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Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

  • FREE DOWNLOAD!! JUNIOR SKEPTIC 77: The Honest Truth About Vaccines
  • Expedition to Antarctica (Dec 2021)
  • Expedition to Antarctica (Dec 2021)
  • Skeptic‘s 100th issue: QAnon in Conspiratorial Context!
  • FREE DOWNLOAD!! JUNIOR SKEPTIC 76: Pandemics Throughout History -- How Mistakes, Fakes, and Missing Facts Make Epidemics Worse
  • Download select issues of Junior Skeptic in PDF format for only $1.99 each!
  • Get an autographed copy of Giving the Devil His Due by Michael Shermer
  • 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 February 23, 2021

Download a free PDF of Junior Skeptic 77: The Honest truth About Vaccines. PLUS: How can we find solace when we face the death of loved ones? How can we find solace in our own death? In episode 159 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with philosopher Joshua Glasgow about his book The Solace: Finding Value in Death Through Gratitude for Life.

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eSkeptic for February 20, 2021

In episode 158 Michael Shermer speaks with Jason D. Hill, a black immigrant from Jamaica, about his eloquent appreciation of the American Dream, and why his adopted nation remains the most noble experiment in enabling the pursuit of happiness. PLUS: In the 7th CUPES report, we ask: across the political spectrum, how knowledgeable are people when it comes to the available data on fatal police shootings of Black Americans?

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eSkeptic for February 16, 2021

In episode 157 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Avi Loeb about his new book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth which outlines his controversial theory and its profound implications for science, religion, and the future of our species and our planet.

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eSkeptic February 12, 2021

The following articles from a 1994 issue of Skeptic magazine (2.4) capture a moment in time, not of ancient African cultures but of 1990s America, obsessed as we were — and still are — with race, in which everything is seemingly assessed by race. We present these articles as a reminder that the current cultural climate of race following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement is not new.

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eSkeptic for February 9, 2021

In episode 156 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born women’s rights activist, free speech advocate and New York Times best selling author, about her new book Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights.

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latest additions to
the reading room

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

Was Cleopatra Black?

John Henrik Clarke Says Yes From African Warrior Queens “More nonsense has been written about Cleopatra than about any other African queen, mainly because it has been the desire of many writers to paint her white. She was not a white woman until the emergence of the doctrine of white superiority, Cleopatra was generally pictured […]

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Afrocentric Pseudoscience & Pseudohistory

There is a lot of high-quality, constructive Afrocentric scholarship. As in most fields, however, there are fringe groups and extraordinary claims that grab our attention because of their extremism, and, occasionally, their absurdity. Since it is our job at Skeptic magazine to track these groups and claims, we bring them to our reader’s attention. This is not to imply that all or most African-American scientists and historians believe such claims. The recent surge of these beliefs, however, especially when supported by such recognizable names as Louis Farrakhan, is alarming. Here are just a few quotes emblematic of this extreme.

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Beyond Race
Fallacies of Reactive Afrocentrism

Since one of the themes of Skeptic is the study of the power of belief systems to shape our interpretation of nature and history, the Afrocentric paradigm should be treated no different from others. That is, a healthy dollop of skepticism and critical thinking is appropriate.

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Stolen Legacy (or Mythical History?)
Did the Greeks Steal Philosophy From the Egyptians?

“It is of course possible to sympathize with James, and with his anger at a society that has paid little tribute to real African achievement. Unfortunately Stolen Legacy not only does not help the Afrocentric cause, it hinders it.” Since its publication in 1954 Stolen Legacy, by George G. M. James, has been a best-seller […]

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QAnon Is Just a Warmed Over Witch Panic — and It’s Also Very Dangerous

In this cover story article (written in October 2020) for Skeptic magazine 25.4 (December 2020), Daniel Loxton considers the unsavory origins and rising threat of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Written prior to the deadly QAnon-led occupation of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, this analysis exposes the conspiracy theory as baseless, unoriginal, and harmful for believers and society at large.

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Listen to the Podcast

The Michael Shermer Show (portrait of Michael Shermer by Jeremy Danger)

The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time. Listen via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

Joshua Glasgow — The Solace: Finding Value in Death Through Gratitude for Life

How can we find solace in our own death? In episode 159 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with philosopher Joshua Glasgow about his book The Solace: Finding Value in Death Through Gratitude for Life.

Listen to this episode

Jason D. Hill — We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to The American People

In episode 158 Michael Shermer speaks with Jason D. Hill, a black immigrant from Jamaica, about his eloquent appreciation of the American Dream, and why his adopted nation remains the most noble experiment in enabling the pursuit of happiness.

Listen to this episode

Avi Loeb — Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

In episode 157 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Avi Loeb about his new book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth which outlines his controversial theory and its profound implications for science, religion, and the future of our species and our planet.

Listen to this episode

Ayaan Hirsi Ali — Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights

Why are so few people talking about the eruption of sexual violence and harassment in Europe’s cities? In episode 156 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born women’s rights activist, free speech advocate and New York Times best selling author, about her new book Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights.

Listen to this episode

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Junior Skeptic # 77

Junior Skeptic current issue (detail of cover)

The Honest Truth about Vaccines

“Vaccines” are medicines we take when we’re healthy to prevent us from getting sick later. Nobody loves getting their shots. But vaccines protect you, your family, and your community. Vaccines have helped us control many serious diseases. Right now, scientists are racing to develop a safe, effective vaccine to make us immune to COVID-19. However, some people claim that a COVID vaccine might not be safe, or even that it might be some sort of trick to control us. Others say vaccines are more dangerous than doctors admit. What is the truth? Are vaccines safe or risky? Or might the truth be something in between? 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.

Research Center

The Skeptic Research Center (SRC) is a collaboration with qualified researchers to release digestible single-topic analyses of proprietary polling and survey data, detailing peoples’ attitudes about the important concerns of our time. Our data is open-source for full transparency. Our goal is to empower you with an understanding of what your fellow citizens really believe and how they really behave.

Civil Unrest & Presidential Election Study (CUPES)

In the Civil Unrest and Presidential Election Study (CUPES), we take a deeper look at the political issues that most divide people. Specifically, we examine peoples’ political and social attitudes as they relate to the George Floyd protests, the Coronavirus Pandemic, and the presidential election.

Explore this study

Social & Political Attitudes Study (SPAS)

Many pundits have suggested that a divided Democratic party contributed to the “surprise” election of Donald Trump in 2016, and that such division may contribute to Trump’s re-election in 2020. In the Social and Political Attitudes Study (SPAS), we surveyed a nationally representative sample of adults to examine the question, “Are Democrats more divided than Republicans?”

Explore this study

Skepticism 101

Watch lectures from Dr. Michael Shermer’s Chapman University course called Skepticism 101: How to Think Like a Scientist.

The Moral Arc: How Thinking Like a Scientist Makes the World More Moral

In this, the final lecture of his Chapman University Skepticism 101 course, Dr. Michael Shermer pulls back to take a bigger picture look at what science and reason have done for humanity in the realm of moral progress. Watch The Moral Arc: How Thinking Like a Scientist Makes the World More Moral.

Watch this lecture

What is Truth, Anyway?

In this lecture Dr. Michael Shermer addresses one of the deepest questions of all: what is truth? How do we know what is true, untrue, or uncertain?

Watch this lecture

our podcasts

The Skeptics Society proudly presents award-winning podcasts, available on multiple listening platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

The Michael Shermer Show

The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers 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.

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.

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Retrospective

Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

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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