Philip K. Dick On Fine-Tuning Your B.S.-Meter To Spot "Pseudo-Realities"

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. » 2/25/15 12:36pm 2/25/15 12:36pm

How to Quack-Proof Yourself Against Pseudoscience


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. » 6/06/14 12:27am 6/06/14 12:27am

Why Agnosticism Probably Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

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. » 5/29/14 11:30am 5/29/14 11:30am

The Pocket Guide to Bullshit Prevention

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… » 5/04/14 4:00pm 5/04/14 4:00pm

The Neuroscience of Anti-Science Activists

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. » 5/02/14 4:19pm 5/02/14 4:19pm

Can Skepticism Blind You to the Truth?

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? » 3/23/14 11:15am 3/23/14 11:15am

Skeptical climate blog shamefully downplays Super Typhoon Haiyan

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. » 11/11/13 7:40am 11/11/13 7:40am

Joe Rogan tells io9 why you should question the !@#$ out of everything

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. » 7/18/13 12:35pm 7/18/13 12:35pm

Have you had your miracle this month?

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. » 4/14/13 8:00am 4/14/13 8:00am

The Moon landings, the Higgs Boson, and vaccinations are all fake

Here's an absolutely lovely bit of ranty, frustrated-scientist humor from The Guardian's Dean Burnett, that doubles as a smart explainer on the difference between true skepticism and scientifically vacant conspiracy theory. (Especially w/r/t media coverage.) » 12/13/12 10:10am 12/13/12 10:10am

Geeky ceramic jewelry for people who love science and skepticism

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… » 8/17/12 9:45am 8/17/12 9:45am

No, we won't be able to clone a woolly mammoth in the next five years

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. » 12/06/11 11:00am 12/06/11 11:00am

Paranormal Investigator Joe Nickell Reveals the Truth Behind Modern…

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… » 8/12/11 2:00pm 8/12/11 2:00pm

How evolutionary psychology proved some old folklore...and why both are…

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. » 6/19/11 2:45pm 6/19/11 2:45pm

Why that study about psychic porn was totally 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. » 5/04/11 1:40pm 5/04/11 1:40pm

Human magnets are actually just really greasy

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. » 2/27/11 9:30am 2/27/11 9:30am

Anthony Hopkins reveals the secret atheist message he put into The Rite

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. » 1/27/11 10:20am 1/27/11 10:20am

Debunking the pseudoscience behind the "3D can't work" myth

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. » 1/25/11 1:00pm 1/25/11 1:00pm

No, Italian scientists have not discovered cold fusion

Two physicists recently announced they had figured out the secrets of cold fusion, which is a low energy nuclear reaction that, if it exists, could solve the world's energy problems. But to call their story fishy is a massive understatement. » 1/24/11 5:00pm 1/24/11 5:00pm

Does the Earthlike planet Zarmina actually exist? Some say no.

It's not a fun question to ask, but anytime a discovery of this magnitude comes along, it's a good idea to hang on to a little skepticism. So let's sort through the biggest questions about Earth's newly discovered sibling. » 10/15/10 12:55pm 10/15/10 12:55pm