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Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives

Dr. Stephen Jay Gould — Evolution Revolution: Festschrift 2000 for Stephen Jay Gould, Part III

Dr. Stephen Jay Gould is one of the most well-known and highly decorated scientists of our age. Gould delivers a remarkable lecture filled with wit, charm, and historical anecdote. He traces the history of western culture’s uneasy relationship with the pedestal-shattering discoveries of science. This is one of the best lectures in the history of the Skeptics Society’s Distinguished Science Lecture Series!

After an A.B. from Antioch College and a Ph.D. from Columbia, Gould began his teaching career at Harvard. He won the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship, was named “Scientist of the Year” by Discover magazine for the theory of punctuated equilibrium, was named Humanist Laureate by the Academy of Humanism, was awarded 41 honorary degrees, was voted a member of the National Academy of Science, and he most recently served a term as President of the AAAS. He has written 22 books (receiving a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award) and over 900 articles and essays. Given Gould’s admiration for Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, perhaps Gould’s most significant accomplishment is writing 300 consecutive monthly essays in Natural History magazine. He retires from his essay streak just in time to celebrate the second (and actual) end of the millennium which, according to Gould in his Questioning the Millennium, is a precisely arbitrary date. Our congratulations to Gould on his remarkable and DiMagical feat.

This lecture was recorded on October 7, 2000 as part of the Distinguished Science Lecture Series hosted by Michael Shermer and presented by The Skeptics Society in California (1992–2015).

We offer this lecture to you freely, and greatly appreciate your support.

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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.

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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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