Tag Archives: skepticism

The Skeptical Folklorist: What Happened to Amelia Earhart?


Amelia Earhart has been one of my lifelong heroines. I had actually wanted to be a pilot once, but I developed seizures as an adolescent so I’m barred from getting a pilot’s license as a result. Still, Earhart remains a beloved inspiration and, like many people, I would love to have the closure that comes with knowing how her final chapter ended. Tonight I saw an article about how an old photograph provides evidence that she was captured by the Japanese, and I want to take some time to look at this. Continue reading


Navigating the News

It was during the primaries that I started noticing the problem with fake or misleading news. I realized that articles from US Uncut and Daily News Bin would later be debunked by Snopes or a more credible site. And this problem is by now means confined to liberal sources. Brietbart anyone?

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Atheism: A Family History

One thing I find interesting is the question of whether or not there is a genetic predisposition to atheism or religiosity. I was raised by atheists, and when I was younger I used to worry that I didn’t come about my atheism honestly, through free inquiry from questioning a religious upbringing. Never mind the fact that growing up in the Bible Belt gave me plenty of exposure to Christianity and opportunities to debate it. And as I’ve gotten older this has been less important to me. But I do find the interaction of genes and environment interesting to consider.

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Growing Up Atheist: Learning About Religion

Someone asked a good question about how my parents introduced the concept of religion to me and if I ever experimented with religion. When I was five I think my parents realized it was time to explain the concept. I was starting to socialize more for one thing. I remember going to a friend’s house before I knew anything about religion and a friend showing me a coin with Jesus on it and talking about how important the coin was and how mad her mother would be if she gave it away. And then, for logical reasons that only make sense to a five year old, she said she wanted to give it to me. Ever the goody-two shoes, I demurred. She insisted. I pointed out that my dress had no pockets and that won the argument.

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The Skeptical Folklorist: Spending a Week in a Haunted Hotel

I don’t believe that ghosts exist and am fascination by the psychology behind alleged ghost sightings. And while I don’t believe that ghosts exist, I absolutely love ghost stories and folklore and am always ripe for the opportunity to be proved wrong. So I was very excited when I learned that we would be staying for a week at the Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego. Andy had a business conference there and I decided to come down with him while the kids stayed with my parents. So, after spending a week at the Horton did I have an experience that caused me to re-evaluate my stance on ghost hauntings?

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