Doctor Who meets David Hume

This delightful video explains David Hume’s view of miracles and why you shouldn’t believe in them, using illustrations from Doctor Who. Fantastic! Of course, as I have pointed out before, this is precisely the point at which Doctor Who sends mixed messages. It regularly expresses disdain for superstition and belief in the supernatural, and yet [Read More...]

The Paranormal Conspiracy

I’m happy to be able to participate in the Patheos Book Club about Timothy Dailey’s book, The Paranormal Conspiracy: The Truth about Ghosts, Aliens and Mysterious Beings. A quote on the front cover describes the book as a mix between Mythbusters and Frank Peretti. In reading the book, I saw plenty of the latter, but [Read More...]

Counting Manuscripts and Which Manuscripts Count

Peter Gurry shared the above image graphing the number of manuscripts we have from each century. Keep in mind that centuries are a convenient timekeeping device, and it is not as though a manuscript copied new year’s eve on the last day of the second century is more valuable than one copied the following day. In fact, [Read More...]

Temper Your Criticism With Kindness

The quote is from Sagan’s book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, and was drawn to my attention in an article from Junior Skeptic magazine shared on the Skeptic website. [Read more...]

Make the Most of Your Skepticism

See also Nicholas Clairmont’s recent article on “The Skeptic’s Credo.” It wrestles with the challenge of being appropriately and fairly skeptical in practice. And while sometimes doubting the reports of those in authority can be an example of misguided conspiracy theory thinking, when footage is captured that provides evidence, we may have good reason to withhold our [Read More...]

Pat Robertson Advises Pharaoh

A news report recently quoted Pat Robertson saying that people in other countries see more miracles than Americans do because they have less education and less skepticism. Does this mean that if, in the Exodus story, Pharoah and the Egyptians had had more education and skepticism, they could have prevented Moses’ miracles and ultimately the [Read More...]

Mythicism isn’t Skepticism

Josh Rosenau wrote a piece for NCSE, “Standing up for Skepticism.” Much of what it addresses in relation to climate change works equally well for mythicism and other forms of denialism. For instance, he quotes Genie Scott as saying the following: “The term “skeptic” has for several decades meant someone who applies critical thinking and [Read More...]

Atheism Isn’t Skepticism

A recent IO9 article indicated that more people in Britain believe in ghosts and aliens than in God. IO9 also highlighted a science experiment that might offer an explanation of why people see/feel ghosts (which Smithsonian also reported on), talked about spirituality and pseudoscience in science fiction, and shared an infographic of misconceptions which are widespread, [Read More...]

Skepticism Quote

Steve Douglas took some words of mine in a recent post and turned them into an image, and so I’ve shared it above. [Read more...]

Skeptics of a Feather

I happened across a document reflecting mythicist claims and views recently, and was struck when I noticed where it was hosted. The blog is “Citizen for 9/11 Truth.” It is not a coincidence that fundamentalist Christians often accept conspiracy theories about the government and uncritically accept as “news” things that could be easily debunked with a [Read More...]

Skepticism, Science, and Scholarship

P. Z. Myers has seen the dark side of skepticism, the fact that its tools can be applied not just to fringe bunk but to anything and everything. And so he has written in an effort to distinguish science and skepticism. Here is an excerpt from his recent post on the topic: A short while [Read More...]


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