The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

EPISODE # 264

Adam Levin on Identity Theft and How to Protect Yourself from Scammers, Phishers, and Fraudsters of All Types

In this conversation, Shermer speaks with Adam Levin, a consumer advocate with more than 30 years’ experience in personal finance, privacy, real estate and government service. A former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Levin is Chairman and founder of Identity Theft 911.

Released April 18, 2022

EPISODE # 263

Dave Rubin — Left, Right, and Woke, based on his book Don’t Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia

Michael Shermer speaks with Dave Rubin: New York Times bestselling author, and creator and host of The Rubin Report. They discuss his book Don’t Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia.

Released April 16, 2022

EPISODE # 262

Oliver Stone on Ukraine, Putin, and the Military-Industrial Complex

Michael Shermer speaks with Oliver Stone about Ukraine, Putin, and the military-industrial complex.

Released April 12, 2022

EPISODE # 261

Jim Al-Khalili on the Joy of Science

Michael Shermer speaks with quantum physicist, Jim Al-Khalili, who reveals how 8 lessons from the heart of science can help us all get the most out of our lives.

Released April 9, 2022

EPISODE # 260

Batya Ungar-Sargon — Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy

Michael Shermer speaks with Batya Ungar-Sargon about her new book Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy in which she reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the twentieth century — from a blue-collar trade to an elite profession.

Released April 5, 2022

EPISODE # 259

Ogi Ogas — Journey of the Mind: How Thinking Emerged from Chaos

Michael Shermer speaks with computational neuroscientist, Ogi Ogas, about his unified account of the mind that explains how consciousness, language, self-awareness, and civilization arose incrementally out of chaos, and how leading cities and nation-states are developing “superminds,” and perhaps planting the seeds for even higher forms of consciousness.

Released April 2, 2022

EPISODE # 258

Jacek Kugler — Putin & Power Transition Theory: China, Russia, and Ukraine

Michael Shermer and Dr. Jacek Kugler, the Elisabeth Helm Rosecrans Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and Policy at Claremont Graduate University, discuss Power Transition Theory. According to the theory, developed by Dr. Kugler, an even distribution of political, economic, and military capabilities between contending groups of states is likely to increase the probability of war; peace is preserved best when there is an imbalance of national capabilities between disadvantaged and advantaged nations.

Released March 29, 2022

EPISODE # 257

Simon Conway Morris on Design in Evolution & the Possibility of Purpose in the Cosmos

Michael Shermer speaks with Simon Conway Morris, Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology at the University of Cambridge. In his latest book Morris challenges six assumptions — what he calls “myths” — that too often pass as unquestioned truths amongst the evolutionary orthodox. These include the idea that evolution is boundless in the kinds of biological systems it can produce. Not true, he says.

Released March 26, 2022

EPISODE # 256

Imagining the Future with Reality Game Designer and Futurist Jane McGonigal

Shermer speaks with world-renowned future forecaster and game designer, Jane McGonigal, about her book Imaginable in which she draws on the latest scientific research in psychology and neuroscience to show us how to train our minds to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable by inviting us to play with provocative thought experiments and future simulations.

Released March 22, 2022

EPISODE # 255

David Chalmers — Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

Michael Shermer speaks with University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science and codirector of the Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness at New York University, Dr. David Chalmers, about his book Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy.

Released March 19, 2022

EPISODE # 254

Ravi Gupta on the Lost Debate: Whatever Happened to Reasoned Discussion and Respectable Disagreement?

Whatever happened to reasoned discussion and respectable disagreement? Michael Shermer speaks with Ravi Gupta, the Founder and CEO of Lost Debate, a new non-profit media company that launched in October 2021 to fight polarization and misinformation online.

Released March 15, 2022

EPISODE # 253

Jennifer Sciubba on Putin, Russia, Ukraine, National & Global Security, and How Population Demographics Shape Our Future

Michael Shermer speaks with political demographer, former demographics consultant to the United States Department of Defense, and author of The Future Faces of War, Jennifer Sciubba, about her new 8 Billion and Counting.

Released March 12, 2022

EPISODE # 252

John Mueller on Putin’s War: Russia, Ukraine, and NATO

Shermer speaks with renowned Ohio State University political scientist John Mueller about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and what we might expect from Putin’s Russia in the coming weeks, months, and years, along with Dr. Mueller’s outline for how to end the current conflict and compromise with Putin.

Released March 8, 2022

EPISODE # 251

Kelly Weill on Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything

Michael Shermer speaks with journalist Kelly Weill whose work covers extremism, disinformation, and online conspiracy theories in current affairs. The conversation is based on her book Off the Edge which tells a powerful story about belief, polarized realities, and what needs to happen so that we might all return to the same spinning globe.

Released March 1, 2022
T-90 Russian battle tank (background image)

EPISODE # 250

Will Sanctions Work? War in Ukraine

Michael Shermer provides an analysis of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Will sanctions work? This reading is based on his Substack post entitled: “Putin’s Problem: The outlawry of war has forced tyrants to concoct excuses for invading other countries. How should we respond? Evidence shows that outcasting in the form of economic sanctions beats armed conflict.”

Released February 25, 2022

EPISODE # 249

Barbara F. Walter on How Civil Wars Start and How to Stop Them, including in the United States

Political violence rips apart several towns in southwest Texas. A far-right militia plots to kidnap the governor of Michigan and try her for treason. An armed mob of Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists storms the U.S. Capitol. Are these isolated incidents? Or is this the start of something bigger? Michael Shermer speaks with professor of political science, Barbara F. Walter, about her increasing worry about civil conflict in the United States.

Released February 22, 2022

EPISODE # 248

Elizabeth Weiss on Woke Archaeology and Erasing the Past

Michael Shermer speaks with anthropologist Elizabeth Weiss about woke archaeology and erasing the past, based on her book Repatriation.

Released February 15, 2022

EPISODE # 247

Jacob Mchangama on Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media

In this episode, based on the book Free Speech, Michael Shermer and Jacob Mchangama discuss the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of the principle, how much we have gained from it, and how much we stand to lose without it.

Released February 8, 2022

EPISODE # 246

Nick Pope on UAPs, UFOs, Conspiracies, and Cover-ups

Author, journalist and TV personality Nick Pope ran the British government’s UFO program for the Ministry of Defense, leading the media to call him the real Fox Mulder. He’s recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on UFOs, the unexplained, and conspiracy theories. Nick is the media’s go-to person for UFOs.

Released February 1, 2022

EPISODE # 245

Frank Sulloway on How Lives Turn Out: Genes, Environment, Pluck, and Luck

Michael Shermer speaks with American psychologist Dr. Frank J. Sulloway about the relative roles of genes, environment, hard work, and luck in how lives turn out. For decades, Dr. Sulloway has employed evolutionary theory to understand how family dynamics affect personality development.

Released January 29, 2022
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