The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 3 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 3, no 2

Bell Curve Issue Preview

For Whom the
Bell Curve Tolls
An interview with the author of The Bell Curve, Charles Murray. On IQ, Race, Class, Gould, Gardner, and the Clintons
by Frank Miele


’Twas Brillig…
The Great Astrology Brouhaha: The Internet Becomes a Weapon of Change
by James Randi
Should the Bible
be Taken Literally?
by Betty McCollister
Do Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence?
A Reappraisal of a Classic Skeptics’ Axiom by Theodore Schick, Jr.
A Gentlemanly Arrangement
Alfred Russel Wallace, Charles Darwin, and the Resolution of a Scientific Priority Dispute: The story of how the co-discoverers of natural selection resolved a scientific priority dispute offers deep insight into the nature of discovery and history by Michael Shermer
The Question All
Skeptics are Asking
Why Did God Make Rice Cakes?
by Bernard Leikind

Special Section:
The AIDS Heresies

Does HIV Really Cause AIDS?
A Case Study in Skepticism Taken Too Far
by Steven B. Harris
The Skeptics and Their Claims
How Skepticism Went Astray
Lessons on How Science Works


“Cool Moss Clinton”; Randi 1 — Geller 0; Scholastic Magazine Haunted by Nostradamus; Janos Was No Janus: So Long to a Skeptical Friend; California Has its Faults; No Satanic Abuse; Repressed Memory Suit Dismissed; South African Witchcraze; No Social Security For UFOs; Mystery Fumes Not Mass Hysteria; Psychic Cats; Ig Nobel Peace Prize; California Cloudbusting; The Madness of King George (& the American Public); A Trip to Waco; Why Ask Why; Corporate Religion.


Suicide Astrology; Am I Crazy? Seeking Answers — 20 Questions; Abducted by Santa; A Psychic Test for Skeptics; A Skeptical Test of Graphoanalysis; Lucky Chicken Crap; The Great Atheism — Agnosticism Debate; Skeptical Religion; Challenging Drees — Religion is Not a Deterrent; Understanding the Total Human Experience — Drees Responds; Randi is Wrong; Reality is Right — Randi Responds; The Skeptics Dogmatic Society — Raso Needs Revising; Tending Garden and Health — Raso Responds; Curing Homeopathy; Satire — A Powerful Weapon; Sloppy Thinking Media
Forum Challenge
Who Really Discovered Punctuated Equilibrium? A Skeptical Critique of Stephen Jay Gould, by Bruce Sobol; The Mismeasure of Gould — On the Perils of Striking Out, by Michael Shermer
Pseudohistory forum
Revising the Founding Fathers; Afrocentric Skepticism or Credulity?; Holocaust Poll Still Distorted; The Greeks Stole Philosophy?; Plane Crashes and Gas Chambers; The John Birch Society & Holocaust Revisionists — Common Methods & Mistakes; Greetings from the Aryan Nations; Speaking Volumes About Revisionism; Don’t Forget the Gypsies


The Fall of The Soviet Union & the Changing Game of Biblical Prophecy
Hal Lindsey’s “Planet Earth — 2000 A.D.: Will Mankind Survive?”
reviewed by Tim Callahan
Culture Wars
Skeptics, Parapsychologists & New Agers — Has the “good guys v. bad guys” rhetoric hindered the quest for truth? A review of Science in the New Age, by David Hess
reviewed by Brian Siano

Books in Brief

Skeptoon: An Illustrated Look at Some New Age Beliefs; and Magic Minds, Miraculous Moments, by Harry Edwards; How To Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age, by Theodore Schick, and Lewis Vaughn; Telling the Truth About History, by Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob; Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant Teacher, recordings of Richard Feynman in the Classroom; The Pleasures and Perils of Genius: Mostly Mozart, ed. by Peter Ostwald and Leonard Zegans; Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek, by Joel Engel; Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, by Carl Sagan

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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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