In this week’s eSkeptic:
3 DIGITAL BACK ISSUES JUST ADDED
Issue 1.2: Cryonics
Science Fact or Science Fiction; The Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Dead: the History of Resuscitation; Reaching for Tomorrow: Technical Aspects of Cryonics; Basic Questions and Answers About Cryonics From Alcor Life Extension Foundation; Physicist in the White House?; “Holy Grail” Discovered; Black Holes; Acupuncturists and Chiropractors Fined; Secular Alcohol Treatment; Greenhouse Doubts; Laws of Robotics; UFO Info; Hume’s Maxim: What Does It Take To Establish A Miracle?; The Use and Abuse of Statistics in the “Real World”; Skeptical Perspectives: “Can Science Cheat Death?” Cryonics, Altered States and the Quest for Transcendence. Galileo, Gould, Transcendental Meditation, JFK Assassination, Conspiracy Theories; Freud; Catastrophic Catastrophes; Science in Western Culture
Issue 4.3: Conspiracies
Louis Farrakhan and Paranoia in African-American Politics; The New World Order, 666 and The End of the World; The Greatest Political Correctness Conspiracy Hoax; Who Really Runs America? Jerry Brown on Politics & Money; Psychoanalysis as Religion, Cult and Political Movement; Cracking the Bell Curve Myth; The “End of Science” Debate: Is It?; First Time In English! A Skeptical Historical Masterpiece: Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier Investigate Mesmerism for Louis XVI of France; The Amazing Randi on Police Psychics; Who Become A Science Heretic?; Humor: Abducted by Hollywood; Aliens Arrive on Independence Day; What Will Tomorrow Bring?
Issue 4.4: Carl Sagan Tribute
$742,000 Says Therapeutic Touch is Bogus; Dismantling History; A Tribute to Carl Sagan; Special Section: Can History Be a Science?; Birth Order as Destiny—An Interview with Frank Sulloway; 4 Ways History Can Be a Science; Have Deconstructionists Destroyed History?; Can We Know What Really Happened in the Past?; Detecting the “Human Energy Field”; Cheating for Jesus?—Creationist’s Questionable Tactics; 1996 Dumbth News; Randi—Become a Media Psychic!; Early Ghostbusters; N-Rays-Where’d They Go?; Nostradamus Debunked; 13 Questions Astrologers Can’t Answer; Encouraging Students to Think Critically; Norman Levitt Blasts His Critics…
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NEW SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN COLUMN ON MICHAELSHERMER.COM
Forensic Pseudoscience: How trustworthy are DNA and other crime scene tests?
The criminal justice system has a problem, and its name is forensics. This was the message I heard at the Forensic Science Research Evaluation Workshop held May 26–27 at the AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. I spoke about pseudoscience but then listened in dismay at how the many fields in the forensic sciences that I assumed were reliable (DNA, fingerprints, and so on) in fact employ unreliable or untested techniques and show inconsistencies between evaluators of evidence.
The conference was organized in response to a 2009 publication by the National Research Council entitled Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, which the U.S. Congress commissioned when it became clear that DNA was the only (barely) reliable forensic science. The report concluded that “the forensic science system, encompassing both research and practice, has serious problems that can only be addressed by a national commitment to overhaul the current structure that supports the forensic science community in this country.” Among the areas determined to be flawed and in need of more research are…
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MICHAEL SHERMER V. LARRY TAUNTON
September 30, 2015 at 7 PM
Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Fixed Point Foundation, a non-profit based in Birmingham, Alabama, revives an age-old question in the form of a debate – Do we need God? Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine and Larry Taunton of Fixed Point Foundation meet at Benaroya Hall on September 30 to address whether the concept of God is beneficial or detrimental to society.
Exploring the effects of the idea of God on humanity will bring these two participants to consider a variety of issues, including human suffering, morality, and meaning. With backgrounds in education and history, both Taunton and Shermer are well prepared to explore all of these topics, particularly as each relates to religion.
Larry Taunton, Founder and Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation, is a cultural commentator, columnist, author, and regular contributor to The Atlantic and USA Today. He is a frequent television and radio guest, appearing on CNN, CNN International, Fox News, Al Jazeera America, and BBC. Taunton’s book, The Grace Effect, is a powerful and personal account of the effect one Christian can have on a spiritually dead culture. In it, he argues that without the Christian ideals of love, forgiveness, and grace, a society will quickly become the author of its own demise. According to Taunton, “Every meaningful movement in the history of the West has been fueled by Christianity… because they all appealed to a higher law.” God, he believes, is far from irrelevant. Download more biographical details (PDF).
Michael Shermer, taking an opposing stance, asserts that religion is largely to blame for some of the worst atrocities in human history. His latest book, The Moral Arc, maintains that science and reason will lead us to a virtuous and increasingly moral existence. According to Shermer, we are “getting better at solving problems” as we continue to evolve. A New York Times best-selling author, Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and has written thirteen books. He is also a monthly columnist for Scientific American, regular contributor to Time.com, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. When he isn’t writing or teaching, he travels frequently to speak and debate on a variety of topics. Download more biographical details (PDF).
Those of the opinion that man has ‘outgrown’ a need for God, and those who think that God provides the very moral foundation on which our society is based are both ensured a thoughtful and spirited exchange.
This event is organized by Fixed Point Foundation and sponsored by Summer Classics. Tickets are on sale now through the Benaroya Box Office by clicking the link below or by calling 206-215-4747 to purchase.
About Fixed Point Foundation
Fixed Point Foundation has been engaging the culture on significant and relevant issues since 2004. Unapologetically Christian, Fixed Point seeks innovative ways to stimulate conversation in the marketplace of ideas through a variety of mediums (articles, podcasts, radio, TV interviews, writing, speaking engagements, and debates, to name a few). Some of the topics addressed include radical Islam, the New Atheism, science vs. religion, gay marriage, and Intelligent Design.