The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 16 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 16, no 1 (cover art by Paul Duffield)

cover art by Paul Duffield

Cover Story

Ignorance of Bliss
We still know so little about happiness — except that we’re supposed to pursue it by Steve Salerno


The Saturn-Mars Effect
How a statistical effect explains
the astrological claim for
the power of Mars by Alexander Y. Panchin

Special Section:
Philosophers of Religion

Antony Flew 1923–2010
The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Who Changed His Mind by Kenneth Grubbs
Motorcycle Maintenance Without the Zen
How Robert Pirsig’s Mistakes About Atheism Continue Today by Chris Edwards

Special Section:
Martin Gardner Tribute

’Twas Brillig…
A Celebration of the Life of
Martin Gardner by James Randi
Martin Gardner, 1914–2010
Polymath Extraordinaire by Michael Shermer


The SkepDoc
Genomic Testing —
Are We There Yet?!
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Bad Language
Turn On, Tune Out, Drop Off by Karen Stollznow


Climate Skepticism Forum
Ideology not Science; Facts;
No Predictive Validity;
Accepted on Faith
David Brin Responds


Science by Think Tank
The Rise of Think Tanks and the Decline of Public Intellectuals by Massimo Pigliucci
Can People’s Minds
be Changed?
How Can We Know? by Michael J. Kane
Quantum Consciousness
and Other Spooky Myths
The thought that there may be a connection between quantum mechanics and consciousness has led to a lot of pseudoscience
by Martin Bier
The Sports Dominance Mystery
Why do certain groups come to dominate some sports but not others?
by Stephen Sniderman


Meaning-Making Neurons
The Brain and the Meaning of Life, by Paul Thagard reviewed by Michael Shermer
Science in the Spirit
of Mythbusters
The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science: 50 Experiments for Daring Young Scientists, by Sean Connolly
reviewed by Harriet Hall, M.D.
A film review of
The Living Matrix
A Pseudoscientific Infomercial
for Energy Medicine
reviewed by Harriet Hall, M.D.
If You Don’t Understand Evolutionary Biology,
Don’t Write a Book About it!
What Darwin got Wrong, by Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini reviewed by Donald R. Prothero
The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps,
by Peter D. Ward reviewed by James N. Gardner
Optimism v. Realism
The Case for Rational Optimism, by Frank S. Robinson
reviewed by Victoria Bekiempis
Science Faction
An Interview with Scott Sigler, and a review of his book Ancestor
reviewed by Jason Colavito

Junior Skeptic

The Origin of the Griffin
  • A scholar investigates
    the mystery;
  • Ancient Fossil Discoveries:
    The Bones of Heros;
  • Tales from the Desert:
    Guardians of Gold;
  • Ancient Trade Routes;
  • Case Solved?:
  • Objections to the Theory;
  • Protoceratops Did Not
    Have Wings;
  • Early Griffins;
  • The Bottom Line

Written by Daniel Loxton. Art by Daniel Loxton and Jim WW Smith. Cover art by Daniel Loxton and Ed Heck.


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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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