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Skeptic Magazine, Volume 23 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 23, no 2 (cover)

Special Section: The Rise of the Nones

Imagining No Heaven
The Rise of the Nones and the Decline of Religion
by Michael Shermer
Never Doubting God
Surveys on Belief in God’s Existence
by Charles S. Reichardt

Skeptic Investigates

Is the Earth Flat?
Flat Earthers Are Back—How do You Best Make the Argument for a Round Earth?
by Daniel Loxton

Junior Skeptic

Perpetual Motion

Today I’d like you to imagine two impossible, magical machines: The first machine runs forever. You may picture a complex tangle of gears and wheels, or something as simple as a spinning top, but imagine that it never runs down—once started it just keeps going without ever needing more energy. Now imagine a second machine. This one may require fuel or energy to run, but somehow, through some fantastic process, it generates more energy than it consumes. We aren’t the first to imagine these two types of “perpetual motion” machines. Inventors have dreamed of such devices for centuries. How has their search unfolded? Let’s find out!

By Daniel Loxton. This issue’s cover by Daniel Loxton is based upon a perpetual motion machine designed in 1790.

Columns

Cover illustration by Pat Linse
The SkepDoc
Premature Ejaculation in the News: How Headlines Influence OurThinking
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
Please Touch
by Carol Tavris

Excerpt

Persistence of Belief In a Purposeful Universe
by Ralph Lewis

Reviews

Honor, Dignity, Victim
A review of The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars, by Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning
reviewed by Kevin McCaffree
Reason (and Science) for Hope
A review of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker
reviewed by Michael Shermer
Realizing Rawls’ Just Society
A review of It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear, by Gregg Easterbrook
reviewed by Michael Shermer
Unsubstantiated
A review of Unacknowledged. A new Netflix documentary purports to provide proof of alien visitation but fails to deliver.
reviewed by Tim Callahan

Articles

Conspiracy Theorists, and the Harm They Do
by James K. Lambert
The Last One Forgotten
Bruce Perkins and Another Terrible Tragedy of the Recovered Memory Movement
by L. Kirk Hagen
The Rooney Rule
The Value of Diversity In Birds, Bees, and People
by Todd M. Freeberg
Deterrence and Its Discontents
Now That Nuclear War Seems to Be Getting More Likely Again, It’s Time to Turn a Skeptical Eye on Deterrencen
by David Barash
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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

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

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.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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