Great Stories From a Book You Can't Read: The Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript is just as good a story now as when I first read about it 50 years ago. If you're not familiar with Voynich ManuscriptVoynich Manuscript it, Wikipedia's article hits the highlights, and its bibliography gives a number of ways to dig deeper.

The Voynich Manuscript was probably written in the early 1400s, probably in Europe, possibly in Northern Italy. Most of it resembles an herbal (though the plants are unrecognizable), plus sections whose pictures suggest astrology and pharmacy, plus lots of naked and clothed women (only the naked ones get mentioned much), and less-understandable illustrations and pure-text pages. The text appears to be written in a cipher, which has tantalized and taunted people since the 1500s. No one has ever cracked it.

Top 5 Lessons from Psychology for Critical Thinkers - Part 2...

Your Beliefs Are Malleable

As some of you may recall, I was recently asked to join the James Randi Educational Foundation's "Education Initiative," JREF LogoJREF Logowhose purpose is to promote teaching of critical thinking and skepticism.

My second article, entitled "Your Beliefs are Malleable," was recently posted. Its topic is cognitive dissonance, and it focuses on how it can be applied to teaching students to evaluate their beliefs in a more rational way.

"Dr. Oz" Takes Heat for Episode on "Ex-Gay" Therapy...

Dr. Mehmet Oz's November 28th, 2012 episode is bringing him Dr. Mehmet OzDr. Mehmet Ozgrief due to its investigation of so-called "Ex-Gay" therapies, techniques designed to help someone change his or her sexual orientation from gay to straight.

November SkepTalk: Climate Change from the Biotic to the Exotic - Minda Berbeco, PhD

November’s SkepTalk provided the perfect opportunity to Minda Berbeco, PhDMinda Berbeco, PhDintroduce to the Bay Area Skeptics the newest member of the NCSE family, Dr. Minda Berbeco.

October SkepTalk: Liza Gross - "Writing About Vaccines When Evidence Doesn't Matter"

On Wednesday, October 10th, the Bay Area Skeptics hosted an entertaining and Liza GrossLiza Grossinformative one-hour talk by Liza Gross, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Paul Kurtz Dies: December 21, 1925 - October 20th, 2012

He was the biggest force in late-1900s skepticism. Paul Kurtz was considered a legendary figure among Paul KurtzPaul KurtzAmerican humanists, atheists, and skeptics alike. For 50 years, he worked to advance a secular view of life and of society.

Dr. Carol Tavris Delights at Ohlone College...

On the evening of Friday, October 12th, the Ohlone Psychology Dr. Carol TavrisDr. Carol TavrisClub Speaker Series continued its three-year tradition of providing top-name speakers in science and skepticism by hosting renowned social psychologist Dr. Carol Tavris.

Review of Sheldon Helms' "Gay Conversion Therapy" SkepTalk (by Patrick O'Reilly)

Sheldon HelmsSheldon HelmsOn September 12th, 2012, Bay Area Skeptics was delighted to be present for Professor Sheldon Helms’ presentation entitled Gay Conversion Therapy: You Make Me Sick.

Sheldon’s presentation was particularly timely because on September 29th, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1172, which protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) minors from "reparative" therapies administered by mental health professionals aimed at altering sexual orientation or gender identities and expressions.

SF Chronicle on Vitamin C and Colds

Compliments to the San Francisco Chronicle for an article reviewing evidence that Vitamin C doesn't prevent colds, but may reduce symptoms. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Vitamin-C-may-shorten-cold-not-stop...

Top 5 Lessons from Psychology for Critical Thinkers

Your Nervous System Can Fool You

I was recently asked to join the James Randi Educational Foundation's "Education Initiative," whose purpose is to promote JREF LogoJREF Logothe teaching of critical thinking and skepticism. As part of this effort, I will be writing articles geared toward teachers, offering them tips on how they can encourage reason and scientific literacy...

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