Talk:Skeptical Inquirer

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Reason (magazine)[edit]

I saw something strange in the article. There is the usual header at the end of it called "See also" where it lists similar topics with links. One of them is Reason magazine, which is not a magazine dedicated to critical thought or the advancement of science but a political magazine with an ideological agenda. I think the entry should be removed since I fail to see it as relevant and also because it smells like someone using the article to subtly propagate their political agenda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Executive Council[edit]

On October 9, 2010 CSI met to discuss future plans and to expand the Executive Council. The results were published in Vol. 35 No. 1, I feel this information is relevant to the article and I propose to add this section to the site. SGerbic (talk) 03:53, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Gullible skeptics[edit]

Please tell me which Skeptical Inquirer issue has dealt with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since I don't remember anyone. In fact, I have discussed ADHD with the Skeptical Inquirer editor quite a few times thru email and he does not seem to be interested in the subject (though he did publish my short article about The Bélmez Faces). —Cesar Tort 05:52, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

May/June 2006 issue, see the photo of the cover in the main article. Bubba73 (talk), 02:01, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I am truly shocked that Kendrick Frazier published the article you called my attention to: a pro-psychiatry piece for the immoral drugging of healthy American children with Ritalin. Please take a look at my own web page. [1]

Back in 1992 Prometheus Books rejected John Modrow’s How to become a schizophrenic even though Peter Breggin wrote a warm endorsement for the manuscript. Modrow had no choice but to self-publish it with his earnings as a blue collar hard worker at Seattle bay. I am afraid that I have no choice but to quote a paragraph of a 1998 letter he sent me:

Now in regard to the people at CSICOP and the Skeptical Inquirer, I pretty much dismiss them as a bunch of intellectual cowards who spend their time beating up fringe beliefs and marginal crackpots. Perhaps I’m a bit too harsh. After all, there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. In fact, I approve of what they are doing —except that they never go after the really big fish: an establishment pseudoscience like psychiatry. In fact, I recall reading one article in the Skeptical Inquirer in which Thomas Szasz and other critics of psychiatry were put in the same category as “creation scientists” and other purveyors of superstition and anti-science.

My bold type above. —Cesar Tort 04:49, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

While I have my own (strong) opinions of Szasz, I won't post them here. I will, however, say that Szasz absolutely is not, and does not claim to be, a scientist, and that his consideration of psychology as a pseudoscience is from a VERY different perspective that the Skeptical Inquirer's consideration of, for example, ESP as a pseudoscience. It is not just that psychiatry is well-established as compared to most fringe theories the Inquirer attacks, but that its beliefs and practices are largely in-line with most current scientific principles and utilizes the scientific method in a highly rigorous way. Objections to "biopsychiatry" are typically philosophical, not scientific. Eebster the Great (talk) 02:48, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree. Objections to biopsychiatry are scientific. Just take a good look at the first article of the book Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry. (talk) 21:56, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Talk pages are not for debating the topic at hand, they are for discussing improvements to the page. In addition, the last contribution to this section was several months ago. If you think there is a problem with the current page, please start a new section at the bottom of the page.
To everyone else watching, yeah, my bad for revert-revert-reverting; though the new comment is a WP:SOAP problem, the remainder of the section has some merit regards the actual page and shouldn't be removed. I've also placed a off-topic warning. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:02, 9 April 2009 (UTC)


an enquirer inquires. the editors of the afore mentioned periodical should consult a dictionary. i appreciate this has nothing ot do with the article, i just dislike bad english. Jonomacdrones 01:55, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

The New Oxford American Dictionary says that inquirer is correct. Bubba73 (talk), 03:12, 12 November 2006 (UTC)


When I typed Zetetic scholar into Wikipedia, it bounced to the Skeptical Enquirer page. It should not, because the SE was originally The Zetetic, and was renamed SE. Truzzi founded the Zetetic Scholar after leaving CSICOP.

Martinphi 22:17, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I fixed it. That was due to a misunderstanding by THB. Bubba73 (talk), 23:48, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


'but it is not a formal scientific journal.' Can anyone explain what this means, and if it is a clear distinction. Liam195.7.54.2 10:23, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

It's a magazine, not a journal that specializes in publishing scientific research, like JAMA, NEJM, Lancet, etc.. You won't find its articles listed at PubMed. -- Fyslee 10:35, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Standard appendices and descriptions & WP:GTL[edit]

I noticed that this article and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry don't follow WP:GTL guidelines regarding some section namings. It seems to me that the section presently named References should, to follow GTL guidelines, be named Further reading and that the section now named Notes should be named References. Is there any opposition to changing these names per GTL? -- Boracay Bill 07:49, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

