An iconoclast (Greek "image breaker") is "a person determinedly hostile to the worship of images" (Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, 1980)-after the iconoclastic movement of about 723-842. Figuratively it describes one who attacks cherished beliefs.

My own iconoclasm applies to my work as a Miracle Claims Investigator, specifically to the study of "miraculous" effigies: icons, statues, or the like that are said to be in some way animated (to weep, bleed, move, etc.). My numerous investigations have not supported supernatural claims but instead have shown that such phenomena are invariably due to misperceptions, natural phenomena (such as condensation on the glass eyes of a figure), and, often, pious fraud. See my book Looking for a Miracle (1998) and my article, "The 'New' Idolatry," Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2006. Shown here is an article from the Toronto Star, August 28, 1997.

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