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Back Issues, volumes 16 through 20

Skeptic volume 20 number 4

volume 20 number 4
Robert Trivers

The Wild Life of an Evolutionary Biologist, excerpted from the Memoir of One of the Greatest Scientists of the Past Century; Neurosurgeon and Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson is Skeptical of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory. Is this a Reflection on Education or Religion?; Skeptical Adventures of a Magician; The Passing of a Critical Thinking Giant Richard Paul, 1937–2015; Can Science Determine Moral Values?; The Science of Destiny: What is the Meaning of Life, Anyway?; The Moving Tombstone of Aalsum; Debunking the Myth that Low-dose Radiation May Cause Cancer. In Fact, it May Even be Beneficial; Debating the God Construct; Christianity’s Negative Impact on Modern American Education; Incidentalomas: Too Much Information Can Hurt You; Photographer’s Amnesia, or the Side Effects of Selfies; Debunking Indoor Tanning Myths; Reviews: A review of Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary film The Look of Silence; A review of Preparing for Contact: When Humans and Extraterrestrials Finally Meet; A review of The Evolution of Everything: How Ideas Emerge; Junior Skeptic: Space Brothers from Venus?
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Skeptic volume 20 number 3

volume 20 number 3
Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace—Species Seeker Extraordinaire; The Consilient Mr. Wallace: How He and Darwin Independently Used the Same Method to Arrive at Natural Selection; Demolishing Wallace’s “White Picket Fence” Around Human Cognition: Wallace, Darwin, and the Spiritualism Scandal of 1876 When a Young Scientist Prosecuted a “Psychic” Fraudster, the Co-Founders of Evolutionary Biology Took Opposing Sides; Wallace and the Flat Earthers: Charles Lyell Counseled Charles Darwin to Avoid Public Controversies, while Encouraging Alfred Wallace to Lock Horns with a Malicious Crackpot; Reconciling the “Two Wallaces: Why Alfred Russel Wallace Got Involved In So Many Heretical Ideas; Debunking the Full Moon Effect on School Kids; The Non-Fine-Tuned Universe: The Astronomical Failure of the Cosmological Argument for Theism; The “God” Construct: A Testable Hypothesis for Unifying Science and Theology; “Why is Critical Thinking so Hard to Teach?” Internet Trolls and Civility; Anecdotal Medical Evidence; Reviews; Junior Skeptic: Bat-People On the Moon! Anatomy of a Moon Hoax
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Skeptic volume 20 number 2

volume 20 number 2
Drug Policy

Smokey the Bear Medicine; How to Make Young Kids Smarter; Who Speaks for Earth? The Current Controversy Over METI: Messaging to Extra Terrestrial Intelligence; Can Emotions Effect Matter? Testing Masaru Emoto’s Hypothesis that Emotions Change Nature; Heaven Only Knows: Near-Death Experiences and the Problem of Account Incongruence; Where Drug Myths Die: An Interview with Carl Hart; Putin’s Rasputin: Meet Aleksandr Dugin, Mystical High Priest of Russian Fascism; Placebo, Are You There?; What Parents Need Not to Know: Eight Myths of Child Development; What Does “Supernatural” Mean, Anyway?; The Diet-Heart Hypothesis: The Contested Roles of Fats and Carbohydrates in Heart Disease; A Psychologist’s Innumeracy: A Guide to Recognizing Pseudo-Mathematics in the Social Sciences; Flawed Geniuses in Film Film Biographies: Stephen Hawking: The Theory of Everything, and Alan Turing: The Imitation Game; Mirror Neurons: A Review of The Myth of Mirror Neurons: The Real Neuro-science of Communication and Cognition; Wonderful Science: A Review of A Scientist in Wonderland: A Memoir of Searching for Truth and Finding Trouble; God’s Lawyer A Review of Christianity on Trial: A Lawyer Examines the Christian Faith; Willpower and Won’t Power: A Review of The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control; In the Belly of the Beast: A Review of Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Front Lines; Stranger than Fiction: A Review of of the HBO Documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief; Junior Skeptic: The Fantastical Hollow Earth Part II; Carbon Comic: The Problem With Facts— Why the Law of Gravity is False
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Skeptic volume 20 number 1

