The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 21 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 21, no 2 (cover)


The SkepDoc
Flu Shots: Facts and Fallacies
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
How Accurate is the “Cycle of Abuse”?
by Carol Tavris


No Sacred Cows
A review of Sacred Cows: A Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World, by Seth Andrews
reviewed by Donald Prothero

Junior Skeptic

Man-Eating Plants

In this issue we journey into jungles, push past tangled vines, and search for something sinister: trees that are said to eat human beings! According to travellers’ tales and newspaper stories, some mysterious plants capture and consume large animals. Growing in remote regions, these bloodthirsty vegetables wait for the unwary, surrounded by the bones of their victims. Their branches stir when there is no breeze. Inviting foliage conceals thorny vines ready to seize struggling prey. Is there any truth to these tales? Could such plants truly exist? Let’s find out!

By Daniel Loxton. This issue’s cover features a digital painting by Daniel Loxton.

Special Section: What Motivates Extremists?

Once Upon a Time
Re-Thinking the Fight Against Extremists
by Tina Dupuy
Dealing With Islamism
Trust, Costly Signaling and Forming Moral Teams
by Peter Boghossian and James A. Lindsay
Apocalypse Soon?
How Emerging Technologies, Population Growth, and Global Warming Will Fuel Apocalyptic Terrorism in the Future
by Phil Torres

Special Section:
Brain Upload

Mind Uploading
An Argument for the Scientific and Technical Plausibility of Preserving Thoughts Indefinitely
by Kenneth Hayworth
Uploading Your Mind Does Not Compute
by Peter Kassan
Virtual Immortality
Why the Mind-Body Problem is Still a Problem
by Robert Lawrence Kuhn


Paleoanthropology Wars
The Discovery of Homo naledi has Generated Considerable Controversy in this Scientific Discipline by Nathan H. Lents
Charlie Sheen’s HIV Goat Milk Doctor
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Massachusetts Mass Hysteria Cover Up
by Robert E. Bartholomew
Agony and Ecstasy
Were Saint Paul’s Christian Beliefs a Symptom of Epileptic Personality Disorder? by Harry White
In Defense of Anti-Science
Why the Anti-anti-science Movement Has Gone too Far by J. Howard Siegal
The Decline of Intelligent Design
The 10th Anniversary of the Dover Decision and the Demise of Intelligent Design by Donald Prothero

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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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