The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 5 Number 3
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 5, no 3


Millennium Special
What is the Millennium? by Stephen Jay Gould
’Twas Brillig…
Fairies, Frauds, & Fuss: Harry Houdini, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Case of the Fake Fairy Photos
by James Randi
Dumbth News from
This is True
by Randy Cassingham
The X-Files Meets Disneyland
UFOs are now as mainstream as apple pie: Aliens have replaced spooks in the carnival funhouse
by Tom McDonough
Conspiracies to Di For
by Nick Gerlich
Why Do Militias Exist?
With a Response from Militia Expert Richard Abanes by George Clark
The Solution is
Not in the Solution
Homeopathy and The Office of Alternative Medicine by Leon Jaroff
Houdini v. the Blond Witch of Lime Street
An Historical Lesson in Skepticism by Massimo Polidoro

Special Section:

How Humans
Explain Human Origins
The Bones, (Stones, and Dirty Stories) of Contention by Frank Miele
In Love With Lucy
and All Her Relatives
An interview with Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson
by Frank Miele
Paradigms in Collision
Margaret Mead’s Mistake and
What it Has Done to Anthropology
by Derek Freeman
Indians & Archaeologists
Conflicting Views of
Myth and Science by Kenneth L. Feder
God & the Ghost Dance
Farrakhan, Wovoka, and Jesus:
The Eternal Return of the Messiah Myth
by Michael Shermer


Turning Our Hearts
Toward Home
James Dobson’s War on America, by Gil Alexander-Moegerle
reviewed by Tim Callahan
A Book & its Cover
Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media, by Elaine Showalter
reviewed by David Bloomberg


Psychics Fail to Predict Princess Di’s Death
Nostradamus and Di
Now They Tell Us! by James Randi
Belief in Afterlife Increases—Atheists Less Than 1%; Canadians Believe in Miracles; Potato Miracle; Pat Robertson and UFOs; Prime Time Religion; Tape Reveals Real Mission of the Christian Coalition; Religion Book Sales Up 112%; Prime Time Religion; Ig Nobel Prizes Awarded; How To Become a Saint; 25th Anniversary of Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion; Bible Not Only Reason Students Reject Evolution; Prayer an Issue in Death; Parapsychology at UNLV; Cult Conference Controversy; The Skeptic’s Dictionary; Survey Reveals Intolerance Among Christian activists; Vanity Fair and Fairies; Banned by Rand; Mother Teresa Nun Bun Lives; IQ Pioneer and Psi Researcher Hans Eysenck Dies; Stimulation Simulator Sags; Moon Money; Candidate for Natural Selection Award; Hollywood Bigfoot Hoax; Dihydrogen Monoxide Ban—A Lesson in Critical Thinking; All the News Not Fit to Print.

Books in Brief

Who Really “Discovered” America?
American Discovery: Our Multicultural Heritage, by Gunnar Thompson, and, The Friar’s Map of Ancient America. 1360 AD., by Gunnar Thompson
Multiple Identities and False Memories: A Sociocognitive Perspective, by Nicholas P. Spanos; Carl Sagan’s Universe, edited by Yervant Terzian and Elizabeth Bilson; The Metaphysics of Star Trek, by Richard Hanley; Deception and Self-Deception: Investigating Psychics, by Richard Wiseman; Moral Judgment: Does the Abuse Excuse Threaten Our Legal System?, by James Q. Wilson; The Alien IQ Test, by Clifford Pickover; Smiling Through Tears, by Pamela Freyd and Eleanor Goldstein
It’s a Darwinian World
Reinventing Darwin: The Great Debate at the High Table of Evolutionary Theory, by Niles Eldredge; This is Biology: The Science of the Living World, by Ernst Mayr; Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence, by George B. Dyson; Charles Darwin and the Evolution Revolution, by Rebecca Stefoff; Huxley: From Devil’s Disciple to Evolution’s High Priest, by Adrian Desmond; Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and Women, by Deborah Blum; Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, by Phillip E. Johnson


Skeptical Roses; Priorities; ACLU Needs Skepticism; Firewalking Burns Feet!; Scientology Reply to Steve Allen; PC Culture Wars; Global Warming & Population ; Fallacies in Environmentalism; Carbon Cycle Key to Environmental Changes; Franklin No Rosicrucian; Callahan Responds; Gardner Unfair to Korzybski; Martin Gardner Responds; Whatever Happened to Atheism? — It’s Alive and Well Thank You; Platonic Memes; Blackmore Responds; Gravity No Myth; Einstein’s God; McComas Responds; Let’s Hear From Some Theists; Thank You Tim Callahan; Apologies for Apologetics; Extraordinarily Disturbing; Pro-Corporate Propaganda; Is the Big Bang Necessary?

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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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