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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.

A Pathway to Objective Morality
Why the Case for Scientific Humanism is Rational

Jan 16, 2019 by Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer responds to Richard Weikart’s critique of his January 2019 column in Scientific American: “Stein’s Law and Science’s Mission: The Case for Scientific Humanism.”


God, Heaven, and Evil
A Renewed Defense of Atheism

Jan 08, 2019 by Ken Levy

In this article from Skeptic magazine 23.1 (2018) Ken Levy examines arguments put forth by theists that God’s existence is perfectly compatible with all the violence, pain, suffering, and premature death we experience.


Please Touch

Jan 01, 2019 by Carol Tavris

In this article from Skeptic magazine 23.2 (2018), regular columnist Carol Tavris reminds us that the human need for touch is significant. Tavris is the coauthor of Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.


Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

Dec 18, 2018 by Michael Shermer

There have been many arguments for the existence of God. In this cover story from our just-released issue Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018), Michael Shermer delves into the question that underlies all the arguments: Why is there something rather than nothing?


Answering the Hard Question
“You’re an Atheist?! How Do You Find Meaning and Morality in Life if There Is No God?”

Nov 27, 2018 by Ralph Lewis

Psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Lewis answers the following question for religious believers facing adversity: “You’re an atheist?! How do you find meaning and morality in life if there is no God?”


Sleep Paralysis
A Personal Odyssey into an Apparently Paranormal Experience

Nov 09, 2018 by Heidi Love

Sleep paralysis is a type of hallucination that occurs in the fuzzy borderlands between wakefulness and sleep. Former tripping-hippie-conspiracy-theorist-turned-skeptic Heidi Love shares first-hand accounts of her experiences lucid dreaming under sleep paralysis.


Junior Skeptic: An Easy Guide to Baloney Detection!

Nov 09, 2018 by Daniel Loxton

In an era of “fake news,” “post truth,” and just plain old-as-time baloney, kids need critical thinking more than ever! They need tools to sift fact from fiction when they navigate YouTube, television, and social media. To help, we created “An Easy Guide to Baloney Detection!”… DOWNLOAD the free PDF


Thought Crimes
Jordan Peterson and the Meaning of the Meaning of Life

Oct 30, 2018 by Stephen Beckner

The New York Times calls him “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now.” He inspires heartfelt admiration or abject loathing, and very little in between. In these uncertain times it seems essential to have an opinion about Jordan Peterson. But Skeptic contributor Stephen Beckner can’t quite make up his mind.


Great Untruths

Oct 17, 2018 by Anondah Saide & Kevin McCaffree

Anondah Saide and Kevin McCaffree review The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.


Have Archetype — Will Travel
The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon

Sep 26, 2018 by Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer attempts to explain the startling phenomenon of Jordan Peterson; not the man’s ideas so much as his message and following, which has grown astronomically in the past two years, from obscure Canadian professor of psychology to international man of mystery: mysterious to nearly everyone, that is, on exactly what it is he believes.


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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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