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Under construction

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." --Arthur C. Clarke

VIII. Other Law and Science Issues

N. B. Materials listed here are primarily for the non-scientist. To find scientific evaluations of the issues and processes listed here please search scientific, social scientific and other technical indexes and abstracts. 

VIII(A). Cold Fusion
VIII(B). Intelligence Tests and Other Academic Issues
VIII(C). Peer Review
VIII(D). Junk Science and the Legal System
(Including Ethics in Science and Science Fraud)
VIII(E). Aliens, UFO and the Roswell Conspiracies
VIII(F). Recovered Memories and False Memory Syndrome See also Child Abuse Studies and Public Reaction
VIII(G). Anti-Immunization  
VIII(H). Psychics, Spiritualists, and Mediums  
VIII(I).   Child Abuse Studies and Public Reaction
VIII(J).  Health Care Issues
VIII(K). Law and the Use and Misuse of Statistics  
VIII(L). Holocaust Denial
VIII(M). Science and Religion
VIII(N). Computer Generated Evidence and Its Admissibility in Court
VIII(O). Forensic Science (including DNA)
VIII(P).  Biology and Law
VIII(Q). Archaeology and Law
VIII(R). Spontaneous Human Combustion
VIII(S). Astrology
VIII(T). Facilitated Communication
VIII(U) Pseudoscience
VIII(V) Anthropology and Other Social Sciences. See also Daubert IV: Commentaries on Daubert and Its Progeny
VIII(W) The Patent Office and the Free Lunch: Perpetual Motion Machines

VIII(X) Battered Women's Syndrome

VIII(Y) Other Hormonal Defenses

A.  Cold Fusion

Two scientists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, announced in 1989 that they had managed to produce "cold fusion" in the laboratory. This process promised to produce unlimited amounts of energy for very little cost or risk. Almost immediately, scientists all over the world tried to replicate their experiments, generally with little success. At the same time, the Utah legislature agreed to pour millions of dollars into further research into cold fusion. Given the tremendous contemporary debate over whether Pons and Fleischmann actually achieved cold fusion, should the legislature have taken this step? Would more knowledge on the part of legislators or their staffs about basic physics have changed the legislative result?

A(1). Bibliography

A(1)(a). First Reports of Cold Fusion

Cold fusion causes frenzy but lacks confirmation, 338 Nature 447 (April 6, 1989)

Hall, Nina, High hopes for cold fusion, 106 New Scientist 38-40 (April 25, 1985).

A(1)(b). The Controversy Over Replication

Ask the Experts (Scientific American): Cold Fusion

Aufdemberge, Thomas Paul, Cold Fusion Replication Attempts (Master’s thesis, Eastern Michigan University, 1989).

The CETI Cold Fusion Experiment

Close, F. E., Too Hot To Handle: The Race For Cold Fusion (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).

Cold Fusion Links

Cold Fusion Research: A Report of the Energy Advisory Board to the United States Department of Energy (November 1989)

Cold Fusion Times

Cold Nuclear Fusion Bibliography

Curfs, Garrit Thomas, Experiment as Rhetoric in the Cold Fusion Controversy (Master’s Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1990).

Dewdney, A. K., Yes, We Have No Neutrons: An Eye-Opening Tour Through the Twists and Turns of Bad Science (NY: Wiley, 1997). Includes Genie in a Jar: The “Discovery” Of Cold Fusion.

Goodstein, David, Whatever Happened to Cold Fusion?

Goodwin, Irwin, University of Utah drops cold fusion, 51(7) Physics Today 48 (July 1998).

Hanley, Jason, The History of Cold Fusion (Honors thesis, Edison Community College, 1998).

Hargrave, Connie, Cold Fusion's For Real

Holden, Constance, Out of the cold, onto the newsstand, 263 Science 606 (February 4, 1994). Discussion of magazine devoted to the science of cold fusion.

Mallove, Eugene, A Cold Fusion Primer

Mallove, Eugene, Fire From Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor (1999). Mallove was a science writer for the MIT News Office.

Peat, Frank David,, Cold Fusion: The Making of a Scientific Controversy (Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989).

Platt, Charles, What If Cold Fusion is Real? (from Wired Magazine)

Plotkin, Hal, Power to the People: The Return of Cold Fusion. This and the next article by Plotkin suggest a government conspiracy against research into the possiblity of cold fusion.

Plotkin, Hal, The War Against Cold Fusion: What's Really Behind It?

Simon, Brad, Undead Science: Science Studies and the Afterlife of Cold Fusion (Rutgers University Press, 2002). Contains an extensive bibliography.

Storms, Edmund, Review of the "Cold Fusion" Effect

Taubes, Gary L., Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993).

What If Cold Fusion is Real?

A(2) Legal Issues

Holden, Constance, Cold fusion gets drubbing in Italian court, 272 Science 487 (April 26, 1996). Discussion of a libel suit brought by cold fusion supporters against Alexander Koyre over his book False Prophets.

A(3) Analysis and Critique of the Controversy

Aufdemberge, Thomas Paul, Cold Fusion Replication Attempts (Master’s thesis, Eastern Michigan University, 1989).

Beaudette, Charles G., Excess Heat: Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed (2d ed. South Bristol, Maine: Oak Grove Press, 2002).

Bianchi, Silvia, A Science Reporting Case Study: From “Cold Fusion” to “Con-Fusion”—Or Not? (Master’s thesis, Boston University, 1990).

Curfs, Garrit Thomas, Experiment as Rhetoric in the Cold Fusion Controversy (Master’s Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1990).

Edwards, Alan L., Mass Media Coverage of a Scientific Anomaly: A Content Analysis and Case Study of Cold Fusion Coverage in Local and National Print Media (Master’s thesis, Utah State University, 1998).

Footlick, Jerrold K., Truth and Consequences: How Colleges and Universities Meet Public Crises (Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1997). Includes Lightning in a Bottle: Cold Fusion at the University of Utah.

