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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

Watch or listen here or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

EPISODE # 175

Brian Keating — How it All Began: Cosmic Inflation, the Multiverse, and the Nature of Scientific Proof

Brian Keating is a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego; a Fellow of the American Physical Society; a commercially rated pilot; and the director of the Simons Observatory. He received the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work on BICEP. He is the author of Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor, and the host of Into the Impossible, a podcast about how we imagine, and how what we imagine shapes what we do. Each conversation brings together visionaries from the worlds of arts, sciences, humanities, and technology discussing the nature of imagination and how we collaborate to create the future.

In this episode, Shermer and Keating discuss:

  • cosmology and Intelligent Design,
  • the fine-tuning of the universe,
  • the multiverse and theism: many worlds or one God?
  • How does the Intelligent Designer or God as a disembodied mind interact with the physical universe?
  • If the origin of the universe and its fine-tuned nature points to an intelligence or mind behind it, why don’t most cosmologists, physicists, and astronomers accept that conclusion?
  • What are laws of nature?
  • Can you explain the origin of the universe by laws and rules of things in the universe?
  • What came before the Big Bang?
  • What caused the bang that gave rise to our universe?
  • Why there is something rather than nothing?
  • inflationary cosmology,
  • What is gravity? What is quantum gravity?
  • How did the Big Bang theory win out over the Steady State theory?
  • the difference between Popperian falsification, Kuhnian paradigm, and consensus science,
  • Is string theory physics, metaphysics, or mathematics?
  • What shape is the universe? Open, closed, or flat?
  • What is dark energy and dark matter?
  • What is time?
  • What is infinity?
  • cyclic universes and the multiverse.

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Retrospective

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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