The two item under "references" are indeed references (Harvard referencing), they are cited in the text. So they aren't "Further reading". Maybe "notes" should be renamed "footnotes", but I need to read the GTL. Bubba73 (talk), 13:32, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

GTL says:

  • Notes
  • References (or combined with "Notes" into Notes and references)
  • Further reading (or Bibliography)


"It is okay to change the sequence of these appendices, but the Notes and References sections should be next to each other. For example, you may put "Further reading" above "Notes and references" or vice versa. "Notes" is only for footnotes (explanations or comments on any part of the main text). "References" is only for referenced materials (books, websites etc. cited in the main text). Otherwise "Notes and references" should be combined. "

So according to that, it is OK as it is, unless the two are combined into "notes and references". Bubba73 (talk), 13:40, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, I partially agree. The items in References are definitely references, but the "notes" are references too, and not "explanations or comments". Bubba73 (talk), 13:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
The "notes" are all external links, though. Bubba73 (talk), 13:54, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

What was done on these two pages is a bit different from the pages I'm used to seeing. Most of the pages I've looked at place a <References/> tag in a section named References, and populate that section with inline <ref>REF_ITEM</ref> instances, where REF_ITEM is often formatted by one of the citation templates from WP:CITET. Individual REF_ITEMs in the text hook to their References section appearances via numbered links and backlinks supplied by the mechanism behind the <ref>, </ref>, and <References/> tags (the Cite.php extension to MediaWiki) . The {{ref}} & {{note}} template family can also be used to supply connective links and backlinks, but don't do auto-numbering of links.

WP:GTL describes the References section as containing "... [items] that you used in constructing the article and have referenced (cited) in the article. An example is then given using <Ref>, which puts the example item into a <References/> collection under an example section named (confusingly, to me) Notes instead of References.

Per WP:BB, I went ahead and made the changes. I eliminated the Notes section and combined its contents with the References section. I also improved & combined cites and fixed the Harvard-references backlinks. If this looks OK, I'll try to do the same to the other article sometime soon. -- Boracay Bill 05:33, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

What appears to have been done on the two pages being discussed here is that the items which would go in the References section have been broken up into (1) some harvard-referenced books and (2) other stuff -- mostly web pages but some books as well on the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry page --, with the harvard-referenced books being put in a bulleted list in a section titled References and the other stuff in a list auto-numbered with <Ref> etc. in a section named Notes. That's what threw me -- I'm not used to seeing that done .

WP:GTL does say "it is more important to have clarity and consistency in an article than to adhere to any particular system." I have plenty of other things on my plate at present, so I think I'll drop the matter here. -- Boracay Bill 21:15, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

You are exactly right in your pbervation. Books that are referenced are Harvard-referenced in the text and the references section. Most of the footnotes are external links, but some in the other article are not. Somewhere else I've read something to the effect "better any kind of reference than no reference". What do you suggest about the conflicting styles? I strongly prefer Harvard referencing, but I'm not up to changing the notes and links. Bubba73 (talk), 21:25, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Per WP:BB, I went ahead and made the changes. I eliminated the Notes section and combined its contents with the References section. I also improved & combined cites and fixed the Harvard-references backlinks. If this looks OK, I'll try to do the same to the other article sometime soon. -- Boracay Bill 05:34, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

For what it is worth, this former Feature Article Paul Morphy uses notes (footnotes), references, and further reading. But in that case, notes are true footnotes. Bubba73 (talk), 03:58, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

not peer-reviwed, and not a journal[edit]

I made this change because that harvard source is directly contradicted by the official website, so it must be wrong. Their official website:

  1. states that it's a magazine and says nothing about being a journal. Their subtitle is "The Magazine for Science and Reason"
  2. does not claim anywhere to be peer-reviewed
  3. doesn't explain any method to recruit reviewers and apply for being a reviewer.

Maybe the Harvard source was mis-interpreted --Enric Naval (talk) 04:32, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Position on major issues[edit]

Nightscream: What do you mean when you say "Skepticism is an approach or methodology, not an approach"?

Are you arguing that SI would print an original article (not a rebuttal) by Peter Duesberg on the uses of skepticism in viewing HIV as a cause of Aids?

