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Explore Junior Skeptic!

About Junior Skeptic

Junior Skeptic issue 36 (detail of cover)

For 20 years, Junior Skeptic has been organized skepticism’s premier effort to inform and inspire younger readers. Bound into every new issue of Skeptic magazine, Junior Skeptic is proudly included in every digital and print subscription.

Select issues of Junior Skeptic are also available to download as standalone products in PDF format for just $1.99.

Created in 1998 by Skeptics Society co-founders Pat Linse and Michael Shermer, and helmed since 2002 by national award-winning children’s science book author Daniel Loxton, Junior Skeptic boasts lively illustrations, in-depth ideas, and deep research. Each 10-page story offers a simple but thorough primer on a fringe claim, scientific mystery, or critical thinking theme, all told in Junior Skeptic’s engaging, easygoing signature style.

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detail of cover

In an era of “fake news,” “post truth,” and just plain old-as-time baloney, kids need critical thinking more than ever! They’re bombarded by good, bad, and bogus claims every day of their lives. Young people need tools to sift fact from fiction when they navigate YouTube, television, and social media. This special issue of Junior Skeptic is inspired in part by astronomer Carl Sagan’s 1987 Parade magazine article “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection” and his 1996 book The Demon-Haunted World. It is loosely adapted from the Skeptics Society’s 2001 The Baloney Detection Kit booklet by Michael Shermer and Pat Linse.

Origami Dragon

Origami Dragon

This origami figure was designed especially for Junior Skeptic by Australian skeptic, author, and origami artist Richard Saunders. To conjure up a winged dragon of your own — or a flock of them! — all you need are a square piece of paper and an internet connection. Richard has kindly made a step-by-step instruction video showing exactly how to fold the figure, which you can watch online for free. Have fun!

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Visit the Junior Skeptic page on Facebook. It’s viewable by everyone, no account required.

Facebook users: stop in to show your support, leave an encouraging note, or upload some photos! Remember, becoming “a Fan” of the Junior Skeptic page enhances our visibility to the wider Facebook community — and helps get the message out about critical thinking education.

Post the Junior Skeptic section of skeptic.com to your own Facebook Profile, or send it to Facebook friends you know would enjoy knowing about it.

Junior Skeptic # 70

Junior Skeptic issue 70 (detail of cover)
Quest for the Truth About Dungeons & Dragons

In this issue of Junior Skeptic we’ll sharpen our pencils, pick up our magical swords, and dare to delve into mazes of mystery. We’ll roll the dice and imagine couragous heroes doing battle with evil monsters. Millions of people have enjoyed fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). Fans discover the joy of storytelling and take epic journeys into the imagination. But critics have claimed that D&D is dangerous. According to them, the game can drive players insane. Criminals have sometimes blamed D&D for their crimes. Other writers claim that the game lures innocent children to become Devil worshippers. Could any of this be true? Let’s find out!

Book Projects

Evolution cover

The Skeptics Society is proud to reveal the first full-color, hardcover, English-language book based upon Junior Skeptic.

Published by Kids Can Press (February, 2010), Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be is a straight-ahead introduction to the fact of evolution, to its mechanisms, and to the misunderstandings that surround it. The book aims to explain how evolution works — and how we know for a fact that it happens. It is suitable for readers aged 8–13.

Learn about this and other book projects based on Junior Skeptic.

Junior Skeptic
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Free Desktop Wallpaper

Put some Junior Skeptic on your computer’s desktop with this free wallpaper available in several common aspect rations including wide-screen, full-screen, and iPhone.

Junior Skeptic Icons

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Free Icons for Mac OSX
& Windows XP

Tired of the same old folder icons on your computer? Why not organize files the way we do at the Junior Skeptic studio: custom Junior Skeptic icons! A set of seventeen of these exclusive icons is now available for you to use at home — just for fun, and completely free.

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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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