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The Amazing Meeting 4
“Science in Politics & the Politics of Science”
presented by the James Randi Educational Foundation

January 26th–29th, 2006
Stardust Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, CA

What Happens at The Amazing Meeting?

The Amazing Meeting is a celebration of skepticism and critical thinking. Skeptics and thinkers from around the world come together once a year to be educated and entertained by distinguished scientists, outspoken journalists, and cutting-edge entertainers. Panel discussions will provide much food for thought. First, there’ll be a session on the theme of this year’s meeting, “Science in Politics and the Politics of Science.” Next, we’ll have an undoubtedly spirited discussion on the topic of “Can a Skeptic Believe in God?”

What is the James Randi Educational Foundation?

The James Randi Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1996. Its aim is to promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas so widespread in our society today.

Who’s on the Guest List?
  • James Randi
  • Michael Shermer
  • Nadine Strossen
  • Murray Gell-Mann
  • Penn & Teller
  • Mythbusters
  • Julia Sweeney
  • Richard Wiseman
  • Daniel Dennett
  • … and many more!
the Pre-Conference Workshop:
Information & Disinformation:
Looking at Data Without Getting Fooled

Thursday, January 26th, 1–4 pm
with Chip Denman and Jamy Ian Swiss

Our visual system is not a passive recorder of the light shining into our eyes. Our brains do a lot of post-processing — in effect, we create what we see. The better we understand our minds’ visual building code, the better we can evaluate and use visual information.

This workshop is a skeptic’s guide to charts, graphs and other visual displays. We will introduce basic features of the human visual system and some common pitfalls of perception, and how they relate to designing and interpreting charts, maps and other displays of information. We will consider how magic uses visual disinformation and misdirection to fool the mind’s eye. And we will apply those principles to how — and how not — to display information for effective explanation, decision making, statistical reasoning, and presentation.

READ more about
The Amazing Meeting 4

The following is a letter from James Randi in response to Calvin Campbell’s article entitled “Going to Meet the Man With the Camera Brain: The Curious Case of Ted Serios” which appeared in the eSkeptic from Monday, November 14th, 2005.

a response to
Calvin Campbell on
the Serios Phenomenon

by James Randi

James Randi photo

James Randi

Mr. Campbell, in his piece on Serios, writes, “The skeptics had long since dismissed the phenomenon. Why?”

As a serious Serios investigator, I can answer that. The fact is that the Serios phenomena have never been properly observed — as Mr. Campbell’s account clearly shows — because Serios would not permit it to happen; he controlled the “experimenters” as they vainly tried to control him. On the NBC-TV “Today” show with host Hugh Downs, I confronted both Serios and Eisenbud effectively, and duplicated the Serios performance, live, for the TV audience. Eisenbud was unable to explain how I did it, only mumbling — correctly — that it involved “trickery.” Photographer and conjuring authority Charles Reynolds, in Popular Photography Magazine, October, 1967, exposed the trick, and in my book, “Flim-Flam” (1982) on pages 222–228, I give a full account of it and the gimmick that accomplishes it.

Dembski v. Shermer
on AudioMartini

Is life on Earth the product of a supernatural Creator or Darwinian evolution? Can science prove the existence of God? Michael Shermer, founding Editor of Skeptic magazine, goes head to head with noted Intelligent Design theorist William Dembski, fellow of the Discovery Institute. The devout and the heretical alike will gain insight from this fascinating interview. LISTEN online >

Michael Shermer
Declared a Flip-Flopper!

In good company with E. O. Wilson and H. G. Wells, Skeptic Publisher Michael Shermer has been labeled a flip-flopper by Science and Theology News. Of course, flip-flopping goes both ways. READ more >

Dr Jennifer Michael Hecht book cover

Doubt: A History
a new lecture by Jennifer Michael Hecht
at shop skeptic

History usually focuses on belief systems, but those who doubt were often engines of creativity and social advances. Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht shows that doubt has a vibrant story and tradition with its own saints, martyrs, and sages. Hecht blends her wide-ranging historical expertise, passionate admiration of the great doubters, and poet’s sensibility to tell a stimulating story that is part intellectual history and part showcase of ordinary people asking themselves the difficult questions that confront us all.

Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht returned to the Skeptics Distinguished Lecture Series at Caltech last summer, with a lecture around her new book Doubt. This lecture is now available to order in various formats, including DVD and CD.

ORDER her Doubt lecture >

ORDER her Doubt book >

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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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