The global warming paper is specifically stated right on the cover to be a "position paper", and it's published by the CFI, an affiliate of SI. Readers can certainly take it to be SI's formal position on the subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:29, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry about the Edit Summary. I meant to say, "Skepticism is an approach, or methodology, not a position." As for the paper, yeah, you're right. I wasn't sure whose "position" it was, but I looked over that issue, and yes, you're right. Since SI is the magazine of CFI, I agree it's reasonable to call it a position of the magazine. However, I would caution that this assertion is somewhat more subjective with respect to the other topics. Some skeptical publications like SI do print rebuttals or other material by people opposed to its material. (I seem to recall Deepak Chopra and Michael Shermer having a point-counterpoint dual essay in Skeptic.) But whether they would publish such a thing or not, is not the issue. When you start assuming that a skeptical or critical look at a subject is the same as a position, you're treading into WP:SYNTH. I suggest restoring the bit about the global warming position paper, but not others unless they're explicitly stated to be position pieces like the global warming one. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 00:39, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I've changed the emphasis towards the individual authors (except for the position paper), and made the section head more specific. I think it's an improvement, and accomplishes what I had in mind: to bring attention to the magazine's treatment of two major contemporary controversies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:05, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I've removed this section as it doesn't seem to fit well with the overall article - it gives too much weight to two particular issues. Feedback is welcome here. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 18:00, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

"particular issues" -- do you mean the two issues of the magazine that contain the two articles, or the two issues of global warming & HIV/Aids? If the latter, global warming and Aids loom very large in contemporary life and surely devoting a short section to them isn't excessive. A separate article would be excessive, but unmentioned at all they do rather become elephants in the room. Still, I changed the section head to "Major articles", so it can be expanded as necessary in the future. As for undue weight, it would definitely apply to a new section specifically about the debunking of yet another generic monster/ghost. Also, undue weight refers to the problem of minority points to view. No such problem here -- there is no question the articles were published, a fact which also neutralizes the matter of reliable sources.

As for what Aids dissidents think, I've replaced my words with those of author Nicoli Nattrass. A bit shorter, but the subtext is still there for the perceptive reader. And that's what matters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:00, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Reply to Nightscream: It would be POV if I were to insist that the section was complete, or if I stipulated a restricted list of topics. But I'm not doing that. People can add to it. A definitive evolution article would be a candidate.

There can be no serious question that HIV and global warming are major topics, the latter by definition, being the subject of an official SI position paper. It's a product of their POV, not mine. But Nattrass' piece is arguably a position paper de facto because it appears to be the only comprehensive Aids statement SI has published, and as the lead cover-article to boot. It took the author's POV to write the article and the magazine editor's POV to publish it. It's merely my POV to assert the obvious -- that Aids is a major topic. (talk) 05:52, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Apologies for my poor word choice. I have added those two subjects to the list within the Content section, which is where they belong. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 13:25, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Circulation claim[edit]

The article as I post this claims the circulation is "50,000" citing a source from 13 years ago (repeat: 13 years ago, 2002), which, by the way, features a link in the reference that no longer goes to the page cited. The "50,000" number is being repeated across the Internet and even comes up in a special top result on Google in a search for: skeptical inquirer circulation. However, in the year-end current issue, Nov-Dec 2015, Vol 39 No 6, pg 12, where the legally required "Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation" information block appears, it says for the past 12 month period the average press run was 34,295 and the paid print and electronic circulation: 23,570. Total distribution, including free: 24,672. The outdated claim of 50,000 needs to be fixed. I'm not a regular editor here and I know how protective you skeptics are, so I'll let someone else attend to this. 5Q5 (talk) 17:10, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

 Done. It's been over two months and no regular editor here attended to it, so I revised the alleged 2002 circulation number of 50,000 to the current verifible number of 24,672 using the public domain circulation statement that appears on page 12 in the Nov-Dec 2015 issue of the magazine. 5Q5 (talk)


This page seems horribly outdated. I'm going to give it a go at a rewrite. Give me a week or so and see what I come up with.Sgerbic (talk) 04:55, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

I did it in only a couple days. YEAH! I am not 100% sure that the magazine covers are going to be okay, I uploaded them under the WP:NFCC licencing as they are low rez, I will think of something else if they are not right. I was able to get a copy of the Scientific American article from 1982 that really pulled the rewrite together. There also exists a Reader's Digest and a Psychology Today article that I read the first page of, I didn't see anything worthwhile on those pages, but possibly somewhere in the rest of the article. If someone finds them please review and see what you think.The Reader's Digest is July 1978, written by Frazier. I don't think there was anything else I was trying to find, but you're welcome to it. Enjoy!Sgerbic (talk) 04:49, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Promotional link?[edit]

Near the end of the article there are two references to the "CSI Online Store". Is this consistent with WP:SPAM? I'm a little unclear on what is and is not allowed.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 05:21, 11 January 2017 (UTC)