The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

  • Get the latest issue of Skeptic magazine 23.1: Evil, Theism, Atheism
  • Watch Michael Shermer in Science Salon # 18 on March 25, 2018 at 2pm PST
  • Watch Dr. Kip Thorne in Science Salon # 17 on February 18, 2018 at 2pm PST
  • Heavens on Earth, the new book by bestselling author Michael Shermer, available now!
  • Heavens on Earth, the new book by bestselling author Michael Shermer, available now!
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Patreon: a new way to support the things skeptic creates

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Latest eSkeptics

eSkeptic, our free email newsletter, delivers science to your inbox once a week. We never share your address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

eSkeptic for April 18, 2018

Headlines about recent scientific studies are notoriously unreliable. Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka the SkepDoc) examines a study that caused alarming headlines last year about the dangers of drinking diet soda.

eSkeptic for April 11, 2018

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer interviews Dr. Leonard Mlodinow about his new book: Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change; and Daniel Loxton reflects on the value of listening in order to first understand paranormal beliefs and then communicate effectively with those who hold them.

eSkeptic for April 4, 2018

In this week’s eSkeptic: Amazing Deal!: 1st edition, autographed hardcover of The Moral Arc ($5.00) Feature: Hope and Hype for Alzheimer’s Scientific American: Silent No More: The Rise of the Atheists $5.00 SIGNED HARDBACK, 1st EDITION! On this, the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., who famously evoked the arc of […]

eSkeptic for March 28, 2018

There are skeletons in the closet of nuclear deterrence. Advocates of nuclear deterrence say nuclear weapons are not only justified, their existence seems to have worked, and to be working, right now. In this week’s eSkeptic, David Barash avers that skepticism of nuclear deterrence is long overdue.

eSkeptic for March 21, 2018

There is growing conspiracy theory belief that the Earth is not a globe, but a flat disc. According to believers, government forces promote a completely fictitious model of the cosmos in order to conceal the true nature of the Earth. Daniel Loxton examines whether these claims are true.

latest additions to
the reading room

The Reading Room is a comprehensive, free resource of articles relating to science and skepticism.

Diet Sodas Are the Dangers in the Chemicals or the Headlines?

Headlines about recent scientific studies are notoriously unreliable. Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka the SkepDoc) examines a study that caused alarming headlines last year about the dangers of drinking diet soda.

Hope and Hype for Alzheimer’s

Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka the SkepDoc) clarifies what we know and don’t know about Alzheimer’s.

Deterrence and its Discontents

There are skeletons in the closet of nuclear deterrence. Advocates of nuclear deterrence say nuclear weapons are not only justified, their existence seems to have worked, and to be working, right now. David Barash avers that skepticism of nuclear deterrence is long overdue.

Juicing for Health or Torture

Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka The SkepDoc) examines many of the health benefit claims for juicing, and finds them lacking scientific scrutiny.

Trouble in the Multiverse

The notion that there can be more than one universe at first seems oxymoronic. Peter Kassan discusses the problematic notion of a multiverse arising from a highly speculative interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Honor, Dignity, Victim A Tale of Three Moral Cultures

Kevin McCaffree reviews the forthcoming book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars (March 21, 2018) in which sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have produced the first systematic theoretical analysis of the moral culture of “victimhood” emerging on university campuses.

Watch Science Salons

Science Salon venue (photo by Ed Pastor)

In the tradition of the Enlightenment salons that helped drive the Age of Reason and the public interest in science, the Skeptics Society hosts an intimate Science Salon featuring an “in conversation” between Dr. Michael Shermer and a prominent scientist, scholar, or intellectual. Learn more about Science Salon.

The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

This lecture is an account of scientific discovery from the invention of stone tools to theories of quantum physics. In this fascinating and illuminating work, Leonard Mlodinow guides us through the critical eras and events in the development of science, all of which were propelled forward by humankind’s collective struggle to know.

How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? According to evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro, the science says yes. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used to resurrect the past.

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

Drawing on innovative sociological research, Dr. Zuckerman—a Pitzer College professor who founded a Department of Secular Studies, the first of its kind—illuminates this demographic shift with the moral convictions that govern secular individuals, offering crucial information for the religious and nonreligious alike. Living the Secular Life reveals that, despite opinions to the contrary, nonreligious Americans possess a unique moral code that allows them to effectively navigate the complexities of modern life.

Latest INSIGHTS

INSIGHT at Skeptic.com is a broadly accessible, evidence-based resource that offers critical perspective on mysteries of science, paranormal claims, and the wild, woolly, wonderful weirdness of the fringe.

The Skeptical Virtue of Seriously Just Being Quiet

Daniel Loxton reflects on the value of listening in order to first understand paranormal beliefs and then communicate effectively with those who hold them.

Is the Earth Flat?

There is growing conspiracy theory belief that the Earth is not a globe, but a flat disc. According to believers, government forces promote a completely fictitious model of the cosmos in order to conceal the true nature of the Earth. Daniel Loxton examines whether these claims are true.

