The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

  • Get the latest issue of Skeptic magazine 25.1: Conspiracies!
  • Join Pulitzer-prize-winning author JARED DIAMOND on a 13-day tour exploring the archeological and cultural riches of Athens, the Peloponnese, and Southern Italy October 3–15, 2020, presented by the Skeptics Society and Thalassa Journeys.
  • Join Pulitzer-prize-winning author JARED DIAMOND on a 13-day tour exploring the archeological and cultural riches of Athens, the Peloponnese, and Southern Italy October 3–15, 2020, presented by the Skeptics Society and Thalassa Journeys.
  • Join Pulitzer-prize-winning author JARED DIAMOND on a 13-day tour exploring the archeological and cultural riches of Athens, the Peloponnese, and Southern Italy October 3–15, 2020, presented by the Skeptics Society and Thalassa Journeys.
  • Join Pulitzer-prize-winning author JARED DIAMOND on a 13-day tour exploring the archeological and cultural riches of Athens, the Peloponnese, and Southern Italy October 3–15, 2020, presented by the Skeptics Society and Thalassa Journeys.
  • Buy CONSPIRACIES & CONSPIRACY THEORIES: What We Should and Shouldn’t Believe — and Why
  • Download select issues of Junior Skeptic in PDF format for only $1.99 each!
  • Get the new paperback version of Heavens on Earth
  • Download select issues of Junior Skeptic magazine in PDF format for $1.99 each!
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Latest eSkeptics

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

eSkeptic for March 27, 2020

During the Coronavirus outbreak, while schools are closed and everyone is practicing social distancing at home, Michael Shermer gives a remote lecture on Cognitive Biases & How Thinking Goes Wrong that anyone can watch for free.

eSkeptic for March 24, 2020

In Science Salon # 109 Michael Shermer speaks with Neil Shubin about his new book Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA. PLUS Harriet Hall, M.D. reminds us that though many wines improve with age, human bodies don’t; we deteriorate.

eSkeptic for March 17, 2020

In Science Salon # 108 Michael Shermer speaks with Brian Greene about his book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe. PLUS, during the Coronavirus outbreak, while many schools are closed, Shermer shares one of his Chapman University lectures, taught remotely, free for everyone to view.

eSkeptic for March 10, 2020

In Science Salon # 107 Michael Shermer speaks with Fred Kaplan about his book The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Sacred History of Nuclear War. PLUS, find out who believes in conspiracies and why, and read real conspiracy theories (and conspiracies with no theories) in the latest issue of Skeptic magazine, available now in print and digital formats.

eSkeptic for March 3, 2020

In Science Salon # 106 Michael Shermer speaks with Daniel Chirot about his book You Say You Want a Revolution? Radical Idealism and its Tragic Consequences. PLUS: An excerpt from Is A Good God Logically Possible? by James P. Sterba.

latest additions to
the reading room

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

The Fountain of Youth & Other Anti‑Aging Myths

A spring whose waters restore the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in them is a myth that dates back to prehistoric times. Harriet Hall, M.D. reminds us that though many wines improve with age, human bodies don’t; we deteriorate.

Is a Good God Logically Possible?

In this excerpt from his book Is A Good God Logically Possible? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. Pp.xi, 209.) James P. Sterba provides his answer to the question: “Is there a greater good justification for God’s permitting significant and especially horrendous evil consequences of immoral actions?”

How to Navigate Contentious Conversations

An excerpt from How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide provides some tools to help people navigate contentious conversations.

How Would You Design a Code of Conduct?

Carol Tavris avers that organizations’ Codes of Conduct that try to specify each and every possible behavior they wish to prohibit (or encourage), will find themselves in linguistic and psychological quicksand.

Are We Alone? J. Allen Hynek & UFOs

Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and then repackaged in the early 1970s with contributions from Sherman J. Larson, of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

The Phantom Drone Scare Mass Hysteria Can Be Ruled Out

The recent spate of drone sightings in the Midwest have residents on edge. Medical sociologist Robert Bartholomew avers that one explanation can be ruled out — mass hysteria.

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 Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

Neil Shubin — Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA

In Science Salon # 109 Michael Shermer speaks with Neil Shubin about his new book Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA — a lively and accessible account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth.

Brian Greene — Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe

In Science Salon # 108 Michael Shermer speaks with Brian Greene about his book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe.

Fred Kaplan — The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War

In Science Salon # 107 Michael Shermer speaks with Fred Kaplan about his book The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Sacred History of Nuclear War.

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 # 74

Junior Skeptic issue 74 (detail of cover)

Are You Eating Fake Food?

Everybody eats food. Along with air, water, and shelter, food is a basic human need. Food is the most important thing we buy, and we can’t choose not to. We can’t survive without food! Almost no one in our culture is able to grow or forage for all of their own food. Even people who live on farms still buy ingredients for cooking and baking. Foods such as flour, sugar, and cheese need to be processed. Other foods come from far away places, such as tropical fruit, seafood, salt, spices, coffee, or tea. That means we have to rely on products sold in stores. But what happens when people sell food that isn’t what it’s supposed to be? 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.

Skepticism 101

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

Cognitive Biases & How Thinking Goes Wrong

Dr. Michael Shermer reviews the many ways that our attempts to understand the truth about the world are derailed by cognitive biases, including the anchoring bias, the representative bias, the availability bias, the confirmation bias, the hindsight bias, the self-serving bias, and even the bias bias.

Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories

Dr. Michael Shermer explains the difference between conspiracies and conspiracy theories, who is more likely to believe which conspiracy theories, the social, political, cultural, and psychological conditions in which conspiracy theories flourish, real conspiracies, and who really killed JFK.

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.

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.

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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