When is a hoax not a hoax?

It’s funny – I started this post out with entirely different intentions, but as I was researching the details, it had to change, yet I could still keep the same title. Bear with me a second.

This post topic came up when I was reading an article in Skeptical Inquirer that dealt with the curious progression of the ‘Bigfoot’ legend, from the badly-mangled interpretations read more

That’s racist! I think…

Racism is one of those topics that the vast majority of people in the world will agree is bad. Which is helpful, because it provides a common factor in ethics, a value that is actually hard to argue against. However, the definition of racism is something that is often not pinned down very well, so broad in scope that the epithet is often applied in situations where the detriments cannot read more

Cry, “Sexism!” and let loose…

I’m not going to finish that header, because no matter what, it’s going to be taken the wrong way…

If you’ve been checking out links on that blogroll over on the sidebar, you may be aware that Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science has a semi-regular Saturday post called, “I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here,” that often has links to some interesting read more

How not to be a conspiracist

While this post was sparked by some recent discussions (it’s that time of year, or at least, it was a little over a month ago,) what I talk about here is quite common, and I’ve seen it all over and over again. So, I figured it was time to address it again.

“Conspiracist” is defined as someone who believes or promotes a conspiracy theory. Which means that my use of it herein read more

There are skeptics, and then there are skeptics

Reading an old post, it occurred to me that there’s a lot of misunderstanding about skepticism, enough so that perhaps it could stand a bit of clarification as to where it comes from, and why at least some people find it to be useful. In many circles – circles that spend a lot of time discussing ghost stories, or UFO encounters, or miracles, and so on – ‘skeptic’ is read more

Book review: How the Mind Works

If there is one book that I recommend to everybody, regardless, it’s Demon Haunted World, the most efficient, readable, and interesting book to promote critical thinking that I’ve ever come across. But underneath this pursuit lies a curious question: why there is an apparent deficit in critical thinking in the first place.

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Changing the rules

[Sorry, I’ve been away for several days and come back with a 3,100 word exposition. Is that making up for it or being sadistic?]

In watching the discussions on a couple of forums recently, and knowing how things have gone in several of my own discussions on religion, a couple of points have made themselves clear. These were things that I suspect I have understood subconsciously for a long time, read more