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Space Aliens Infiltrate Bay Area

By:
Robert Sheaffer
Originally published in BASIS
Volume:
1
Number:
3
August 1982
"Psychic" Maria McKensie revealed in an interview with "The Examiner" (the national supermarket tabloid, not the local paper) that space aliens disguised as humans are roaming the streets of San Francisco! "I discovered them two years ago", she says, "but I didn't reveal their presence then because I was afraid it would start a panic." Looking out her office window in San Francisco's financial district, she reportedly became aware of people walking strangely -- as if they weren't fully adjust

More Tracking

By:
Michael McCarthy
Originally published in BASIS
Volume:
1
Number:
3
August 1982
[Ed. Note: Both Ken Bomben and Mike McCarthy did excellent analyses of Jeanne Borger's predictions. Although J.B. is not strictly Bay Area, she is widely known enough that an analysis seems instructive. Since we published Ken on the specifics, let's see the fine job Mike did on the methods.] It must be borne in mind that a large number of Ms. Borger's "predictions" are not easily checked, due to her careful phrasing, not to mention her cho

By:
Paul DesOrmeaux
Originally published in BASIS
Volume:
24
Number:
4
October-December 2007
According to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture has a myriad of useful applications. It not only relieves pain by painfully pricking a person with needles, but it can repair every ailment and disorder imaginable, from hair loss to infertility to flatulence, as well as recently invented ones, such as restless leg syndrome. One of the newest applications is the acupuncture facelift, which is a less expensive version of the traditional facelift where skil

(The following is unabashedly stolen from The Center For Inquiry.)

Susan GerbicSkeptiCal2016
June 27, 2016

The seventh SkeptiCal was held Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the Oakland, CA, Asian Cultural Center. I’ve attended all seven, each is unique and I always leave feeling that I’ve had a great experience. This is billed as the Northern California Science and Skepticism Conference, and as usual for this specific event, is heavy on the science. The speakers are varied enough to keep the audience interested as you will soon see. The hosts are the Bay Area Skeptics led by Eugenie Scott and Sacramento Area Skeptics, Frank Mosher.

I attend as many skeptic conferences as I can, and each one has its own “flavor” and style. SkeptiCal differs from others by being a no-frills event, but without you noticing that those frills are missing. Many of the speakers are working scientists talking about their...

...and our board president is giving a talk there!!!Eugenie Scott, PhD

Please welcome the Silicon Valley Skeptics to our extended community. They have a Meetup page HERE. If possible, attend the talk on December 4th by Dr. Eugenie Scott, board president of the Bay Area Skeptics.

What if 'Intelligent Design' Had Won? Reflecting on 10 Years Since Kitzmiller v. Dover

Ten years ago, the decision in Kitzmiller v Dover determined that

Intelligent Design was a form of creationism, and thus unconstitutional to advocate in public schools, but what if the decision had gone the other way? What would have been the legal, political, scientific, and educational fallout? Dr. Scott is president of the Bay Area Skeptics, and the former executive director of the National Center for Science Education, Inc., which was part of the plaintiff's legal team.

When: 6:30PM Friday December 4

Where: Emoji Tech Talk Room, Google Mountain View Campus (NOT the Googleplex!), 1255 Pear Avenue, Mountain View (

Acts & Facts & Pacifiers

(Reprinted from the National Center for Science Education.)

Acts & Chelyabinsk meteor. © 2013 Alexandr IvanovChelyabinsk meteor. © 2013 Alexandr IvanovFacts is the monthly publication of the Institute for Creation Research, which equips “believers with evidence of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research…”

Here at NCSE, we maintain a subscription to Acts & Facts to remain informed of the ICR’s stance on various topics and as a reminder of what we face in defending science education. The May 2014 issue has an article by Dr. Jason Lisle—ICR's Director of Research—that is a case study in avoiding worry and shirking responsibility by donning blinders in adopting a human-centric view of the universe.

(N.B. Blinders are those bridle attachments on racehorses to keep them from looking to the side and becoming distracted or ‘spooked.’ The Aussies call them pacifiers. )

Dr. Lisle has been contributing a series of articles to


Sheldon HelmsSheldon Helms, a BAS Board Member, was featured at a gathering of the Atheist Alliance of San Francisco. The presentation title:
Gay Conversion Therapy: You Make Me Sick.

As our country deals the issues of Marriage Equality, gays in the military, and other forms of inclusion of gays and lesbians into mainstream society, and as Russia and others institute draconian laws limiting the rights of their gay and lesbian citizens, fringe religious and therapeutic organizations have operated mostly in the shadows, attempting to "convert" their homosexual clients to heterosexuality through a mixture of prayer and pseudoscience.

Helms describes the history of attempts to define homosexuality as an illness and to make gays go straight. He details such aspects as: the goals and viewpoints of those involved in Gay Conversion Therapy; their pseudoscientific and sometimes dangerous practices; and a description of the results of over 100 years of attempts to alter sexual orientation.

Some forms of Gay Conversion Therapy have been outlawed in California and New Jersey, and one of the primary institutions that


Sheldon HelmsSheldon Helms On 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. Governor Brown was quoted as stating that such misguided an unscientific psychotherapy “will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery…This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide.” As overdue as this new law was, it will sadly and tragically not prevent amateur therapists with a religiously rigid orientation on what constitutes “acceptable” sexual expression and sexual identity from infl

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