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Skeptical Briefs
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
(CSI), formerly known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), is a program within the transnational American non-profit educational organization Center for Inquiry
Center for Inquiry
(CFI), which seeks to "promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims."[1] Paul Kurtz proposed the establishment of CSICOP in 1976 as an independent non-profit organization (before merging with CFI as one of its programs in 2015[2]), to counter what he regarded as an uncritical acceptance of, and support for, paranormal claims by both the media and society in general.[3] Its philosophical position is one of scientific skepticism
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Nonprofit Organization
A non-profit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity[1] or non-profit institution,[2] is dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. In economic terms, it is an organization that uses its surplus of the revenues to further achieve its ultimate objective, rather than distributing its income to the organization's shareholders, leaders, or members. Non-profits are tax exempt or charitable, meaning they do not pay income tax on the money that they receive for their organization. They can operate in religious, scientific, research, or educational settings. The key aspects of nonprofits is accountability, trustworthiness, honesty, and openness to every person who has invested time, money, and faith into the organization. Nonprofit organizations are accountable to the donors, funders, volunteers, program recipients, and the public community
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Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicine
Alternative medicine
or fringe medicine are practices claimed to have the healing effects of medicine but which are disproven, unproven, impossible to prove, or are excessively harmful in relation to their effect. Scientific consensus states that such therapies do not, or cannot, work because the known laws of nature are violated by their basic claims; or that the treatment is so much worse that its use is unethical. Alternative therapies or diagnoses are not part of medicine or science-based healthcare systems. Alternative practices, products, and therapies – range from plausible but not well tested, to having known harmful and toxic effects. Large amounts of funding go to testing alternative medicine, with more than US$2.5 billion spent by the United States government alone.[1] Almost none show any effect beyond that of false treatment, and most positive studies have been shown to be statistical flukes
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David Hume
David Hume
David Hume
(/hjuːm/; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
and Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
as a British Empiricist.[3] Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature
A Treatise of Human Nature
(1739), Hume strove to create a total naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Against philosophical rationalists, Hume held that passion rather than reason governs human behaviour
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H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English.[1] Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also gained him attention. As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States
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Horse-laugh
Appeal to ridicule (also called appeal to mockery, ab absurdo, or the horse laugh[1]), is an informal fallacy which presents an opponent's argument as absurd, ridiculous, or humorous, and therefore not worth consideration. Appeal to ridicule is often found in the form of comparing a nuanced circumstance or argument to a laughably commonplace occurrence or to some other irrelevancy on the basis of comedic timing, wordplay, or making an opponent and their argument the object of a joke. This is a rhetorical tactic that mocks an opponent's argument or standpoint, attempting to inspire an emotional reaction (making it a type of appeal to emotion) in the audience and to highlight any counter-intuitive aspects of that argument, making it appear foolish and contrary to common sense
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Syllogism
A syllogism (Greek: συλλογισμός syllogismos, "conclusion, inference") is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true. In its earliest form, defined by Aristotle, from the combination of a general statement (the major premise) and a specific statement (the minor premise), a conclusion is deduced. For example, knowing that all men are mortal (major premise) and that Socrates
Socrates
is a man (minor premise), we may validly conclude that Socrates
Socrates
is mortal
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Science News
Science
Science
News is an American bi-weekly magazine devoted to short articles about new scientific and technical developments, typically gleaned from recent scientific and technical journals. Science
Science
News has been published since 1922 by Society for Science
Science
& the Public, a non-profit organization founded by E. W. Scripps
E. W. Scripps
in 1920. American chemist Edwin Slosson served as the publication's first editor. From 1922 to 1966, it was called Science
Science
News Letter.[2] The title was changed to Science
Science
News with the March 12, 1966 issue (vol. 89, no. 11).[3] Tom Siegfried was a former editor from 2007-2012
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Cecil Adams
Cecil Adams is the pseudonymous author of The Straight Dope, a popular question and answer column published in The Chicago Reader since 1973. The true identity of Adams, whether a single individual or a group of authors, has remained unknown
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The Straight Dope
"The Straight Dope" is an online question-and-answer newspaper column published in the Chicago Reader and syndicated in eight newspapers in the United States.[2]Contents1 Newspapers 2 Books 3 Television 4 See also 5 References 6 External linksNewspapers[edit] The column derives its name from the American idiom meaning roughly "the true information; the full story"[3] and covers many subjects, including history, science, old wives' tales, urban legends, and inventions
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Bigfoot
In North American folklore, Bigfoot
Bigfoot
or Sasquatch
Sasquatch
is a hairy, upright-walking, ape-like being who reportedly dwells in the wilderness and leaves behind large footprints
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Unidentified Flying Object
An unidentified flying object or UFO is a object perceived in the sky that is not readily identified. Most UFOs are later identified as conventional objects or phenomena
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Parapsychology
Parapsychology
Parapsychology
is a field of study concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena which include telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation, apparitional experiences, and other paranormal claims. It is identified as pseudoscience by a vast majority of mainstream scientists.[1][2] Parapsychology
Parapsychology
research is largely conducted by private institutions in several countries and funded through private donations,[3] and the subject rarely appears in mainstream science journals
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Religious Cult
The term cult usually refers to a social group defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal
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Acronym
An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components in a phrase or a word, usually individual letters (as in NATO
NATO
or laser) and sometimes syllables (as in Benelux). There are no universal standards of the multiple names for such abbreviations and of their orthographic styling. In English and most other languages, such abbreviations historically had limited use, but they became much more common in the 20th century
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Barbara Forrest
Barbara Carroll Forrest[1] is a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University
Southeastern Louisiana University
in Hammond, Louisiana. She is a critic of intelligent design and the Discovery Institute.Contents1 Biography 2 Intelligent design2.1 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District 2.2 Synthese essay 2.3 Louisiana Science Education Act3 Public speaking 4 Bibliography 5 References 6 External linksBiography[edit] Forrest is a graduate of Hammond High School. She received her B.A. in English in 1974 from Southeastern Louisiana University, her M.A. in Philosophy
Philosophy
in 1978 from Louisiana State University, and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Tulane University
Tulane University
in 1988
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