Skeptic » eSkeptic » January 27, 2010

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be

THE SKEPTICS SOCIETY IS PROUD TO REVEAL the first full-color, hardcover, English-language book based upon Junior Skeptic.

Written by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton, Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be (Kids Can Press, 2010) is a straight-ahead introduction to the fact of evolution, to its mechanisms, and to the misunderstandings that surround it. The book aims to explain how evolution works — and how we know for a fact that it happens. It is suitable for readers aged 8–13.

Hailed as a “wonderfully clear, up-to-date, and well-illustrated account of how evolution works” by bestselling science author Donald Prothero (Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters), this lavishly illustrated book is passionate, accurate — and easy to read.

“The scientific content is first-rate,” Prothero says. According to literary review Quill & Quire, Evolution is a “full-throated defense and explication of Darwin’s theory … kept light and accessible by Loxton’s sense of humour and breezy prose style.”

Evolution is packed throughout with large, full-color illustrations (by Daniel Loxton with Jim W. W. Smith), including cartoons, diagrams, photographs — and complex scenes featuring photorealistic, computer generated renderings of creatures like ichthyosaurs and mammoths.


GET IT FREE with a minimum $100 donation to the Skeptics Society

How to Help

WE’RE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT of the Skeptics Society’s educational outreach work. If you’d like to help during the release of Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be, these options would be especially appreciated:

Skepticism’s Unknown Trailblazer

Pat Linse

Pat Linse, co-publisher and
Art Director of Skeptic magazine

This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with a true skeptical original: Skeptics Society co-founder Pat Linse, co-publisher and Art Director of Skeptic magazine. She is among skepticism’s most influential pioneers — and yet, she has rarely stepped into the public spotlight.

Among Pat’s many groundbreaking innovations was the creation of Junior Skeptic (the 10-page kids’ critical thinking insert bound within Skeptic magazine). Joining Pat in this interview is current Junior Skeptic editor and illustrator Daniel Loxton, here to talk about their latest creation: a full-color children’s book released this week by Kids Can Press, entitled Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be.

book cover

In this week’s eSkeptic, Maia Caron reviews 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein (Pantheon Books, 2010).

Maia Caron is author of the soon to be published book Conversations with Eddie Other, a philosophical novel about why the world of the persona is upside down and how only the individual can right it again, and what this portends for theology and theistic arguments for God’s existence.

Rebecca Goldstein is an award-winning writer and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton. She is also the author of The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light, and studies of Kurt Gödel and Baruch Spinoza.

Upcoming Lecture…

36 Arguments for
the Existence of God:
A Work of Fiction

with Dr. Rebecca Goldstein

Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 2 pm

MACARTHUR “GENIUS” FELLOW Rebecca Goldstein (Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton and author of The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light, and studies of Kurt Gödel and Baruch Spinoza) reads from her new novel and speaks about how she uses her characters to explore the tension between belief and skepticism. These positions cannot be understood through rational argument alone—they also must be explored from the point of view of individual people caught in the raptures and torments of religious experience in all their variety. 36 Arguments for the Existence of God plunges into the great debate of our day: the clash between faith and reason. World events are being shaped by fervent believers at home and abroad, while a new atheism is asserting itself in the public sphere. On purely intellectual grounds the skeptics would seem to have everything on their side. Yet people refuse to accept their seemingly irrefutable arguments and continue to embrace faith in God as their source of meaning, purpose, and comfort. Why? Goldstein gives us her answer through fiction and philosophy.

Read Maia Caron’s review of Goldstein’s book

SINCE MY EARLY TWENTIES I have madly underlined the metaphysical bits in novels like War and Peace and The Razor’s Edge, preferring that my philosophy be delivered in the pages of a fictional work. One might argue that all great literary fiction illuminates the human experience, but the relatively new philosophical novel genre is burgeoning and undertaking more than a cursory examination of existential questions. The continued popularity of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Sophie’s World, suggests that more individuals seek answers to existential queries such as “Does God Exist?” through such works, and it is in this genre on this question that Rebecca Newberger Goldstein gives us in her book…

CONTINUE reading this review…

Charles Darwin … The Movie

In this week’s Skepticblog, Michael Shermer reviews the movie Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly, and directed by Jon Amiel. The movie is based on Randal Keynes’s book Annie’s Box.

READ the post

The Liberty Principle: Political Right & Wrong

Continuing his mini-series of blogessays on morality, Michael Shermer expounds on the notion of liberty: the freedom to pursue happiness and the autonomy to make decisions and act on them in order to achieve that happiness.

READ the post

Aliens, Mind Reading & New Age Hokum

Michael Shermer will speak at Augustana’s weekly convocation on Thursday, January 28, at 10:30 am in Centennial Hall (3703 7th Ave.), Rock Island, Illinois. The lecture, based on his book Why People Believe Weird Things, will reveal why so many people, including the “smart” ones believe in myths like alien abduction, past life regression and ESP. The event is free and open to the public.

READ more about this event

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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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