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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 August 20, 2019

In Science Salon # 79 Michael Shermer speaks with former dean of Yale Law School Anthony Kronman about his new book The Assault on American Excellence; PLUS psychologist John Glynn explores one of the most perplexing aspects of human behavior: why does anyone die by suicide?

eSkeptic for August 13, 2019

In Science Salon # 78, Michael Shermer speaks with cognitive scientist Dr. Donald Hoffman about his new book The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth From Our Eyes, which challenges the leading scientific theories that claim that our senses report back objective reality. Plus, Harriet Hall M.D. examines whether laser therapy is more hype than hope.

eSkeptic for August 6, 2019

In response to last week’s trifecta shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, Michael Shermer offers an analysis of the psychology of mass public shooters, or why people act on their beliefs, why almost everyone thinks their beliefs are ontologically true and morally right, and why political rhetoric matters.

eSkeptic for July 30, 2019

In Science Salon # 77, an engaging conversation on the nature of science, Dr. McIntyre and Dr. Shermer get deep into the weeds of where to draw the line between science and pseudoscience. PLUS Dr. John Glynn reflects on our ever-increasing sensitivity to the perception of harm in an article about concept creep.

eSkeptic for July 23, 2019

When will the world end? How likely is it that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists? Are we living in a simulation like the Matrix? Is our universe but one in a multiverse? How does Warren Buffett continue to beat the stock market? How much longer will your romance last? In Science Salon # 76 — a wide ranging conversation with Michael Shermer — science writer William Poundstone answers these questions and more. PLUS Gabriel Andrade examines the incest taboo and asks: How truly dangerous is cousin marriage, and should it be legalized?

latest additions to
the reading room

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

Why People Die by Suicide Jeffrey Epstein and the Allure of Self-Murder

Why did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself? Why does anyone die by suicide? Psychologist John Glynn explores these and related questions regarding one of the most perplexing aspects of human behavior in this thoughtful essay.

Laser Therapy: Hope or Hype and Hokum?

Lasers are everywhere and have many applications, from bar codes to printers, surgery to welding, entertainment to law enforcement, DVD players to pointers (great for giving lectures and for playing with cats). However, in this column from Skeptic magazine 24.2 (2019), Harriet Hall M.D. examines whether laser therapy is more hype than hope.

Guns Don’t Kill People, Beliefs Kill People

In response to last week’s trifecta shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, Michael Shermer offers an analysis of the psychology of mass public shooters, or why people act on their beliefs, why almost everyone thinks their beliefs are ontologically true and morally right, and why political rhetoric matters.

Concept Creep and the Policing of Words

What constitutes “acceptable” speech? In some places, offensive posts or insulting comments on social media can get you arrested. Dr. John Glynn reflects on our ever-increasing sensitivity to the perception of harm.

Is Cousin Marriage Dangerous?

The incest taboo is a human institution; we universally prohibit having sex with siblings, parents, or grandparents, but vary culturally regarding cousins, uncles, and others on our family tree. We disagree on how far prohibition should go, and why. Indeed, natural selection primed us for cousin marriage as it offers some evolutionary advantage. In this article, which appeared in Skeptic magazine 24.2 (2019), Gabriel Andrade asks: How truly dangerous is cousin marriage, and should it be legalized?

What is Mental Illness, Anyway?

Peter Barglow, MD reviews Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness by Anne Harrington.

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.

Anthony Kronman — The Assault on American Excellence

In Science Salon # 79 Michael Shermer speaks with former dean of Yale Law School Anthony Kronman about his new book The Assault on American Excellence.

Dr. Donald Hoffman — The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth From Our Eyes

In Science Salon # 78, Michael Shermer speaks with cognitive scientist Dr. Donald Hoffman about his new book The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth From Our Eyes, which challenges the leading scientific theories that claim that our senses report back objective reality.

Dr. Lee McIntyre — The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience

In Science Salon # 77, an engaging conversation on the nature of science, Dr. McIntyre and Dr. Shermer get deep into the weeds of where to draw the line between science and pseudoscience.

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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