The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 17 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 17, no 1 (cover)

Special Section on Scientology

Is Scientology a Cult?
by Michael Shermer
The Decline and (Probable) Fall of the Scientology Empire!
by Jim Lippard

Special Section on
Harry Potter & Religion

Religion in Harry Potter
Do J. K. Rowling’s Novels Promote Religion or Undermine It?
by Ari Armstrong

Special Section: Two Views of Life After Death

On Visions & Resurrections
Can Hallucination Account for the Post-Crucifixion Appearances of Jesus? by Gary J. Whittenberger
The Mortals & the Immortals
Can Science Deliver What Religion Has Long Promised for Eternal Life?
by Collin Braun


The SkepDoc
Evidence-Based Medicine, Tooth Fairy Science & Cinderella Medicine
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Bad Language
Body Language—
(Don’t) Read My Lips

by Karen Stollznow
’Twas Brillig…
Crystal Healing 101, Humanist Activist Victory, Scientology, A Letter to James Van Praagh by James Randi


Three Cheers for Teachers
Educational Reform Should Come from Within the Classroom and Science Can Inform Our Reforms
by Chris Edward
9/11 and the Science of Controlled Demolition
Is There Any Scientific Validity to the Claims of 9/11 Controlled Demolition Conspiracists About the Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings? by Chris Mohr
What is the Purpose
of a Sponge?
A Biologist Contemplates the Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything
by David Zeigler
Is Psychology a Science?
by Robert E. Silverman


Harry Potter & Jesus Christ
Jesus Potter Harry Christ, by Derek Murphy. reviewed by Tim Callahan
The End is Not Nigh Enough
A is for Armageddon: A Catalogue of Disasters That May Culminate in the End of the World As We Know It, by Richard Horne. reviewed by Mike Moran
The Mystic Chords of Violence’s Memory
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker.
reviewed by Michael Shermer
Flowers for Nim
Project Nim, a documentary film by James Marsh
reviewed by Michael Shermer
By Any Other Name
Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are, by Bart D. Ehrman.
reviewed by Tim Callahan

Junior Skeptic

Fossil Fakes Part 2
  • Does Nature Lie?
  • Fossil Crime Scenes
  • Be a Fossil Detective
  • Piltdown and Calaveras Man

Written by Jason Loxton and Daniel Loxton. Cover by Daniel Loxton.


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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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