The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skepticality: The Official Podcast of Skeptic Magazine

Michael Shermer Interviews
James “the Amazing” Randi

Skeptics Society founder Dr. Michael Shermer sits down for a special, one-hour, one-on-one interview with James “the Amazing” Randi! This remarkable conversation was recorded for Skepticality while at sea during the James Randi Educational Foundation’s recent Amazing Adventure cruise—in the midst of the eerie Bermuda Triangle.

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Sam Harris (photo by Sara Allan)

Sam Harris, UCLA, author of The End of Faith and A Letter to a Christian Nation

upcoming lecture…

Symposium on Science, Religion & Politics

with Dr. Richard Sloan, Dr. Owen Gingerich and Sam Harris

Sunday, October 8, 2006, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech, Pasadena, CA

Over the past decade the relationship of science and religion has been under close scrutiny, with people on both sides developing various positions on how two of the most powerful institutions in the today’s world — one ancient, one modern — can co-exist. And as we have seen in the news coming out of the Middle East, the relationship of religion and politics has also taken center stage, as people of faith and party on both sides square off in the name of God and mammon. In this afternoon symposium we bring to the table four eminent scholars and social commentators, all with new books on these vital topics, to present their views, exchange ideas with one another, and to engage the audience in lively conversation.

Dr. Owen Gingerich is a Harvard astronomer and one of the most respected historians of science of our age, and in his latest book, God’s Universe, he presents compelling arguments for people who already believe in God that their faith is not ungrounded, and that no only should believers not be threatened by science, they should embrace it for revealing the wonders of the creation.

In 1999 Columbia University professor of behavioral medicine Dr. Richard Sloan published a definitive critique of prayer and healing studies in the prestigious British medical journal Lancet, and his new book, Blind Faith, elaborates on these and the studies in this field published since. Sloan notes that many of these distant intercessory prayer studies — in which religious strangers pray for patients to be healed — failed to control for such intervening variables as age, sex, education, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, marital standing, degree of religiosity, and the fact that most religions have sanctions against such insalubrious behaviors as sexual promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse, and smoking. When such variables are controlled for, the formerly significant results disappear. Not only is this bad science, says Sloan, trying to quantify God is bad religion.

Sam Harris’s book, The End of Faith, generated a firestorm of cultural controversy as he outlined with unfailing logic and clear rhetoric the dangers of mixing religious fundamentalism with weapons of mass destruction. In Letter to a Christian Nation, Harris continues his commentary and ups the amperage of his warning about the dangers of mixing religion and politics.

SEE LIST of all upcoming lectures >

Dr. Michael Shermer

CRUISE RUNS Feb. 27 – Mar. 7, 2007

Galápagos Opportunity!

Here is a wonderful opportunity to go to the Galápagos islands with Richard Milner, a Darwin scholar, historian of science, editor for Natural History magazine (he was Stephen Jay Gould’s editor), and famous for his singing Darwin show. The best way to see the Galápagos islands is with someone who really knows Darwin’s life, history, and science, and that is why we recommend that you consider joining Richard Milner on this one. Now is the time to book for March. You won’t be disappointed.

map marking the route the Galapagos tour will take

Map of route the Galápagos tour will take. For more information go to or call 1-866-461-6262 (toll free in the USA) or 1-781-729-6262 (outside the USA).


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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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