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e Skeptic Archives for 2020

March 27th: Skepticism 101: Cognitive Biases & How Thinking Goes Wrong
Dr. Shermer reviews the many ways that our attempts to understand the truth about the world are derailed by cognitive biases, including the anchoring bias, the representative bias, the availability bias, the confirmation bias, the hindsight bias, the self-serving bias, and even the bias bias.
March 24th: Michael Shermer with Neil Shubin — Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA
In Science Salon # 109 Michael Shermer speaks with Neil Shubin about his new book Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA — a lively and accessible account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth.
March 17th: Michael Shermer with Brian Greene — Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe
In Science Salon # 108 Michael Shermer speaks with Brian Greene about his book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe. PLUS, during the Coronvirus outbreak, while many schools are closed, Shermer shares one of his Chapman University lectures, taught remotely, free for everyone to view.
March 10th: Michael Shermer with Fred Kaplan — The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
In Science Salon # 107 Michael Shermer speaks with Fred Kaplan about his book The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War. PLUS, find out who believes in conspiracies and why, and read real conspiracy theories (and conspiracies with no theories) in the latest issue of Skeptic magazine, available now in print and digital formats.
March 3rd: Michael Shermer with Daniel Chirot — You Say You Want a Revolution? Radical Idealism and its Tragic Consequences
In Science Salon # 106 Michael Shermer speaks with Daniel Chirot about his book You Say You Want a Revolution? Radical Idealism and its Tragic Consequences. PLUS: An excerpt from Is A Good God Logically Possible? by James P. Sterba.
February 25th: Michael Shermer with Diana Pasulka — American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology
More than half of American adults and more than 75 percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This level of belief rivals that of belief in God. In Science Salon # 105 Michael Shermer speaks with Diana Pasulka about her book: American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology.
February 18th: Michael Shermer with Judith Finlayson — You Are What Your Grandparents Ate
In Science Salon # 104 Michael Shermer speaks with Judith Finlayson about her book You Are What Your Grandparents Ate: What You Need to Know About Nutrition, Experience, Epigenetics and the Origins of Chronic Disease. PLUS: Carol Tavris avers that organizations’ Codes of Conduct that try to specify each and every possible behavior they wish to prohibit (or encourage), will find themselves in linguistic and psychological quicksand.
February 11th: Michael Shermer with Robert Frank — Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work
In Science Salon # 103 Michael Shermer speaks with Robert Frank about how social environments profoundly influence our behavior. This conversation is based on Frank’s new book: Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work. PLUS: Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and then repackaged in the early 1970s with contributions from Sherman J. Larson, of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.
February 4th: Michael Shermer with Christopher Ryan — Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress
In Science Salon # 102 Michael Shermer speaks Christopher Ryan about his new book: Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress. PLUS, The recent spate of drone sightings in the Midwest have residents on edge. Medical sociologist Robert Bartholomew avers that one explanation can be ruled out — mass hysteria.
January 28th: Michael Shermer with Hugo Mercier
In Science Salon # 101 Michael Shermer speaks with Hugo Mercier about his new book: Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe.
January 26th: The Crooked Timber of Auschwitz
On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman present a brief history of how a concentration camp became an extermination center.
January 21st: Science Salon # 100: Ask Me Anything # 6 with Michael Shermer
In Science Salon # 100 Michael Shermer presents his answers to Ask Me Anything # 6. PLUS, this weekend only, Skeptic magazine back issues (in print or digital formats) are on sale for only 99 cents each!
January 14th: Human Misunderstanding & Water Fluoridation
In Science Salon # 99 Michael Shermer speaks with Bobby Duffy about his research into public perception across more than 40 countries, offering a sweeping account of the stubborn problem of human delusion: how society breeds it, why it will never go away, and what our misperceptions say about what we really believe. PLUS: Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the evidence and the arguments for and against water fluoridation to see what holds up to scrutiny.
January 7th: An Instinct for Truth and Why Estrogen Matters
In Science Salon # 98 Michael Shermer speaks with Robert Pennock about his new book An Instinct for Truth: Curiosity and the Moral Character of Science. Taking a virtue-theoretic perspective, Pennock explores curiosity, veracity, skepticism, humility to evidence, and other scientific virtues and vices. PLUS, Sociologist and Certified Sex Therapist Marty Klein, Ph.D. reviews Estrogen Matters: Why Taking Hormones in Menopause Can Improve Women’s Well-Being and Lengthen Their Lives — Without Raising the Risk of Breast Cancer by Avrum Bluming, M.D. and Carol Tavris, Ph.D.
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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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