The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 18 Number 4
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 18, no 4 (cover)

Cover Articles:
Alien Evidence

Ancient Alien
Evidence Examined
by Chris White
A Flood of Nonsense
The Myth of a Universal
Flood Myth by Tim Callahan
Scientific Geology v.
“Flood Geology”
by Donald Prothero
Cover: “We call it ‘the Wheel’!” Illustration by Anna Maltese

Special Section:
Diagnosing the DSM

Controversies in Psychiatric Diagnosis: What is a Mental Disorder?
And When Are Irrational
Beliefs Delusional? by Ralph Lewis, M.D.
Diagnosing Dissociation
Or Why Measuring Multiple Personalities Doesn’t Work by Robert Stern
& Michael McDonald

Junior Skeptic

Ping-pong Planets
and Velikovsky

What if everything scientists have discovered about the history of the Earth—the evolution of life, the ice ages, the movements of the continents, all of it—was completely wrong? And what if that was just the tip of the iceberg? What if the planets of our solar system had often careened out of their orbits like wrecking balls, bringing catastrophe to the cultures of the ancient world—and then humanity forgot that it happened? Could any of that be true? Let’s find out!

By Daniel Loxton. Interior art by Daniel Loxton with Jim WW Smith. This issue’s cover, by Daniel Loxton, features traditional pen and ink drawing with digital color.


Bigfoot or Baloney?
Confessions of a Bigfoot Hunter by Jonathan Blais
The New Satanic Panic
Witch Hunting in
the Internet Age by Mike Moran
To Understand the Universe
A Conversation with Astrophysicist Sean Carroll by Hector Trujillo
Still Unsafe
Why the American Medical Establishment Cannot Reduce Medical Errors by Philip Levitt, M.D.
The Life and Death of Tycho Brahe—A Cautionary Tale from Science History
by Kyle Sanders


’Twas Brillig…
A Sign of the Times: Astrology, Astronomy and Where Science and Pseudoscience Overlap by James Randi
Bad Language
A Maze of Myths:
The Winchester Mystery House
by Karen Stollznow
The SkepDoc
Uncertainty in Medicine
by Harriet Hall, M.D.


Stephen Meyer’s
Cambrian Follies
A review of Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Stephen Meyer.
reviewed by Donald Prothero
Inside the Psychic Mind
A review of Psychic Blues,
by Mark Edward
reviewed by John Rael
Food For Thought
A review of Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal by Melanie Warner.
reviewed by Kenneth W. Krause
Free Tilly!
A review of Blackfish, a film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite.
reviewed by Donald Prothero
The 10,000-Hour Rule Debunked
A review of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein.
reviewed by Michael Shermer
Bigfoot Skepticism is
Alive and Well
A review of Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero.
reviewed by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Debunking Plantinga
A review of Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga.
reviewed by William S. Moore

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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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