The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Back Issues, volumes 23–24

Skeptic volume 24 number 4

volume 24 number 4
Understanding Flat Earthers

Daniel Loxton examines the belief in a flat Earth and why people believe such a strange thing. Also in this issue: Understanding Flat Earthers; Shroud of Turin Update; The Girl Who Smelled Blue: The Colorful Case of Willetta Huggins; How to Navigate Contentious Conversations; How Much Longer Will Cancer Screening Myths Survive?; Nationalistic Pseudohistory in the Balkans; “Prove that I am Wrong!” What QAnon, Descartes, and Brains in Vats Have in Common; The SkepDoc on Water Fluoridation; Junior Skeptic: Victorian England’s Jurassic Park, several book review, and more…
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Skeptic volume 24 number 3

volume 24 number 3
Steven Pinker on Post-truth & Reason

Steven Pinker on “Why We Are Not Living in a Post-Truth Era: An (Unnecessary) Defense of Reason and a (Necessary) Defense of Universities’ Role in Advancing it”; The SkepDoc: Coconut Oil: Health Food or Health Hazard? by Harriet Hall, M.D.; The “Lost” Tribes of Israel; The Pentagon’s UFOs How a Multimedia Entertainment Company Created a UFO News Story; The Problem with the Walking Dead And How They Flummoxed Science for Centuries; The Enigma of Stephen Jay Gould; Why the Human Brain Did Not Evolve to Accurately Represent the True Nature of Reality; Homeopathy’s New Clothes: Release Active Drugs; Pressured Apologies, False Confessions, and Witch Hunts; Two Kinds of Progressive Atheism; Surfing for Truth in All the Right Places: An Empirical Test of the Backfire Effect and How the Internet Can Reduce Anti-vaccination Attitudes, and more...
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Skeptic volume 24 number 2

volume 24 number 2
The Existence of Evil and God

Pterosaur Thunderbird: The Origin of a Fake Native American Legend with an Anti-Evolution Agenda; Conversations with My Dead Mother Why We See Signs and Omens in Everyday Events; Is Cousin Marriage Dangerous?; Therapeutic Touch Redux Twenty Years After the Emily Event: Energy Therapies Live on Through Bad Science; What Can Science Learn from Religion? Steven Pinker on Religious Beliefs and Rituals; Becoming Fantastic: Why People Embellish Already Accomplished Lives with Incredible Tales of UFOs and Other Phenomena; 1984 in 2019: The New Privacy Threat from China’s Social Credit Surveillance System, and more…
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Skeptic volume 24 number 1

volume 24 number 1
Behe’s Last Stand

Making Gasoline from Water: John Andrews and the Invention of a Legend • Online Gaming: A Virtual Experiment in the Dark Side of Human Nature • Duped by Data Mining • How Science Will Explain and Fix Fake News • The Cult of Falun Gong: A Dance Troupe and Victimhood Raises Big Money • The Opioid Epidemic Misunderstood • Why the Human-Centered View Has Not Served us Well • Behe’s Last Stand: The Lion of Intelligent Design Roars Again • Straw Man on a Slippery Slope: The Case Against the Case Against Postmodernism • A Disproof of God’s Existence, and much more…
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Skeptic volume 23 number 4

volume 23 number 4
Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

Special Section on Tactics for Discussing Contentious Issues; Personhood and Abortion Rights How Science Might Inform this Contentious Issue, by Gary Whittenberger; How to Teach Evolution to Religious Students, by Surat Parvatam; The Arguments for Creationism and the Arguments for Evolution: A Study in Contrasts, by Ralph M. Barnes; Meeting Our “Enemies” Where They Are: The Advantage of Understanding Your Adversary’s Arguments, by Andrew Cooper-Sansone; Junior Skeptic: Secrets of the Ouija Board, and much more…
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Skeptic volume 23 number 3

volume 23 number 3
Science and Moral Values

Special Section on Jordan Peterson. Have Archetype—Will Travel: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon; Thought Crimes: Jordan Peterson and the meaning of the Meaning of Life; Special Section on Science & Morality. Getting Real About Right and Wrong; No, Being Religious Will Not Save You from Suicide; Lessons from Behavioral Science in a Warzone: How Reason, Skepticism, and Compassion Can Win Hearts and Minds; Moral Philosophy and its Discontents: Can science determine moral values? An Exchange with Massimo Pigliucci, Michael Shermer, and Kevin McCaffree; Facilitated Communication Redux: Persistence of a Discredited Technique; The Mystery of Elite Religious Scientists: A Cognitively Impenetrable Illusion; Five Questions About Human Errors for Proponents of Intelligent Design; The SkepDoc: Beware Stem Cell Clinics that Offer Untested Treatments; Junior Skeptic: Astral Projection
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Skeptic volume 23 number 2

volume 23 number 2
The Rise of the Nones

Imagining No Heaven — The Rise of the Nones and the Decline of Religion; Never Doubting God — Surveys on Belief in God’s Existence; Persistence of Belief in a Purposeful Universe; Honor, Dignity, Victim — A review of The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars; The SkepDoc — Premature Ejaculation in the News: How Headlines Influence Our Thinking; Is the Earth Flat? Flat Earthers Are Back — How do You Best Make the Argument for a Round Earth?; Conspiracy Theorists and the Harm They Do; Bruce Perkins and Another Terrible Tragedy of the Recovered Memory Movement; Deterrence and Its Discontents: Now That Nuclear War Seems to Be Getting More Likely Again, It’s Time to Turn a Skeptical Eye on Deterrence; Reality Need Not Diminish Our Concept of Our Place in the Cosmos; Junior Skeptic — Perpetual Motion; and more…
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Skeptic volume 23 number 1

volume 23 number 1
Evil, Theism, and Atheism

Special Section on Evil, Theism, and Atheism; “You’re an Atheist?! How Do You Find Meaning and Morality in Life if There Is No God?”; God, Heaven, and Evil: A Renewed Defense of Atheism; The Evaluation of Evil, the Measurement of Morality, and the Statistical Significance of Sin; The Concept and Mechanics of Natural Evil; Why Right and Wrong Seem Real: a Critique of Moral Realism; Tearing Down Mr. Hume’s Wall: A Response to Moral Realism Skeptics; Special Section on Sigmund Freud and his Legacy; Junior Skeptic: The Incredible Claims of Pet Psychics; and more…
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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.

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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.

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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 can you 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

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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