The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Cognitive Dissonance
(issue #79)

Junior Skeptic cover

INSIDE SKEPTIC

Skeptic Vol 26n02 cover
Junior Skeptic can be found within this issue of Skeptic magazine.

in this issue

  • our human superpowers
  • philosophy of the mind
  • fooling ourselves
  • the unconscious; thinking we do not notice
  • uncomfortable inconsistencies
  • when prophecies fail
  • a modern doomsday group
  • doubt and denial
  • dissonance theory put to the test
  • dissonance confirmed
  • forming and defening beliefs

By Daniel Loxton. This issue’s cover by Daniel Loxton features modelling by Sylvie Gordaneer.

from the Introduction

Hello!

We’ve investigated some very weird mysteries in the pages of Junior Skeptic. Today we’ll delve into the deepest, strangest mystery of them all: what’s happening inside our own brains! There are smart people today who believe that the Earth is flat, that they’ve been kidnapped by space aliens, or even that the deadly coronavirus pandemic is a hoax. How is it that so many people believe things that aren’t true, despite strong evidence that they’re wrong? Well, how is it that any of us decide what is true, or which sources to trust? How do our brains sometimes fool us into justifying our silliest beliefs and most hurtful behaviour? Let’s find out!

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Retrospective

Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

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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