Skeptic magazine 19.3
The latest issue is now available digitally via the Skeptic Magazine App for iOS, Android, BlackBerry PlayBook, Kindle Fire HD, Mac, PC, and Windows 8 devices. You can also pre-order the print issue from Shop Skeptic. This issue won’t likely hit newsstands for another two or three weeks.
NEW SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN COLUMN FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
Surviving Statistics: How the Survivor Bias Distorts Reality
When I purchased my latest vehicle, I was astonished to get the license plate 6NWL485. What are the chances that I would get that particular configuration? Before I received it, the odds would have been one in 175,760,000. (The total number of letters to the power of the number of letters on the plate times the total number of digits to the power of the number of digits on the plate: 263 x 104). After the fact, however, the probability is one. CONTINUE…
Daniel Loxton is a Finalist
for a National Literary Prize
Congratulations to Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton, whose paleontology-inspired storybook Pterosaur Trouble has been announced as one of three jury-selected children’s science books shortlisted for the 2013 Lane Anderson Award! This $10,000 national literary prize celebrates the very best in Canadian science writing. Loxton previously won the 2010 Lane Anderson Award for his Junior Skeptic-based book Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be.
His currently shortlisted book Pterosaur Trouble is the second volume of his Tales of Prehistoric Life series for Kids Can Press, written by Loxton and illustrated by Loxton with frequent Junior Skeptic contributor Jim W. W. Smith. All three volumes (Ankylosaur Attack, Pterosaur Trouble, and Plesiosaur Peril) are available from Shop Skeptic, as are Loxton’s books Evolution and Abominable Science! (2013, Columbia University Press, co-authored with Donald Prothero).
Dr. Chris Impey Video, On Demand
Humble Before The Void: Western Science Meets Tibetan Buddhism
Surprise, delight, and unbridled mirth are not commonly encountered in the science classroom. But in the foothills of the Himalaya, at a program to teach cosmology to Buddhist monks by the University of Arizona astronomer Chris Impey, they were daily occurrences. Working with this unique audience spurred new ways of thinking about the universe and the art of teaching. This talk takes listeners on an adventure at the nexus of science, religion, philosophy, and culture. Dr. Impey studies quasars and distant galaxies and is the author of How it Began, How it Ends, and The Living Cosmos, and has won 11 teaching awards. Order Humble Before The Void from Amazon.
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The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)
For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.
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.
Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?
This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.
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.
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?
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…
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!
Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.