The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptic Magazine, Volume 24 Number 4
Table of Contents

Steven Pinker on the cover of Skeptic magazine, vol 24, no 4 (On the cover: a Flat Earth model by Ástor Alexander)


The SkepDoc
Water Fluoridation: Public Health, Not Poison
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
Are You in the 43 Percent?
by Carol Tavris


Does God Exist?
A Rebuttal of Theologian Brian Huffling
by Gary Whittenberger
God is Not a Moral Being
A Response to Gary Whittenberger on the Problem of Evil
by Brian Huffling


Shroud of Turin Update
by Tim Callahan
The Girl Who Smelled Blue
The Colorful Case of Willetta Huggins
by Jesse Bering
How to Navigate Contentious Conversations
by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay
How Much Longer Will Cancer Screening Myths Survive?
by Felipe Nogueira
Nationalistic Pseudohistory in the Balkans
by Miloš Todorovic´
“Prove that I’m Wrong!”
What QAnon, Descartes, and Brains in Vats Have in Common
by Guy Elgat

Cover Article

On the cover: a Flat Earth model by Ástor Alexander
Understanding Flat Earthers
by Daniel Loxton


What is Mental Illness?
A review of Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness, by Anne Harrington
reviewed by Peter Barglow, MD
Stranger Danger
A review of The Human Swarm: How Tolerance of Strangers Creates Society, by Mark Moffett
reviewed by Nathan H. Lents
Darwin’s Apostles
A review of Darwin’s Apostles: The Men Who Fought to Have Evolution Accepted, Their Times, and How the Battle Continues, by David Orenstein and Abby Hafer
reviewed by Harriet Hall, M.D.
Forensic Pseudoscience
Reviews of Forensic Science Reform: Protecting the Innocent, edited by Wendy J. Koen and C. Michael Bowers; The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions: Forensic Science Reform, edited by Wendy J. Koen and C. Michael Bowers; and Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law, edited by Christopher T. Robertson and Aaron S. Kesselheim
reviewed by Terence Hines

Junior Skeptic

Victorian England’s Jurassic Park

In this issue of Junior Skeptic, we venture back two hundred years to a time when no one had ever heard the word “dinosaur” or suspected such creatures ever existed. This is hard for modern people to imagine. Today, everyone knows about dinosaurs. Kids learn about dinosaurs almost before they can talk! If I say “Tyrannosaurus rex,” you can clearly picture one. You know things about T. rex: it lived a long time ago, walked on two legs, ate meat, and eventually went extinct. Yet there was a time when absolutely no one knew any of those things. What was it like when people learned about dinosaurs for the very first time? Let’s find out!

by Daniel Loxton


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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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