Skeptical Investigation

By Teresa Buczinsky | Look over the articles below and pick 5 to respond to in our Schoology discussions.

The Bugs in Our Mindware - Issue 32: Space

Three baseball umpires are talking about how they play the game. The first says, “I call ’em as they are.” The second, “I call ’em as I see ’em.” And …

Psychology

Why Luck Matters More Than You Might Think

When people see themselves as self-made, they tend to be less generous and public-spirited.<p>I’m a lucky man. Perhaps the most extreme example of my considerable good fortune occurred one chilly Ithaca morning in November 2007, while I was playing tennis with my longtime friend and collaborator, the …

Why Learning from History Means Saying No to Rigid Ideologies

ideologies

Our nine-point guide to spotting a dodgy statistic

Brexit is just the latest instance of politicians bending figures to match their agenda<p>I love numbers. They allow us to get a sense of magnitude, to measure change, to put claims in context. But despite their bold and confident exterior, numbers are delicate things and that’s why it upsets me when …

Can mythbusters like Snopes.com keep up in a post-truth era?

The fact-checking website was launched to correct urban legends and false rumours. Now, with even presidential candidates repeating fake stories from the web, its co-founder David Mikkelson says ‘the bilge is rising faster than you can pump’<p>The most scenic way to find truth on the internet is to …

Exposing the Sandy Hook hoaxers

On December 14, 2012, Lenny Pozner dropped off his three children, Sophia, Arielle, and Noah, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, …

Conspiracy theory psychology: People who claim to know the truth about JFK, UFOs, and 9/11.

To believe that the U.S. government planned or deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks, you’d have to posit that President Bush intentionally …

Why You Can’t Trust Yourself

Bertrand Russell famously said, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of …

Psychology

How to Spot Bad Science

If you're a regular at this blog, you'll have picked up on my favourite theme - bad science (and bad science journalism) in the world of psychology …

Hearing ghost voices relies on pseudoscience and fallibility of human perception

Nontrivial numbers of Americans believe in the paranormal. These beliefs have spawned thousands of groups dedicated to investigating paranormal …

Can you handle the truth? Some ugly facts in science and sensibility

Ahead of her Sense About Science lecture, Tracey Brown digs around the evidence with some uncomfortable concerns about accountability in public life<p>This evening (Monday 28 September) I’m giving a lecture at the British Library to a group of researchers, policymakers, journalists, and …

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.

“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if …

5 Telltale Signs of an Online Hoax

by Craig Silverman, for First Draft<p><i>Find more reads and resources on newsgathering, verification and eyewitness media at</i> <i>FirstDraftNews.com</i><p>Online …

Cold Reading: Confessions of a psychic

A diligent channel surfer should notice a new trend in TV talk shows: psychic guests supposedly channeling the dead relatives of audience members, …

No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong [UPDATED]

There’s a common conception that an opinion cannot be wrong. My dad said it. Hell, everyone’s dad probably said it and in the strictest terms it is …

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science

How our brains fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link.<p><b>By</b> <b>Chris Mooney</b><p><b>“A MAN WITH A CONVICTION</b> is a hard man to change. Tell him …

8 Logical Fallacies That Fuel Anti-Science Sentiments

We've never been more dependent on science. At the same time, however, we've never been more certain about its ability to help us understand and …

Critical Thinking