The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 18 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 18, no 2 (cover)

Cover Articles: Gender

Gender Differences
What Science Says and Why It’s Mostly Wrong
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Gender and the Paranormal
by Anondah Saide

Cover illustration by Pat Linse. The complexities of gender identity are illustrated by contrasting two world-famous cross dressing personalities: Australian Dadaist and comedian Barry Humphries created Dame Edna to lampoon modern mores, while 19th century novelist Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin adopted the pseudonym George Sand and dressed in men’s clothing for comfort, and to protest sexual inequality.


The SkepDoc
“New Study Shows…” Why We Can’t Trust Science Reporting
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Bad Language
The Scientology Handbook
by Karen Stollznow
’Twas Brillig…
A Skeptic in Court, Part II by James Randi

Junior Skeptic

Alien Invaders!

In this issue, we look at the topic of alien invasions. Where did we get our ideas about being attacked from “outside”—from other lands, or from outer space? How has this idea been expressed in stories? How do exotic species here on Earth “invade” new regions? Can life forms from one planet really invade another? And, as we look at those questions, remember: the space slugs are our friends! Obey all space slugs!

Cover by Chris Wisnia and Daniel Loxton. Interior art by Daniel Loxton and Jim Smith. Story by Daniel Loxton.


Savage Science
An Interview with Napoleon Chagnon, the World’s Most Controversial Anthropologist
by Frank Miele


Magnetic Myths
Why Magnetic Fields Attract New Age Flimflam and Flapdoodle by Donald R. Prothero
An Analysis of Skeptical Protagonists
Four Recent Films Reveal that Society’s Attitudes Toward Skeptics Are Changing, But Still Negative by Randall Martoccia
What Science Really Says About the Soul
by Stephen Cave
Witch Doctors and Con Artists
A First-Hand Account of Witchcraft in Africa by Justin Chapman
Levels of Nothing
There Are Multiple Answers to the Question of Why the Universe Exists by Robert Lawrence Kuhn


Scientology Exposed
Three Reviews: Going Clear, by Lawrence Wright; The Church of Fear, by John Sweeney; Beyond Belief, by Jenna Miscavige Hill with Lisa Pulitzer.
reviewed by Jim Lippard
Grown Not Made
Two Reviews: Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over…, by Melanie Warner, and Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss.
reviewed by Michael Shermer
The Carl Sagan of Chemistry
A Review of The Right Chemistry: 108… Inquiries into the Science of Everyday Life, by Joe Schwarcz.
reviewed by Harriet Hall
Anthropology No More
A Review of Human No More…the End of Anthropology, edited by Neil Whitehead and Michael Wesch.
reviewed by L. Kirk Hagen
Contemplating Extraterrestrial Civilizations
A Review of Civilizations Beyond Earth, edited by Douglas A. Vakoch and Albert A. Harrison.
reviewed by George Michael
The Progressive War
on Science
A Review of Science Left Behind…the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left, by Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell.
reviewed by Kenneth W. Krause

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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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