volume 20 number 1
Terrorism

A Skeptic’s Guide to the War on Terror; Myths of Terrorism; Religion, Violence, and Terrorism: An Empirical Evolutionary Study; Colloidal Silver, Smurfs, and Ebola; Artificial Intelligence: Benevolent or Malevolent?; The Thinking Atheist Confesses; Proof and God; Cow Tipping’s Surprising Origins; What a Horse Can Teach Us About Self Deception; The Demon Test: Possessed of Problems; The Biological and Psychological Basis of Horror; How Con Men Used Pseudoscience to Exploit the Drought of the 1890s; Can Superpositions of Quantum Consciousness Unlock Your Brain’s Hidden Nonlocal Potentiality?; Junior Skeptic: Journey Inside the Fantastical Hollow Earth; Carbon Comic: Pandemic Pandering A Special Report on Special Pleading
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Skeptic volume 19 number 4

volume 19 number 4
Diet Myths

SPECIAL ISSUE on Food and Diet Myths: Decoding Food Labels by Harriet Hall, M.D.; An Evolutionary and Functional Perspective on Chronic Disease, by Kenneth W. Krause. ARTICLES: Sneezing Customs: A Blessing in Disguise, by Karen Stollznow: Does AA Work? by Carol Tavris; “Chemtrail” Fail: Are Contrails Really Toxic Chemicals Sprayed by a Secret Conspiracy? by Donald R. Prothero; Skepticism: A Rare and Beautiful Thing, by Daniel Loxton; Whole Lot of Nothing: Tales of a Cosmological Argument, by Jérémie Harris; Thinking Critically About Psychology’s Classic Studies: Revisiting Studies by Milgram, Harlow, Mischel, Sherif and Others and What They Mean Today, by Carol Tavris; How to Lie with Statistics, by Gary Smith. SPECIAL SECTION: CHANGING MINDS: The Core Conflict Between Creationism and Evolution Do Unique Definitions of “Science” and “Proof” Allow Creationists to Disregard Evidence of Evolution? by Ralph M. Barnes; Why is Critical Thinking so Hard to Teach, by Kevin McCaffree and Anondah Saide. HUMOR: Genetic Park: Engineered Crops Run Amok on a Tycoon’s Island by Kyle Sanders. REVIEWS: Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty, reviewed by Burt Stillar; Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, by Sam Harris. Junior Skeptic: Flat Earth?! The Convoluted Story of a Flatly Mistaken Notion, by Daniel Loxton.
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Skeptic volume 19 number 3

volume 19 number 3
The Multiverse

Fine-Tuning and the Multiverse, by Victor J. Stenger; Quantum Immortality —Some Physicists Think You Might Already Be Immortal; SkepDoc Harriet Hall on Sound Healing; Can Dolphins Talk?; On Miracles, by Harriet Hall; Are Blood Type and Personality Linked?; Carol Tavris on The Negative Side of Positive Thinking; The Extraordinary History of Mass Hysteria in Schools; The Shroud of Turin Can Now Be Easily Dated; Junior Skeptic: Ghost Photos Part II, by Daniel Loxton. Empirical Studies on: Are RelIgious Nations Better Off? and How Much Free Market is Too Much? Special Section On Changing Minds: How a Cartoon Kept Quacks Away from Infants; Explaining Evolution by using health issues as examples; How Intuition Can Block Scientific Understanding. Reviews: A Review of Your Inner Fish a Three-Part PBS Documentary reviewed by Donald Prothero; A review of Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking, by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander, reviewed by Chris Edwards.
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Skeptic volume 19 number 2

