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Skeptic Magazine, Volume 14 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 14, no 2

Cover Story
Evolution of Intelligence

Predicting Evolution
How Likely is it that Human-level Intelligence will Evolve Again?
by David Zeigler
The Chain of Accidents
& the Rule of Law
The Role of Contingency & Necessity in the Evolution
of Higher Intelligence
by Michael Shermer


The Phoenix Lights
Explained (Again)
by Tony Ortega
Arthur C. Clarke
Visionary science-fiction author
by Gregory Benford
Socratic Skepticism
by Priscilla Sakezles
Near Death Experiences
& the Medical Literature
by Mark Crislip
How Skeptics Confronted
9/11 Conspiracy Advocates
by John Ray


Universal Jackpots v. Intelligent Design; Reality Bites Journalist!; In Whose Belief Do We Trust?; Animal Rights & Research
More Words
on Consciousness
Global Warming Forum

Expelled Exposed!

Ben Stein’s Blunder
In a new documentary film — Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed — the actor, game show host and financial columnist Ben Stein falls for the pseudoscience of
Intelligent Design
by Michael Shermer
The Facts about the “Expelled” Scientists
in Expelled

Guillermo Gonzalez and
Iowa State University

by Lauri Lebo

Richard Sternberg and
the Smithsonian Institution

by Ed Brayton

Caroline Crocker and
George Mason University

by Carrie Sager and Andrea Bottaro

Expelled & the Trouble Ahead for American Science
by Kenneth R. Miller


The Myth of the Stages of Loss, Death & Grief
by Russell Friedman
and John W. James
Criminal Profiling
Granfalloons and Gobbledygook
by Brent Snook, Paul Gendreau, Craig Bennell, and Paul J.Taylor
The Curious Case of Freeman Dyson & the Paranormal
by Matthew Dentith


’Twas Brillig…
Prayer and Pregnancy;
Shooting UFO Photos
by James Randi
The SkepDoc
Popular Medical Fallacies:
Ancient Wisdom; It Works for Me;
Natural is Good
by Harriet Hall, M.D.


The Matrix of the Brain
A Mind of its Own:
How Your Brain Distorts & Deceives
by Cordelia Fine
reviewed by David Ludden
Evolution in Our Genes
Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA by Daniel J. Fairbanks
reviewed by Tim Callahan
Snake Oil Science
The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine by R.Barker Bausell
reviewed by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Gimme That
Old-Time Irreligion
Irreligion:A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up by John Alan Paulos
reviewed by Norman Levitt
Between Scientism
& Postmodernism
Darwinian Misadventures in the Humanities by Eugene Goodheart
reviewed by Norman Levitt
The Ghost in the Machine
The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary
reviewed by Douglas
Alexander Mesner
Science & Religion
on the Rack
Thank God for Evolution!: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World by the Rev. Michael Dowd
reviewed by Michael J.Booker
CAM Scam
Suckers: How Alternative
Medicine Makes Fools of Us All

by Rose Shapiro
reviewed by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Fundamental Truths
Bondage of the Mind by R.D.Gold
reviewed by Tim Callahan

Junior Skeptic

The Crystal Skulls
  • An Era of Fakes
  • The Proof of “Provenance”
  • Why Fake a Skull?
  • F.A. Mitchell-Hedges — the “Real Indiana Jones” — Or a Faker?
  • The Search for Atlantis
  • the Lost City of Lubaantun
  • Hoax Skulls
  • An inspiration for the Original Cursed Skull Story
  • More Tall Tales
  • The Bottom Line

written by Daniel Loxton;
illustrations by Daniel Loxton
and Jim WW Smith


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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

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.

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