Hatfield, David, The Rhetoric of Science: A Case Study of the Cold Fusion Controversy (Dissertation, Louisiana State University, 1992).

Krips, Henry, J. E. McGuire, and Trevor Melia, Science, Reason and Rhetoric (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995)(Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science). Includes Trevor J. Pinch, Rhetoric and the Cold Fusion Controversy: From the Chemists’ Woodstock to the Physicists’ Altamont.

Mallove, Eugene, Fire From Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor (1999). Mallove was a science writer for the MIT News Office.

Simon, Bart, Post-Closure Cold Fusion and the Survival of a Research Community (Dissertation, University of California, San Diego, 1999).

Taubes, Gary L., Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993).

Travis, John Stephen, Hot and Cold: The Press and Cold Fusion (Bachelor’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990).

Yun, Miryung, Cold Fusion: A Case Study of Science Reporting (Master’s thesis, University of Utah, 1995).

B.  Intelligence Tests and Other Academic Issues

B(1). Cyril Burt

Dr. Cyril Burt was a prominent researcher in the area of intelligence tests in the 1930s, validating and encouraging the use of such tests. After his death, reviewers of his work began to suggest that many of his results were falsified.

B(1)(a). Selected Bibliography

Cyril Burt: Fraud or Framed? (N. J. Mackintosh, ed.; 1995).

Fletcher, Ronald, Science, Ideology and the Media: The Cyril Burt Scandal (1991).

Hearnshaw, Leslie Spencer, Cyril Burt, Psychologist (1979).

Joynson, Robert B., The Burt Affair (1990).

B(2). The Bell Curve.

    What the fuss is about: In their book Herrnstein and Murray suggest that IQ test differences among "races" may be inherited to a larger degree than previously thought. The implications for social and political policy are enormous and many scientists, educators, and social critics immediately responded to the Hernnsstein-Murray thesis. Note that The Bell Curve was not the first modern treatment of the issue; William Shockley, a Nobel Prize winner for Physics advanced the view, based on very limited and flawed data provided by the U.S. military, that African Americans were demonstrably less intelligent than whites. Shockley had no formal training in psychology. For biographical information see the Nobel Institute site at http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1956/shockley-bio.html. For a review of his influence see Still Controversial After All These Years.

    Herrnstein, Richard J., and Charles A. Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (NY: Free Press, 1994).

B(2)(a). Websites

The Bell Curve Workbook (compilation of Internet information and links)

Karyn S. Hunting's High IQ World (links)

B(2)(b). Bibliography

The Bell Curve: Anatomy of an Analysis

The Bell Curve Illustrated (review)

Case, James, Is the Bell Curve Statistically Sound?

Challenging the Racist Science of the Bell Curve

Devlin, Bernie, et al., Wringing the Bell Curve

Fischer, Claude S.,  Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

For Whom the Bell Curve Tolls

Fraser, Steve, The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America (NY: Basic Books, 1995). Includes essays by Stephen Jay Gould, Howard Gardner, Richard Nisbett, Jeffrey Rosen and Charles Lane, Dante Ramos, Thomas Sowell, Jacqueline Jones, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Andrew Hacker, Alan Wolfe, John B. Judis, Mickey Kaus, Nathan Glazer, Martin Peretz, Leon Wieseltier, Hugh Pearson, Michael Lind, Randall Kennedy, Orlando Patterson.

Goldberger, Arthur, Review of the Bell Curve

Kincheloe, Joe L., Shirley R. Steinberg, and Aaron David Gresson, The Bell Curve Examined (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1996). Includes essays by Joe L. Kincheloe and Shirley R. Steinberg, Michael W. Apple, Henry A. Giroux and Susan SEarls, Allen Shelton, Phil Francis, Yvonna Lincoln, Richard Cary, Ladislaus Semali, Joyce E. King, Jo Anne Pagano, Townsand Price-Spratlen, Alan A. Block and Don Stephenson, Maria R. Vidal, William F. Pinar, Stephen Nathan Haymes, Cameron McCarthy, Ed Buendia, Carol Mills, Shuaib Meacham, Heriberto Godina, Carrie Wilson-Brown, Maria Seferian, and Theresa Souchet, Sander L. Gilman, Patrick Slattery, Greg Tanaka, Glenn M. Hudak, William E. Cross, Peter McLaren, Robert M. Hendrickson, Catherine A. Lugg, Kyle L. Peck, Deborah P. Britzman and Alice J. Pitt, Ronald E. Chennault and Shirley R. Steinberg, Paulo Freire and Donald Macedo, Aaron D. Gresson.

Lehmann, Nicholas, The Bell Curve Flattened

Matthews, William J., A Review of the Bell Curve: Bad Science Makes For Bad Conclusions

Psychologists Question Findings of Bell Curve

Racism Resurgent

Skewing the Bell Curve (from Scientific American)

Two Views of The Bell Curve (reviews)

B(3). Ebonics

Junk Science and the "Ebonics" Resolution

B(4). Gender Discrimination in Academia

Kleinfeld, Judith S., MIT Tarnishes Its Reputation With Gender Junk Science. Analysis of and response to MIT Report, listed below.

The MIT Report

WMST File Collection

B(5).  Junk Science and the Curriculum (Includes discussions of the definition of junk science)

        Baron, Lee Ann Fisher, The Influence of "Junk Science" and the Role of Science Education

Bradof, Kristine, Sorting the Sound Science from the Junk


C. Peer Review

Because scientists themselves are "gatekeepers" for their community, judges need to understand the functioning and importance of the peer review process.

Australian Academy of Science. Statement on Scientific Fraud

Bell, Robert, Impure Science: Fraud, Compromise and Political Influence in Scientific Research (1992).

Chubin, Daryl E., Peerless Science: Peer Review and U. S. Science Policy (1990).

