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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.

Charlie Sheen’s HIV Goat Milk Doctor

Posted on Feb. 02, 2016

Harriet Hall, M.D. (a.k.a. The SkepDoc) takes a close look at Samir Chachoua, a man who claims to have discovered a cure for HIV/AIDS, cancer, and a host of other illnesses.


The Great ET Paradox: Why We are Likely to Find Them Before They Find Us

Posted on Jan. 27, 2016

It’s possible that life exists outside of our solar system and that we may, one day, find it. The Internet has been abuzz with speculation that an alien megastructure orbiting the star KIC 8462852 is responsible for the star’s erratic flicker. Since scientists have yet to advance a convincing natural explanation, attention has turned to more tantalizing possibilities. In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. George Michael discusses a number of theories that have been advanced to explain the anomalous activity of the star.


Paleoanthropology Wars: The discovery of Homo naledi has generated considerable controversy in this scientific discipline

Posted on Jan. 05, 2016

Through random mutation, evolution is relentlessly tinkering—driving species toward diversification. The result is often a wide and bushy family tree that is trimmed and culled by the harshness of natural selection. Could it be that Homo naledi is not a new species at all, but is instead a smaller and more primitive variant of the well known Homo erectus? In this week’s eSkeptic, Nathan H. Lents discusses the recent discovery of Homo naledi, which has created considerable controversy in the world of paleoanthropology.


Once Upon a Time: Re-Thinking the Fight Against Extremists

Posted on Dec. 30, 2015

What does it mean to be radicalized? Why can’t we wage a war on extremists? Why can’t we just embrace the moderates to counter extremists? In this week’s eSkeptic, investigative journalist Tina Dupuy proposes the need to re-think the fight against extremists as she examines some backward reasoning about our innate desire to get back to paradise.


The Top 10 Weirdest Things

Posted on Dec. 29, 2015

Download the free PDF of the top 10 strangest beliefs that Michael Shermer has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.


Merry Kitzmas! The 10th Anniversary of the Dover Decision and the Demise of Intelligent Design

Posted on Dec. 23, 2015

Sunday, December 20, marked the 10th anniversary of Judge John Jones’ decision in the landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District case, better known as the court case that finally put intelligent design (ID) creationism on trial. In this article, Donald R. Prothero recounts details from that momentous case and its aftermath in the battle between creationism and evolution.


The Appeal of ISIS: Islamism, Trust, and Costly Signaling

Posted on Dec. 15, 2015

The blurry line between Islam and Islamism must be made clear. In this week’s eSkeptic, Drs. Peter Boghossian and James A. Lindsay discuss the choice faced by Muslims to distinguish themselves from Islamists, noting that Muslims who denounce Islamism take an enormous risk with their lives.


Advocatus Diaboli: The Devil’s Advocate

Posted on Dec. 01, 2015

David Priess reviews Red Team: How To Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, by Micah Zenko.


An Internet Story for Our Time

Posted on Nov. 18, 2015

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 Nov. 04, 2015

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.


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FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

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…

FREE PDF Download

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.

FREE PDF Download

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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