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The Reading Room is a comprehensive, free resource of articles relating to science and skepticism. The Library contains an ever-growing index of articles, reviews and opinion editorials culled from our extensive archives, offering an in depth look into the myriad of subjects the Skeptics Society has explored over the years. You can help us continue to expand on the Reading Room by donating to the Skeptics Society.

What Was Adam’s IQ?

Posted on Aug. 24, 2016 by Bernard Leikind

Duckbilled Platypus, plate 34 of Wild Life of the World: A Descriptive Survey of the Geographical Distribution of Animals Volume III, by Richard Lydekker (London; F. Warne and co., 1916) via the Biodiversity Heritage Library [Public Domain]. The question of how the duckbilled platypus got from Brisbane to Baghdad and back without leaving any traces […]

Facilitated Communication:
Mental Miracle or Sleight of Hand?

Posted on Aug. 17, 2016 by Gina Green

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?

Posted on Aug. 10, 2016 by Gerald A. Larue

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.

Uncertainty in Medicine

Posted on Jul. 27, 2016 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Modern medicine deals in probabilities and informed guesses based on scientific evidence. Complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) deals in certainties based on fantasy and intuition. Harriet Hall, M.D. reminds us that, although modern medicine is riddled with uncertainty, it’s still far better than any other option.

Myths about Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Posted on Jul. 20, 2016 by Skeptic

Harriet Hall, M.D. asks whether electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is physical or psychological, and dispels some myths about it and other sensitivities.

Draw Them A Picture:
How Skeptic Activists and a Cartoon Kept Quacks Away from Infants

Posted on Jul. 13, 2016 by Linda Rosa

What does it take to convince legislators with a negligible understanding of science or ignorance of alternative medicine to kill a bill that would allow parents to choose Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) providers and “natural remedies” for their infants? Linda Rosa takes a look at the many attempts naturopathic “doctors” have made seeking recognition as the equivalent of physicians.

Heaven is Not for Real

Posted on Jul. 06, 2016 by Sebastian Dieguez

Given the current success of neuroscience in establishing the neural basis of consciousness and thought, is it still honest to claim that we simply don’t know “what comes after”? Cognitive neuroscientist, Sebastian Dieguez, of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, reviews The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life after Death, edited by M. Martin and K. Augustine.

Accepting the Reality of Biological Evolution

Posted on Jun. 28, 2016 by James Randi

James “The Amazing” Randi ruminates on the reality of biological evolution.

Barefoot in Sedona:
Bogus Claims About Grounding Your Feet to Earth Promote Medical Pseudoscience

Posted on Jun. 21, 2016 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Could it be that shoes are the world’s most dangerous invention and the cause of health problems ranging from autoimmune diseases to premature aging? Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the claims of “grounding” or “earthing” — the idea that shoes are the most destructive invention ever and that maintaining health requires direct contact with the earth.

Myths of Terrorism

Posted on Jun. 14, 2016 by Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer dispels seven myths of terrorism. This is an excerpt from his book The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. This excerpt also appeared in Skeptic magazine 20.1—a special issue on Terrorism—in 2015.


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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.

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