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

From Abracadabra to Zombies

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The Skeptic's Dictionary. Hundreds of definitions, arguments, and essays on occult topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies, The Skeptic’s Dictionary is a lively, commonsense trove of detailed information on all things supernatural, paranormal, and pseudoscientific. Each entry gives a skeptical definition or description. Most entries include both internal and external links to related material, including comments from readers and my responses. 

About. Here you will find a brief description of what The Skeptic's Dictionary is and how it came about.

Complete list of topics. Here you will find an alphabetical listing of all dictionary entries from acupuncture to zombies.

Complete list of reader comments. Here you will find an alphabetical listing of all reader comments to dictionary entries.

Preface and Introduction. The Skeptic's Dictionary is a book and these are exactly what they purport to be. Please read these before submitting comments.

Translations. Dicionário Céptico is a Portuguese translation of the Skeptic's Dictionary, done gratis by Antonio Ingles of Portugal and Ronaldo Cordeiro of Brazil. There are also many entries that have been translated into Slovak by Vlado Luknar and German by Larissa Wagner and Tobias Budke.  Kim Jeanman has translated many entries into Korean. A Korean translation is also available in paperback. Many entries have been translated into French by the good people at Les Skeptiques du Québec. Several entries have been translated into Italian by Dario Ventra and Alesia Guidi, and into Icelandic by the folks at Vantrú.net. Many entries have been translated into Greek by George Moustris and into Hungarian by Lovasi Péter. Evgeny Volkov has translated several entries into Russian. Members of the Swedish Skeptics Society have translated many entries into Swedish. A few entries have been translated into Turkish by authors who wish to remain anonymous. There is also a Spanish translation of several entries by Adriana Chávez, Gloria Sánchez, and Gerardo Fernández. Some entries have been translated into Japanese and Herman Boel has translated the entire SD into Dutch; his translation is also available in print. Print translations are also available in Russian, Korean, and Japanese. Rights to translate The Skeptic's Dictionary into Estonian and Spanish were bought, but neither came to fruition. I heard from the Estonian translators that the publishing house closed before their translation could be publshed. I have no idea why the publisher who bought the rights to the Spanish translation never published the book.

FAQ and interviews. Here you can quickly find out how this project came about, what assumptions and guidelines I am working under, what I am trying to accomplish, and what I am not trying to do here. Read this page before submitting comments.

What is The Skeptic's Dictionary? Here you will find a brief description of both the book and the web site.

What's the Buzz? Here you will find a collection of comments from readers of the book and the web site.

Feedback. Here you will find information about contacting me. 

Newsletter. Here you will find a link to the archived newsletters. The newsletter provided comments in response to selected feedback and information about skeptical publications, including news on the print version of The Skeptic's Dictionary (John Wiley & Sons 2003).

Critical Thinking Mini-lessons. Here you will find links to short critical thinking lessons.

Young Thinkers. Mysteries and Science has about fifty short entries for kids 9 and up.

Skeptical Essays. Here you will find links to several essays I've written, as well as links to essays by other skeptics published on the Internet.

Book Reviews. This page contains links to several book reviews I have posted.

Skeptimedia (blog). Here you will find articles about news stories, magazine articles or TV programs of interest to skeptics, especially stories dealing with science, the paranormal, or the supernatural. (This site consolidates what used to be the Mass Media Funk and Mass Media Bunk blogs.)

Unnatural Acts (blog): Here you will find articles about biases, illusions, and fallacies. The blog is a follow-up to my e-book Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed! (James Randi Educational Foundation 2011). This blog ran for a year and is no longer maintained.

Unnatural Virtue (podcast): Here you will find the archive of podcast episodes I have done for Skepticality, the official podcast of Skeptic magazine and the Skeptic Society. These podcasts offer brief comments on topics relating to cognitive biases, logical fallacies, and illusions. These podcasts ran from March 2012 to April 2014.

Suburban Myths. Here you will find a list of misconceptions and false beliefs that are commonly claimed to be true by experts and non-experts alike.

Internet Bunk. Here you fill find references to Internet sites that provide false, misleading or deceptive information regarding scientific matters or alleged paranormal or supernatural events. This page is no longer maintained.

Too Good to Be True. Here you will find articles on Internet business opportunities that seem too good to be true. Current articles are restricted to pseudoscientific scams. This page is no longer maintained.

What's the harm? Here you will find links to news articles and Skeptic's Dictionary entries that illustrate the harm that is done by occult, paranormal, pseudoscientific, and supernatural beliefs. The harm may be physical, financial, or interpersonal. Those harms are tangible and easily documented. The harm done to society and the world at large by the spread and encouragement of irrational and magical thinking is more difficult to access. It is also difficult to measure the extent of harm done to individuals and their families who give up thinking for themselves to follow some guru astrologer, psychic, or cult leader. This page is no longer maintained.

The Skeptic's Dictionary App. Here you will find information about the SD app for the iPhone and iPad.

Robert T. Carroll

This page was designed by Cristian Popa.