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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.

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.


Aspartame:
Safe Sweetener or Perilous Poison?

Posted on Jun. 08, 2016 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Depending on who you listen to, aspartame is either a safe aid to weight loss and diabetes control or it is evil incarnate — a deadly poison that is devastating the health of consumers. Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the claims and explains how we know that aspartame is safe for almost everyone.


Electromagnetic Fields & Parental Panics:
A case study in how science can bring comfort

Posted on Jun. 01, 2016 by Julie Frantsve-Hawley

There is no known biological mechanism for non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) to cause DNA damage, and thus cancer. Yet, the media continue to drop panic bombs, instilling fear where none is warranted. In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. Julie Frantsve-Hawley reminds us of the importance of sound science communication so that the general public can experience the same comfort in and reliance on science as scientists themselves.


Cons

Posted on May. 24, 2016 by Maria Konnikova

Why are we so bad at spotting deception? Read this excerpt from The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time, by Maria Konnikova, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2016 by Maria Konnikova. This excerpt appeared in Skeptic magazine 21.1 (2016).


Winning the Vaccination War in California

Posted on May. 17, 2016 by Raymond Barglow & Margret Schaefer

Raymond Barglow & Margret Schaefer discuss the issue of vaccination of school children, the subject in California of a prolonged and bitter debate which led to California Senate Bill 277 which eliminated the personal belief exemption that allowed unvaccinated children to attend school. The bill became law in California on the last day of June 2015.


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FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

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