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Dawkins & Shermer on Expelled

In the upcoming pro-Intelligent Design documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (starring comedy actor Ben Stein), several notable scientists speak in support of science and evolution, including evolutionary biologist (and outspoken atheist) Richard Dawkins, science blogger PZ Meyers, and Skeptics Society founder Michael Shermer.

As Swoopy finds out this week when she talks with Shermer and Dawkins, Expelled is not the film these scientists agreed to be a part of — nor were their experiences at advanced screenings what they expected…

Further Reading

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The Doping Dilemma
Game theory helps to explain the pervasive
abuse of drugs in cycling, baseball and other sports

art copyright Joe Zeff Design Inc.

We are pleased to present Michael Shermer’s extensive research article on doping in sports, most notably cycling (his own sport) and baseball (as the new season gets underway).

I am very proud of this piece for several reasons: (1) my beloved sport of cycling has become so corrupted with drug scandals over the past two decades that there is not much of a sport left worth watching (unless we want to turn it into a reality show — “Doping with the Stars” or “So you Think You Can Dope”); (2) baseball, track and field, and other sports are similarly plagued with controversy and so the principles I develop in one sport apply to others; (3) I believe I have come up with a solution by understanding the psychological and behavioral economic underpinnings of both doping in cycling and cheating of all sorts in all sports. To my knowledge no one has applied game theory to the problem of doping in sports, and through that theory emerges both causal understanding and possible solutions. I look forward to reading your comments on this piece, and I must take a moment to thank the good folks at Scientific American for the dazzling artwork, layout and design, and most notably my editor for this piece, Peter Brown, for his brilliant editorial and content improvements that so improved what I originally submitted. — Michael Shermer

READ the full article for FREE

new at Shop Skeptic…
The Atheism Tapes

with Jonathan Miller

DVD cover

In these revealing interviews the neurologist turned playwright, filmmaker and self-described atheist Jonathan Miller filmed conversations with six of today’s leading men of science and letters, including: the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, the philosophers Daniel Dennett and Colin McGinn, the playwright Arthur Miller, the theologian Denys Turner, and the Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg. These distinguished thinkers discuss their personal intellectual journeys and offer illuminating analyses of belief and disbelief from a wide range of perspectives. Compelling viewing you won’t want to miss. 2-DVD set (90 min. each).


Dr. Craig Stanford

Dr. Craig Stanford will be speaking on Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 2:00 pm

the next lecture in our Spring season…

Beautiful Minds:
The Parallel Lives of Great Apes & Dolphins

with Dr. Craig Standford

Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 2:00 pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

Apes and dolphins: primates and cetaceans. Could any creatures appear to be more different? Yet both are large-brained intelligent mammals with complex communication and social interaction. In the first book to study apes and dolphins side by side, Maddalena Bearzi and Craig B. Stanford, a dolphin biologist and a primatologist who have spent their careers studying these animals in the wild, combine their insights with compelling results that teaches us about another large-brained mammal: Homo sapiens. Noting that apes and dolphins have had no common ancestor in nearly 100 million years, Bearzi and Stanford describe the parallel evolution that gave rise to their intelligence… READ MORE about this lecture >

READ MORE about other upcoming lectures >

Important ticket information

Tickets are first come first served at the door. Sorry, no advance ticket sales. Seating is limited. $8 Skeptics Society members & Caltech/JPL Community; $10 General Public. website banner

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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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