Good Science Is Honest Science (web-based slide presentation)

Harcum, E. Rae and Ellen F. Rosen, The Gatekeepers of Psychology (1993).

Kevles, Daniel, The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Science, Politics and Character (1998). Both this book and the one by Sarasohn (below) deal with the scientific community's handling of accusations of fraud and misconduct in a lab supervised by Nobel Prize winner David Baltimore.

Lederberg, Joshua A., Commentary: Sloppy Research Extracts a Greater Toll Than Misconduct

National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding

Sarasohn, Judy L., Science on Trial: The Whistleblower, the Accused and the Nobel Laureate (St. Martin's Press, 1993).

Weed Out "Junk Science" With Peer Review of Rules

Related topics include the debate over the teaching of evolution in the public schools, the dangers potentially posed by electric power lines, and the use of non-traditional drugs and alternative medical treatments. Peripherally, the debate over Alan Sokol's successful submission of what he terms "fashionable nonsense" to a leading journal suggests that peer review in disciplines other than science may also need scrutiny.

D. Junk Science and the Legal System

    D(1) The following sites and etexts provide various points of view on "junk science." Like all web information, each site should be evaluated for accuracy, bias, credibility and currency.

Banning Junk Science from the Courtroom: But How Can We Tell It's "Junk"?

Brede, Scott, Junk Science Debate Hits Family Court (from the Connecticut Law Tribune, March 29, 1999)

Carelli, Richard, Junk Science Testimony is Limited (AP Newswire, March 3, 1999)

Clark, Jeffrey Bossert, Junk Science, the Courts, and the Regulatory State (Part I); Junk Science, the Courts and the Regulatory State (Part II)

Cones, Carol K., Junk Science Sinking the Judicial System

Courts Move To Control Junk Science

Donald Simanek's Back Page (links to science ethics, discussions of pseudoscientific claims)

Franken, Harry, Courts vs. Junk Science

Gillies, Nick, Junk Science: Cases on a Scientific Edge, Financial Times (UK), August 18, 1998

Gough, Michael and Steven Milloy, Junk Science: It's the Law (Investor's Business Daily, August 25, 1997)

Huber, Peter, Who Speaks for Science in Court?

Is It Expert Testimony Or Junk Science Coming From the WItness Stand?

Junk Science and the Ebonics Revolution: Is Academia Looking the Other Way?

Junk Science in the Courtroom

A Junk Science Stomach Ache

Metzger, Raphael A., The Furor Over Junk Science: The Perspective of a Plaintiff's Attorney

Montgomery County's Junk Science (editorial from the Washington Times, March 9, 1999)

New ACLU Report Debunks Workplace Urine Testing, Citing High Costs, Low Dividents, Junk Science

Paulos, John Allen, Weird Science (note the day of publication)

Popco, Daniel C., Can American Progress Outrun Junk Science?

Popco, Daniel C., Junk Science Strikes Back

Price, David A., Courts Discard Junk Science (reprinted from Investors' Business Daily, November 17, 1997)

Ridenour, Amy, Supreme Court and Congress Act Against Junk Science (National Policy Analysis; 237)

Ross, Charles C., Junk Science, Court Decisions and Claims (from Claims Magazine)

The Skeptic's Dictionary: Internet Bunk

Women Take On Junk Science

D(2) Bibliography

Dewdney, A. K., Yes We Have No Neutrons (NY: Wiley, 1998)

Illusive Junk Science and the Public's Right to Know

Junk Science Ban Limits Injury Lawsuits

Welfare Reform V. Workfare & Other Junk Science

D(3) Satire, Parody and Humor

The Best of Annals of Improbable Research (Marc Abrahams ed.; NY: Freeman, 1997)

More Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality (Glenn Ellenbogen ed.; NY: Brunner, 1996)

Sex as a Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble (Marc Abrahams ed.; NY: Workman, 1993)

The Annals of Improbable Research  and its predecessor the Journal of Irreproducible Results poke fun at overly solemn scientific research and procedures.

For humor while you learn, consult Ask Dr. Science....He Knows More Than You Do!

D(4) Ethics in Science and Science Fraud

Ethics in Science/Science Fraud (From the University of Chicago)


E.  Aliens, UFOs and the Roswell Conspiracies (under construction)

The public discourse which began with Kenneth Arnold's reported 1947 sighting of UFOs over the Pacific Northwest has continued and intensified. Various groups have attempted to force release of government documents believed to report on the 1947 "Roswell crash". See Citizens Against UFO Secrecy.

If someone "fakes" the story of an alien abduction and subsequently derives economic benefit from it (as in money gained through publication of a best-selling book), should s/he make restitution? Or should the publisher exert a certain amount of skeptical and critical control in order to avoid being taken in by a false claim of alien abduction? If someone's alien abduction story unduly upsets some segment of the public, should that person be legally liable? Should the same rules that apply in Brandenburg apply here?

E(1). Bibliography

Corso, Philip J., The Day after Roswell (1997). The paperback edition has additional material. Corso alleges a coverup of an alien landing.

The Extraterrestrial Page

Hopkins, Budd, Intruders (). Hopkins is active in the recovered memories movement and attempts to assist those who believe they have been abducted.

Klaas, Philip J., The Real Roswell Crashed-Saucer Coverup (1998). Klass is a well known skeptic who suggests a very ordinary explanation for the crash.

Maars, Jim, Alien Agenda (1998). The controversial Maars is the author of Crossfire, on which Oliver Stone based his film JFK.

Mack, John, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters ().

Matheson, Terry, Alien Abductions (1999). A serious analysis of the l phenomenon from a cultural perspective.

Patton, Phil, Dreamland (1999). Journalist Patton presents evidence for and against the characterization of "Area 51" as a base for reverse engineering of alien technology.

Saler, Benson, Charles Ziegler and Charles Moore, UFO Crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth (1997).

