The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 22 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 22, no 1 (cover)

Special Section: Skeptic’s Science Dialogues

Bill Nye in Conversation with Michael Shermer
edited by Alexander Pietrus-Rajman


The Stealth Determinism of Westworld
A Review of the television series Westworld
reviewed by Stephen Beckner
Back to the Future and Forward to the Past
A Review of Time Travel: A History, by James Gleick
reviewed by Chris Edwards
Cosmic Consciousness and the Ptolemaic Principle
A Review of You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters, by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
reviewed by Leonard Mlodinow and Michael Shermer
Science International
A Review of Courting Science: Securing the Foundation for a Second American Century, by Damon V. Coletta
reviewed by David Priess
Conjuring Magic
Two books on the history of magic: Conjuring Asia: Magic, Orientalism and the Making of the Modern World, by Chris Goto-Jones; Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World, by Randall Styers
reviewed by Michelle Ainsworth


On the cover: Bill Nye portrait by Ástor Alexander
The SkepDoc
Functional Medicine
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
The Multi-headed Hydra of Prejudice
by Carol Tavris


Miracle Water
Why Zamzam Water is Not a Valid Medical Treatment
by Michael Telias
Lone Wolf Terrorism
The Convergence of Mental Illness, Marginality, and Cyber Radicalism
by George Michael
Torturing Data in the Name of Nonsense
by Gary Smith
Mass Hallucinations and Shoddy Journalism
by Robert E. Bartholomew
What Would it Take to Change Your Mind?
by Peter Boghossian
ET v. Earth Pathogens
by Tim Callahan
Trouble in the Multiverse
by Peter Kassan

Junior Skeptic

An Easy Guide to Baloney Detection

In this special issue of Junior Skeptic we’ll learn many valuable tricks for sorting truth from nonsense. We need them! We’re bombarded by claims every day of our lives. Friends tell us stuff. Labels and advertisements make claims about products. Books and websites make claims about the world. TV and YouTube channels show us amazing sights and tell us astonishing stories. But some of the things we hear sound too good to be true. How do we tell the difference between fact and baloney? Let’s find out!

By Daniel Loxton. This issue’s cover features a digital illustration by Daniel Loxton with Samantha May. Modeling provided by Vika M-S.


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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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