The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 22 Number 3
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 22, no 3 (cover)

Special Section: An Academic Hoax

Failure to Communicate
Why We Published the “Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” Hoax Exposé
by Michael Shermer
The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct
A Sokal-Style Hoax on Gender Studies
by Peter Boghossian (aka Peter Boyle, Ed.D.) and James Lindsay (aka, Jamie Lindsay, Ph.D.)
More Fashionable Nonsense
Some thoughts on “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” Hoax
by Alan Sokal

Cover Story: Evaluating Lost Civilization Evidence

Debating Science and Lost Civilizations
My Experience on the Joe Rogan Experience
by Michael Shermer
Conjuring Up a Lost Civilization
An Analysis of the Claims Made by Graham Hancock in Magicians of the Gods
by Marc Defant
Lost Civilizations and Imaginative Conjectures
An Analysis of the Myths and History of Graham Hancock’s Magicians of the Gods
by Tim Callahan


The SkepDoc
Juicing for Health or Torture
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
Our Angry Era
by Carol Tavris


Big News on Homo naledi
More Fossils and a Surprising Young Age
by Nathan H. Lents
Publicly Funded Stem Cell Research
California’s $3-Billion Experiment in Public Science
by Raymond Barglow
How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog
by Lee Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut
Science, Facts, and “Provisional” Knowledge
by David Zeigler

Junior Skeptic

Zombies: The Gruesome True Story

Our world has been conquered by hordes of zombies! They menace us in video games, comics, television, and movies. They lurch gruesomely down city streets in “zombie walk” events. After decades of zombie fiction, the walking dead are more popular than ever. Mindless, moaning, hungry for human flesh, zombies may be the ultimate modern monsters. They’ve spread like a virus through tales of terror and horrified imaginings. But where did the idea come from? Were zombies invented for fiction, or do they have a basis in legend—or perhaps even in reality? Could anything like fictional movie zombies actually exist in the real world? Let’s find out!

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

CORRECTION: In Skeptic 22.2 we published an article titled “Area 51: What’s Really Going on There?” by Donald Prothero. It was credited as an excerpt from the forthcoming co-authored volume by Prothero and Tim Callahan, titled UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says (Indiana University Press, August 2017), which it is. But it was originally published in a book consisting of a collection of articles edited by Karen Stollznow titled Would You Believe It?: Mysterious Tales from People You’d Least Expect (January, 2017) under the same title. This work should have been properly referenced in the SKEPTIC issue. Our apologies to Karen Stollznow and to our readers for this oversight. —Michael Shermer, Publisher


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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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