Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science

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Skeptic Magazine, Volume 17 Number 1
Table of Contents

Special Section on Scientology

Is Scientology a Cult?
by Michael Shermer
The Decline and (Probable) Fall of the Scientology Empire!
by Jim Lippard

Special Section on
Harry Potter & Religion

Religion in Harry Potter
Do J. K. Rowling’s Novels Promote Religion or Undermine It?
by Ari Armstrong

Special Section: Two Views of Life After Death

On Visions & Resurrections
Can Hallucination Account for the Post-Crucifixion Appearances of Jesus? by Gary J. Whittenberger
The Mortals & the Immortals
Can Science Deliver What Religion Has Long Promised for Eternal Life?
by Collin Braun


The SkepDoc
Evidence-Based Medicine, Tooth Fairy Science & Cinderella Medicine
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Bad Language
Body Language—
(Don’t) Read My Lips

by Karen Stollznow
’Twas Brillig…
Crystal Healing 101, Humanist Activist Victory, Scientology, A Letter to James Van Praagh by James Randi


Three Cheers for Teachers
Educational Reform Should Come from Within the Classroom and Science Can Inform Our Reforms
by Chris Edward
9/11 and the Science of Controlled Demolition
Is There Any Scientific Validity to the Claims of 9/11 Controlled Demolition Conspiracists About the Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings? by Chris Mohr
What is the Purpose
of a Sponge?
A Biologist Contemplates the Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything
by David Zeigler
Is Psychology a Science?
by Robert E. Silverman


Harry Potter & Jesus Christ
Jesus Potter Harry Christ, by Derek Murphy. reviewed by Tim Callahan
The End is Not Nigh Enough
A is for Armageddon: A Catalogue of Disasters That May Culminate in the End of the World As We Know It, by Richard Horne. reviewed by Mike Moran
The Mystic Chords of Violence’s Memory
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker.
reviewed by Michael Shermer
Flowers for Nim
Project Nim, a documentary film by James Marsh
reviewed by Michael Shermer
By Any Other Name
Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are, by Bart D. Ehrman.
reviewed by Tim Callahan

Junior Skeptic

Fossil Fakes Part 2
  • Does Nature Lie?
  • Fossil Crime Scenes
  • Be a Fossil Detective
  • Piltdown and Calaveras Man

Written by Jason Loxton and Daniel Loxton. Cover by Daniel Loxton.


Richard Dawkins has been added to an already outstanding lineup of speakers for the May 29–31 Skeptics Society Conference!

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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?

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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…

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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!

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Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Topics include: chiropractic, the placebo effect, homeopathy, acupuncture, and the questionable benefits of organic food, detoxification, and ‘natural’ remedies.

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Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
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Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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