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Skeptic Magazine, Volume 15 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 15, no 1

Varieties of Unbelief

The Greatest Story
Ever Garbled
A critique of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” — Part I of the Internet feature Zeitgeist
by Tim Callahan
The New Atheism &
the New Anti-Atheism
The Stealth Religion
of David Sloan Wilson
by Konrad Talmont-Kaminski


’Twas Brillig…
Hot Feet and Cool Reason — Investigating the Firewalking Phenomenon by James Randi
The SkepDoc
Homeopathy: Still Crazy
After All These Years

by Harriet Hall, M.D.


How We Staged the Morristown UFO Hoax
by Chris Russo and Joe Rudy
Orgone Energy v. the Scientific Method
How to Test a
Paranormal Phenomenon by Andy Kaiser
Crazy Ideas 101
How to Teach Skeptical Thinking by Scott Calvin
“Reasons To Believe”
… or Not
Michael Shermer v.Hugh Ross/Fazale Rana: Can Creationism Be a Testable Science? by Gary J.Whittenberger


Average Narcissist; JFK Assassination; Blinded by Double Blind; One People; Shareholders; Skepticism or Ridicule?;
Psychic Ponzi
Alternative Medicine
Meat Eating Myths; Gulf War Illness, Real or Myth;
The SkepDoc Responds
Global Warming Forum
Four Global Warming Questions; Beware of Global Warming Hysteria; Science Not Democratic; Whittenberger Responds


Empirical Kanzi
The Ape Language
Controversy Revisited by Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Duane Rumbaugh and William M. Fields
Criminal Injustice
The Flaws and Fallacies of the American Justice System
by Steve Salerno
An Interview with
Matt Ridley
Darwin in the Boardroom: Evolution, Economics, and the Nature-Nurture Debate by Michael Shermer
Browsing for Love
in All the Wrong Places
Research does not show a difference between Internet matchmaking methods and traditional dating by Aimee E. King, Deena Austin-Oden, and Jeffrey M.Lohr
The Placebo Effect
by Harriet Hall, MD, The Skepdoc


Return of the Ether
The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces by Frank Wilczek
reviewed by Sid Deutsch
The Science of Love
Decoding Love: Why It Takes Twelve Frogs to Find a Prince, and Other Revelations from the Science of Attraction by Andrew Trees
reviewed by P.J. Rooks
The Soul of the Gaps
Irreducible Mind:Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century by Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, and Bruce Greyson reviewed by Sebastian Dieguez
The Chess Master
& the Checkers Players
The Curious Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer. A film review of The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer by David Grubin reviewed by Michael Shermer

Junior Skeptic

Everything I Needed to Know About Skepticism I Learned from Scooby-Doo
  • A paranormal claim is just another mystery to be solved;
  • No matter how crazy the claim, someone will always believe it;
  • Seeing does not mean believing;
  • Skepticism can be fun;
  • People hoax for all kinds of reasons;
  • Witnesses and researchers can be in on the hoax;
  • Hoaxers are often motivated by money;
  • Even hundreds of the same kind of mystery can all turn out to be false;
  • Even a preposterous real-world explanation is more likely than a supernatural guess.

by Daniel Loxton. Cover by Daniel Loxton. Art by Daniel Loxton, Jim WW Smith, and courtesy of Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. Entertainment.


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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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