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Skeptic Magazine, Volume 4 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 4, no 2


’Twas Brillig…
Save Fuel, the Nation, the Environment, Money … Sure by James Randi
Whose is the
Higher Superstition?
Reflections on the Need for Skeptical Open-Mindedness in the Days to Come
by Richard Olson
Was the Universe Designed to Produce Us?
by Victor J. Stenger
The Question All
Skeptics are Asking
What Was Adam’s IQ?
by Bernard Leikind


Witch Hunting
Satan’s Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt, by Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker; Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment, by Colin Ross, M.D. reviewed by Jeffrey S. Victor
Leaps of Logic
Leaps of Faith: Science, Miracles,and the Search for Supernatural Consolation, by Nicholas Humphrey
reviewed by Fred Bratman
Mother Not So Superior
The Missionary Position — Mother Teresa In Theory and Practice, by Christopher Hitchens
reviewed by Frank Miele

Books in Brief

How Could You Do That?!: The Abdication of Character, Courage, and Conscience, by Laura Schlessinger; Issues in Evolutionary Ethics, edited by Paul Thompson; Narrow Roads of Gene Land,Volume 1: Evolution of Social Behaviour, by W. D. Hamilton; The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics, by Paul Lawrence Farber; Emotions in Command: A Naturalistic Study of Institutional Dominance, by Frank Kemp Salter; The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution, by John Brockman; Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen; The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan; The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology, by Victor J. Stenger; Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, by Kenneth L. Feder; The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal, edited by Gordon Stein; Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History, by Mary Lefkowitz; They Say You’re Crazy: How the World’s Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who’s Normal, by Paula J. Caplan; Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth, by Burton L. Mack


Skeptics Society 1996 Conference: A Huge Success
Publishing Controversy
Gathering for Gardner II
Skeptics Walk on Fire For Bill Nye “the Science Guy.” Deconstruction Self-Destructs; Another National Skeptics Group; Attention Chicago Skeptics; Bad Writing Contest; Deaths in Major Sect; The Mysterious (and Profitable) Origins of Man; Millennium Mystery or Misinformation?
Patterson Bigfoot Hoax; Gallup Poll Results: Hell/Devil Gainers, Science/Rationality Losers; Edgar Mitchell’s Carefully Omissive Interview
Iron Butterfly Band Member Disappears After Working on Faster Than Light Communication. Is He In A Godda Da Vida?

Special Section:
Evolutionary Ethics
& Secular Morality

Interview: Living Within Limits & Limits on Living
Garrett Hardin on Ecology, Economy, and Ethics
by Frank Miele
Toward a Science of Morality
by Roger Bingham
In Our Own Self Image
The Evolution of Morality, Deception, and Religion
by William Irons
Prospects for Existence
Morality and Genetic Engineering
by John Hartung
Plants, Property & People
Should Indigenous Peoples Be Compensated For Their Medicinal Plant Knowledge?
by Alondra Oubre´
The Secular Sphinx
The Riddle of Ethics Without Religion
by Michael Shermer
Why Creationists
Fear Evolution
An Introduction to
Bryan’s Last Speech
The Most Powerful Argument Against Evolution Ever Made
The Undelivered Speech to
the Jury in the Scopes’ Trial
by William Jennings Bryan


Hollywood Skepticism; A “Spiritual “Experience; Never Been So Edified; Tipler Has Had It; Replace God — With What?; Replace God — With Nothing; Breasts Are For Babies Not Men; Breasts and Brains; What Women See in Men; Two Confusions — Daniel Dennett Responds; The E-Word; Gish Overrated, But Useful; Creationists Drown in Flood; The I.Q. Toll; Gould Against Affirmative Action?; The Thin Veneer of Civility; Hartung and Chait Are Both Right … and Wrong; Hartung Misinformed; Constructive Revisionism; In the Name of God, Nazi Style; Spinoza’s Stone; Leave God to the Philosophers; Velikovsky’s Place Clarified; Scientific Facelift; Shame on Skeptic; Why Hide Church Secrets?; Jacobsen Responds to Scientology; Miss Blood Speaks; No Liberal Conspiracy; Say What? Miele Replies
Dr. Tipler ≠ Dr. Asimov
Or How I Learned to Love the Second Law of Thermodynamics

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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.

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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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