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March issue: Vol. 1 No. 1, pgs. 1-28, 2013

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Just now we are evidencing in Slovakia the birthday of a new periodical entitled The Skeptik, targeting at a broad spectrum of social, scientific, philosophical and academic issues. The Skeptik will provide space for publishing opinions of a creative or critical nature on everyday or rare issues we are facing during our family or professional life. As examples can serve energy and environment, climate change, basic health issues as epidemiology of chronic degenerative diseases and nutrition, etc. Skepticism according to Wikipedia means questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere. I do not want to proceed with ample examples that deserve such a questioning. With regard to my pharmacological professional background just to mention a broad spectrum from doubtful diagnostic and therapeutic methods, treatment approaches based on unproved assumptions up to profit driven cheating with various products. Our journal is going to address a contemporary reader and we do not exclude any race, age, educational level, confession or political orientation. We are joining a great international family of journals dedicated philosophical skepticism. At the same time we would like to stress that our focus, besides global issues will be directed to our local or European level. As a priority we aim to publish excellent articles and discussion notes on any field of research that deserves a skeptical approach. We assume that our typical reader will be the so called informed layman: academics, and researchers in addition to the general public. We address potential authors contributing to our journal. Please write clearly and simply to address a knowledgeable readership. The Skeptik will be issued quaternly (March, June, September and December issues), by the Slovak Society of Sceptics. The residence of The Slovak Society of Sceptics is Bratislava, Slovakia.

Professor MUDr. Tomáš Trnovec, DrSc., Former Editor in chief of The Skeptik

Pamäť vody

The Skeptik 2013;1:1-3

Novella S

Abstract: Homeopatia je nezmyslom, poverou a hrubo zavádzajúcim prostriedkom. Je tiež vedecky negramotná. A predsa existuje ako veľmi nadbytočná bytosť – moderný homeopat. Zatiaľ, čo prax je nerozlíšiteľná od rituálov a čarov (ospravedlňujem sa čarodejníčkam a čarodejníkom), moderný homeopat by sa rád zahalil do úctyhodnosti vedy. Autor článku zdokumentoval, že homeopatické prostriedky založené na pamäti vody môžu dokonca zhoršiť zdravie pacienta a viesť k infarktu myokardu alebo k mozgovej porážke.

The Skeptik (Article in Slovak) Slovak Society of Skeptics.

NUTRIGENETIC: new scientific field, bussiness, or fraud?

The Skeptik 2013;1:4-6

Ginter E

Slovak Medical University, emeritus, Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: The recognition that nutrients have the ability to interact and modulate molecular mechanisms underlying an organism's physiological functions has prompted a revolution in the field of nutrition. Performing population -scaled epidemiological studies in the absence of genetic knowledge may result in erroneous scientific conclusions and misinformed nutritional
recommendation. There is a danger of misuse nutrigenetics for „scientific“ fraud.

The Skeptik (Article in Slovak), Slovak Society of Skeptics.

Obesity in Europe: Czech primacy and paradoxes

The Skeptik 2013;1:7-12

Ginter E

Slovak Medical University, emeritus, Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: Obesity is known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Czech republic (CZ) is in Europe on the head of obesity prevalence. In CZ there is also highest prevalence of diabetes type 2. Both obesity and diabetes are important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Surprisingly, after 1989 in CZ there is evident decrease of premature mortality caused by CVD and evident increase in life expectancy. The explanation of this paradox are the politico-economical changes after 1989: increase in the consumption of healthy food (e.g. fruit, vegetables, nuts, olive oil etc.) and better diagnosis and therapy of CVD (especially the use of statins). The result is permanent increase of life expectancy at birth both in males and females living in CZ.

The Skeptik (Article in slovak) Slovak Society of Skeptics.

Is there a possibility to protect society against „radiation“ of revolution?

The Skeptik 2013;1:13-15

Kebis A, Kukan M

Slovak Medical University, emeritus, Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: Here we are commenting the relathionship between the development of our Universe and of society. Acumulated energy and matter prior zero-time of our Universe led to the Big-Bang (revolution), which left behind cosmic radiation. Since human life is highly dependent on physical parameters, then similar pattern can be found in the development of society. Indeed, history showed that concentration of matter by one narrow group of society led to revolutions. Old regimes were backed up by new regimes. Revolutionary explosions brought about not only progress, but also tragedies into diverse groups of society. Many tragedies in material levels left old regimes. New regimes did not free theirself of heritage of the past and performed new wrongfulnesses. This phenomenon may also be called “radiation“ factor of revolution. Consequences of both bloody and bloodless revolutions were similar on society. We firmly believe that negative impacts of revolution on society may be minimized by the following measures: First, truth should be available to each member of society. In the past, evidence about truth (e.g., Galileo Galilei, Giordano Bruno-burned at the stake by civil authorities in 16-teen century after the Roman Inquisition etc.) as well as beliefs in anything abstractive (various forms of religions) were suppressing. Although a source of truth is scientific evidence, a measure of humanism in society lies in the tolerance. Thus, truth cannot be either a tool for concentration of the power or a tool for the generation of any violence and oppression. Further, truth cannot have either a possessor or a modifier. Truth can have only an originator and is not of absolute nature. Second, human being should change its relathionship to the use of matter. Matter cannot be the aim, but it has to be a tool for increasing spiritual quality of human. The use of matter should be based on humanism, truth and on scientific knowledge. Concluding, it appears if society would transform using the above mentioned measures, then negative consequences of revolutionary “radiation“ on it may be markedly minimized.

The Skeptik (Article in Slovak), Slovak Society of Skeptics.

Critical view on belief in mental telepathy

The Skeptik 2013;1:16-23

Čavojová V

Institute of Experimental Psychology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: The article presents study of Ayeroff and Abelson examining people´s belief in extrasensory perception vs. their actual extrasensory communications. They designed experiment with conditions of experience of good vibes with another person and high engagement to test their prediction that both high engagement and good communication will lead to accentuated belief in one´s telepathic abilities. They confirmed their assumptions and their experiment did not yield any evidence of telepathy. Despite quite random performance, however, participants in both experimental conditions showed overconfidence in success in their telepathic communication, though their actual performance was just about the random level.
The Skepik (Review Article in Slovak), Slovak Society of Skeptics.

West, Demokracy and Russia

The Skeptik 2013;1:24-28

Germuška E

University of Prešov in Prešov, Faculty of Arts, Institute of Political Sciences

Abstract: The author of this contribution deals with the historical concept of Russia's geopolitical thinking that are essential for today's Russia's role in the world political scene. These concepts reflect not only the definition of Russia in relation to other "power centers", or civilizations but also reflect the attitudes of the Russian nation in the domestic and national level, which is awared of its pluses and minuses, affecting the position of Russia in the world. The author´s contribution has addressed the main directions of Russia's geopolitical thinking that represent the westerners, eurasianists and slaviafils. This paper reports reflecting historical geopolitical position of Russia towards the West, taking or not taking his Western values and democracy as the current challenges of (globalization modeled) time.

The Skeptik (Article in Slovak), Slovak Society of Skeptics.