I used to be a skeptic, but then…

Arm yourself against narrative devices that draw you to the dark side Here is something to keep in mind when listening to EVERY PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR EVER (it seems) who is telling you his favorite “It happened to me” story. They will insert the phrase “I used to be a skeptic” in order to elevate the…

The Mystery of the Sky Noises

The world is a noisy place these days. Strange sounds abound. The paranormal/Fortean media outlets were abuzz about the strange sounds from the sky starting in the summer of 2011. These “sky noises” are anomalous sounds that appear to be emanating from above, and do not sound like your everyday planes, trains or automobiles (so people say).…

Weird Newsapalooza!

New Sounds Sciencey post is about How to Think About Weird News Every day, I scour the Internet for news. Not just any news. Weird news. What bizarre thing was seen, heard, or found today? This interest in the unexplained, mysterious, and Fortean is a perpetual thing for me. The first books I ever recall picking out…

Pop descent into low quality

As a follow up to my last post on why cryptozoology may or may not be called a pseudoscience (depending on your criteria), I was reminding of the idea of “deviant” science as discussed by Dolby. When a “deviant” science, or what might be labeled pejoratively as “pseudoscience” by mainstream scientists or commentators, appeals to…

Everyone panic. Or not.

A few weeks ago, I moved my desk next to an upstairs window overlooking a Bradford pear tree. For the past 3 weeks, when I sat at the desk during the day, periodically, a flock of about 50 starlings would swoop in and land on the tree,  devouring the shriveled fruits up like grapes. Then,…

Weird things road trip

Spent 10 hours driving through north central PA and upstate NY today. I saw an incredible sunrise over the Susquehanna River, the misty mountains and valleys north of Williamsport and the ridges of wind turbines in the rolling hills of New York. But, here are two puzzlers.

The red herring

Conclusion to “Sham Inquiry” The coelacanth is a red herring Mainstream science, which is respected and functions very well with its current methodology, excludes those fields who don’t pass muster. For a theory to be considered as an explanation for observations of the natural world, even the public realizes it ought to be scientific. Using…

Elbowing in

Continuing with “Sham Inquiry” Elbowing in on good science The Journal of Scientific Exploration is the published by the Society for Scientific Exploration which describes itself as “a professional organization of scientists and other scholars committed to studying phenomena that cross or are outside of the traditional boundaries of science and…are ignored or studied inadequately…”…

Ghost Hunting – Sham Inquiry

Thousands of eyewitnesses report ghostly encounters from ancient history to modern times. Contact with the dead is very much part of our modern culture. With the expansion of television content and the internet, stories about hauntings have surged in popularity. Ghost hunting is a popular hobby for thrill seekers. It’s fun to be scared. The…

Unorthodox and proud of it

The category of unconventional theories is labeled “maverick”, “fringe”, “frontier” and “exploration” in front of the word “science” to describe the work. (This community is featured on The Anomalist website – www.anomalist.com.) The conclusions they reach are at variance with what is taught as conventional science. Because these ideas are outside of the mainstream consensus…

A Doubtful End

All: I still get consistent hits on this blog. Even after I took off the picts of Gerard Way! I have linked to the Whispers from the Earth series of posts since the Sichuan quake has stirred interest in earthquake precursors. This has also been published in The Anomalist No. 13: Intermediate States. I would…