The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 25 Number 1
Table of Contents

Skeptic Magazine 25.1 (cover)
This issue will begin shipping
mid-March 2020.

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Cover Article

Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories
by Michael Shermer

Debate

Why We Are Living in a Post-Truth Era
by Lee McIntyre
The Truth About Post-Truth Truthiness
by Michael Shermer

Meditation

Meditation as Ideology
by Kathy Schultheis
Meditations on Meditation
A Scientific and Clinical Perspective
by Jefferson M. Fish

Reviews

Leaving the Garden
A review of The Genealogical Adam and Eve: The Surprising Science of Universal Ancestry by S. Joshua Swamidass
reviewed by Tim Callahan
Ten Years Away…And Always Will Be
A review of Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell
reviewed by Peter Kassan
It’s Magic
A review of The Secret History of Magic: The True Story of the Deceptive Art by Peter Lamont and Jim Steinmeyer
reviewed by Michelle Ainsworth
Houdini Lives
Reviews of The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini by Joe Posnanski; and Houdini: The Life and Times of the World’s Greatest Magician by Charlotte Montague
reviewed by Michelle Ainsworth

Columns

The SkepDoc
The Fountain of Youth & Other Anti‑Aging Myths
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
How Would You Design a “Code of Conduct”?
by Carol Tavris

Articles

Apples and Oranges, Ants and Humans
The Misunderstood Art of Making Comparisons
by Mark W. Moffett
The Phantom Drone Scare
Drone Sightings in the Midwest — But Rule Out the Mass Hysteria Explanation
by Robert Bartholomew
Biological Beauty
An Adaptive Illusion
by Victor S. Johnston
Monopoly & Monopolies
What Board Games Teach Us About Capitalism and How to Modify It
by Jonathan Kay
Integrative Cancer Care Below the Bar of Science
by Michael Stefanek and Christina D. Jordan
Can We Ever Explain It All?
Eight Key Points from World History
by Chris Edwards
Countless Counterfeits
A New Logically Fallacy?
by David Kyle Johnson

Junior Skeptic

Are You Eating Fake Food?

Everybody eats food. Along with air, water, and shelter, food is a basic human need. Food is the most important thing we buy, and we can’t choose not to. We can’t survive without food! Almost no one in our culture is able to grow or forage for all of their own food. Even people who live on farms still buy ingredients for cooking and baking. Foods such as flour, sugar, and cheese need to be processed. Other foods come from far away places, such as tropical fruit, seafood, salt, spices, coffee, or tea. That means we have to rely on products sold in stores. But what happens when people sell food that isn’t what it’s supposed to be? 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

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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