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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.

The Non-Fine-Tuned Universe:
The Astronomical Failure of the Cosmological Argument for Theism

Posted on May. 04, 2016

How significant are we as humans within the universe? Could the universe have been fine-tuned for our existence? In this week’s eSkeptic, Jérémie Harris and Edouard Harris examine the nature and extent of universal fine-tuning.


More on Porn: Guard Your Manhood—A Response to Marty Klein

Posted on Apr. 27, 2016

What would happen if you stopped watching online pornography for a few months? The debate about pornography addiction and its effects concludes with this response to Marty Klein by Philip Zimbardo and Gary Wilson.


Skeptical of the Porn Skeptics

Posted on Apr. 20, 2016

Is porn viewing really changing young brains, skewing our views of “normal” sexuality, causing sexual dysfunction, and undermining our ability to relate to real sex? In this article, certified sex therapist and one of the United States’ leading experts on pornography, Marty Klein, responds to the article we published last week by Philip Zimbardo and Gary Wilson.


How Porn Is Messing with Your Manhood

Posted on Apr. 13, 2016

Research is suggesting that pornography addiction may be distorting our ideas of healthy sexual relationships, causing erectile dysfunction, social anxiety, depression, compulsivity, desensitization, anorgamsia, delayed ejaculation, difficulty having sex with real partners, and abnormally low sexual desire. In this article, renowned psychologist Philip Zimbardo and author of the book, Your Brain on Porn, Gary Wilson, discuss the problem of pornography addiction.


Bike Crashes, Divine Intervention, and the Nature of Evil
An Open Letter to Larry Taunton

Posted on Apr. 05, 2016

They say “God works in mysterious ways.” Does He intervene in the lives of some people and not others based on the quality of the prayers of their friends and family? In this open letter to Larry Taunton, Michael Shermer questions Taunton‘s belief that his recovery from a bicycle accident was due to divine intervention prompted by the many prayers of family and friends.


The Delicate Dilemma of Defining Rape

Posted on Mar. 29, 2016

Is misogyny and sexual violence widespread and entrenched in our culture, or are claims of rape exaggerated? Can we vigorously pursue the goals of justice for rape victims and fairness for accused perpetrators? Dr. Carol Tavris discusses the definition of rape and examines the recent statistical practice of combining rape with unwanted sexual acts.


What Went Wrong?
Campus Unrest, Viewpoint Diversity, and Freedom of Speech

Posted on Mar. 22, 2016

Is freedom of speech harmful for college students? Why is this question even being asked? In light of recent eruptions of student protests at numerous American colleges and universities, Michael Shermer discusses the notions of trigger warnings, microagressions, the importance of political viewpoint diversity and freedom of speech.


Myth, Mystery, and Margery: When Scientific American Put Psychics to the Test

Posted on Mar. 14, 2016

Michelle E. Ainsworth reviews the book: The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, by David Jaher.


On Slates and Tweets: A Reply to David Sloan Wilson on Ancient Warfare and the Blank Slate

Posted on Feb. 22, 2016

Scientist and historian, Michael Shermer, responds to evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, about ancient warfare and the notion the blank slate.


The Negative Side of Positive Psychology

Posted on Feb. 17, 2016

The oversimplified litany of alleged benefits of positive thinking is scientifically problematic. New research keeps whittling away at previously discussions of the benefits of positive psychology such that it is barely a shadow of its former hulking self. Carol Tavris examines the negative side of positive psychology.


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