The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 20 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 20, no 1 (cover)


Artificial Intelligence: Benevolent or Malevolent?
Reviews of The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind, by Michio Kaku, and Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era, by James Barrat
reviewed by George Michael
The Thinking Atheist Confesses
A review of Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason, by Seth Andrews
reviewed by Donald R. Prothero
Proof and God
A review of Why Science Does Not Disprove God,
by Amir D. Aczel
reviewed by Glenn Branch

Junior Skeptic

Journey Inside the Fantastical Hollow Earth

Could unknown civilizations rule undiscovered realms deep underground? Might prehistoric beasts stalk through jungles far below our feet? These ideas have long inspired writers of science fiction and adventure stories. For example, the 2009 animated film Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was based on them. But for some people the “Hollow Earth” is more than just a make-believe story. How did people find their way into such a fantastic belief?

by Daniel Loxton

Special Section:

A Skeptic’s Guide to the War on Terror
by Richard E. Wackrow
Myths of Terrorism
by Michael Shermer
Religion, Violence,
and Terrorism
An Empirical Evolutionary Study
by Kenneth Krause


The SkepDoc
Colloidal Silver, Smurfs,
and Ebola

by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
The Persistent Myth
of the Mad Genius

by Carol Tavris


The Legend of the
Falling Beast
Cow Tipping’s Surprising Origins by Pat Linse
Clever Hans
What a Horse Can Teach Us About Self Deception
by Thomas E. Heinzen, Scott O. Lilienfeld, and Susan A. Nolan
The Demon Test: Possessed
of Problems
by Rachel Ammirati, Stuart T. Hendrick, and Scott O. Lilienfeld
The Biological and Psychological Basis of Horror
by Stephen T. Asma
The Rain Fakirs
The Rain Fakirs How Con Men Used Pseudoscience to Exploit the Drought of the 1890s by Peter Olausson
Quantum Cure-All
or Quackery?
Can Superpositions of Quantum Consciousness Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Nonlocal Potentiality?
by Jérémie Harris


Pandemic Pandering
A Special Report on
Special Pleading
by Kyle Sanders

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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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