The conspiracy theory-laden social media onslaught unleashed by rapper B.o.B. got us thinking about another famous “the Earth is flat!” believer. Charles K. Johnson was the most notorious name associated with flat-Earth theories since Christopher Columbus. And he became something of a celebrity because of it.
If you want to get a look at the Shroud of Turin, now’s your (limited-time) chance: the artifact that some believe (and many dispute) was Jesus’ burial cloth is on display until June 24 at St. John the Baptist cathedral in Turin. Just make sure you do like one million others have done, and sign up online first.
How can you tell what's real, in a world where huge industries, governments and religions are all trying to force-feed you manufactured realities? Philip K. Dick sums up the challenges of detecting reality in a world that resembles Disneyland, in this great 1978 quote.
Most of us think of ourselves as savvy, informed individuals who approach the world with discerning eyes. But the truth is that we're often remarkably gullible when it comes to pseudoscience and quackery. That's the bad news. The good news is that it is surprisingly easy to tell quackery apart from real science.
Agnostics are often characterized as ambivalent or wishy-washy fence sitters who refuse to make up their minds. But there's much more to agnosticism than these tired misconceptions, including a stricter adherence to scientific principles than those typically invoked by atheists.
Here for sharing far and wide is a handy guide to stemming the flow of nonsense in your daily life. Originally written by science writer Michelle Nijhuis for the outstanding science blog The Last Word on Nothing, these words have the power to make you a more discerning consumer – and sharer – of information. No…
When confronted with facts that contradict our beliefs, there's a solid evolutionary reason why we double down and refuse to change our minds. It's called "motivated reasoning," and it suggests that rationality is always a process of rationalization.
An odd experiment, done by a believer in paranormal phenomena, opens a few questions about how everyone perceives the world. We know that belief can blind people – but can disbelief do the same thing?
Before the numbers were even in, the science denialist blog Watts Up With That began downplaying the size, strength, wind speeds, overall effects — and even death toll of Super Typhoon Haiyan — a ferocious storm that may have claimed as many as 10,000 lives.
Though he’s primarily known as a UFC commentator and comedian, Joe Rogan is also an outspoken advocate of science. In his new show, which is set to premiere on Syfy later this month, he critically investigates a series of strange and unexplained phenomenon. We recently caught up with him to learn more.
Miracles should happen, according to one mathematician, to everyone. And they should happen at a rate of about once per month. More if you keep your eyes and ears open.
Today we are madly in love with the simple, cute and science-tastic designs from Surly-Ramics on Etsy. Created by Surly Amy, these necklaces and earrings feature planets, radio telescopes, animals, fossils and geeky aphorisms. (I think "Clone me" is my new favorite retort to everything.) If you're looking for…
A team of Russian and Japanese scientists recently announced that they have discovered pristine DNA samples of woolly mammoths, and they will clone a living mammoth within five years. It's tremendously exciting...but almost certainly not going to happen. Here's why.
Paranormal investigator and cryptozoologist Joe Nickell has spent 40 years doing fieldwork and research, digging for the truth behind bizarre phenomena like weeping statues and haunted houses. He invited us to his office to talk about the connections between Bigfoot and alien mythology, life as the token skeptic on…
There's an old bit of folklore that children tend to more closely resemble their fathers than their mothers. There's a possible evolutionary explanation for this, and one study seemed to confirm it all. Here's why it's all bogus.
Late last year, a Cornell psychologist claimed to have discovered evidence of precognition, specifically an ability to detect the future presence of erotic photos. We were skeptical about all this, and now it appears we can officially dismiss this study.
Every so often, people claim to be human magnets, able to attract and make metal objects stick to their bodies. It seems like a strange, physics-defying ability...but the perfectly simple explanation isn't quite so flattering to these supposed human magnets.
In the exorcism thriller The Rite, Anthony Hopkins plays an unconventional priest locked in mortal combat with Satan. But Hopkins, an agnostic, was uncomfortable with his character - he told us how he slipped a doubter's message into the film.
It's true that many recent 3D movies have sucked. But now Roger Ebert claims there's a scientific reason such flicks fail - our brains can't handle 3D. Now Slate's Dan Engber debunks the pseudoscience behind this widely-held belief.