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Sample the Skeptic's Dictionary

Reichenbach's odic force

Baron Dr. Karl Ludwig Freiherr von Reichenbach (1788-1869)reichenbachthought he had discovered a basic force in nature, which he called "od." He is one of several classic examples of a respected scientist becoming fixated on an idea that only he can validate. Thedelusion in such men is impervious to criticism, which might lead one to conclude that a psychological aberration has occurred in a previously well-balanced and competent scientist.>>more

sample Mysteries and Science (for kids 9 and up)

homeopathysound icon

In a nutshell: Homeopathy is water medicine. The science shows that there's nothing in homeopathic medicines that could cure anything. Still, many people say they've been helped by homeopathic potions.

Homeopathy is medical treatment by water. For example, if you have a rash, a homeopathic medicine will usually be made by taking a small amount of a plant that causes a rash and mixing it with 100 times as much water. The mixture is shaken and then one part of the mixture is added to 100 parts water. There is then more mixing, shaking, and diluting. The mixing, shaking, and diluting goes on until only a few or no molecules of the original plant remain in the last batch. Any medicine taken from the last diluted batch will be nothing but water.>>more

a blast from the past

Mass Media Bunk
February 27, 1996. Nova, Alien Abductions.

It wouldn't be fair to characterize the Nova program on alien abductions as pure bunk, but this program definitely did not live up to a very high standard of scientific scrutiny of extraordinary claims. It was to be expected that Nova would give advocates such as John Mack and Budd Hopkins a chance to state their case. What I did not expect was to see an hour-long program devoted mostly to the incompetent, if well-meaning, Mr. Hopkins. The cameras followed Hopkins through session after session with a very agitated, highly emotional "patient" and then on to Florida as he cheerfully helped a seemingly unstable Florida woman inculcate in her children the belief that they had been abducted by aliens. In between more sessions with more of Hopkin's "patients," we had to listen to him again and again give plugs for his books and his reasons for showing no skepticism at all at very bizarre claims of humans being experimented on by aliens.>>more


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