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detail of issue 15/1 of Skeptic magazine

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Skeptic Volume 15, Number 1

In this issue: “The Greatest Story Ever Garbled”—a Christian Origins Conspiracy Theory; Everything I Needed to Know about Skepticism I Learned from Scooby-Doo; SkepDoc on Homeopathy; Placebos; Stage a UFO Hoax; Atheism a Stealth Religion?; Criminal Injustice; Testing Orgone Energy; Matt Ridley on Evolutionary Economics; Ape Language Controversy; Science of Love, and more…

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detail of War: History, Causes & Solutions CD

Join Michael Shermer in the Classroom!
War: History, Causes & Solutions

detail of the History of Science DVD

A couple months ago, we brought out Michael Shermer’s college course on the History of Science. Now we are pleased to announce that Dr. Shermer’s course entitled “War: History, Causes, Solutions” is available for purchase in a handsome boxed set of audio CDs with MP3 files of 36 lectures (27 hours in total). That is only $2.75 per lecture, less than a Starbucks’ latté! Order your copy now, and if you don’t already own Dr. Shermer’s History of Science course you can purchase both courses together for an additional $51, for a total of $150 for both sets!

These CDs are designed to play on MP3 players, computers & newer automotive CD players. Over 25 hours of lectures are compressed into only three CDs.

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Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil in the World?

Michael Shermer and Dinesh D’Souza go toe-to-toe on some of the greatest issues related to science and religion: is there evidence for God’s existence, what is the proper relationship between science and religion, and has religion been a force for good or evil in the world?

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Onward Christian Soldiers!

While you’re there be sure to read the blog posts of the other Skepticbloggers: Brian Dunning, Kirsten Sanford, Mark Edward, Phil Plait, Ryan Johnson, Steven Novella, and Yau-Man Chan.

6 Comments »

6 Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Hi I only recently noticed Skeptics and am not particularly well read. I would like to know the structure of the Sceptics organisation as it seems their are a number of requests for support/money. This means that as a sceptical person I currently see this site as similar to many ‘religious’ groups in that you gather together a number of like minded people and get them to support the system, in this way those who run the system/religion take out living expenses or payment for work done for the society. The payout to members is in the form of belonging to a group.
    Groups and religions et al are good for government because the group can be moved/influenced by its leadership so all governments have to do is influence/control the leaders. This is great for government because it means they can get support even from many who may not be in accord with them but go along with their group leadership. Skeptics is picking up the people with some intellect who do not identify with religion (seeing it for the distorted belief mechanism it is), by pursuing and rebutting theories put forward by those they see as trying to exert control over people with a belief problem. This is a good thing but comes back to my original question, is Skeptics a money/power making resource for Dr Shermer and or a number of unseen individuals? Even if Skeptics is non profit making what are the true views or direction of those behind it and where does it/they want to take its followers?
    I have seen some posts about taking on groups by giving them bad ratings on the net etc.; this may not be a good strategy as like Skeptics, religions use the defence instinct inherent in groups (even small family groups) by pointing out a supposed threat, if there is no threat there is little left for religions to grab, they are pushed toward the positive -rejoice about the good stuff. Even when ‘they’ do this they are still influencing a group which can then be misled.
    Conclusion
    All groups that are not totally democratic and open with NO leaders are at risk of being manipulated. This post is not and attack or any form of accusation on or about any individual or group, simply observations by an individual. i.e. I have no desire to cause offence or be litigated against for asking/observing.

    • Daniel Loxton says:

      I would like to know the structure of the Sceptics organisation as it seems their are a number of requests for support/money. This means that as a sceptical person I currently see this site as similar to many ‘religious’ groups… I have no desire to cause offence or be litigated against for asking…

      Not at all, Steve, it’s a common question. The Skeptics Society is a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, which is legally able to accept donations and issue tax receipts. It is funded through direct sales of educational material, and also by private donations.

      Comparisons to religious groups are, I think, a bit of a stretch for a science literacy organization. A better analogy would be PBS: we sometimes request donations to assist us in producing high-quality educational material with minimal advertising. In addition, public support allows us to fulfill our science outreach / public service mandate by making expert advice available to the media, pursuing investigative journalism, and doing consumer protection reporting on fringe science claims.

  2. B. David Cathell says:

    Just to make sure we are using the link correctly, could you publish the exact URL?

    Thanks.
    B. David

  3. Gene Garman says:

    The Religion Commandments in the Constitution: A Primer

    This book should be available through Skeptic.

    Author Gene Garman seeks to promote an accurate understanding of the founding constitutional principles for the United States of America and addresses what the “Religious Right” distorts.

  4. William says:

    Michael,

    Thank you for raising this concern. We took it directly to Amazon.com and they said,

    “There is nothing wrong with your supporters bookmarking the link to Amazon.com.”

    They also recommended,

    “The best way to make sure that you get the referral fees is to give your supporters the URL for where the link is located on your site, and then they will go to your site and click the link over to Amazon.com.”

    So, we have set that up on our site as well.
    You will find our new affiliate links page here:
    http://www.skeptic.com/get_involved/affiliate_links.html

  5. Daniel Loxton says:

    Yes, Jim, we’ve just added one. You’ll now find a button link to Amazon.ca (and Amazon.co.uk) on our affiliate links page: http://www.skeptic.com/get_involved/affiliate_links.html

    As for the US Amazon.com, web-savvy users can right-click (or ctrl-click) those button links and choose “add bookmark” (or a similarly worded option) to set bookmarks to the Canadian and UK stores, and this will help the Skeptics Society on an ongoing basis.

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