Skeptics Take Aim at Alien Abductions

Smith, Toby, Little Gray Men: Roswell and the Rise of a Popular Culture (2000).

Thomas, Dave, The Roswell Incident and Project Mogul

The UFO Invasion (Kendrick Frazier ed.; 1997).

E(2). Who Ya Gonna Sue? Alien Abductions

American Humanist Association. The Skeptical UFO Website

Budd Hopkins' Intruder Foundation

Culver, C. Leigh, Researching Alien Abductions

Debunking Modern-Day Myths

International Center for Abduction Research

New England Skeptical Society. Encyclopedia of Skepticism and the Paranormal

NOVA: Kidnapped by UFOS?

The Skeptic's Dictionary: Alien Abductions

E(3). Are They Out There? Or Already Here? 

Astrobiology Central. David Darling's website.

The Astrobiology Web. A National Space Society website.

Exobiology: Life Through Space and Time. A NASA Site exploring the possibilities and workings of life on other worlds.

Is SETI Justified?

NASA Astrobiology Web Pages

SETI Institute Home Page

E(4). Nailing Jellyfish to the Wall: The Groom Lake and Area 51 Controversy

E(4)(a). Case Law, Administrative Materials

Kasza v. Browner, 133 F. 3d 1159 (1998)

Letter on Presidential Determination, January 31, 1998

Presidential Determination, October 26, 1999 (64 Fed. Reg. 57633)

S. Ct. denies cert

E(4)(b). Bibliography in the Popular Press

America's Top Secret Bases

Gambit: The Truth is in There

Lieby, Richard, Secrets Under the Sun

Vest, Jason, Alien Toxins; See also http://www.sightings.com/ufo5/alientoxins_u.htm.

E(4)(c). Websites

Dreamland Pages





F. Recovered Memories and False Memory Syndrome

Recovered memories as a form of evidence of prior sexual abuse have come under fire. Critics allege that therapists can "implant" or encourage memories of abuse that never existed. Therapists deny these charges. Further complicating the issue is the fact that some therapists have used hypnosis to recover memories of alien abductions as well as stories of ritual satanic abuse, often by day care givers. Hypnotically refreshed testimony is not allowed in evidence in many courts. However, in a 1987 case the U.S. Supreme Court held that a defendant has the right to present such testimony in his or her defense. Rock v. Arkansas (483 US 44 (1987))

F(a). Case Law    

Rock v. Arkansas (483 US 44 (1987))

Mersch v. City of Dallas, 207 F 3d. 732 (2000). Magistrate abused his discretion in allowing in hypnotically refreshed testimony for purposes of deciding summary judgment motion when such testimony was otherwise uncorroborated.

Franklin v. Terr, Docket number 98-16843. Lawsuit brought by George Franklin, father of Eileen, against her therapists.

 F(b). Bibliography

Allegations of Recovered Memories,  from the Institute for Psychological Therapies

Can Therapists Be Sued for Recovered Memories? Harvard Medical Letter, April 1996

Could a Child Lie About Such Things?

The Debate Over Recovered Memories (from About.com)

Duncan, Krista, "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics": Psychological Syndrome Evidence in the Courtroom After Daubert

Ethics & Behavior, vol. 8, issue 2 (1998). Symposium issue devoted to the question of the science and politics of recovered memories.

Hedges, Lawrence E., Taking Recovered Memories Seriously

Hill, Doug, Recovered Memories or Modern Witch Hunt?

How Reliable are Recovered Memories?

Johnson, Moira, Spectral Evidence (NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1997)

Loftus, Elizabeth and Katherine Ketcham, The Myth of Repressed Memory (NY: St. Martin's Press, 1994). Review

Mass Media Funk (from the Skeptic's Dictionary). Discusses the George Franklin case.

New Research on Recovered Memories (From About.com)

Peer reviewed studies about amnesia and child abuse

Pope, Kenneth, What Psychologists Better Know About Recovered Memories

Pope, Kenneth and Laura Brown, Recovered Memories of Abuse. Published by the American Psychological Association. See also links at http://www.sover.net/~schwcof/popebook.html.

Recovered Memories: Balancing the Law With Clinical Concerns

Recovered Memories in the Courtroom

Recovered Memory Lawsuit Is Settled Out of Court (discussing lawsuit against Renee Fredrickson)

Repressed Memories and Recovered Memory Therapy

The Science and Politics of Recovered Memory. 8 Ethics & Behavior Issue 2 (1998).

Stanton, Mike, Point of View

Wolfson, Hannah, Utah Supreme Court: Repressed Memories Not Ready for Trials, June 18, 1999

F(c). Websites

Apologetics Index: False Memory Syndrome

Archive of Recovered Memory

Australian False Memory Association

Child and Youth Sexual Abuse By Clergy

Elizabeth Loftus Website

False Memory Syndrome Page

Holland/Cross Search Engine and Resources Site

Hopper, Jim, Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse: Scientific Research and Scholarly Resources

Memory and Reality: Website of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Contrast with The Recovered Memory Project.

National Association of Social Workers, Kentucky Chapter. Recovered Memories

Recovered Memories (New Zealand site)

The Recovered Memory Project. Contrast with Memory and Reality: Website of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

The Ross Institute. False Memories

Stop Bad Therapy.Com

F(d). Analysis and Discussion

British Psychological Association. Report on Recovered Memories

Canadian Psychological Association. Guidelines for Psychologists Addressing Recovered Memories

Henry, Dr., Recovered Memories

Hill, Douglas E., Recovered Memories or Witch Hunt?

Holmes, Leonard, The Debate Over Recovered Memories

Loftus, Elizabeth and K. Ketcham, Chapter 5, from The Myth of Repressed Memory(1994). Loftus is a leading researcher in the area of memory.

