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A NEW STORY!

How Richard Dawkins Became a Card-Carrying Skeptic

As we announced a couple weeks ago in eSkeptic, we asked several friends to tell us about those “aha!” moments that led to their becoming skeptical thinkers. As promised, we have begun releasing their incredible stories on YouTube. Enjoy!

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins shared with us an early memory of playing hide-and-seek with an African man who claimed to have “magicked himself invisible.” Dawkins is the author of many books, including: The God Delusion, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The Ancestor’s Tale, An Appetite for Wonder, The Magic of Reality, The Greatest Show on Earth, and A Devil’s Chaplain.

TELL US YOUR STORY!

Tell us your story and become a card-carrying skeptic! Thank you for being a part of our first 25 years. We look forward to seeing you over the next 25. —SKEPTIC

Become a Card-Carrying Skeptic

In this week’s eSkeptic, Carol Tavris examines whether the Implicit Association Test (IAT) can really capture unconscious prejudices and predict if people will actually behave in a biased or discriminatory way. This column appeared in Skeptic magazine issue 22.2 (2017).

Are You An Unconscious Racist?

by Carol Tavris

WHAT DOES IT MEAN to be a racist?

  • A person who thinks their “race” or ethnic group is better than everyone else’s by virtue of genetic superiority, religion, customs, food, way of life, or beliefs.
  • A person who fails to hire an applicant with the best qualifications if that person is from a different ethnic or religious group from the employer’s.
  • A person who is part of an institution that requires him or her to systematically target and discriminate against African Americans or other minorities.
  • A person of any race, ethnicity, or religion who feels more comfortable with others who are like themselves.

or:

  • A person whose score on the Implicit Association Test (IAT) reveals that he or she is unconsciously biased against black people.

Some of the above? All of the above?

Michael Shermer Examines the Implicit Association Test

Throughout the first decade of this century, surveys repeatedly found that prejudiced attitudes—notably the once-common beliefs that blacks were inferior to whites, women inferior to men, gay men and lesbians inferior to straights—had declined sharply, especially among young people. Surveys, of course, supposedly assess what you think. But what if they assess what you think others think you should think? What if they simply reflect your awareness that it isn’t cool to reveal your actual negative feelings about another group? Self-report data is inherently plagued with this problem. Thus, most social psychologists who study prejudice and discrimination focus on what people do, not what they say they might do. For example, when researchers have sent identical résumés to potential employers, varying only a name that indicates gender, or implies race (a black-sounding name or membership in an African American organization), or mentions religious affiliation, many employers have revealed a bias in whom they choose to call for an interview[…]

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2018 | IRELAND | JULY 15–AUGUST 2

One of the best geology tours we’ve ever offered: an epic 19-day tour of the Emerald Isle!

Ireland’s famed scenic landscape owes its breathtaking terrain to a dramatic 1.75 billion year history of continental collisions, volcanoes, and glacial assault. Join the Skeptics Society for a 19-day immersive tour of the deep history of the Emerald Isle, while experiencing the music, hospitality, and verdant beauty that make Ireland one of the world’s top travel destinations.

For complete details about accommodation, airfare, and tour pricing, please download the detailed information and registration form or click the green button below to read the itinerary, and see photos of some of the amazing sites we will see.

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Witches, Pleas
MONSTERTALK EPISODE 139

In episode 139 of MonsterTalk, we begin our multi-episode coverage of “magic” by taking a look at the witch in Western European culture with the editor of The Skeptic, Deborah Hyde (@Jourdemayne). In a wide-ranging conversation we talk about the alleged powers of witches, the difference between the more benign figure of the Cunning Woman and the culturally monstrous figure of the witch as viewed during Witch Crazes and Witch Hunts.

Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App and enjoy the science show about monsters on your handheld devices! Available for iOS, Android, and Windows. Subscribe to MonsterTalk for free on iTunes.

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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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