The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptic Magazine, Volume 25 Number 4
Table of Contents

Skeptic Magazine 25.4 (cover)

Cover Articles: QAnon & Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories
Why We Can’t Unsee Patterns — Real or Imagined — Once We See Them by Robert D. Kirvel
QAnon in Conspiratorial Context
by Michael Shermer
QAnon is Just a Warmed Over Witch Panic; It’s Also Very Dangerous
by Daniel Loxton


The SkepDoc
New Rumpelstiltskin? How Gwyneth Paltrow Spins Straw into Gold
by Harriet Hall, M.D.

100th Issue Special

The Art of the Skeptic
Finding Your Niche if You Love Both Science and Art
by Pat Linse, with additional illustrations by Daniel Loxton


Cynically Skeptical
A review of Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender and Identity, by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
reviewed by Gabriel Andrade
The Gods of the West
A review of Return of the Strong Gods: Nationalism, Populism, and the Future of the West, by R.R. Reno.
reviewed by George Michael


Cover illustration by Pat Linse. Original reference photo by Azret Ayubov.
Fat Man and Little Boy
On the 75th Anniversary of Nuclear Weapons, a Moral Case for Their Use in Ending WWII and the Deterrence of Great Power Wars since, and a Call to Eventually Eliminate Them
by Michael Shermer
The Rise and Fall of Charles Willson Peale’s Philadelphia Museum
by Lee Alan Dugatkin
The Testimony of Witnesses: Raising the Dead
Continuous Change, Discrete Events, and the Nature of Reality
by Tim Callahan
Do Diversity Training Programs Work?
Creating a Culture of Inclusion through Scientific Reasoning
by Mona Sue Weissmark
Unpacking Political Life in America
The Skeptics Society’s Social and Political Attitudes Study by Marshall McCready, Anondah Saide, and Kevin McCaffree
How Do You Get People to Care About Truth in Politics?
by Gleb Tsipursky
Are Laws of Nature Discovered or Invented?
by Sima Dimitrijev

Junior Skeptic

The Honest Truth About Vaccines

“Vaccines” are medicines we take when we’re healthy to prevent us from getting sick later. Nobody loves getting their shots. But vaccines protect you, your family, and your community. Vaccines have helped us control many serious diseases. Right now, scientists are racing to develop a safe, effective vaccine to make us immune to COVID-19. However, some people claim that a Covid vaccine might not be safe, or even that it might be some sort of trick to control us. Others say vaccines are more dangerous than doctors admit. What is the truth? Are vaccines safe or risky? Or might the truth be something in between? 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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