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The New Atheism

Robert Lawrence Kuhn on Closer to Truth asks Michael Shermer “What’s ‘new’ about the New Atheists?” Atheism has been around for a long time. There are surely new attitudes and confidence. Are there also new evidence and arguments? If you think that God exists, that is precisely why you should listen to atheists and follow their arguments. Because hope can trump reason, you could be entombed in false belief. Watch the interview with Michael Shermer on Others who chimed in on this question were: Anthony A.C. Grayling, John Polkinghorne, Keith Ward, and Alister McGrath.

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Duckbilled Platypus, plate 34 of Wild Life of the World: A Descriptive Survey of the Geographical Distribution of Animals Volume III, by Richard Lydekker (London; F. Warne and co., 1916) via the Biodiversity Heritage Library [Public Domain]. The question of how the duckbilled platypus got from Brisbane to Baghdad and back without leaving any traces of its journey is still utterly puzzling to this day. ?

In this week’s eSkeptic, Bernard Leikind takes a satirical look at the question of Adam’s IQ and the idea that we only use 10% of our brains.

Bernard Leinkind’s column, “The Question All Skeptics Are Asking,” appeared in Skeptic magazine 4.2 (1996). Read Leikind’s bio at the end of this article.

What Was Adam’s IQ?

by Bernard Leikind

Adam’s IQ was 1500! How do I know? I read it in a pamphlet I found at the Institute for Creation Science. Why does Adam’s IQ concern creationists? Because Adam named all of the animals.

Leave aside the interesting question of how the duckbilled platypus got from Brisbane to Baghdad and back without leaving any traces of its journey. Let us not ask when the plants got their names. Let us not worry about insects. Let us accept the creationists’ view that Adam did not have to name all 30 million scientifically defined species but only the 30,000 Biblical kinds of animals. Even this number is too large. Few of us count 30,000 words in our vocabularies, and I doubt that many of us could name 300 animals. There are only 900 different types of animals in the San Diego Zoo!

Skeptic magazine 4.2

This article appeared in Skeptic magazine 4.2 (1996)

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According to the creationist pamphlet, Adam was able to name all of the animals because before The Fall he was able to use all of his brain. Evidently, we are to believe, Adam’s brain was similar to that of a present day genius with an IQ of 150. As everyone knows, we only use 10% of our brains. Since Adam used all of his brain, his IQ must have been1500. Q.E.D.

Some of you may not accept the creationists’ reasoning. You will point out that in Genesis Chapter 2, God created Adam, the first human. By definition, a person of average intelligence has an IQ of 100. If there was only one man, his IQ had to be 100. Later God removed Adam’s rib and fashioned Eve. God’s surgery probably did not change Adam’s intelligence, and Eve was clearly smarter than Adam. After all, she outwitted him about the apple.

Other readers will point to Genesis Chapter 1. In this version of creation, God created man and woman together. Only in Lake Woebegone is it possible for all members of a group to be above average, so Adam’s IQ must have been below 100. […]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 can you 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

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…

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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
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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