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The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

  • Get the latest issue of Skeptic magazine 24.1: Behe’s Last Stand
  • Get the new paperback version of Heavens on Earth
  • Download select issues of Junior Skeptic magazine in PDF format for $1.99 each!
  • Download Junior Skeptic # 62: An Easy Guide to Baloney Detection FREE for Kids!
  • Unisex Flex Fleece Zip Hoodies by AMERICAN APPAREL

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Latest eSkeptics

eSkeptic delivers great articles, videos, podcasts, reviews, op-eds, event announcements, and more to your inbox.

eSkeptic for April 17, 2019

In Science Salon # 62, Dr. Shermer has a riveting conversation with Dr. Mark Moffett, biologist (Ph.D. Harvard, under E. O. Wilson), wildlife photographer for National Geographic, cave explorer, and world traveler about his new book, The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall, on the nature of societies from a biologist’s perspective.

eSkeptic for April 10, 2019

In this fascinating dialogue, Dr. Michael Shermer speaks with biological anthropologist Dr. Richard Wrangham about the evolutionary histories of reactive and proactive aggression as theorized in his book The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution.

eSkeptic for April 3, 2019

In Science Salon # 60 — exceptionally important conversation — Dr. Shermer discusses at length the background to and research of Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a physician and evolutionary sociologist famous for his study of social networks in humans and other animals. PLUS: The breadth of what can be meant by the word “hoax” makes the concept — and consequences — worthy of renewed study. Michelle E. Ainsworth reviews Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young and Hoax: A History of Deception: 5000 Years of Fakes, Forgeries, and Fallacies by Ian Tattersall and Peter Nevraumont.

eSkeptic for March 27, 2019

Dr. Raymond Barglow discusses three mistaken approaches to the opioid epidemic in this article that appeared in Skeptic magazine 24.1 (2019). Plus, Michael Shermer dialogues On Freedom with New York Times bestselling author Cass Sunstein.

eSkeptic for March 20, 2019

What is it about the human mind that so effortlessly translates natural events into messages from another realm — even despite our best attempts to deny that there’s any message in them at all?

latest additions to
the reading room

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

American Atlantis

In the new book America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization, author Graham Hancock looks for traces of a lost Ice Age civilization in the Americas. Despite relying on controversial research and drawing extreme conclusions, his hunt still comes up short.

Hoaxed!

The breadth of what can be meant by the word “hoax” makes the concept — and consequences — worthy of renewed study. Michelle E. Ainsworth reviews Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young and Hoax: A History of Deception: 5000 Years of Fakes, Forgeries, and Fallacies by Ian Tattersall and Peter Nevraumont.

The Opioid Epidemic Misunderstood

Dr. Raymond Barglow discusses three mistaken approaches to the opioid epidemic in this article that appeared in Skeptic magazine 24.1 (2019).

Conversations with My Dead Mother Why We See Signs & Omens in Everyday Events

What is it about the human mind that so effortlessly translates natural events into messages from another realm — even despite our best attempts to deny that there’s any message in them at all?

Pressured Apologies, False Confessions, Witch Hunts

Often someone who makes a public comment out of compliance with progressive opinion is set upon by online vigilantes, attacked personally, repents, and promises to do better next time. Using two cases as touchstones, Stewart Justman draws an analogy between the extraction of such an apology and the extraction of a false confession to a crime of violence, the critical point being that in both instances the pressured party may well begin to believe the accusations against him or her.

Behe’s Last Stand The Lion of Intelligent Design Roars Again

Intelligent Design advocate, Dr. Michael Behe, has recently written his third book attacking modern evolutionary theory called Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution. In this article from Skeptic Magazine 24.1, Professor of Biology Dr. Nathan H. Lents points out some of the many flaws in Behe’s book.

Watch Science Salons

Science Salon

The Science Salon Podcast is a series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, scholars, and thinkers, about the most important issues of our time. Listen via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Soundcloud.

Dr. Michael Shermer — “Are the Miracles of Jesus Unbelievable?” Debate Postmortem (AMA # 5)

In this AMA special, Dr. Michael Shermer conducts a postmortem on his debate with the evangelical Christian theologian Luuk van de Weghe, elaborating on his notes from the debate, and suggesting ways to think about miracles from a scientific or naturalistic perspective.

Dr. Mark Moffett — The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

In Science Salon # 62, Dr. Shermer has a riveting conversation with Dr. Mark Moffett, biologist (Ph.D. Harvard, under E. O. Wilson), wildlife photographer for National Geographic, cave explorer, and world traveler about his new book, The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall, on the nature of societies from a biologist’s perspective.

Dr. Richard Wrangham — The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution

In this fascinating dialogue, Dr. Michael Shermer speaks with biological anthropologist Dr. Richard Wrangham about the evolutionary histories of reactive and proactive aggression as theorized in his book The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution.

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 # 69

Junior Skeptic issue 69 (detail of cover)

Secrets of the Ouija Board

In this issue of Junior Skeptic we will dim the lights and gather around an object of mystery: the ouija (pronounced “wee-ja” or “wee-gee”). With a little pointer, these simple but spooky devices spell out answers that appear to come from some invisible source. Some people believe ouija boards release secrets from our subconscious minds. Others claim ouija boards harness supernatural forces to predict the future or contact spirits of the dead. Ouija boards have been used to write entire books, and praised as a source of cosmic wisdom. They have also been blamed for madness, mayhem, and murder. Some even fear that ouija boards are gateways for evil demons. Are any of these claims true? 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.

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.

MonsterTalk

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

Skepticality

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

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.

Michael Shermer’s Scientific American Columns

Since April 2001 New York Times bestselling author Michael Shermer has written the “Skeptic” column for Scientific American.

Stein’s Law and Science’s Mission

January 2019: In his 214th consecutive and final ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, Michael Shermer reflects on what science brings to the human project.

Kids These Days

In his December 2018 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American Michael Shermer discusses how to avert a looming crisis among today’s youth.

The Fallacy of Excluded Exceptions

In his November 2018 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American Michael Shermer explains the allegedly spooky coincidences associated with some famous films like Poltergeist, The Exorcist, The Omen, and The Crow.

A Mysterious Change of Mind

In his October 2018 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American Michael Shermer considers why suicide is a leading cause of death in the US.

Abortion Facts

In his September 2018 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American Michael Shermer avers that when women are educated and have access to birth-control technologies, pregnancies and, eventually, abortions decrease

23 and We

In his August 2018 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, Michael Shermer discusses the limitations of personal genome service testing.

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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 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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