Pendergrast, Mark, Fragments: Recovered Memories and the Holocaust (from the Skeptical Inquirer)

Sheaffer, Robert, Recovered Memories Cross the Oceans

The Social Context of Psychology: Recovered Memory Resources

F(1). Repressed Memories, False Memories and Related Phenomena in Popular Culture

The theme of repressed memories which ultimately reveal criminal activity witnessed by the individual long predates current serious medical study of the phenomenon.

Fatal Memories (TV Movie, 1992). Also called the Eileen Franklin Story. Shelley Long plays the protagonist, a woman who seems to remember the death of a playmate at the hands of her father. Based on a real case. 

Indictment: The McMartin Pre-School Trial (TVM 1995). Dramatization of the "witch trial" like hysteria which surrounded the trials of Virginia McMartin and some of her family and co-workers for child abuse at the Little Rascals day care center. The main witnesses were children who had been repeatedly interviewed and possibly coached by therapists and prosecutors.

The Memory of Eva Ryker (TVM 1985). Natalie Wood is the survivor of a "Titanic" like accident during which her mother was murdered.

Primal Fear (Paramount Pictures, 1996). An ambitious attorney takes the case of a mild-mannered teenager accused of murdering an archbishop; discovers his client suffers from multiple personality disorder.

She Woke Up (TV Movie 1992). A woman awakes from a year-long coma induced by a murder attempt; her doctors use hypnosis to recover her memories of the attack.

The Sleepwalker Killing (TV Movie, 1997). A man is accused of killing his mother in law and attacking his father in law while sleepwalking. Based on a real case. 

Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase (TV Movie 1990). Based on a real life story. Familiar tale of multiple personality disorder.

F(2) Commentary

Ceci, Stephen J. and Maggie Bruck, Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific Analysis of Children's Testimony (Chicago: American Psychological Association, 2002?)

Loftus, Elizabeth and K. Ketcham, Chapter 5, from The Myth of Repressed Memory(1994).

Rabinowitz, Dorothy, No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times (NY: Free Press, 2002)

F(3) Sleepwalking

F(3)(a) U. S. Law




  • Davidson, Michael J., United States v. Berri: The Automatism Defense Rears Its Ugly Little Head, 1193 Army Law. 17.

F(3)(b) Australian law





G. Anti-Immunization (under construction)

G(1). Websites

Anti-Immunisation Scare: The Inconvenient Facts

News: In the Bunker of Truth with the Debunkers (Australian Skeptics Website)

Planet Chiropractic, Anti Science Activists Label Pro-Vaccine Safety Advocates "Antivaccine" in June 26 JAMA Article


H. Psychics, Spiritualists, and Mediums (under construction)            

From the formal beginnings of the spiritualist movement in 1848, believers and skeptics have viewed their opinions abundantly. The courts become involved when questions of fraud, deceit, undue influence, defamation, or other claims are raised, by any of the parties.

H(1). General Resources

Fortune Telling and the Law

Nickell, Joe, Psychic Detectives; ESP and Sensational Cases (1994).

North Carolina's Anti-Divination Law

Radin, Dean, The Conscious Universe (1997).

Skolnick, Andrew A., Debunking the Paranormal. Article by a journalist. Originally prepared for American Medical Radio News, 1988.

H(2). Cases

New York: The People v. Sanchez

Quebec: R. v. Labrosse

H(3). Uri Geller

H(3)(a). Websites

Uri Geller--Full Biography

Uri Geller in Detail

Uri Geller on the Web: A Spoonful of Cyberspace

Uri Geller, Telepathy, Telekinesis

Uri Geller Associates

H(3)(b). Selected Bibliography

Byrd, Eldon, Uri Geller's Influence on the Metal Alloy Nitinol

Con Man or Superman? (from the Daily Mail)

Geller, Uri and Guy Lyon Playfair, The Geller Effect ().

Margolis, Jonathan, Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic? (1999). Sympathic look at Geller. For the skeptical view, also read James Randi's The Truth About Uri Geller (1982) and David Marks and Richard Kammann's Psychology of the Psychic (1979).

Marks, David and Richard Kammann, Psychology of the Psychic (1979).  Examines many myths, superstitions and popular beliefs.

Price, E. Alan, The Uri Geller Effect

Randi, James, The Magic of Uri Geller (). Randi, a gifted magician, demonstrates how to reproduce effects produced by Geller and other psychics.

Randi, James, The Truth About Uri Geller (1982).

Uri Geller Caught Red-Handed!

The Uri Geller Story

Uri Geller's Extended Reality

Wilson, Colin, The Geller Phenomenon (). Sympathetic to the sorts of claims made by Geller and other psychics.

H(3)(c). Geller in Court

H(2)(c)(1). Articles

Uri Geller Libel Suit Dismissed

Uri Geller, Litigious Psychic (from ABCNews.com)

H(4). Other Lawsuits and Legal Questions

The Sun Goes Down in Flames: The Jammal Ark Hoax. Sun Pictures produced a feature called "In Search of Noah's Ark" in 1976, and persuaded CBS to broadcast a later version of it in 1993 as "The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark." The picture was based on claims made by George Jammal concerning the real Ark. After Sun Pictures, CBS and the Institute for Creation Research were informed that Jammal had actually invented material presented in the film, the three institutions attempted "damage control", claiming that their investigative techniques were not at fault. Related article: David Bloomberg, The Incredible Mysteries of Sun Pictures. How careful does the media have to be in reporting alternative versions of history and their apparent verification?

Self-professed psychic sues"Amazing Randi" for ruining her career. Sixteen-year-old Maie Takahashi has charged James Randi with deliberately maligning her and ruining potential business opportunities based on her claimed psychic ability which would have been open to her in the Far East.

Related articles: There's no escaping the skepticism of the Amazing Randi; The "Quack" Hunter

H(5). Hauntings and Other Supernatural Phenomena               

H(5)(a). Articles

The Memory Hole

H(5)(b). Case law. For texts of the cases listed below see John E. Schwenkler's Guide to Wacky Court Cases.