Astonishing Legends, Questionable Facts

Did a family in Kentucky get drunk and mistake owls for ‘space-goblins’, or was something much more complex going on that hot August night in 1955?

Confessions of a Skeptical Marketer

Guest writer Steve Cuno shares an insider's view on the ethics of advertising in a world full of false claims.

Junior Skeptic # 65

Junior Skeptic issue 65 (detail of cover)

Ghost Ships

Today we’re leaving safe shores far behind, and sailing out over the waves in search of the sea’s eeriest mysteries. Imagine the ocean at night, a thousand miles from the nearest city light. Imagine cold salt wind on your face, sails overhead, a creaking deck beneath your feet. Suddenly a shadow looms out of the darkness, masts and tattered sails silhouetted against the sky. Your crew shouts in alarm, spinning the wheel to avoid a collision. A strange ship slides by. It is silent and empty, without a living soul on board. Passing like a phantom, it vanishes into the night. What just happened? Can tales of ghost ships be explained? Let’s find out!

global warming

How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human Caused

Donald R. Prothero addresses climate change denialism head on, demolishing deniers’ arguments and rebuttals, and clearly demonstrating how we know global warming is real and human caused.

Michael Shermer Articles

New York Times bestselling author, Michael Shermer, writes at michaelshermer.com. Quickly access his three most recent articles below.

Mr. Hume: Tear. Down. This. Wall.

A Response to George Ellis’s Critique of My Defense of Moral Realism This article appeared in Theology and Science in December 2017. I am deeply appreciative that University of Cape Town professor George Ellis took the time to read carefully, think deeply, and respond thoughtfully to my Theology and Science paper “Scientific Naturalism: A Manifesto […]

Scientific Naturalism: A Manifesto for Enlightenment Humanism

This article appeared in Theology and Science Vol. 15, No. 3 in June 2017. A recording of this article can be listened to below, read by the author, with an introduction by David Smalley, thanks to our Patrons at Patreon. Abstract The success of the Scientific Revolution led to the development of the worldview of […]

It’s Complicated

Unraveling the Mystery of Why People Act as They Do This review of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky (Penguin Press, May 2018. ISBN 9780143110910) appeared in The American Scholar in June 2017. Have you ever thought about killing someone? I have, and I confess that it […]

Giving the Devil His Due

Why Freedom of Inquiry in Science and Politics is Inviolable This article appeared in the Journal of Criminal Justice in May 2017. In the 1990s I undertook an extensive analysis of the Holocaust and those who deny it that culminated in Denying History, a book I coauthored with Alex Grobman (Shermer & Grobman, 2000). Alex […]

Science Makes America Great

In this March for Science speech, Michael Shermer urges President Donald Trump to consider the vital role science plays in our lives.

How Might a Scientist Think about the Resurrection?

Did Jesus die and come back to life? In the parlance of current events, is this a fake news story, an alternative fact invented by the followers of Jesus, or did it really happen?

Skeptic Magazine App

Read Skeptic Magazine on Your Favorite Device!

Read Skeptic magazine on your Apple, Android, and Kindle devices using the FREE Skeptic Magazine App. Read it on Windows devices using the PocketMags App, or read on your PC or Mac via PocketMags.com.

Skeptic Presents:
Humour & Skepticism

Skeptic Presents is a series of videos that promote science and critical thinking through the use of humor, wit, and satire. With your support, we hope to produce these instructional, educational, and entertaining videos regularly throughout the year for free viewing for everyone, everywhere, to spread the message of the power of science and skepticism to make the world a saner, safer place.

The Vaccine Debate

Engaging the
Anti-vaxxers

Vaccines are one of science’s greatest achievements. Yet, fears and anxieties about immunization persist. In this article, Christian Orlic reviews Mark A. Largent’s new book Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America (2012, John Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-1421406077).

Skepticism 101

Skeptical Resources Freely Available to Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

The Skeptical Studies Curriculum Resource Center is a comprehensive, free repository of resources for teaching students how to think skeptically. This Center contains an ever-growing selection of books, reading lists, course syllabi, in-class exercises, PowerPoint presentations, student projects, papers, and videos that you may download and use in your own classes.

The Skeptical Movement

We’re pleased to present Daniel Loxton’s challenging and provocative new project, “Why Is There a Skeptical Movement?”. Almost two years in the writing, these two meticulously-researched chapter-length explorations dig deeply into the roots, founding principles, and purpose of scientific skepticism. Arguing that it is essential for skeptics to “appreciate that we’re caretakers for the work of those who have come before,” Loxton carries forward the discussion about the scope and limits of scientific skepticism.

our podcasts

The Skeptics Society proudly presents award-winning podcasts, available on multiple listening platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, and Soundcloud.

Science Salon

Science Salon is a series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, scholars, and thinkers, about the most important issues of our time.

Skepticality

Skepticality is the pioneering, original skeptical podcast dedicated to the promotion of critical thinking and science.

MonsterTalk

MonsterTalk is the science show about monsters that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures.

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Please support the work of the Skeptics Society. Make the world a more rational place and help us defend the role of science in society.

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

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.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

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 can you 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

Mind altering experiences 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

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.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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