The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 23 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 23, no 1 (cover)

Cover illustration by Pat Linse

Special Section: Evil, Theism, and Atheism

Answering the Hard Question
“You’re an Atheist?! How Do You Find Meaning and Morality in Life if There Is No God?”
by Ralph Lewis
God, Heaven, and Evil
A Renewed Defense of Atheism
by Ken Levy
The Devil’s Mark
The Evaluation of Evil, the Measurement of Morality, and the Statistical Significance of Sin
by Robert Stern
Whence Cometh Evil?
The Concept and Mechanics of Natural Evil
by George Salis
Virtuous Reality
Why Right and Wrong Seem Real: a Critique of Moral Realism
by Douglas J. Navarick
Tearing Down Mr. Hume’s Wall
A Response to Moral Realism Skeptics
by Michael Shermer

Special Section: Freud and His Legacy

Why Freud Matters
Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and the Skeptical Humanist Tradition
by Raymond Barglow


The SkepDoc
Hope and Hype for Alzheimer’s
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
I, Too, Am Thinking About Me, Too
by Carol Tavris


The Wizardry of Freud
A review of Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews
reviewed by Margret Schaefer


Brazilian Cancer Quackery
by Natalia Pasternak Taschner
The “Sonic Attack” on U.S. Diplomats in Cuba
Why the State Department’s Claims Don’t Add Up
by Robert E. Bartholomew
I Am Not an Alien!
Understanding Human Skeletal Variation
by Elizabeth Weiss
Updating the Software and Hardware in Educational Practice
A Way Forward for Science and Mathematics Education
by Chris Edwards

Junior Skeptic

The Incredible Claims of Pet Psychics

Have you ever wished you could ask your dog what she’s really thinking? Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a genuine twoway conversation with your cat, hamster, or turtle? There are people who claim to have the ability to do just that. “Pet psychics”—sometimes called “animal communicators”—say that they can speak with all sorts of animals using telepathic powers. They charge money to read animals’ minds and tell the owners what those animals supposedly said. Many pet psychics also claim they can locate lost pets, heal their illnesses, and even communicate with pets who died long ago. Are these claims realistic? Let’s find out!

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


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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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