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SKEPTIC RESEARCH CENTER REPORT (PCIS-003)

Who Endorses Election Conspiracies?

Third report in the Paranormal & Conspiratorial Ideation Study (PCIS)

In this report, we consider a new set of conspiracies related to the last two presidential elections. When Donald Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016, a chorus of Democrat journalists, academics and politicians insisted the election was fraudulent due to Russian interference (Adams, 2019). Then, when Joe Biden was elected to the presidency in 2020, a chorus of Republican journalists, academics and politicians insisted the election was fraudulent due to the interference of activist progressives (Yang, 2022). It would appear, then, that election conspiracies exist on both sides of the political aisle. Given this, a reasonable question to ask is: who in the US most doubts the legitimacy of elections?

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EPISODE # 253

Jennifer Sciubba on Putin, Russia, Ukraine, National & Global Security, and How Population Demographics Shape Our Future

Shermer speaks with political demographer, former demographics consultant to the United States Department of Defense, and author of The Future Faces of War, Jennifer Sciubba, about her new 8 Billion and Counting.

As the world nears 8 billion people, the countries that have led the global order since World War II are becoming the most aged societies in human history. At the same time, the world’s poorest and least powerful countries are suffocating under an imbalance of population and resources. In this conversation, based on her book 8 Billion and Counting, Jennifer Sciubba argues that the story of the twenty-first century is less a story about exponential population growth, as the previous century was, than it is a story about differential growth — marked by a stark divide between the world’s richest and poorest countries.

Drawing on decades of research and policy experience, Sciubba explains how demographic trends, like age structure and ethnic composition, are crucial signposts for future violence and peace, repression and democracy, poverty and prosperity. She explains the pitfalls of taking population numbers at face value and extrapolating from there, and argues that we must look at the forces in a society that amplify demographic trends and the forces that dilute them, particularly political institutions, or the rules of the game.

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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.

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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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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?

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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…

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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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