Announcing the NEW Skeptic Website!
Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of our new website! It’s been completely re-organized, re-designed, and re-coded, to make it a more useful resource for research, education, and entertainment. This new website was made possible by the generous support of Robert and Diane Zeps, whose friendship and encouragement is deeply appreciated, and the communications firm Rocketday Arts, which has donated many extra hours to this project.
On the organizational side, we’ve added summaries for each of our resources, as well as a Reading Room library, where all our online articles, editorials, reports, and reviews are cross-indexed by topic. Also, a search feature will be added as soon as Google has finished spidering the new site.
On the technical side, much care has been put into creating appropriate code for a public resource. All content pages (outside of the storefront) have been hand-coded to semantically-structured, W3C compliant XHTML and CSS, adhering to accessibility guidelines set forth by the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative and US Section 508. Please be patient with us in the first couple weeks as we iron out the last technical issues. As newer browsers are more standards-compliant, please visit our site with a current browser, such as:
- Firefox or Mozilla (multiple platforms),
- Safari (Mac),
- or Internet Explorer 6 (Windows).
We’ve also added security features and updates to our online Skeptic Shop:
- all 12 years of Skeptic magazine back issues;
- DVDs, VHS, CDs and audio cassettes of almost every lecture and conference from the Skeptics Distinguished Lecture Series at Caltech, (featuring the biggest stars of science);
- the Baloney Detection Kit booklet and How to Debate a Creationist booklet; and
- a rich selection of the most important books on science and skepticism for every skeptics’ library.
Let us know your thoughts!
Help Us Build this Resource
As funding permits, we will continue adding resources online (we’ve got hundreds to add!), in the hopes to soon have an expansive, searchable collection of FREE online articles on all things relating to science and skepticism. If you’d like to help us continue building this public resource, contact us at email@example.com or donate to our Website Fund online.
eSkeptic: Call for Submissions
With the growing popularity of eSkeptic, whose articles, reviews, and commentaries are archived at skeptic.com (thus adding to our growing Reading Room Library), we encourage editorial submissions from our readers, most notably short articles on topics current and controversial (e.g., Intelligent Design creationism), and reviews of new books (On Bullshit), films, television programs (e.g., WB’s new series Supernatural). Submissions should be made electronically with an attached file in MS Word (saved with the “.doc” file extension) and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos
The definitive tour of our universe! On Tuesday nights, the Science Channel is in the midst of reairing Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, digitally remastered, with updated science and all new graphics.
- Visit the Science Channel’s Cosmos webpage to learn more about the show.
- Order the Cosmos DVD set from the new Skeptic shop.
- Order back issue of Skeptic magazine featuring Carl Sagan (vol. 4, no. 4).
Plows, Plagues & Petroleum
Global Warming, Climate Change
& the Future of the Environment
Dr. William Ruddiman
Sunday, October 9th, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech, Pasadena, CA
The impact on climate from 200 years of industrial development is an everyday fact of life, but did humankind’s active involvement in climate change really begin with the industrial revolution, as commonly believed? Dr. William Ruddiman, a climate scientist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and the author of the controversial new book, Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum, argues that humans have actually been changing the climate for some 8,000 years — as a result of the earlier discovery of agriculture. The “Ruddiman Hypothesis” has been controversial ever since it was featured as a cover story in Scientific American. It states that the impact of farming on greenhouse-gas levels, thousands of years before the industrial revolution, kept our planet notably warmer than if natural climate cycles had prevailed — quite possibly forestalling a new ice age.
Ruddiman takes us through three broad stages of human history: when nature was in control; when humans began to take control, discovering agriculture and affecting climate through carbon dioxide and methane emissions; and, finally, the more recent human impact on climate change. Along the way he raises the fascinating possibility that plagues, by depleting human populations, also affected reforestation and thus climate — as suggested by dips in greenhouse gases when major pandemics have occurred. The book concludes by looking to the future and critiquing the impact of special interest money on the global warming debate.