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SKEPTIC MAGAZINE 23.2

Available Now in Print & Digital Editions

Here’s what’s in the latest issue of Skeptic magazine (23.2): Imagining No Heaven — The Rise of the Nones and the Decline of Religion; Never Doubting God — Surveys on Belief in God’s Existence; Persistence of Belief in a Purposeful Universe; Honor, Dignity, Victim — A review of The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars; The SkepDoc — Premature Ejaculation in the News: How Headlines Influence Our Thinking; Is the Earth Flat? Flat Earthers Are Back — How do You Best Make the Argument for a Round Earth?; Conspiracy Theorists and the Harm They Do; Bruce Perkins and Another Terrible Tragedy of the Recovered Memory Movement; Deterrence and Its Discontents: Now That Nuclear War Seems to Be Getting More Likely Again, It’s Time to Turn a Skeptical Eye on Deterrence; Reality Need Not Diminish Our Concept of Our Place in the Cosmos; Junior Skeptic — Perpetual Motion; and more…

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JUNIOR SKEPTIC # 67

The Perpetual Quest for Perpetual Motion

Physically bound inside each and every issue of Skeptic magazine is Junior Skeptic: an engagingly illustrated science and critical thinking publication for younger readers (and the young at heart).

Today I’d like you to imagine two impossible, magical machines: The first machine runs forever. You may picture a complex tangle of gears and wheels, or something as simple as a spinning top, but imagine that it never runs down—once started it just keeps going without ever needing more energy. Now imagine a second machine. This one may require fuel or energy to run, but somehow, through some fantastic process, it generates more energy than it consumes. We aren’t the first to imagine these two types of “perpetual motion” machines. Inventors have dreamed of such devices for centuries. How has their search unfolded? Let’s find out!

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Junior Skeptic # 67

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Jonathan N. Stea avers that the self-help material that psychologist Jordan Peterson provides to the masses mirrors the principles found in evidence-based clinical psychological literature. Dr. Jonathan N. Stea, Ph.D., R. Psych, is a registered and practicing clinical psychologist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is a former psychology student of Jordan Peterson.

Jordan Peterson’s Evidence-Based Endeavor

It is well known that clinical psychologist, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, has been portrayed in the media as a polarizing figure: bigoted alt-right charlatan on the one hand, superordinate fatherly free-speech protector on the other hand. The former portrayal reflects downright ignorance and the latter is optimistic. Commentary on his clinical psychological acumen is conspicuously absent. His detractors are keen to point out his politics, eccentricities, and volatility, as if political pigeon-holing and ad hominem attacks weaken the veracity of his claims. This is inaccurate.

I know because I am a former psychology student of Jordan Peterson at the University of Toronto; he was my undergraduate thesis supervisor. I have a master’s of science degree and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the University of Calgary. I am a registered and practicing clinical psychologist in Calgary, AB, Canada. I provide evidence-based treatment to individuals with concurrent mental health and addictive disorders in a specialty outpatient hospital clinic. I have published many peer-reviewed scientific research papers on topics related to addiction and mental health. What Jordan Peterson is preaching is, in fact, based in solid scientific principles for behavior change. He has been accused of cherry-picking findings from multiple disciplines and offering conjecture in areas outside of his expertise. Instead, Peterson should rightfully be lauded for embodying the scientific spirit. He aims to draw his conclusions based on a scientific principle called consilience of findings, which was popularized by E. O. Wilson in his 1998 book Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. This means that Peterson aims to link facts and principles across disciplines of study to help ground his claims in evidence. It is not an easy feat for anybody to pursue, especially academics, who are highly, albeit narrowly, specialized in their respective fields. […]

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Richard Hatem

Richard Hatem

MONSTERTALK EPISODE 158

An interview with Richard Hatem (Part II)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we present part two of Blake’s interview with screenwriter Richard Hatem about his work adapting John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies for the 2002 motion picture. If you missed Part I last week, listen to it first.

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