Welcome to the second issue of The REALL News! This issue is eight pages, which is what the length of future issues will be. The first issue was twelve pages, so that we could include all of the information that we needed to represent the type of articles we will be running in the future. Unfortunately, we can't afford to run newsletters that long on a regular basis. However, we hope to make these eight pages worth reading each month.
Our feature article this month is "Proper Criticism," by Ray Hyman, a Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and a member of its Executive Council. This article first appeared in the May 1987 issue of Skeptical Briefs. I believe it is a very important article that all skeptics should read. It was sent to us by Barry Karr, Executive Director of CSICOP. (In his letter, Mr. Karr also complimented us on our first issue of The REALL News.) Our thanks to Ray Hyman for writing this article and to Barry Karr for sending it to us.
This issue also contains a rather extensive REALLity Check column. Two major pro-paranormal items attracted David's attention. One was a cover article in the Chicago Tribune Magazine about "alternative medicine." The other was a prime time CBS show about the "discovery" of Noah's Ark. David's article on page 5 discusses these and other items.
In addition to those two articles, we have some scattered bits and pieces I would like to point out. One is a list of organizations of interest to skeptics. Most of you are probably familiar with CSICOP, the people who make The Skeptical Inquirer. Less well known is the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). The article about the struggle to get evolution taught in Illinois public schools, which we ran in the February issue, first appeared in the NCSE newsletter. Lastly is the St. Louis Association for the Teaching of Evolution (SLATE). The director, Ranse Traxler, is the driving force behind this organization. If any of these organizations interest you, write to the addresses given on page 6 [near end of file for electronic readers].
Also on page 6 are the addresses for two legal defense funds that everyone is urged to support. As most of you probably know, a lawsuit has been filed against James "The Amazing" Randi and CSICOP. The last news I had heard was taht the suit against CSICOP had been dismissed. However, the case against Randi is still in court and the ruling on the suit against CSICOP has been appealed, so the legal costs continue to rise. If you can afford to do so, please consider donating to one or both of these funds.