The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

The Power of Belief poster

tonight —
The Power of Belief

with Dr. Michael Shermer
Wednesday, February 7th, 7:30pm

“Some believe that science and religion are in conflict. The long history of this belief goes back as far as the heresy trial of Galileo for teaching scientific theory that contradicted religious dogma.” Michael Shermer will lecture this Wednesday as part of a year-long series of lectures on the relationship between science and religion, hosted by the Performing Arts Center at Moorpark College, CA.

This lecture is open to the public. Advanced registration not required.

KC Cole

KC Cole

Science and Sound:
KC Cole interviews Michael Shermer

On January 28, 2007, noted science writer KC Cole joined Michael Shermer for an engaging and wide-ranging discussion on KPCC radio 89.3 FM about popular perceptions and misperceptions of science & religion, science & politics, and science & society.

LISTEN to the interview with Shermer >

VISIT KC Cole’s Perspectives webpage >

the Spring Season of Lectures at Caltech

Mark your calendar! The Skeptics Society is pleased to announce its Spring season of the Skeptics Distinguished Lecture Series at Caltech. The next lecture will be by Dr. Randel Helms on February 18th. This continues the thirteen-year-long series, presenting over 200 lectures by some of the most distinguished experts in the world.

Unless otherwise noted, each lecture is on a Sunday at 2pm at Caltech, Pasadena, California. Admission is at the door: free for Caltech faculty, staff, and students; free for JPL staff; $5 for Skeptics Society members; $8 for non-members; $5 for other students.

Dr. Randel Helms

The Bible Against Itself:
Who Wrote the Bible & Why it was Written

with Dr. Randel Helms

Sunday, February 18th, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

Before the sacred authors were declared sacred, they were fair game for attack or revision. If you open up the Bible and read it straight through, you will notice two things that should not be true if it had been written as a coherent whole and with a single purpose. First, the Bible is quite repetitious; second, the Bible frequently seems to contradict itself. Readers have often ignored these contradictions, apologists have long tried to reconcile them, and critics revel in them. Randel Helms chooses another course — to understand the contradictions by looking at the cultural and historical factors that produced them. Bible book authors were often motivated to write because they wanted to challenge or correct those who had written before them. Helms respectfully navigates a thoughtful passage through the books of the Bible to explain how and why they were written, and to reveal who the authors of the Bible were writing for or against.

Dr. Randel Helms is a Bible scholar and professor of English at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. He is the author of Gospel Fictions and Who Wrote the Gospels?

ORDER the paperback book ($15.95) >

ORDER the hardback book ($21.95) >

Jennifer Ouellette

The Physics of the Buffyverse

with Jennifer Ouellette

Sunday, March 11th, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

In the tradition of the bestselling The Physics of Star Trek, acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ouellette explains fundamental concepts in the physical sciences through examples culled from the hit TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. The weird and wonderful world of the Buffyverse — where the melding of magic and science is an everyday occurrence — provides a fantastical jumping-off point for looking at complex theories of biology, chemistry, and theoretical physics. From surreal vampires, demons, and interdimensional portals to energy conservation, black holes, and string theory, The Physics of the Buffyverse is serious science for the rest of us.

Jennifer Ouellette writes the column This Month in Physics History for APS News, the monthly publication of the American Physical Society. Her articles have appeared in publications from Discover to Salon.

followed by…
Dr. Carlos Schenck (photograph by Thomas Strand). Schenck will be lecturing on May 13, 2007.

Dr. Carlos Schenck (photograph by Thomas Strand). Schenck will be lecturing on May 13, 2007.

The Lucifer Effect:
Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

with Dr. Philip Zimbardo

Sunday, March 25th, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me):
Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

with Dr. Carol Tavris

Sunday, April 29th, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

Sleep: The Mysteries, the Problems & the Solutions

with Dr. Carlos Schenck

Sunday, May 13th, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

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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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