The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 17 Number 3
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 17, no 3 (cover)

Cover Story

Is Ours a Christian Civilization?
by Tim Callahan Cover photo: George Washington’s legendary prayer at Valley Forge—updated. Art by Pat Linse. Thanks to Eduard Pastor, Gingi Yee, and David Patton for help with photo reference.

Special Section:
Are We Alone?

The Glare of Other Suns
An Inside Look at How Astronomers are Searching
for Extrasolar Planets by Apurva Narechania
The Flake Equation
Estimating the Number
of People Who Have
Experienced the Paranormal
by Michael Shermer
The Physics of UFOs
How Realistic is it for Spacecraft to Travel Interstellar Distances to Earth?
by Michael K. Gainer


The SkepDoc
Multiple Personality Delusions
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Bad Language
Possessed Possessions
by Karen Stollznow
’Twas Brillig…
Celebrating the Reason Rally by James Randi

Junior Skeptic

Mokele Mbembe
  • Genuine Sea Serpents
  • Sauropods Revealed
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Fossils, Fortunes, and Fame
  • Birth of a Media Legend
  • Earlier African Dinosaur Legends?
  • Dinos Everywhere!
  • The Story Comes Together
  • “All Who Ate of it Died”

Written by Daniel Loxton. Cover by Daniel Loxton and Jim WW Smith.

Special Section
On “Nothing”

Out of Nothing?
The Genesis Creation Myth is Not Unique
by Tim Callahan
What Rocks Dream About
The Non-Existence of Nothing
by Christopher Sirola
Nothing is Negligable
Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing
by Michael Shermer


Trolley Trouble
Why We Should be Skeptical of Moral Cognition Testing Based on Hypothetical Situations
by Chris Edwards
Fetus Food
Another Urban Legend Busted by Tina Dupuy
Facilitated Communication: A Long-Debunked Pseudoscience Makes a Surprising Return
by L. Kirk Hagen
Science, Skepticism and Democracy
by Brian Vroman
The Neuroscience of Changing Minds
by Eric Prichard and Stephen Christman
Einstein’s Razor
Making Scientific Models as Simple as Possible But Not Simpler is Difficult To Do
by Alex Woronow


How the World Swerved Toward Science
A review of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,
by Stephen Greenblatt. reviewed by Matthew F. Ainsworth
Mind Matters
A review of Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged From Matter, by Terrence Deacon. reviewed by Sam Mackintos
Making Room for Religion
A review of Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science,
by Michael Ruse.
reviewed by Paul J. Cech
What’s it Like to be a Brain?
A review of Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, by Christof Koch.
reviewed by Ueli Rutishauser

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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.

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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