The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

  • Science Salon with Stephon Alexander, May 22, 2016
  • Science Salon with Sean B Carroll, March 20, 2016
  • Get the latest issue of Skeptic magazine issue 21.2: Uploading Your Brain
  • Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine. Understanding the difference could save your life. Man on the right dressed as witch doctor preparing for Fremont Solstice Parade, Fremont, Seattle, Washington circa 2000. Photographer: Joe Mabel [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Buy Michael Shermer's New Book: SKE?TIC: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye, available in stores now!
  • Get the latest issue of Skeptic magazine issue 21.2: Uploading Your Brain
  • Science Salon with Dr. Janna Levin, April 10, 2016
  • Get 30-day free trial of Skeptic magazine, with a new digital subscription
  • Mind-reading not required. Give Skeptic eGift Certificates, in denominations of $10-250.
  • When you shop at Amazon, donate to Skeptic at no cost to you

Watch Science Salon Free Right Here

Skeptic Science Lectures: on Vimeo On Demand

Skeptic Presents…

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Latest INSIGHTS

INSIGHT at Skeptic.com brings together a variety of accomplished voices for a broad-ranging but focussed discussion of science and skepticism. INSIGHT will shed light, offer critical perspective, and serve as a broadly accessible, evidence-based resource on mysteries of science, paranormal claims, and the wild, woolly, wonderful weirdness of the fringe.

The Complexity of Alien Abduction and the Multidisciplinary Nature of Fringe Claims

Daniel Loxton explains that skepticism attracts mixed groups of people with complementary expertise because fringe claims require a multidisciplinary approach.

Fringe Claims: Unified by Neglect, Structural Similarity, and Direct Interconnection

Daniel Loxton considers some of the commonalities that unite the broad portfolio of fringe topics studied by scientific skepticism.

Bigfoot Versus the Quest for World Peace?

Daniel Loxton considers a recent Scientific American blog post which argues that skeptics should "bash homeopathy and bigfoot less" and concentrate on "harder targets" such as an end to war.

Watch Science Salons

Science Salon venue (photo by Ed Pastor)

In the tradition of the Enlightenment salons that helped drive the Age of Reason and the public interest in science, the Skeptics Society hosts an intimate Science Salon featuring an “in conversation” between Dr. Michael Shermer and a prominent scientist, scholar, or intellectual. Learn more about Science Salon.

Dr. Stephon Alexander — The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe (Science Salon # 6)

Photo by Lendel Marshal In The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe, physicist and jazz saxophonist Dr. Stephon Alexander revisits the ancient realm where music, physics, and the cosmos were one. This cosmological journey accompanies Alexander’s own tale of struggling to reconcile his passion for music and […]

Dr. Janna Levin — Gravitational Waves, Black Holes and the Nature of the Cosmos (Science Salon # 5)

In this Science Salon based on her new book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, astrophysicist and award-winning writer Dr. Janna Levin tells the epic story of the scientific campaign to record gravitational waves—the holy grail of modern cosmology.

Dr. Sean B. Carroll — The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters (Science Salon # 4)

How does life work? How does nature produce the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna, or fish in the ocean? How do our bodies produce the right numbers of cells in our organs and bloodstream? In The Serengeti Rules, award-winning biologist and author Sean Carroll tells the stories of the pioneering scientists who sought the answers to such simple yet profoundly important questions, and shows how their discoveries matter for our health and the health of the planet we depend upon.

latest additions to
the reading room

The Reading Room is a comprehensive, free resource of articles relating to science and skepticism.

What Was Adam’s IQ?

Bernard Leikind takes a satirical look at the question of Adam’s IQ and the idea that we only use 10% of our brains.

Facilitated Communication: Mental Miracle or Sleight of Hand?

Gina Green traces the history of the Facilitated Community (FC) movement’s rapid growth and widespread adoption—a movement whose validity was accepted largely on faith, with little objective evaluation. Green discusses how scientifically controlled observations have been used to determine authorship in FC, weaving a cautionary tale about the obvious and serious legal, ethical, and practical implications of these findings.

Flood Myths and Sunken Arks: Who needs to believe in Noah’s Ark and why?

Should the Noah’s Ark story be taken literally? No, said Dr. Gerald A. Larue (1916–2014), former Emeritus Professor of Biblical History and Archaeology at USC, back in 1994, when Skeptic first published this article. There never was a world-wide flood, nor was there ever a “Noah’s ark” containing all the species of the world. Here's why.

Latest eSkeptics

eSkeptic, our free email newsletter, delivers science to your inbox once a week. We never share your address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

eSkeptic for August 24, 2016

Bernard Leikind takes a satirical look at the question of Adam’s IQ and the idea that we only use 10% of our brains.

eSkeptic for August 17, 2016

Gina Green traces the history of the Facilitated Community (FC) movement’s rapid growth and widespread adoption—a movement whose validity was accepted largely on faith, with little objective evaluation. Green discusses how scientifically controlled observations have been used to determine authorship in FC, weaving a cautionary tale about the obvious and serious legal, ethical, and practical implications of these findings.

eSkeptic for August 10, 2016

Should the Noah’s Ark story be taken literally? No, said Dr. Gerald A. Larue (1916–2014), former Emeritus Professor of Biblical History and Archaeology at USC, back in 1994, when Skeptic first published this article. There never was a world-wide flood, nor was there ever a “Noah’s ark” containing all the species of the world. Here's why.

