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The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

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  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Watch the Live Stream of Science Salon # 15 Sunday October 15, 2017 at 2PM PDT

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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 October 11, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. David Speed examines why the definitional ambiguity of the word “spirituality” is problematic for researchers who seek to explore the relationship between it and other constructs.

eSkeptic for October 4, 2017

This week, we present a recording of Michael Shermer’s article, “Scientific Naturalism: A Manifesto for Enlightenment Humanism,” originally published in the journal Theology and Science in July 2017, being read by the author, and introduced by David Smalley.

eSkeptic for September 27, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic, Professor of Geology at the University of South Florida, Dr. Marc J. Defant, provides an analysis of the claims made by Graham Hancock in his book Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization.

eSkeptic for September 20, 2017

If it weren’t for patrons, we might not have had Mozart, Shakespeare, or Leonardo da Vinci. They all had patrons! That’s why Skeptic has created a Patreon page, which provides a new way for you to support the things we create that promote science and reason!

eSkeptic for September 13, 2017

Is Antifa an enemy of free speech? Raymond Barglow discusses the recent violent demonstrations in Berkeley, which purported to “fight fascism,” while fueling it instead.

latest additions to
the reading room

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

What is Spirituality, Anyway? Is “Spirituality” so Broadly Defined that Testing for it is Meaningless?

Dr. David Speed examines why the definitional ambiguity of the word “spirituality” is problematic for researchers who seek to explore the relationship between it and other constructs.

Conjuring Up a Lost Civilization: An Analysis of the Claims Made by Graham Hancock in Magicians of the Gods

In this week’s eSkeptic, Professor of Geology at the University of South Florida, Dr. Marc J. Defant, provides an analysis of the claims made by Graham Hancock in his book Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization.

Radically Wrong in Berkeley

Is Antifa an enemy of free speech? Raymond Barglow discusses the recent violent demonstrations in Berkeley, which purported to “fight fascism,” while fueling it instead.

The Multi-headed Hydra of Prejudice

Social psychologist (and regular columnist for Skeptic magazine, Carol Tavris, discusses the hydra of prejudice and the psychological predictors that lead to it rearing its ugly heads.

Ultraterrestrials

How useful are eyewitness reports and “investigations” by UFO proponents? In this week’s eSkeptic, psychology professor Dr. Terence Hines reviews How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth, by David Clarke.

Functional Medicine: Pseudoscientific Silliness

Harriet Hall, M.D. (the SkepDoc) examines the latest flavor of integrative medicine called “functional medicine” (FM) — a Trojan horse designed to sneak non-science-based medicine into conventional medical practice.

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.

Donald Prothero & Timothy Callahan—UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says

In Science Salon # 15 — UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens — Prothero and Callahan explore why such demonstrably false beliefs thrive despite decades of education and scientific debunking.

Dr. Nancy Segal — Twin Mythconceptions: False Beliefs, Fables, and Facts about Twins

Dr. Nancy Segal, the world’s leading expert on twins, has a new book that sheds light on over 70 commonly held ideas and beliefs about the origins and development of identical and fraternal twins. Using the latest scientific findings from psychology, psychiatry, biology, and education, Dr. Segal separates fact from fiction.

Dr. Walter Scheidel — The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the 21st Century

Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, the Stanford University historian Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return.

Latest INSIGHTS

INSIGHT at Skeptic.com brings together a variety of accomplished voices for a broad-ranging but focussed discussion of science and skepticism. INSIGHT will shed light, offer critical perspective, and serve as a broadly accessible, evidence-based resource on mysteries of science, paranormal claims, and the wild, woolly, wonderful weirdness of the fringe.

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.

The Century-Long Fight Against American Quackery

Guest writer Robert Blaskiewicz reports on the early days of the ongoing battle to protect American patients from cynically fraudulent quack "medicine."

Junior Skeptic # 64

Junior Skeptic issue 64 (detail of cover)

Zombies!

Our world has been conquered by hordes of zombies! They menace us in video games, comics, television, and movies. They lurch gruesomely down city streets in “zombie walk” events. After decades of zombie fiction, the walking dead are more popular than ever. Mindless, moaning, hungry for human flesh, zombies may be the ultimate modern monsters. They’ve spread like a virus through tales of terror and horrified imaginings. But where did the idea come from? Were zombies invented for fiction, or do they have a basis in legend—or perhaps even in reality? Could anything like fictional movie zombies actually exist in the real world? 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 Blog

New York Times bestselling author, Michael Shermer, blogs at michaelshermer.com. Quickly access his three most recent blog posts below.

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?

If There is No God, is Murder Wrong?

Michael Shermer strikes back against the attack on atheism made by conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager, in the recent video ‘If There Is No God, Murder Isn’t Wrong’.

Science Salon

Inspired by Enlightenment Salons that helped drive the Age of Reason and the public interest in science, the Skeptics Society presents Science Salon — a series of intimate conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and a prominent scientist, scholar, or intellectual.

Attend Upcoming Salons

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

Why Is There a 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

Skepticality— the official podcast of Skeptic magazine

Skepticality — the pioneering original skeptics podcast — is a top-rated audio talk show dedicated to skeptical topics and interviews.

Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available on the App Store
Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available at Amazon for Android
Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available on Windows Store

MonsterTalk— presented by Skeptic magazine

MonsterTalk critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.

MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available on the App Store
MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available at Amazon for Android
MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available on Windows Store
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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 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. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

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 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

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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