The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptic Magazine, Volume 25 Number 3
Table of Contents

Skeptic Magazine 25.3 (cover)
This issue will begin shipping
mid-September 2020.

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Cover Article

Science and Race
What We Really Know by Guy P. Harrison


The SkepDoc
Wear a Mask, But Act as If It Doesn’t Work
by Harriet Hall, M.D.
The Gadfly
The Pope and Mussolini: A Parable for Our Time
by Carol Tavris

Special Section: Afterlife Concepts

Faked Death Stories and Resurrection Myths
by Mike Moran
The Resurrection and Its Uncertainties
by Tim Callahan
Hell to Pay
How Religions Use the Threat of Punishment to Terrify, Manipulate, and Control Believers
by David Barash


Primitivism Redux
A review of Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress, by Christopher Ryan
reviewed by Gabriel Andrade
Woke Gone Wild
A review of The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, The Academy, and the Hunt for Political Heresies, by Robert Boyers
reviewed by Frank S. Robinson


Wicked Games
Lance Armstrong, Forgiveness and Redemption, and a Game Theory of Doping
by Michael Shermer
The Fragile Circle of Faith
Finding Meaning and Purpose Without Religion
by Andrew Cooper-Sansone
Respecting Nature, Respecting People
A Naturalist Model for Reducing Speciesism, Racism, and Bigotry
by Mark W. Moffett
Melville at the Googolplex
What Moby-Dick Can Teach Us About the Current Crisis
by Kathleen Schultheis
Is Science Amoral?
by William E. Magnusson


The Hollow Earth
If You Thought the Flat Earthers Were Out There, Wait Until You Read About Those Who Think the Earth Is an Empty Sphere Filled With Wonders
by Donald Prothero

Junior Skeptic

Plagued by Nonsense: Pandemics Throughout History—How Mistakes, Fakes, and Missing Facts Make Epidemics Worse

In this issue of Junior Skeptic we’ll confront one of humanity’s scariest enemies: epidemic disease. Are we brave enough to face this horror? You bet we are! We’ve done it every day during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid is new. Other diseases have plagued our ancestors since ancient times. Mighty civilizations have been devastated by the invisible invaders we call “germs.” But people are not helpless! Over centuries, we learned how to fight back against disease. Our strongest weapons are science and critical thinking. However, germs have a powerful ally: misinformation! How do ignorance and bad ideas help the germs win—and what can we do about that? 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.

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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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