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e Skeptic Archives for 2019

March 13th: Pressured Apologies, False Confessions, Witch Hunts
In Science Salon # 57, Dr. Shermer speaks with legendary biologist and primatologist Dr. Frans de Waal about his empirical and theoretical work on animal societies, politics, intelligence, sentience, consciousness and, now, feelings and emotions. PLUS, using two cases as touchstones, Stewart Justman draws an analogy between the extraction of an apology and the extraction of a false confession to a crime of violence.
March 6th: Behe’s Last Stand: The Lion of Intelligent Design Roars Again
In this eSkeptic: Science Salon # 56: Dr. Tyler Cowen — How an Economist Views the World; Announcing Skeptic Magazine 24.1, Available Now in Print & Digital Editions; Behe’s Last Stand: The Lion of Intelligent Design Roars Again.
March 3rd: Dr. Michael Shermer — The Problem of Evil (AMA # 4)
In Science Salon Ask Me Anything # 4, Dr. Shermer performs a postmortem on his debate/dialogue on with Dr. Brian Huffling at the Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Saturday February 23, 2019. The specific topic was: “Is the Reality of Evil Good Evidence Against the Christian God?”
February 27th: Meeting Our “Enemies” Where They Are: The Advantage of Understanding Your Adversary’s Arguments
Most people take an attack on their beliefs as an attack on their identity. Andrew Cooper-Sansone avers that to succeed in changing minds and building a better world, we must begin by cultivating a compassionate view of our enemies’ deeply-held and identify-defining beliefs. This article appeared in Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018).
February 20th: The Arguments for Creationism and the Arguments for Evolution: A Study in Contrasts
How do arguments for evolution used by mainstream scientists differ from arguments employed by creationists and proponents of Intelligent Design? Ralph M. Barnes sheds some light on this question in this article from Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018).
February 13th: Personhood & Abortion Rights — How Science Might Inform this Contentious Issue
Although it’s been 45 years since Roe v. Wade, abortion continues to be a highly controversial and polarizing issue. In this essay, Gary Whittenberger articulates the philosophical and scientific foundation for a third option between the two extremes of pro-life and pro-choice — the pro-person position — after examining the evidence for the best possible answer to the question: “When does the human fetus acquire the capacity for consciousness?” This article appeared in Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018).
February 6th: Bruce Schneier — Hacked! Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World
In Science Salon # 52, Michael Shermer speaks with Bruce Schneier, special advisor to IBM Security, and author of Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World. Plus, in response to a NYT op-ed by Northeastern U. Psych. Prof. David DeSteno, Michael Shermer presents Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s full reply to DeSteno’s question about what science can learn from religion through testable hypotheses about human behavior.
January 30th: Gregg Hurwitz — Into the Light: Myths, Narratives, Archetypes, and Trump
In Science Salon # 51 Michael Shermer has a wide-ranging dialogue with New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz about myths, narratives, archetypes, and Trump.
January 23rd: SCIENCE SALON AMA # 3: “What is your opinion of Jordan Peterson?”
In Science Salon AMA # 3, Dr. Shermer offers a brief summary of his current opinion of Jordan Peterson and then reads his essay: “Have Archetype — Will Travel: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon”.
January 16th: Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld — A Savage Order: How the World’s Deadliest Countries Can Forge a Path to Security
Michael Shermer responds to Richard Weikart’s critique of his January 2019 column in Scientific American: “Stein’s Law and Science’s Mission: The Case for Scientific Humanism. And, in Science Salon # 50, Michael speaks with Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on issues of rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition.
January 9th: God, Heaven, and Evil: A Renewed Defense of Atheism
In this article from Skeptic magazine 23.1 (2018) Ken Levy examines arguments put forth by theists that God’s existence is perfectly compatible with all the violence, pain, suffering, and premature death we experience.
January 1st: Dr. Gad Saad — Doing Gad’s Work
Happy New Year! Relax and enjoy listening to episode 49 of the Science Salon Podcast in which Michael Shermer speaks with the renowned evolutionary behavioral scientist and Concordia University professor Dr. Gad Saad. Plus, regular columnist Carol Tavris reminds us that the human need for touch is significant.
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