The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


with a new, weekly column called Skeptic: Examining the World Through a Scientific Lens

I am thrilled to announce that the Skeptic column I wrote for Scientific American from April 2001 through January 2019 — 214 consecutive months over nearly 18 years — is returning as a weekly column called Skeptic: Examining the World Through a Scientific Lens, published on Substack and delivered right to your inbox if you subscribe. The column’s focus will be the search for truth without political, religious, or ideological bias.

Read the full introduction to my new column on Substack and be sure to subscribe to my Substack emails so they land in your inbox weekly! —Michael Shermer

Read my Intro post

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Richard Nisbett on Thinking & Reason

In this wide-ranging conversation Shermer and Nisbett discuss Nisbett’s research showing how people reason, how people should reason, why errors in reasoning occur, how much you can improve reasoning, what kinds of problems are best solved by the conscious mind and what kinds by the unconscious mind, and how we should think about intelligence, along with the controversies over group differences and genetic influences on I.Q. scores and why Charles Murray (The Bell Curve) is wrong in inferring genetic causes for group differences in I.Q.. Nisbett also shows that self-knowledge can be dramatically off-kilter and points to ways to improve it, and demonstrates how different cultures have radically different ways of reasoning and feeling, and how this led to his most famous research showing the difference between Northerners and Southerners in rates of violence, the culture of honor, and a hair-trigger for slights and insults. The two also discuss the #metoo, BLM, antiracism, and woke movements today in context of his psychological research.

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