I am the Beast v. Michigan State Police (1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8792 (1990))

Searight v. New Jersey (412 F.Supp. 413 (1976))

Stambovsky v. Ackley (169 A.D.2d 254; 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (1991)). Many skeptical commentators have held the decision in this case up to ridicule. It stands, however, for the proposition that if the statute so requires, a seller must disclose any "defects" or facts about the property that a buyer could not discover for himself through reasonable investigation. Whether the undisclosed fact is that the septic tank needs replacing or the house is reputed to be haunted is irrelevant. See New York Laws Annotated, chapter 50, article 12(A), section 443. For more fun with ghosts see Christine A. Corcos, Who Ya Gonna C(S)ite?

Commentaries on this case: Fortean Slips: Ex Ghost Facto; Caveat Spector

A famous haunting is documented in Jay Anson's The Amityville Horror, later made into a successful film. However, critics charge that the family involved may have falsified the entire story. See The Skeptic's Dictionary.

Tyler v. Carter (151 F.R.D. 537 (1993))

U. S. ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan (54 F.R.D. 282 (W.D. Pa., 1971))

H(6) Psychic Detectives

H(6)(a) Noreen Reiner

Articles on Noreen Reiner

Noreen Reiner: Psychic Detective?

Noreen Reiner's Home Page

Posner, Gary, The Media's Rising Psychic Sleuth

H(6)(b) Pam Coronado

Pam Coronado's Home Page

H(6)(c) Riley G

Riley G's Home Page

H(6)(d) Suzan Kaye

Suzan Kaye's Home Page

H(6)(e) Laurie McQuary

Laurie McQuary's Home Page

H(6)(f) Psychic Detectives

H(6)(f)(1) Websites

Hillhouse Psychic Detective Agency

Psychic Detectives Page

U. S. Psi Squad

H(6)(f)(2) Bibliography on Psychic Detectives. See also Representations of Skeptics and Psychics in the Media.

Non-fiction (including Autobiography)

Baron, Alexander, Exploding the Psychic Detective Myth (2000)

Charles, Keith, Psychic Detective (2000)

Duncan, Lois, Can Psychics Solve Crimes? Woman's Day, April 1, 1992

Galante, Mary Ann, Psychics: Lawyers Using Seers to Help Select Juries, Find Missing Children, National Law Journal, January 27, 1986, at 1.

Lyons, Arthur and Marcello Truzzi, The Blue Sense (1987)

Myer, Nancy, Silent Witness: The True Story of a Psychic Detective (1995)

Nickell, Joe, How Psychic Sleuths Waste Police Resources

O'Brien, John, When All Else Falls, Some Police Pay Mind to Psychic Connection, Houston Chronicle, September 3, 1995, at A8.

Police Psychics and Their Questionable Claims

Posner, Gary, Skeptically Speaking (on John Monti)

Psychic Detectives (A&E Home Video, 1998?)

Psychic Detectives: ESP and Sensational Cases (Joe Nickell ed.; 1994)

Rowe, Walter F., Psychic Detectives: A Critical Examination, 17(2) Skeptical Inquirer 159 (1993)

Sweat, Jane Ayers, et al., Psychics: Do Police Departments Really Use Them? 17(2) Skeptical Inquirer 148 (1993)

Voyles, Karen, Psychics: Sometimes They're Right

Weber, Nancy O., Psychic Detective ()

Yeterian, Dixie, Casebook of a Psychic Detective

VIII(I). Child Abuse Studies and Public Reaction

The publication of "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples” has caused a public and governmental furor, leading to charges of bad science on the one hand and accusations of censorship on the other.

VIII(I)(1). Articles

Excluding Some Expert Testimony in False Allegation Cases

Paulos, John Allen, Statistical Misconduct (from ABCNEWS.com). Paulos comments on the general misuse and misunderstanding of statistics.



VIII(J). Health Care Issues

VIII(J)(1).  Resources

Booth, Andrew, What Proportion of Health Care is Evidence-Based? Resource Guide

Evidence-Based Medicine

Health Sentinel

The Quack FileS: Anti-Quakery Resources and Web Rings. Primarily skeptical views.

The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine. This peer-reviewed journal concentrates on evaluating non-traditional medical therapies and techniques.

Task Force for Veterinary Science. Includes evaluation of alternative medicine in this area.

Zollman, Catherine, and Andrew Vickers, What Is Complementary Medicine?

VIII(J)(2). Specific Topics

VIII(J)(2)(a). Breast implants

Angell, Marcia C., Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case (NY: Norton, 1996).

VIII(J)(3)(b). Environmental Toxins and Other Airborne Health Risks

Barrett, Stephen, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Spurious Diagnosis

Brown, George E., Jr., Environmental Science Under Siege

Cone, Marla, Suit Against Diesel Engine Makers Dismissed, L. A. Times, August 26, 1998

Drukteinis, Albert M., Recovery for Environmental Sensitivity Damages

Heeremance, Brian P. and Casey McArdle, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome as Inadmissible Junk Science

Huber, Peter, Coping With Phantom Risk

VIII(J)(3)(c). Drugs

VIII(J)(3)(c)(i) Cannabis and Marijuana

Medical Marijuana (on Alaska's new legislation)

Zimmer, Lynn and John P. Morgan, Exposing Marijuana Myths

VIII(J)(3)(d) Magnetic therapy

VIII(3)(d)(1) Lawsuits

Consumer Justice Center v. Florsheim

VIII(3)(d)(2) Bibliography

About.com: Magnetic Shoes Attract Lawsuit

VIII(J)(3)(e) Other Alternative Treatments

Andrews, Sperry, Promoting a sense of connectedness among individuals by scientifically demonstrating the existence of a planetary consciouness? 2 Alternative Therapies 39-45 (May 1996)

VII(J)(3)(f) Therapeutic Touch

Skeptic's Dictionary:Therapeutic Touch

Stephen Barrett, MD, Therapeutic Touch. Page skeptical of TT claims.

