A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

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From Abracadabra to Zombies - 780 entries | View All

The Skeptic's Dictionary features definitions, arguments, and essays on hundreds of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions. It also features dozens of entries on logical fallacies, cognitive biases, perception, science, and philosophy.

Also posted are over 20 years of reader comments.

Click here for Index of all Reader Comments

  • Recent Entries or Modifications

for last month's changes see current Newsletter

Date           Status* Entry

29 Nov
new reader comments: a medium gives me a lashing; update natural cures: Brian Clement still at it

27 Nov
new orthomolecular medicine & therapy

24 Nov
update Robert O. Young (alkaline diet) goes on trial

23 Nov
new reader comments: p-value fallacy

20 Nov
new p-value fallacy

09 Nov
New Skeptic's Dictionary Newsletter


Sample the Skeptic's Dictionary

curse removal, cleansing scam

This scam involves convincing the mark that she and her valuables, including cash, are cursed and that the con artist, posing as a psychicTarot card reader, Gypsy, clairvoyant or the like has the power to cleanse the person and her money and jewelry, thereby lifting the curse. Modern con artists sometimes claim the problem is "negative energy" rather than a curse, which might appear too old-fashioned a term for people hip to the New Age.>>more

sample Mysteries and Science (for kids 9 and up)

palm reading

In a nutshell: Palm reading is a kind of fortune telling by reading the lines on a person's hands. Scientists don't think you can tell much about a person's future by the lines on her hands.

palm for palm readingPalm reading (also called palmistry is telling fortunes from the lines, marks, and patterns on the hands, especially the palms.

Palm reading was practiced in ancient India, China, and Egypt. The first book on palm reading came out about 600 years ago.>>more

a blast from the past

Book Review

"Tarot, I Ching and astrology disgust me, and I think that newspapers that publish daily horoscopes are enemies of sanity. When people ask 'What sign are you?' I cringe."--James Michener, author and fortune teller

Fortune-Telling by James MichenerFortune-Telling


James Michener


James Michener (1907-1997) authored more than 40 books of fiction and non-fiction, many of which were made into movies or television series. His novels sold an estimated 75 million copies worldwide. Tales of the South Pacific won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1948 and was made into a Broadway musical with tunes and lyrics by Rogers and Hammerstein. South Pacific was also made into a movie that established Michener's fame and paved the road to a fortune, which he shared with others seeking an education, a writing vocation, or cultural enrichment.>>more


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