A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies - 783 entries | View All

The Skeptic's Dictionary features definitions, arguments, and essays on hundreds of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions. It also features dozens of entries on logical fallacies, cognitive biases, perception, science, and philosophy.

Also posted are over 20 years of reader comments.

Click here for Index of all Reader Comments

  • Recent Entries or Modifications

for last month's changes see current Newsletter

Date           Status* Entry

07 Feb
new reader comments: urine therapy

21 Jan
update Supplements: neither safe nor effective; update: Top Ten Worst Beliefs of 2015

19 Jan
new SD Newsletter; update natural cancer cures: the Cancer Control Society scam

Sample the Skeptic's Dictionary

Edgar Mitchell's ESP experiment

The followiing is from my review of Entangled Minds (EM), a sequel to Dean Radin's 1997 defense of psychic phenomena The Conscious Universe (CU).

the Edgar Mitchell ESP fiasco

Another example of Radin's distorted history of psi research is his claim that astronaut and psi enthusiast Edgar Mitchell (1930-2016) conducted a "successful ESP card experiment from the Apollo 14 space capsule" (p. 76). Mitchell is a founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where Radin is employed as a senior scientist. The experiment was unauthorized, so NASA did not set aside a nice block of time for Mitchell to conduct his experiment. News reports based on interviews with Mitchell indicate that he went through a hand-made Zener ESP deck several times while four friends on Earth tried to get psychic messages (either from Mitchell's mind [telepathy] or from the cards [clairvoyance]. Mitchell didn't use a Zener deck, however. He said:>>more

sample Mysteries and Science (for kids 9 and up)

remote viewing

In a nutshell: Remote viewing is a kind of ESP where a person in one place "sees" what another person in another place is looking at. Remote viewing is another name for clairvoyance or telepathy.

Remote viewing (also called clairvoyance or telepathy) is seeing things at a distance using the mind alone. A remote viewer may claim to read the mind of a person in a distant place to see what that person is looking at (telepathy). A remote viewer may claim to somehow directly see the place where another person is located (clairvoyance). Or, a remote viewer may claim to see a distant place even if nobody else is looking at it (clairvoyance).>>more

a blast from the past

The Super Bowl and violence against women

On January 18, 1993, a media "watchdog" group called Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) put out a news release that stated: "The Super Bowl is one of the most widely viewed television events every year. Unfortunately, women's shelters report that Super Bowl Sunday is also one of the worst days of the year for violence against women in the home." According to Laura Flanders of FAIR, the release cited press reports from the New York Times (1/5/92 and 1/22/92) and the Chicago Tribune(1/27/91), which were based on accounts of those who work with battered women.

On January 27, 1993, a news conference was called in Pasadena, California, the site of the forthcoming Super Bowl game, by a coalition of women's groups. At the news conference, reporters were informed by Sheila Kuehl, head of the California Women's Law Center that Super Bowl Sunday (SBS) is "the biggest day of the year for violence against women." (Kuehl went on to become aCalifornia State Assemblywoman and then a state senator.)  Forty per cent more women would be battered on that day, according to Kuehl. She based her claim, she said, on a study done in 1990 by Janet Katz (et al.), a professor in Sociology and Criminal Justice at Virginia's Old Dominion University. That study found that an increase in emergency room admissions on Washington Redskins regular-season weekends "was not associated with the occurrence of football games in general." According to Cecil Adams, the 40% figure was based on data regarding home wins by the Redskins.>>more

This page was designed by Cristian Popa.