May, 1997

Howard Fishman, Director of Program Outreach
Off. of Education, Allegheny Univ. of the Health Sci.

The case against satanic social work and pseudoscientific psychology will be made by Howard Fishman. He will address the parallel phenomena of child abuse hysteria and the epidemic of "recovered" memories of childhood sexual abuse, revealing impotent leadership in the fields of mental health and child protection, the lack of consumer protection against such fraud; and the victimization of children, therapy clients, their families, and the handful of professionals who seek to reform these critically important services. Also questioned is the viability of a mental health enterprise riddled with antiscientific rhetoric, untested (and typically untestable) hypotheses, ineffective and even destructive "therapies," and a belief that "science in the service of ideology" is acceptable.

Howard Fishman is director of program outreach in the Office of Education, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences and assistant professor of psychiatry at MCP-Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He previously served as the first non-physician director of continuing medical education at Harvard Medical School in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston and a similar position at The Menninger Clinic in Topeka.

Saturday, May 17, 1997, 2:00pm -- 3:30pm
Bethesda Library,
7400 Arlington Road,
Bethesda, Maryland

Everyone Welcome -- Members and Non-members No admission charge

Call the NCAS Skeptic Line at 301-587-3827 for further info.


The First Annual Meeting of the Rational Feminist Alliance of CSICOP, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO-- Gender and racial politics frequently resort to claims that go unchallenged for political reasons. This amounts to intellectual intimidation, most notably -- and of greatest concern -- in academic institutions which condone any trivial social or ethnic influence in order to avoid offense. For information: Bela Scheiber at 303-444-5368, E-mail:, First Annual Rational Feminist Conference, Center for Inquiry- Rockies, Post Office Box 20191, Boulder Colorado 80306.


CSICOP Sponsored workshop -- Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel, 6555 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ -- Studies the claims of UFO sightings. UFO incidents and photographs are scrutinized within a framework of the philosophy of science, emphasizing that all scientific hypotheses be both fully objective and falsifiable. Contact Barry Karr at CSICOP for details at 1-800-634-1610 or 716-636-1425.


The beguiling ideas about science quoted here were gleaned from essays, exams, and classroom discussions. Most were from 5th and 6th graders. They illustrate Mark Twain's contention that the "most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop."

The law of gravity says no fair jumping up without coming back down.

When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions.

When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy. When planets do it we say they are orbiting.

While the earth seems to be knowingly keeping its distance from the sun, it is really only centrificating.

South America has cold summers and hot winters, but somehow they still manage.

Most books now say our sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime.

Water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. There are 180 degrees between freezing and boiling because there are 180 degrees between north and south.

A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants to go.

There are 26 vitamins in all, but some of the letters are yet to be discovered. Finding them all means living forever.

Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils while others preferred to be oil.

Some oxygen molecules help fires burn while others help make water, so sometimes it's brother against brother.

Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun. But I have never been able to make out the numbers.

To most people solutions mean finding the answers. But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

I am not sure how clouds get formed. But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing.

Clouds just keep circling the earth around and around. And around. There is not much else to do.

(More later ...)

Last Change: May 6, 1997