volume 19 number 2
Boston Bombing Conspiracy Theories

The Multiverse and the Deity; In Defense of Soft Theism; Soul Searching: An Evolutionary Problem for Theists; Mass Hysteria at Old Salem Village; Conspiracy in Boston: Disentangling Boston Marathon Bombing Conspiracy Theories; The Miracle of Large Numbers Can Explain Seemingly Miraculous Events; Reasons for Hope in the Science of Artificial Intelligence; Deciphering The Voynich Manuscript; The SkepDoc on Faith Healing Tragedies; New column by Carol Tavris: The Gadfly: The Science of Memory and the Dylan Farrow/Woody Allen Case; Junior Skeptic: Photographing Phantoms, Part One; Reviews: The Man Who Filmed Nessie; Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil; Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience; God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States; The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science; Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey—a 13 episode TV series hosted by astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Skeptic volume 19 number 1

volume 19 number 1
Did Jesus Exist?

Did Jesus Exist? We Examine the Best Evidence by Tim Callahan: Let’s Get Real [about Evolution], Even if it Hurts by James Randi; Face the Music by Karen Stollznow; Does Religion Make People Healthier? by Harriet Hall, M.D.; An Insider’s Look at Faith Healing by Dustin White; Except: Imagine There’s No Heaven: The Seeds of Modern Atheism and the Tragic Life of Madalyn Murray O’Hair by Mitchell Stephens; James Van Praagh and the Afterlife by I. H. Smythe; Ghostbusters Busted at Sand Creek by Gregory F. Michno; Why Whistleblowing Doesn’t Work by Frederick V. Malmstrom and David Mullin: James R. Flynn on Rising IQs, interviewed by Lee Traynor; Comic: Holistic Airlines—The Natural Way to Fly by Kyle Sanders; Junior Skeptic: Carl Sagan by Daniel Loxton; Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott and Countdown by Alan Weisman reviewed by Michael Shermer; The Seven Laws of Magical Thinking by Matthew Hutson reviewed by Kevin J McCaffree; What’s So Great about God (Formerly Godforsaken) by Dinesh D’Souza reviewed by Franz Kiekeben; Hardcore Zen Strikes Again by Brad Warner reviewed by Mike Moran
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Skeptic volume 18 number 4

volume 18 number 4
Ancient Aliens

Did Ancient Aliens Bring Us Civilization? We Examine the Best Evidence; An Interview With Astrophysicist Sean Carroll; Special Section: Diagnosing the DSM: Do Psychiatric Diagnoses Reflect Valid Disorders?; Why Tests for Multiple Personalities Don’t Work. Plus: Why We Can’t Eliminate Medical Mistakes; New Satanic Panic; Hunting Bigfoot; Uncertainty in Medicine is Good! by Harriet Hall M.D.; Randi on Astrology; The Mythology and Geology Behind Noah’s Flood. Reviews: The Psychic Mind; Intelligent Design Follies; Processed Food; Bigfoot Skepticism Is Alive and Well; Blackfish Film; The Sports Gene; Debunking Plantinga. Junior Skeptic: Velikovsky…
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Skeptic volume 18 number 3

volume 18 number 3
50 Years of JFK Conspiracy Theories

How Hunting Developed Scientific Thinking; The Great Radium Craze; Randi On the Founding Father Of Scientology; Child Preachers From Jesus to Marjoe Scientology’s War on Medicine By Harriet Hall; beware of the “Sovereign Citizen” scam; how Science Denial threatens us all; psychic Sylvia Browne Debunked Again; REVIEWS: Media-driven Panics and Hoaxes; A Classic Example of Confirmation Bias; A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind; Science Basics and Amazing Anecdotes; Growing Up in the Amityville Horror; Junior Skeptic: Mermaids…
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Skeptic volume 18 number 2

volume 18 number 2
Gender Differences

What Science Says and Why it’s Mostly Wrong; Gender and the Paranormal; What Science Says About the Soul; An Interview with Controversial Anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon; Is the Earth’s Magnetic Field Reversal Dangerous?; Scientology Self Help Handbook; Can We Trust Science Media Reports?; Why The Universe Exists; Skeptics in Film; Witchcraft Ceremony. Junior Skeptic: Alien Invaders!… and more…
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Skeptic volume 18 number 1

