest­starring role on the CBS
November 1, 1755: The Great Lisbon Earthquake kills over 100,000
Consumers spend $3 billion a year on homeopathic drugs, yet
Ten distinguished scientists, scholars, educators, and investigators from five countries
Martin Gardner was such a hero to the skeptical community
Martin Gardner wasn’t the only famed skeptic honored at TAM
The deluge that flooded parts of Texas in late May
Omega-3 fatty acids—found naturally in a variety of foods including
Famous physicist Stephen Hawking has joined Russian billionare Yuri Milner
A goat farmer in Chile who found two mysterious dead
Afair amount of pseudoscience begins as blue-sky, basic scientific hypotheses
The question of demarcation is an interesting and important one
Joe Nickell, PhD, is CSI’s senior research fellow. As a
Massimo Polidoro is an investigator of the paranormal, lecturer, and
Sheaffer’s “Psychic Vibrations” column has appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
Skeptical Inquirer
Forty years have passed since my book The Bermuda Triangle
If you have religious friends of a scientific bent and
On May 16, 2013, President Obama tweeted that “Ninety-seven percent
Humans have been modifying the genomes of plants and animals
In recent decades many branches of Judeo-Christian theism have adapted
Everyone loves a mystery. Solve one in science, and accolades
Religion has often positioned itself as the originator (and for
Back when I taught high school physics, I’d lug those
One of the most profound observations ever made about UFOs
When it comes to true-crime autobiographies, readers can usually expect