Junior Skeptic # 59

Junior Skeptic issue 59 (detail of cover)

Man-Eating Plants

In this issue we journey into jungles, push past tangled vines, and search for something sinister: trees that are said to eat human beings! According to travellers’ tales and newspaper stories, some mysterious plants capture and consume large animals. Growing in remote regions, these bloodthirsty vegetables wait for the unwary, surrounded by the bones of their victims. Their branches stir when there is no breeze. Inviting foliage conceals thorny vines ready to seize struggling prey. Is there any truth to these tales? Could such plants truly exist? Let’s find out!

global warming

How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human Caused

Donald R. Prothero addresses climate change denialism head on, demolishing deniers’ arguments and rebuttals, and clearly demonstrating how we know global warming is real and human caused.

Science Lectures
For Rent Online

Big names. Even Bigger Ideas. The Skeptics Society's Disintinguished Science Lecture Series. Now available for rent on Vimeo On Demand.

Since 1992, the Skeptics Society has sponsored the Distinguished Science Lecture Series, hosting 350 of the biggest names in science. This series of lectures has covered the most cutting edge discoveries and controversial topics in all of science, and enabled students, educators, and the general public to hear what’s new in science and skepticism. You can watch some of our most popular science lectures online, on demand, around the world, at prices we think you’ll really like!

Skeptic Magazine App

Get the Skeptic Magazine App

Get the free Skeptic Magazine App and enjoy digital subscriptions and back issues on your iOS and Android devices, PC, Mac, Kindle Fire, BlackBerry PlayBook, and Windows 8 devices!

Lectures

In the tradition of the Enlightenment salons that helped drive the Age of Reason and the public interest in science, the Skeptics Society is pleased to announce that once a month we will be hosting an intimate Science Salon featuring an “in conversation” between Dr. Michael Shermer and a prominent scientist, scholar, or intellectual (similar to the conversations we have hosted with Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, and others). Dr. Shermer will discuss the guest’s latest science book or research project in a dialogue format, followed by an intimate conversation with the audience that allows more interaction with the guest than a formal Q&A.

Attend Upcoming Salons

Skeptic Presents:
Humour & Skepticism

Skeptic Presents is a series of videos that promote science and critical thinking through the use of humor, wit, and satire. With your support, we hope to produce these instructional, educational, and entertaining videos regularly throughout the year for free viewing for everyone, everywhere, to spread the message of the power of science and skepticism to make the world a saner, safer place.

The Vaccine Debate

Engaging the
Anti-vaxxers

Vaccines are one of science’s greatest achievements. Yet, fears and anxieties about immunization persist. In this article, Christian Orlic reviews Mark A. Largent’s new book Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America (2012, John Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-1421406077).

Science Education ≠ Skepticism

Science Education is
No Guarantee of Skepticism

Despite the best efforts of skeptics and teachers to advance scientific thinking, paranormal beliefs and pseudoscientific thinking continue to be commonplace. It is a common popular stereotype that knowledge of science and belief in the paranormal are like opposite ends of a teeter totter: with one tending to rise as the other falls. However, the landscape of belief is considerably more complicated than that. Science education may not be enough when we lack the ability to critically evaluate the evidence for claims. In this article from Skeptic 9.3 we examine the relationship between science knowledge and paranormal beliefs.

Skepticism 101

Skeptical Resources Freely Available to Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

The Skeptical Studies Curriculum Resource Center is a comprehensive, free repository of resources for teaching students how to think skeptically. This Center contains an ever-growing selection of books, reading lists, course syllabi, in-class exercises, PowerPoint presentations, student projects, papers, and videos that you may download and use in your own classes.

The Skeptical Movement

Why Is There a Skeptical Movement?

We’re pleased to present Daniel Loxton’s challenging and provocative new project, “Why Is There a Skeptical Movement?”. Almost two years in the writing, these two meticulously-researched chapter-length explorations dig deeply into the roots, founding principles, and purpose of scientific skepticism. Arguing that it is essential for skeptics to “appreciate that we’re caretakers for the work of those who have come before,” Loxton carries forward the discussion about the scope and limits of scientific skepticism.

our podcasts

Skepticality— the official podcast of Skeptic magazine

Skepticality — the pioneering original skeptics podcast — is a top-rated audio talk show dedicated to skeptical topics and interviews.

Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available on the App Store
Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available at Amazon for Android
Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available on Windows Store

MonsterTalk— presented by Skeptic magazine

MonsterTalk critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.

MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available on the App Store
MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available at Amazon for Android
MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available on Windows Store

get eSkeptic
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Science in your inbox every Wednesday!

eSkeptic is our free email newsletter, delivered once a week. In it, you’ll receive: fascinating articles, announcements, podcasts, book reviews, and more…

Popular Articles
on skeptic.com

Here are the articles that people have been sharing over the last few days.

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FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall, M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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