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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.

Radically Wrong in Berkeley

Posted on Sep. 13, 2017 by Raymond Barglow

Is Antifa an enemy of free speech? Raymond Barglow discusses the recent violent demonstrations in Berkeley, which purported to “fight fascism,” while fueling it instead.


The Multi-headed Hydra of Prejudice

Posted on Aug. 30, 2017 by Carol Tavris

Social psychologist (and regular columnist for Skeptic magazine, Carol Tavris, discusses the hydra of prejudice and the psychological predictors that lead to it rearing its ugly heads.


Ultraterrestrials

Posted on Aug. 23, 2017 by Terence Hines

How useful are eyewitness reports and “investigations” by UFO proponents? In this week’s eSkeptic, psychology professor Dr. Terence Hines reviews How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth, by David Clarke.


Functional Medicine:
Pseudoscientific Silliness

Posted on Aug. 16, 2017 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Harriet Hall, M.D. (the SkepDoc) examines the latest flavor of integrative medicine called “functional medicine” (FM) — a Trojan horse designed to sneak non-science-based medicine into conventional medical practice.


Life’s Score

Posted on Aug. 09, 2017 by Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer reviews Knowing the Score: What sports can teach us about philosophy (and what philosophy can teach us about sports), by King’s College philosopher David Papineau.


ET v. Earth Pathogens
Will ETs Kill Us or Vice Versa?

Posted on Aug. 01, 2017 by Tim Callahan

Tim Callahan explores the question of whether microbes from any given planet will be brutally harmful to the inhabitants of another planet who have no immunity to the alien pathogens.


Provocateur:
A Review of Milo Yiannopoulos’s new book Dangerous

Posted on Jul. 26, 2017 by George Michael

George Michael reviews Milo Yiannopoulos’s self-published book Dangerous, which has reached #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller list, and, at the time of this writing, is near the top of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.


I am Not Living in a Computer Simulation, and Neither Are You

Posted on Jul. 05, 2017 by Peter Kassan

Peter Kassan examines the idea that we are all just computer simulations living in a computer simulation.


An Outbreak of Mass Hallucinations and Shoddy Journalism:
Why We Need Skepticism More Than Ever

Posted on Jun. 28, 2017 by Robert E. Bartholomew

Medical sociologist Dr. Robert E. Bartholomew, examines a “baffling epidemic of hallucinations” that was reported to have broken out in Oregon in October of 2016. Was it an outbreak of mass suggestion, or simply an surge of shoddy journalism?


Cogent Criticisms
A Point-by-Point Reply to Criticisms of
the “Conceptual Penis” Hoax

Posted on Jun. 13, 2017 by James Lindsay & Peter Boghossian

James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian offer a point-by-point reply to 10 popular criticisms of their parody-style hoax paper, “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” that they published in an academic journal called Cogent Social Sciences.


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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 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. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

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 why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one 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

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They 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.

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