The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Skeptic Magazine, Volume 7 Number 2
Table of Contents

Skeptic magazine, vol 7, no 2


Reinventing Evolution
450 Attend the Skeptics Society’s 1999 Convention at Caltech
From Moses to Memes
Caltech Skeptics’ Lectures Draw Huge Audiences
World War Three To Start in July Says Nostradamus; Professors’ Predictions (and Failure Excuses) as Bad as Psychics; Laundry Balls Outlawed; Illinois Cracks Down on Satanic Ritual Abuse Psychiatrist
Cult Update
Evolution “Just a Theory” in Nebraska; Authors Defend Evolution Teaching; Flat Earths and POSH Theories


A Book, A Life and A Goddess
The Hidden Book in the Bible by Richard Elliot Friedman, Moses: A Life, by Jonathan Kirsch, and The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, by Leonard Shlain
reviewed by Tim Callahan
Square Pegs & Round Holes
An Evaluation of the Science in The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom, by Gerald L. Schroeder
reviewed by Peter B. Weichman
Sacred Science
A review of The Scared Depths of Nature, by Ursula Goodenough
reviewed by Chet Raymo


Skeptics are Powerful; In Defense of Philosophy; The Skeptical Approach; Sociobiology ≠ Evolutionary Psychology; Great Pyramid Was a Power Plant; Cold Fusion Still Hot; Gould v. Huxley Agnosticism
Deconstructing JFK:
The Assassination Debate Continues
Gerlich’s JFK Mind is Closed; Gerlich Responds; Bang! Bang! Bang! Run!!; Fractal JFK
The Great Psychotherapy Debate Continues
In Defense of Psychotherapy; Tana Dineen Responds To Jeffrey Tarrant
Skeptics Respond
to Creationists
Natural Selection; Symbiosis and Gene Duplication


’Twas Brillig…
Pigasus Flies Again: The Third Annual Pigasus Awards from the James Randi Educational Foundation
by James Randi
Dumbth News from
This is True
The Skeptics Society
Annual Dumbth Awards
by Randy Cassingham
Cutting Edge
by Steven T. Asma
Is Anybody Out There?
by Daryl Lease
They Never Said It!
Freethinkers, Fundamentalists,
and Fake Quotes
by John George
How To Evaluate New Medical Discoveries
by Harry K. Ziel, M.D.
De-Population Myths
How Many People Really Lived in the Americas Before the European Conquest?
by David Henige

Special Section:
Cloning & Genetic Engineering

How Close Are We
to Cloning Time?
An Introduction to the Science and Ethics of Human Cloning
by Frank Miele
The Man Who
Would Be Cloned
An interview with Dr. Richard Seed Director of the Human Cloning Project
by Frank Miele
Only God Can Do That?
Cloning and Genetic Engineering Test the Moral Limits of Science
by Michael Shermer
The “Information Challenge”
How Evolution Increases Information in the Genome
by Richard Dawkins
Group Selection &
the Origins of Evil
by Nicholas S. Thompson
Theology &
Evolutionary Psychology
An Historical Perspective
on a Very Old Problem
by Kari Konkola and Glenn Sunshine

Junior Skeptic

Urban Legends
What’s an Urban Legend & How to Spot Them; Have you Fallen for Any of These Urban Legends?; How and Why Urban Legends Change; Fake warnings; Cow tipping; Urban Legends Slang; A True Story Behind a Legend; Use Your Understanding of Urban Legends to Improve your Storytelling Ability
by Pat Linse, Tom McDonough, Amanda Chesworth, Andrew Harter and Jaime Botero
The Madman of Magic
Meeting Steven Hawking and The Hawking Expanding Universe Trick
by Bob Friedhoffer

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Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

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

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

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.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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