Guest Post: The Fascinating World of Ghosthunting

This is a guest post written by Niels Böge Nothdurft from Denmark. Long before I learned about critical thinking and became a skeptic I was fascinated by all kinds of what I would call woo today. That fascination hasn’t stopped, just my perspective on it. One of the things that fascinated me a lot – and still does – is […]

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I Was a Teenage Apologist: My Journey from Christianity to Atheism

Deconversion

“Do not demand that your belief [in a personal God] be reasonable. You will be threatened with the loss of your faith. You may well lose your faith. Those who have lost their faith in God are generally those who have felt the need for good reasons, for evidence, for argument. Better that you should take as your slogan ‘credo […]

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The Dangers of Anti-Vaxxers and Bad News Reporting (Guest Post by Niels Böge Nothdurft)

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This is another guest post written by Niels Böge Nothdurft from Denmark. In this post, Niels discusses the popular fears surrounding the Gardasil vaccine in Denmark and how inaccurate and sensationalistic reporting in the news media contributed to these fears and helped promote dangerous anti-vaccination pseudoscience.   The number of Danish women who get the HPV vaccine known as Gardasil […]

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Rock ‘n’ Reverse: Skeptical Lessons from the Backward Masking Scare

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“Just ‘cause you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s there.” ~ Radiohead, “There There”   In the campy 1986 horror film Trick or Treat, directed by Michael Martin Smith and written by Rhet Topham, a devil-worshiping rock star named Sammi Curr meets an untimely death in a mysterious hotel fire. His biggest fan, a high school student with no friends and […]

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Why the Devil Has the Best Tunes: Rock Music, Satanism, and Religious Fear

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They say I worship the Devil / They must be stupid or blind / I’m just a rock ‘n’ roll rebel. ~ Ozzy Osbourne [1] In the summer of 1990, heavy rock music went on trial for murder. Five years before, two young adults named James Vance and Raymond Belknap of the small town of Sparks, Nevada spent a winter evening […]

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part III)

howard-beale

The third and final part of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist is by far the most fascinating – and perhaps the most delusional and paranoid – of the film’s three sections. Part III, titled “Don’t Mind the Men behind the Curtain,” takes a decidedly darker and more sinister turn. In the film’s previous chapter, we were assaulted with a barrage of media […]

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part II)

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Part II of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist, titled “All the World’s a Stage,” describes the events of September 11, 2001 in a manner very similar to Dylan Avery’s 2005 conspiracy documentary Loose Change. In fact, many portions of Part II are pulled directly from Avery’s film. [1] In Joseph’s film, as in Loose Change, we are presented with the basic 9/11 conspiracy […]

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The Zika Virus: Debunking the Myths

Zika Virus

In January 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Zika virus is a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” They have been strongly recommending that people everywhere educate themselves on what the virus is and what it is capable of and have prescribed a few simple precautionary measures to properly protect themselves. [1] On February 2, the Centers for […]

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A Physicist Calculates the Viability of Conspiracies

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For decades, science-based skeptics have been pointing out one of the most important flaws besetting grandiose conspiracy theories: the sheer number of people who must be involved in the execution of a large-scale conspiracy makes it extremely implausible that such plans would remain secret for long. Conspiracy theorists have never come up with an adequate or convincing counter-argument to answer […]

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Ghostbusting the Quantum: The New Age Misuse of Science

new-age

The so-called “New Age” is an umbrella term having reference to a body of belief which asserts that a separate holistic reality, fundamentally pervaded by a single cosmic consciousness, lies beyond the material world revealed by science. Ironically, believers in this variety of otherworldliness have claimed a connection between their spirituality and the science of quantum mechanics. As I will […]

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