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The Reading Room is a comprehensive, free resource of articles relating to science and skepticism. The Library contains an ever-growing index of articles, reviews and opinion editorials culled from our extensive archives, offering an in depth look into the myriad of subjects the Skeptics Society has explored over the years. You can help us continue to expand on the Reading Room by donating to the Skeptics Society.

Five Questions about Human Errors for Proponents of Intelligent Design

May. 09, 2018 by Nathan H. Lents

Nathan H. Lents asks five pointed questions of proponents of Intelligent Design that are inevitably raised by examples of poor design in the human body. Lents’s new book, Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, From Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, is now available.


What Biology Can Teach Us About Crime and Justice

May. 02, 2018 by Nathan H. Lents & Lila Kazemian

Nathan H. Lents and Lila Kazemian discuss evidence from a variety of disciplines as disparate as animal behavior and moral theology that point toward more humane, efficient, and effective responses to crime and punishment that work in concert, rather than in conflict, with our evolutionary psychology.


Moral Philosophy and its Discontents

Apr. 27, 2018 by Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer responds to Massimo Pigliucci’s critique of his Scientific American column on utilitarianism, deontology, and rights, entitled “You Kant be Serious: Utilitarianism and its Discontents.” (May 2018).


Not in Your Stars

Apr. 25, 2018 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka the SkepDoc) reviews Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? by Kimberly Blaker (Green Grove Press. 2018. 78 pages.), a delightful new book for children age 9–13 that encourages readers to ask questions and gives them the tools to find the answers for themselves.


Diet Sodas
Are the Dangers in the Chemicals or the Headlines?

Apr. 18, 2018 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Headlines about recent scientific studies are notoriously unreliable. Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka the SkepDoc) examines a study that caused alarming headlines last year about the dangers of drinking diet soda.


Hope and Hype for Alzheimer’s

Apr. 04, 2018 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka the SkepDoc) clarifies what we know and don’t know about Alzheimer’s.


Deterrence and its Discontents

Mar. 28, 2018 by David Barash

There are skeletons in the closet of nuclear deterrence. Advocates of nuclear deterrence say nuclear weapons are not only justified, their existence seems to have worked, and to be working, right now. David Barash avers that skepticism of nuclear deterrence is long overdue.


Juicing for Health or Torture

Feb. 27, 2018 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka The SkepDoc) examines many of the health benefit claims for juicing, and finds them lacking scientific scrutiny.


Trouble in the Multiverse

Feb. 21, 2018 by Peter Kassan

The notion that there can be more than one universe at first seems oxymoronic. Peter Kassan discusses the problematic notion of a multiverse arising from a highly speculative interpretation of quantum mechanics.


Honor, Dignity, Victim
A Tale of Three Moral Cultures

Feb. 14, 2018 by Kevin McCaffree

Kevin McCaffree reviews the forthcoming book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars (March 21, 2018) in which sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have produced the first systematic theoretical analysis of the moral culture of “victimhood” emerging on university campuses.


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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 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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