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The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine



Our Next Science Lecture

Chris Impey
Humble Before The Void: Western Science Meets Tibetan Buddhism

with Dr. Chris Impey
Sun., May 18, 2014 at 2 pm
Baxter Lecture Hall

SURPRISE, DELIGHT, AND UNBRIDLED MIRTH are not commonly encountered in the science classroom. But in the foothills of the Himalaya, at a program to teach cosmology to Buddhist monks by the University of Arizona astronomer Chris Impey, they were daily occurrences. Working with this unique audience spurred new ways of thinking about the universe and the art of teaching. This talk takes listeners on an adventure at the nexus of science, religion, philosophy, and culture. Dr. Impey studies quasars and distant galaxies and is the author of How it Began, How it Ends, and The Living Cosmos, and has won 11 teaching awards. Order Humble Before The Void from Amazon.

TICKETS are first come, first served at the door. Seating is limited. $10 for Skeptics Society members and the JPL/Caltech community, $15 for nonmembers. Your admission fee is a donation that pays for our lecture expenses.

Read about all
upcoming lectures

Buy past lectures on DVD

This lecture will be followed by a screening of the documentary film Particle Fever. See details below.


PARTICLE FEVER: a documentary film by Mark Levinson and David Kaplan

“Mind Blowing” — The New York Times

Particle Fever follows the inside story of six brilliant scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe, documenting the successes and setbacks in the planet’s most significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough.

Short Synopsis

Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity.

For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.

As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But our heroes confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit in understanding why we exist?

Directed by Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, from the inspiration and initiative of producer David Kaplan and masterfully edited by Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, The Godfather trilogy), Particle Fever is a celebration of discovery, revealing the very human stories behind this epic machine.

www.particlefever.com


Skepticality is the winner of the 2014 Ockham's Razor Award for Best Podcast!
Congratulations!

We are incredibly pleased to announce that Skepticality—The Official Podcast of Skeptic Magazine is the winner of the Ockham’s Razor Award for Best Podcast 2014!

America’s Imaginary
Hostage Crisis
SKEPTICALITY EPISODE 229

This week Derek talks with author Andrew Endersby about his newest book, America’s Imaginary Hostage Crisis. In 1979 a group of Iranian students invaded and occupied the US Embassy in Tehran. The United States military decided the best way to try to deal with the event was to use a group of newly ‘trained’ psychics using remote viewing to determine what was going on within the walls of the embassy. Now that the actual papers are available, which detail what the remote viewers actually reported, how accurate were they, really?

Get the Skepticality App — the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine and the Skeptics Society, so you can enjoy your science fix and engaging interviews on the go! Available for iOS, Android, and Windows 8 devices.


The Latest Episode of Mr. Deity: Mr. Deity and the Killing

Lucy forces Mr. Deity to reveal His plan to kill a celebrity who has angered Him.

WATCH THIS EPISODE | DONATE | NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | MrDeity.com


Michael Shermer in Philadelphia
lecturing on The Believing Brain

Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:30pm
Free and open to the public.

Bonnell Auditorium, off 17th Street
Community College of Philadlephia
(B on this Campus Map)

Synthesizing thirty years of research, Michael Shermer upends traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first, and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. Using sensory data that flow in through the senses, the brain naturally looks for and finds patterns — and then infuses those patterns with meaning, forming beliefs. Once beliefs are formed, our brains subconsciously seek out confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, accelerating the process of reinforcing them — and round and round the process goes in a positive feedback loop. Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. And ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not our beliefs match reality.

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, an Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University, and the author of The Believing Brain.

More information

Debate: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design
Dr. Michael Shermer vs. Dr. Paul Nelson

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 7:00pm
Free and open to the public.

The Plaster Student Union Theater
Missouri State University

Paul Nelson (top), Michael Shermer (bottom)

Dr. Paul A. Nelson is currently a Fellow of the Discovery Institute and Adjunct Professor in the Master of Arts Program in Science & Religion at Biola University. He is a philosopher of biology who has been involved in the intelligent design debate internationally for over two decades.

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the The Skeptics Society’s Distinguished Science Lecture Series, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University.




Grand Canyon, Zion & Bryce

JOIN US AS WE TRAVEL through an iconic landscape that reveals one of the most studied sequences of layered rock on earth! We will spend a day and and two nights at the less-visited North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a day to explore majestic Zion Canyon, a day visit to Bryce Canyon, plus additional stops at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Museum, Calico Ghost Town, Virgin River Gorge, the Dinosaur Museum in St. George, Utah, and two nights in Las Vegas. Through the entire trip, we will learn about the geology and natural history of the majestic scenery, making this a tour you could get nowhere else! Seats are limited — so make your reservations soon!

See photographs and
get more information

Don’t miss out. Register now!

“Prothero is a masterful lecturer with an encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything associated with the areas we travel … a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Michael Shermer

“We have previously seen some of these places, but not with our very own world renowned guide!”
Bonnie and Tim Callahan

“In addition to the “formal” lectures, the free-for-all of eclectic conversations and fun and fellowship between the participants on these trips is the icing on the intellectual cake!” Val and Bob Hoffman

What’s Included?

Tour package includes: natural science lectures en route, charter bus, hotels, all breakfasts and lunches during the trip, one dinner at the Grand Canyon (the traditional Grand Canyon Cookout Experience with a live country-western show), museum and park fees, and a tour guide booklet. The fee also includes a $200 tax-deductible donation to the Skeptics Society.

Questions?

Email us or call 1-626-794-3119 with a credit card to secure your spot.

Download complete details
and registration form in PDF

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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 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. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

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.

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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.

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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 why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

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The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They 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!

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Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
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Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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