volume 18 number 1
The Mass Murder Problem

The Mass Murder Problem and What to Do About it; The Sandy Hook Problem and the Real Decline of Violenc; A Geologist Looks at: Noah’s Flood and Comic Book Legend Neal Adams’ Expanding Earth Theory, SkepDoc Examines Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity; Rain Boy Poltergeist Case Solved; Coral Castle, Junior Skeptic on Ghostbuster Girls!; and more…
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Skeptic volume 17 number 4

volume 17 number 4
Alternative Cancer Cures

Steve Job’s Reality Distortion Field; Psychology of Speaking in Tongues; Media Fact Checking Guide; Bogus Barefoot Cure-all; Internet Exorcist Bob Larson; Did Americans Discover Europe First?; Howard Bloom Interview; Psychology of Postmodern Nonsense. Reviews: How Eyes Evolved; Secular Americans & Religion for Atheists; 50 Misconceptions; “God and the Folly of Faith”; Where is the Garden of Eden? Who’s in Charge? Free Will; New Science of Neuroethics. Junior Skeptic: Dark Secrets of the Oracle-Monger
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Skeptic volume 17 number 3

volume 17 number 3
Christian Nation?

Is Ours a Christian Civilization?; Are We Alone? How Astronomers are Searching for Extrasolar Planets; The Flake Equation; The Physics of UFOs; Interstellar Travel; multiple personality disorder; Mokele Mbembe, genesis creation mythology; why there is something rather than nothing; facilitated communication; Celebrating the Reason Rally; moral cognition testing; faith in the age of science…
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Skeptic volume 17 number 2

volume 17 number 2
Climate Change Q&A

How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human Caused; Special Section on Perception Self-Deception; Special Section on Evidence-Based Medicine; A Historical and Physiological Perspective on a World War II Aviation Mystery; Talking to the Dead: An Empirical Study on the Psychological Aspects of Interpreting Electronic Voice Phenomena; Sleep Paralysis; Energy Medicine and Fantasy Physics; Depression Treatment…
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Skeptic volume 17 number 1

volume 17 number 1
Scientology

Is Scientology a Cult?; New Revelations on the History, Future, and Reformation of Scientology; 9/11 Controlled Demolition Conspiracy Debunked; Can Science Deliver Eternal Life?; Was the Resurrection a Grief Hallucination?; Body Language Baloney?; The Secret Behind Outstanding Teaching; A Biologist on the Meaning of Life…
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Skeptic volume 16 number 4

volume 16 number 4
The Man Who Invented Flying Saucers

The Truth About Antioxidants, Precognition Research: Paranormality and Precognitive Dreams, Reason v. Faith, Fossil Hoaxes, The Man Who Invented Flying Saucers!, Who Believes That Aliens Landed at Roswell?, Record Tornados: Chance or Global Warming?, …
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Skeptic volume 16 number 3

volume 16 number 3
Islam

The Mythic Origins of the Qur’an; Imams, Fatwas, Jihads and Jews—Sense and Nonsense about Muslims and the Middle East; Muslim Creationism and the Curious Case of Harun Yahya; Skepdoc on Aspartame: Safe Sweetener or Perilous Poison?; Science and the Is/Ought Problems; Myths About Fat and What to Do About It…
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Skeptic volume 16 number 2

volume 16 number 2
The Origin of Life

How Did Life Begin; How Close Are We to Creating Life in the Lab?; Who Still Believes in 9/11 Conspiracies?; What is Naturopathy?; Was Hypatia of Alexandria a Scientist?; Stradivarius Pseudoscience; Lying About Placebos…
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Skeptic volume 16 number 1

volume 16 number 1
The Happiness Industry

Our Cultural Obsession with Happiness; The Happiness Industry; Workplace Happism; When to Avoid Optimism; The Myth of Quantum Consciousness; Motorcycle Maintenance Without the Zen; The Science of Changing People’s Minds…
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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 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. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

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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.

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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 why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

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The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They 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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