Therapeutic Touch: Does It Work?. Skeptical of TT claims but balanced.

Therapeutic Touch Document List. Includes information on the Pentagon-sponsored research study into the efficacy of TT.

Therapeutic Touch: What Could be the Harm?. Cautious examination of TT claims.

Therapeutic Touch: Healing Therapy or Hoax?. Skeptical of TT claims.

The Therapeutic Touch Page. Website provides links to pro- and anti-therapeutic touch reactions.

VIII(J)(3(f)Mad Cow Disease

Tipton, David, "Junk Science" Generates Needless Public Fears

VIII(J)(3)(g) Electromagnetic Fields

Whelan, Elizabeth, High-Wire Acts

VIII(J)(4). Bibliography

Ramey, David, Why Therapies May Seem to Work, Even When They Don't

VIII(J)(5). Iridology

Iridology is the practice of studying nerve fibers in the iris of the human eye in order to determine how to treat various conditions.

        Confessions of a Former Iridologist

Iridology's Blind Side

Janice Lyons--Iridology

VIII(K) Law and the Use and Misuse of Statistics

Issues arising out of the use of statistics include risk/benefit analysis.

VIII(K)(1) Articles and Books

Dewdney, A. K., 200% of Nothing (NY: Wiley, 1996)

Huff, Darrell, How to Lie With Statistics (NY: Norton, 1993)

Paulos, John Allen, Fear, Logic and Tragedy

Paulos, John Allen, The Price of a Life

VIII(K)(2) Resources

Avoiding Common Logical Errors

Electronic Statistics Textbook

The Probability Web

Stephen's Guide to Logical Fallacies

VIII(K)(3) Satire, Parody and Humor

Adams, Mike, The Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome and the Potential Downfall of American Society

VIII(L) Gulf War Syndrome

New Hampshire Gulf War Syndrome Association Junk Science

VIII(M). Holocaust Denial

While the Holocaust Denial movement does not directly involve scientific issues, it does make use of scientific principles and facts when discussing what it considers to be false assertions concerning the use of gas in the concentration camps. 

How should we analyze charges of Holocaust Denial? Are they examples of group libel? Does the First Amendment protect Holocaust Deniers absolutely? In some countries, notably Germany, holocaust denial is a criminal offense.

VIII(M)(1) Resources

Holocaust Denial: A Selected Bibliography

Holocaust Denial: A Third Bibliography

Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide

Holocaust Denial Vs. Freedom of Speech (Canadian film)

Infography: Holocaust Denial

The Institute for Historical Review. This site is the official page of the Institute for Historical Review. According to its home page "We offer revisionist perspectives about Auschwitz, Birkenau, Treblinka, Dachau, Majdanek, Sobibor, Chelmno, Nazi gas chambers, and the Holocaust in general, as well as information about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill, WWII, Fred A Leuchter Jr., and other topics."

The Jewish Student Online Resource Center

Nizkor: Your Holocaust Educational Resource

VIII(M)(2) Analysis and Commentary

Assaults on Truth and Memory: Holocaust Denial in Context

Holocaust Denial: An Analysis

Holocaust Denial and the Big Lie

Holocaust Denial and the Internet

Psychosocial Aspects of Holocaust Denial

VIII(M)(3) Cases

VIII(M)(3)(a) David Irving

From Revisionism to Holocaust Denial: David Irving as a Case Study

Holocaust Denier Loses Libel Suit

Irving v. Lipstadt and Penguin Books. A guide to the U. K. defamation case brought by Irving against historian Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books over her book.

VIII(M)(3)(b) Binjamin Wilkomirski, author of Fragments. Some critics have accused Wilkomirski of fabricating, in part or in whole, his memoir of the Holocaust.

Holocaust Denial: A Sequel

VIII(N). Science and Religion

Among the issues dealt with by resources listed in this section are the use of "brainwashing" by cults and "faith healing".

"All these canes, orthopedic appliances, walkers, and not a single glass eye, wooden leg or toupee."
George Bernard Shaw, on visiting Our Lady of Lourdes

VIII(N)(1) Articles and Books

Berra, Tim, Science, Religion, Politics, Law and Education

CENSUR: A Critique of Brainwashing

La foi charismatique

Randi, James, The Faith Healers (1987)

Richardson, James T. and Gerald Ginsburg, Science and Unpopular Religions

Richardson, James T., Testimony to the Maryland Task Force to Study the Effects of Cult Activities on Public Senior Higher Education Institutions

University of Virginia Religious Movements Page, Cult Group Controversies

Use of Brainwashing Claims in Legal Cases in the United States

Weisbrod, Dov, Religion, Science and Law: Defining the Science in Scientific Creationism

VIII(N)(2) Resources

American Atheists' Alliance. In spite of the name, this site provides links to many interesting scientific and philosophical resources.

Cults and New Religious Movements: A Bibliography

Ephemera: Spirithistory.Com (site devoted to the study of 19th Century American spiritualism)

History of Western Biomedicine (From the Karolinska Institut)

Online texts about Cults and New Religions

SIMPOS: Netherlands Foundation for Information on Social Problems and Occult Tendencies

VIII(N)(3) Specific Topics

VIII(N)(3)(a) Creationism and Evolution

VIII(O). Computer Generated Evidence and Its Admissibility in Court (under construction)

VIII(0)(1) Articles

Borelli, Mario, The Computer as Advocate

Selbak, John, Digital Litigation: The Prejudical Effects of Computer Generated Animation in the Courtroom

Weitz, Harvey, Trial Practice in the Computer Age: Use of Computer-Generated Evidence, Web Law Review

VIII(P). Forensic Science (including DNA)

VIII(P)(1) Articles

Grubs, Cubs and the Law

Kuffner, C. A., et al., Capillary Electrophoresis and Daubert: Time for Admission, 68 Analytical Chemistry 241(a) (1996)

VIII(Q).  Biology and Law

VIII(Q)(1) Resources

National Science Foundation. Biology and Law: Challenges of Adjudicating Competing Claims in a Democracy

VIII(Q)(2) Cryonics. Do new technologies necessitate reevaluating the meaning of death? What implications then arise for legal definitions of death?

