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Summer 2012 Skeptics Toolbox Open for Registration

Skeptics Toolbox LogoSkeptics Toolbox LogoIf you have never attended a Skeptics Toolbox, or if you have, now is the time to register for the summer 2012 course. These courses, sponsored by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, are held in Eugene Oregon every summer, and include discussions and workshops led by expert skeptical investigators. Check out the website for further information. http://www.skepticstoolbox.org/ Being on the west coast has its advantages!

By: 
John R. Cole, BAS Board, CSI fellow
Originally published in BASIS
July-September

July 2007 news included the case of a cat named Oscar who allegedly predicted which patients in a hospice would soon die. As SF Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll noted (30 Jul 2007), this seems a bit of a stretch.

"... Oscar's 'uncanny knack of knowing when people are going to die' [looks fishy]. Apparently he walks aloofly around the halls of the Providence, R.I., nursing home where he lives, and then settles down with a person who, only a few hours later, dies. Oscar somehow intuits the imminence of death and provides succor in these last hours - or so the story goes.

"From the evidence, an equally viable theory is that Oscar kills people, but no one has mentioned that possibility.

"The staffers at the nursin


Is There a Need?

Originally published in BASIS
Volume: 
1
Number: 
1
June 1982

There are those in the Bay Area who "earn" their daily bread from the pain, suffering, guilt, fear, and hate of others.

Rev. B. Woods Mattingley, Founder-Director of The Seeker's Quest, entitled the lead article in his current newsletter: "Why Do We Suffer Pain?"

His answer: "Most serious illness can be attributed to one of several reasons: karmic, in which current life pain results from the excesses or 'sins' of a past life.... Physical pain is also


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