Articles from ASKE
Below is a sample of articles, most of which have appeared in ASKE publications. There are three categories:
- Recent articles: these will be replaced at intervals.
- Historical articles: these were written some years ago and are retained for interest.
- Practical guides: these provide advice and guidelines for when the reader is in situations where a skeptical approach will stand them in good stead. (See alsoPsychic services).
Simply click on the titles to access.
Language on the fringe
This is a sample of three articles by Dr Mark Newbrook, which will be replaced periodically by other articles he has written. For many years Mark has contributed a column to the Skeptical Intelligencer entitled 'Language on the Fringe' and numerous book reviews.
Mark completed a BA (Honours) in Classics (including Indo-European philology) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and went on to take an MA and a PhD in linguistics at the University of Reading. He has authored several books, including Strange Linguistics (Lincom-Europa, Munich, 2013), the first book-length survey work on non-standard claims and theories about language. But his skeptical contributions are not just about linguistics; they also cover anthropology, ancient history and mythology, archaeology, philosophy, religion, cryptography, cryptozoology, claims of extra-terrestrial communication, and many other areas.
Mark's three articles at present are:
- Coelbren y Beirdd and Ogham: The Welsh epigraphic fringe, in which he examines non-mainstream, often mystical notions involving scripts formerly or allegedly used to write Celtic languages.
- 'Translations' of books which never existed, in which he examines the claims of Edmond Szekely (1905-1979).
- Gods and Demons in the Greek Old Testament, in which he addresses the question whether the gods mentioned in the Old Testament were assumed to exist.
This article on ASKE was written by Wayne Spencer shortly after ASKE had come into existence. Wayne was a co-founder of the association and former editor of the Skeptical Intelligencer.
In this article, Tony Youens and Adrian Shaw challenge a claim that a medium, through direct contact with the dead victim, identified a murderer 18 years prior to his conviction.
In 1988 and 1989 Michael Heap published three papers reviewing experimental evidence for the claims of NLP, and a fourth paper in the Skeptical Intelligencer, 2008. The first three papers are still cited in contemporary critiques of NLP and all four may be accessed on this website by clicking on the heading above.
This was originally published by ASKE as a booklet.
Tony Youens has twice appeared on television posing as both an astrologer and a tarot reader and on both occasions he was accepted as 'genuine' by the sitters. The tarot reading was for Meridian TV's 'Focus' and the most recent programme was 'The New Zodiac' by Pioneer Productions which was shown on Channel 5, Monday 16th April 2001. Tony who is available for lectures also bends spoons, reads minds and occasionally predicts the future.
The genesis of this article by Tony Youens was seeing and hearing psychics appear on both television and radio and being allowed to promote their dubious claims without so much as a hint of an adequate test. Too often presenters simply 'ooh' and 'ahhh' at the claims and/or demonstrations given by psychics that even the simplest of controls would have probably exposed as mere trickery.
Michael Heap has prepared this useful template, based on by many newspaper and magazine articles, for journalists who are writing a feature promoting any form of quack treatment.
Michael Heap presents a blueprint for creating your own 'alternative therapy'. Like most practitioners of alternative medicine, you will be able to make a great deal of money and seemingly benefit lots of patients who come to see you, even though your treatment itself is complete quackery.
Michael Heap explains the art of dowsing or water divining using metal rods. The information provided will enable anyone, with practice, to become a dowser although, like every other dowser, they will be unable to demonstrate any such ability under scientifically-controlled conditions.