The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

  • Watch Michael Shermer in Science Salon # 18 on March 25, 2018 at 2pm PST
  • Watch Dr. Kip Thorne in Science Salon # 17 on February 18, 2018 at 2pm PST
  • Heavens on Earth, the new book by bestselling author Michael Shermer, available now!
  • Heavens on Earth, the new book by bestselling author Michael Shermer, available now!
  • Get the latest issue of Skeptic magazine 22.4: Campus Craziness: A New War on Science
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Join us for a 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle JULY 15-AUGUST 2, 2018
  • Patreon: a new way to support the things skeptic creates

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Shermer Speaks Out

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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 February 21, 2018

The notion that there can be more than one universe at first seems oxymoronic. In this week’s eSkeptic, Peter Kassan discusses the problematic notion of a multiverse arising from a highly speculative interpretation of quantum mechanics.

eSkeptic for February 14, 2018

In this week’s eSkeptic, Kevin McCaffree reviews the forthcoming book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars (March 21, 2018) in which sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have produced the first systematic theoretical analysis of the moral culture of “victimhood” emerging on university campuses

eSkeptic for February 7, 2018

Do “violent” video games pose “as big a health risk as alcohol and drug abuse” and are they “ruining the youth of America”? In this week’s eSkeptic, Terence Hines reviews Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong, by Patrick M. Markey and Christopher J. Ferguson.

eSkeptic for January 31, 2018

pH diets, alkaline water, urine pH tests, pseudoscience and bogus cancer cures abound. In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. combats the plague of pH misinformation by distinguishing pHacts from pHiction.

eSkeptic for January 24, 2018

In this week’s eSkeptic, Mario E. Herrera and Lawrence Patihis review Mark Pendergrast’s new book: Memory Warp: How the Myth of Repressed Memory Arose and Refuses to Die.

latest additions to
the reading room

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

Trouble in the Multiverse

The notion that there can be more than one universe at first seems oxymoronic. Peter Kassan discusses the problematic notion of a multiverse arising from a highly speculative interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Honor, Dignity, Victim A Tale of Three Moral Cultures

Kevin McCaffree reviews the forthcoming book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars (March 21, 2018) in which sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have produced the first systematic theoretical analysis of the moral culture of “victimhood” emerging on university campuses.

Virtual Violence

Do “violent” video games pose “as big a health risk as alcohol and drug abuse” and are they “ruining the youth of America”? Terence Hines reviews Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong, by Patrick M. Markey and Christopher J. Ferguson.

pH Mythology: Separating pHacts from pHiction

pH diets, alkaline water, urine pH tests, pseudoscience and bogus cancer cures abound. In this column, Harriet Hall, M.D. combats the plague of pH misinformation by distinguishing pHacts from pHiction.

Psychology’s Unhealed Wound

Mario E. Herrera and Lawrence Patihis review Mark Pendergrast’s new book: Memory Warp: How the Myth of Repressed Memory Arose and Refuses to Die.

Unsubstantiated: A new Netflix documentary purporting to provide proof of alien visitation fails to deliver

Tim Callahan reviews Unacknowledged: An Exposé of the World’s Greatest Secret, a new Netflix documentary, purporting to provide proof of alien visitation, that fails to deliver.

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.

Bart Ehrman: How a Forbidden Religion (Christianity) Swept the World

How did a tiny sect of just 20 people at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion in 30 CE became 25 to 35 million Christians by 400 CE? In this remote Science Salon Dr. Shermer converses with the great bible scholar and historian Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, the Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Kip Thorne—Gravitational Waves, Black Holes, Time Travel, and Hollywood

In Science Salon 17, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Kip Thorne will reflect on his life and career in theoretical physics, his work on gravitational waves, black holes, wormholes, and time travel, his relationship and bet with Stephen Hawking, and how he came to consult on Carl Sagan’s Contact and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

Dr. Robert Trivers — Evolutionary Theory & Human Nature

Dr. Robert Trivers and Dr. Michael Shermer have a lively conversation on everything from evolutionary theory and human nature to how to win a knife fight and Trivers’ membership in the Black Panthers. Don’t miss this engaging exchange with one of the most interesting scientists of the past half century. This Science Salon followed Dr. […]

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.

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."

The Complexity of Alien Abduction and the Multidisciplinary Nature of Fringe Claims

Daniel Loxton explains that skepticism attracts mixed groups of people with complementary expertise because fringe claims require a multidisciplinary approach.

Junior Skeptic # 65

Junior Skeptic issue 65 (detail of cover)

Ghost Ships

Today we’re leaving safe shores far behind, and sailing out over the waves in search of the sea’s eeriest mysteries. Imagine the ocean at night, a thousand miles from the nearest city light. Imagine cold salt wind on your face, sails overhead, a creaking deck beneath your feet. Suddenly a shadow looms out of the darkness, masts and tattered sails silhouetted against the sky. Your crew shouts in alarm, spinning the wheel to avoid a collision. A strange ship slides by. It is silent and empty, without a living soul on board. Passing like a phantom, it vanishes into the night. What just happened? Can tales of ghost ships be explained? 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 for All

Science is universal, international, inclusive, nonpartisan, a-political, a-gender, a-race, and a-ideological. Don't inject identity politics.

Dying To Go To Heaven

It was 20 years ago this week, March 20-26, 1997, that 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult “graduated” from this life to ascend to the UFO mothership that they believed would take them to an extraterrestrial paradise.

4 reasons why people ignore facts and believe fake news

In this op-ed from Business Insider, Michael Shermer shares four reasons why people ignore facts and believe fake news.

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.

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
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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 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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