The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 5 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 5, no 2


’Twas Brillig…
Things Do Get Exciting
by James Randi
Gray Matters
The Origin of the “Gray”
Alien Archetype
by John Adams
Bill Gates Profits
from Alien Technology
The True Meaning of Roswell
by Daryl Lease
A Skeptic Crashes in Roswell
by Nick Gerlich
15 Myths of Science
Lessons of Misconceptions and Misunderstandings from a Science Educator
by William F. McComas
Skepticism & Credulity
Finding the Balance Between Type I and Type II Errors
by Bill Wisdom


Roswell Mystery Man Surfaces; Alien Copyrights?; Case Closed or Reopened?
Skeptics Celebrate Society’s 5th Anniversary at 1997 Caltech Conference
Skeptics 1996 Dumbth Award
by Randy Cassingham
Fuzzy Thinking; End of Science?; Queer Science; The Disappearance of God; Skeptic Expands in Canada, Weird Things on Bestseller List; Skeptic Web Page Accolades; Scientists’ Beliefs in God; An Experimental Analysis of Therapeutic Touch by Emily Rosa; A Deathbed Confession by the Guru of Death & Dying; Turin Shroud May be Older Than Carbon-14 Tests Say; Darwin CD Web Site Correction; Australian Ark Trial Verdict Goes Against Evolutionist; The Dark Side of Oz; How to Induce a Near-Death Experience; Negative NDEs; Bad Writing Contest Winners; Freedom of Fortunetelling; Mexico’s Subway Virgin Mary; IHO Joins ASU in the Search for Human Origins; The Ultra-Orthodox Don’t Dig Archaeological Digs.


Darwinism — Never Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll!
The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation, by Matt Ridley; Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals, by Frans de Waal; Bonobo: the Forgotten Ape, by Frans de Waal & Frans Lanting; Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, by Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson
reviewed by Frank Miele
Keeping a Skeptical Eye
on Extremists
American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists, and Others, by John George and Laird Wilcox; Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America, by Laird Wilcox
reviewed by Frank Miele


Self-Correcting Religion; True Memories of Abuse; Therapeutic Touch Clarification; JFK Conspiracy Not Impossible
Readers Respond
to Ecology Issue
Income-to-Cost Debunks Simon; Calling the Kettle Black; Overhunting Hypothesis Myth
Juilian Simon Interview
A Triumph of Journalism; Skeptics’ Statist Slant; Privatize Everything; Miele Responds; Appalled by Lack of Skepticism; Hat and Horns — “It’s a Jersey Thing”; A More Appropriate Prop?
Gish Responds to Critique;
Arthur Replies to Gish

Special Section:
The God Question

The Power of
the Meme Meme
Religion as a Meme Suggests How a Science of Memetics Illuminates Human Evolution
by Susan Blackmore
O Ye of Little Faith
Cracking the Bible Code and Other “Proofs” of God
by Michael Shermer
The Annotated Gardner
An interview with Martin Gardner — founder of the Modern Skeptical Movement
by Michael Shermer
Einstein’s God
Just What Did Einstein
Believe About God?
by Michael R. Gilmore
The Question All
Skeptics Are Asking
Do Recent Discoveries in Science Offer Evidence for the Existence of God? by Bernard J Leikind
Whatever Happened
to Atheism?
by Lawrence Hyman
A New “Proof”
of God Emerges
Does Induction Presume the Existence of the Christian God?
by Michael Martin
Graves, Graham & God
A Personal Odyssey Through
Rural American Religions
by Laurie Johansen
The Case Against Immortality
by Keith Augustine

Books in Brief

Why Is Sex Fun?: The Evolution of Human Sexuality, by Jared Diamond; Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media, by Elaine Showalter; Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga, by John R. Horner; Beyond Science, by John Polkinghorne; Beyond the Cosmos: What Recent Discoveries in Astronomy and Physics Reveal About the Nature of God, by Hugh Ross; The Inflationary Universe, by Alan H. Guth; The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report, by Timothy Ferris; Skywatchers, Shamans, and Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power, by E.C. Krupp; After God: The Future of Religion, by Don Cupitt; Conjuring Science: Scientific Symbols and Cultural Meanings in American Life, by Christopher P. Toumey; Rebirth of the Goddess: Finding Meaning in Feminist Spirituality, by Carol P. Christ; Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, by Stuart A. Vyse; Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, by Carl Sagan; T. Rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez; The Dictionary of Metaphysical Healthcare, by Jack Raso

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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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