History

Spontaneous Human Combustion: The truth behind the myth of Mary Carpenter

Stories of spontaneous human combustion have been retold since the 1920s, but do those retellings reflect the truth?

What William Radam’s “Microbe Killer” can teach us about modern stem cell quackery

When new medical breakthroughs occur, pseudoscientists are often quick to jump on the bandwagon in order to sell their quackery

Are you smarter than an 800 year-old? Our ancestors were more skeptical than you think

As historians continue to deconstruct the myth of the Dark Ages, we shouldn't be so fast to write off the intelligence of our ancestors.

Nesta Helen Webster: the far-right author who popularised the antisemitic Illuminati conspiracy

The Qanon movement regurgiates old antisemitic tropes that echo back to the Illuminati conspiracy theories pushed by Nesta Helen Webster

Qanon’s references to ‘Adrenochome’ echo old, anti-Semitic Blood Libel myths

Adrenochrome has become a central part of the Qanon theory, despite 'Q' never mentioning it; its history is long, and deeply anti-Semitic.

Kardecism: the fringe spiritualist doctrine which became the soul of pseudoscience in Brazil

Kardecism - an 19th century off-shoot of spiritualism - found fertile ground in Brazil, and grew to wholly undermine trust in science and medicine.

Christmas as we know it is appropriated, co-opted, bastardised… and thoroughly magical

There's plenty to be skeptical about when it comes to the origins of Christmas, but that won't stop me embracing the warmth and magic of it all.

History is written by the victors, and the losers, and by everyone else as well

There is no single 'true' version of history - pretending there is merely props up the status quo, rather than advancing our understanding

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