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SCIENCE SALON # 95

Michael Shermer with John Martin Fischer — Death, Immortality and Meaning in Life

John Martin Fischer’s Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life offers a brief yet in-depth introduction to the key philosophical issues and problems concerning death and immortality. In this wide-ranging and thoughtful conversation, Shermer and Fisher discuss:

  • meaning in life
  • meaning in death
  • the badness of death
  • different philosophical, religious, and scientific ideas on immortality
  • near-death experiences
  • extending life through medical technology
  • medical immortality vs. real immortality
  • the problem of identity for immortality (who or what becomes immortal?)
  • living for 100 years vs. 1000 years vs. forever
  • responding to the theistic argument that without God anything goes, there is no objective morality, and no meaning to life
  • If you don’t believe in God or the afterlife, what do you say to someone who is dying or has lost a loved one?
  • Is immortality, like existence, one thought too many?

John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, and a University Professor at the University of California. He is coauthor of Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions of the Afterlife (OUP, 2016), and coeditor of Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings (Eighth Edition, OUP, 2018). He was Project Leader of The Immortality Project (John Templeton Foundation).

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SKEPTIC 24.4

Order the print edition, or download the digital edition today!

In the latest issue of Skeptic Magazine (24.4): Understanding Flat Earthers: Who Says the Earth Is Flat, and Why Do They Say It? • Shroud of Turin Update • The Girl Who Smelled Blue: The Colorful Case of Willetta Huggins • How to Navigate Contentious Conversations • How Much Longer Will Cancer Screening Myths Survive? • Nationalistic Pseudohistory in the Balkans • The SkepDoc: Water Fluoridation: Public Health, Not Poison • The Gadfly: Are You in the 43 Percent? • Does God Exist? A Rebuttal of Theologian Brian Huffling • God is Not a Moral Being: A Response to Gary Whittenberger on the Problem of Evil • “Prove that I am Wrong!” What QAnon, Descartes, and Brains in Vats Have in Common • Reviews of Mind Fixers, The Human Swarm, Darwin’s Apostles, Forensic Science Reform, The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions, and Blinding as a Solution to BiasJunior Skeptic: Victorian England’s Jurassic Park.

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JUNIOR SKEPTIC # 73

Victorian England’s Jurassic Park

In this issue of Junior Skeptic, we venture back two hundred years to a time when no one had ever heard the word “dinosaur” or suspected such creatures ever existed. This is hard for modern people to imagine. Today, everyone knows about dinosaurs. Kids learn about dinosaurs almost before they can talk! If I say “Tyrannosaurus rex,” you can clearly picture one. You know things about T. rex: it lived a long time ago, walked on two legs, ate meat, and eventually went extinct. Yet there was a time when absolutely no one knew any of those things. What was it like when people learned about dinosaurs for the very first time? Let’s find out!

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Junior Skeptic # 73

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Junior Skeptic — an engagingly illustrated science and critical thinking publication for younger readers (and the young at heart) — is physically bound within each and every issue of Skeptic magazine. About 30 Junior Skeptic back issues are also available as single downloadable PDFs at an amazing price!

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2019 was another banner year for the Skeptics Society, as we revamped our efforts in promoting science, skepticism, and critical thinking as we move into our second quarter century of activism in the name of science. Thanks to your continued support, we are looking forward to 2020 and are pleased to report on what we have been doing with your donations the past year…
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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.

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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 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!

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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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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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