American Cryonics Society

Cryonics and Nanotechnological Repair and Replacement

Harris, Steven B., Lovecraft, Scientific Horror, Alienation and Cryonics

Merkle, Ralph C., Cryonics, Cryptography, and Maximum Likelihood Estimation

The Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Dead

VIII(r). Archaeology and Law

VIII(R)(1) Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

VIII(R)(1)(a) Websites

Native American Criminal Justice Resources

Native American Sites (including homepages)

Native American Views

Native American Websites (annotated)

VIII(R)(1)(b) Bibliography

Watkins, Joe, The power of respect

VIII(R)(2) The Kennewick Man Controversy. In 1996 two college students discovered skeletal remains which turned out to be those of a 9000 year old human. Local Native American tribes believe that based on their location and characteristics the bones are those of an ancestor who ought, by virtue of the NAGPRA, to be reburied in sacred Indian ground. Some scientists believe that the bones' genetic relationship to present day Native Americans is unproven at best and believe that the skeleton should remain in the hands of researchers in order to assist with investigation into the origins of humans on the North American continent.

VIII(R)(2)(a) Websites

Death Web: Kennewick Man Debate and Background (from Emory University)

Kennewick Man--Or How I Learned to Hate 60 Minutes

Kennewick Man (from Discovering Archaeology)

Kennewick Man Home Page (University of Washington)

Kennewick Man Virtual Interpretive Center

Meet Kennewick Man (from NOVA)

VIII(R)(b) Bibliography

Journal of Indian Justice: Kennewick Man

VIII(S). Spontaneous Human Combustion

SHC is a defense sometimes advanced in cases of supposed arson, homicide, or suicide.

VIII(S)(1). Websites

Spontaneous Human Combustion (from Anomalies)

Spontaneous Human Combustion: Burning Issues

VIII(S)(2) Articles

Carroll, Robert Todd, The Skeptic's Dictionary: Spontaneous Human Combustion

Nickell, Joe, Not so spontaneous human combustion

Venezia, Todd, FBI Debunks Spontaneous Human Combustion

VIII(T) Astrology

VIII(T)(1) Websites

Astrology & Science

VIII(T)(2) Bibliography

Jacobs, Jayj, The Law and Astrology

VIII(U) Facilitated Communication

"Facilitated communication (FC) is a method of assisting people with severe developmental disabilities to communicate. Before its adoption as a teaching-treatment technique, the only research evidence in support of its validity consisted of a small number of descriptive reports in the professional literature and anecdotal reports in the popular press and disability media. In use, this technique, which involves providing physical support to people with disabilities as they type out messages on a keyboard or letterboard, appears to result in unexpected literacy and to disclose normative or superior intellectual skills among people with lifelong histories of severe developmental delay. Controlled research using single and double blind procedures in laboratory and natural settings with a range of clinical populations with which FC is used have determined that, not only are the people with disabilities unable to respond accurately to label or describe stimuli unseen by their assistants, but that the responses are controlled by the assistants." From "A History of Facilitated Communication", cited below.

VIII(U)(1) Articles

Jacobson, John W., James A. Mulick, and Allen A. Schwartz, A History of Facilitated Communication: Science, Pseudoscience, and Anti-science, 50 American Psychologist 750 (1995)

VIII(V)Anthropology and Other Social Sciences

VIII(V)(1) Phrenology

VIII(V)(1)(a) Websites

History of Phrenology and the Psychograph

VIII(W) The Patent Office and the Free Lunch: Perpetual Motion Machines

The U. S. Office of Patents and Trademarks continually receives requests for patents on devices that are basically perpetual motion machines, and just as continually rejects them. Yet the media continues to cover the invention of these devices and to report to the public that such claims should be taken seriously.

VIII(W)(1) Websites discussing the physics of perpetual motion machines. Many of these websites explain the working of the First Law of Thermodynamics in layperson's terms.

 Eric's History of Perpetual Motion and Free Energy Machines. Website devoted to the history and claims made by inventors of these devices.

FAQ: Strange Machines and Free Energy

Professor Hibbert's Perpetual Motion Page. Includes a link to Hibbert's article on pre-Fleischman and Pons inventions of perpetual motion machines. 

Why There Aren't Any Perpetual Motion Machines

Perpetual Motion and Free Energy

VIII(W)(2) Websites discussing media reporting of such devices

CSICOP: Scientific Illiteracy in the Press

CSICOP: Library & Research Center

VIII(X) Battered Women's Syndrome

VIII(X)(1) Cases

VIII(X)(2) Commentary

Rosen, Cathryn Jo, The Excuse of Self-Defense: Correcting a Historical Accident on Behalf of Battered Women Who Kill, 36 Am. U.L. Rev. 11 (Fall 1986).

VIII(X)(3) Popular Culture

    The Burning Bed ().

    Sleeping With the Enemy ().

VIII(Y) Other Hormonal Defenses

VIII(Y)(1) Cases

VIII(Y)(2) Commentary

Davidson, Michael J., Feminine Hormonal Defenses: Premenstrual Syndrome and Postpartum Psychosis, 2000 Army Law. 5.

VIII(Z)    Weight Control and Other Body Issues

Alternate Substances and Treatments for Weight Control

Supplements for Sports: The Good, the Bad and the Unbelievable






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