The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 16 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 16, no 2 (photo illustration
by Pat Linse. Original image by

Cover Story

How Did Life Begin?
A Perspective on the Nature
and Origin of Life by Paul F. Deisler, Jr.


Who Still Believes
in 9/11 Conspiracies?
An Empirical Study on Political Affiliation and Conspiratorial Thinking by Scott Sommers


The SkepDoc
What is Naturopathy?!
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Bad Language
The Accidental Accent by Karen Stollznow
’Twas Brillig…
Science and Magic by James Randi


Letter to Climate Skeptics
by David Morrison
The Dangerous Territory of Sports Dominance; Singling Out Singles; Antony Flew and the Evidence for God; Cell Phones and Cancer

Junior Skeptic

Skeptical Investigation
  • Who You Gonna Call?;
  • 2,000 Years of Skepticism;
  • Early Skeptical Voices;
  • Essential Guide for Investigators;
  • A Ghostly Mystery Solved;
  • How NOT to Hunt Ghosts;
  • Researching Stuff On the Internet;
  • Science Fair Investigation

Written by Daniel Loxton. Art by Daniel Loxton and Jim WW Smith. With special contributions from Blake Smith and Barbara Drescher.


Ayurvedic Medicine
A thousand years old —
but does it work? by Marc Carrier
The Singularity
Isn’t Even Close
Why Ray Kurzweil’s Predictions About the Future Are Flawed by Chris Edwards
Religion and Violence
An Anthropological Study on Religious Belief and Violent Behavior
by Benjamin Grant Purzycki
and Kyle Gibson
Thank God for
the New Atheists
A Sermon by the Reverend
Michael Dowd
An Incomprehensible Universe
Why the Human Brain is Ill-Equipped to Grasp the True
Nature of Nature
by David Zeigler
Lying About Placebos
Does the placebo effect work if  patients know what they are taking?
by Stewart Justman
Stradivarius Pseudoscience
The Myth of the Miraculous
Musical Instrument
by R.L. Barclay


A Five-Star Evolution Encyclopedia
Darwin’s Universe: Evolution
from A to Z
, by Richard Milner reviewed by Donald R. Prothero
Was Hypatia of Alexandria
a Scientist?
Agora, a film directed by Alejandro Amenábar, written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil
film reviewed by S. James Killings
Broadcasting from
the Great Beyond
Consciousness Beyond Life:
The Science of the Near-Death Experience
, by Pim van Lommel
reviewed by Donna Harris
The Eternally Boring Hereafter
Hereafter, a film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood film reviewed by Michael Shermer
Conspiring Against
Common Sense
Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History,
by David Aaronovitch reviewed by David Priess
Stephen Jay Gould: Did he bring paleontology to the “High Table”?
Stephen Jay Gould: Reflections on His View of Life, edited by Warren D. Allmon, Patricia H. Kelley, and Robert M. Ross
reviewed by Donald R. Prothero
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Child Development: Myths and Misunderstanding, by Jean Mercer
reviewed by Linda Rosa

Get eSkeptic

Be in the know!

Subscribe to eSkeptic: our free email newsletter and get great podcasts, videos, reviews and articles from Skeptic magazine, announcements, and more in your inbox twice a week. It’s free. We never share your address. Unsubscribe any time.

Sign me up!

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.

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.

Copyright © 1992–2022. All rights reserved. | P.O. Box 338 | Altadena, CA, 91001 | 1-626-794-3119. The Skeptics Society is a non-profit, member-supported 501(c)(3) organization (ID # 95-4550781) whose mission is to promote science & reason. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Privacy Policy.