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Psychology

For Entertainment Only: My Experience with a Party Psychic

In 1987 I worked as a receptionist in the real estate lending office of a savings and loan. A savings and loan, for those too young to remember, is a bit like a bank which invests most of it’s money in mortgages (think Bailey Building and Loan). Shortly after I was hired the whole savings and loan industry collapsed, mostly due

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A Personal History of Skepticism

This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on the Woo Fighters website in 2010.

In what is now considered “the golden days” of skepticism, I experienced first-hand the power of grass roots activism. I will never know if or how my view of the world would differ if I had never taken that psychology class in

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Odds-Defying Babies With Numerical Superpowers!

So this Good Morning America piece showed up in my Facebook feed the other day touting the sensational headline “Odd-Defying Babies Born 10:11 12/13/14″.

Now, I think it would be adorable to have a baby born on 10:11 12/13/14 (in America, of course. In Europe, that would be 10:11 13/12/14, which just doesn’t hold the same cuteness). Human beings love

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Jesus Here, Jesus There, Jesus, Jesus Everywhere

Those who read this blog in its early days know of my love for all things pareidolia. If you don’t know what pareidolia is, that last link (this one) covers the definition. I have also written an classroom ‘module’ for the JREF on the topic. It can be downloaded for free here (the pdf is quite large;

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The Logic of Causal Conclusions: How we know that fire burns, fertilizer helps plants grow, and vaccines prevent disease

I usually cringe when I read a comment by a skeptic arguing that “correlation does not prove causation”. Of course, it’s true that correlation does not prove causation. It’s even true that correlation does not always imply causation. There are many great examples of spurious correlations which demonstrate clearly just how silly it is to extrapolate cause from correlation. And

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