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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.

An Internet Story for Our Time

Posted on: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
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Can venting angrily on the Internet lead to heart disease? In this week’s eSkeptic, Carol Tavris discusses some research that points to a significant correlation between our negative language patterns (such as anger, hatred, and aggression) and health risks such as heart disease.

Science v. Intuition:
Why is it Difficult for Scientific Knowledge to Take Root?

Posted on: Wednesday, November 4, 2015
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How is it that naïve intuitions can survive the acquisition of contradictory scientific knowledge? Andrew Shtulman discusses the psychological concepts of knowledge enrichment and conceptual change, inquiring into why it is so difficult for scientific knowledge to take root, and whether scientific knowledge can overwrite deep-seated forms of intuition.

When Cops Kill: An Insider’s Perspective

Posted on: Wednesday, October 21, 2015
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DeLeon, an LAPD officer, provides an insider’s perspective on the many circumstances cops find themselves in that can lead incidents to escalate into violence.

The Passing of a Critical Thinking Giant: Richard Paul (1937–2015)

Posted on: Wednesday, October 14, 2015
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Greg Hart celebrates the life and memory of critical thinking giant Dr. Richard Paul (1937–2015) — the founder and iconic force behind the Foundation for Critical Thinking — who passed away on August 30, 2015 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s.

Brain Surgeon—or Brain Addled?

Posted on: Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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Neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is skeptical of evolution and the big bang theory. In this article, Donald Prothero asks whether this is a reflection on education or religion.

The “God” Construct:
A Testable Hypothesis for Unifying Science and Theology

Posted on: Monday, September 28, 2015
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In this article from Skeptic magazine 20.3 (2015), California State University, Fullerton Psychology Professor Douglas J. Navarick presents the case that the current pattern of evidence for the origin of life is consistent with the interpretation that life started just once in one place and was not the result of random processes.

Fine-Tuning and the Multiverse

Posted on: Friday, July 17, 2015
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In this essay, as a follow-up to his book, The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us (in which he showed that, based on our knowledge of this universe alone, divine fine-tuning claims are without merit), Victor J. Stenger brings the arguments up-to-date with a discussion of the eternal multiverse hypothesis. This article was published in Skeptic magazine issue 19.3 in 2014. Order this back issue.

Cow Tipping:
The Most Urban of all Urban Legends

Posted on: Wednesday, July 1, 2015
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In this article, written for children and first published in Junior Skeptic no. 5 (1999), Pat Linse discusses cow tipping: the most urban of all urban legends.

Conspiracy Theories
Who Believes Them, and Why?
How Can You Determine if They are True or False?

Posted on: Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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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? For the answers, download this free booklet, created by Michael Shermer and Pat Linse, the founders of Skeptic magazine and your Skeptics Society.

Closer To Truth:
Does the Cosmos Have a Reason?

Posted on: Friday, July 4, 2014
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What remarkable discoveries are being made in cosmology! Cosmologists now develop credible theories about the beginning and end of our universe and theory-based speculations about vast numbers of multiple universes. But does the cosmos have a reason? Could revolutionary ideas support some kind of ‘universal reason’? The bar is set high, and it is OK to say no. Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviews Michael Shermer, for


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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?

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…

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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!

FREE PDF Download

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
Easy Lessons

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

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