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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.

Honor, Dignity, Victim
A Tale of Three Moral Cultures

Posted on 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.


Virtual Violence

Posted on Feb. 06, 2018 by Terence Hines

Do “violent” video games pose “as big a health risk as alcohol and drug abuse” and are they “ruining the youth of America”? Terence Hines reviews Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong, by Patrick M. Markey and Christopher J. Ferguson.


pH Mythology:
Separating pHacts from pHiction

Posted on Jan. 31, 2018 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

pH diets, alkaline water, urine pH tests, pseudoscience and bogus cancer cures abound. In this column, Harriet Hall, M.D. combats the plague of pH misinformation by distinguishing pHacts from pHiction.


Psychology’s Unhealed Wound

Posted on Jan. 24, 2018 by Mario E. Herrera & Lawrence Patihis

Mario E. Herrera and Lawrence Patihis review Mark Pendergrast’s new book: Memory Warp: How the Myth of Repressed Memory Arose and Refuses to Die.


Unsubstantiated:
A new Netflix documentary purporting to provide proof of alien visitation fails to deliver

Posted on Jan. 16, 2018 by Tim Callahan

Tim Callahan reviews Unacknowledged: An Exposé of the World’s Greatest Secret, a new Netflix documentary, purporting to provide proof of alien visitation, that fails to deliver.


Trial by Therapy:
The Jerry Sandusky Case Revisited

Posted on Jan. 03, 2018 by Frederick Crews

Frederick Crews reviews Mark Pendergrast’s book The Most Hated Man in America: Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgment: a sustained, comprehensive case—based on detailed evidence and reasoning—that Jerry Sandusky (found guilty on 45 counts of child molestation) was, in fact, blameless.


I, Too, Am Thinking About Me, Too

Posted on Dec. 27, 2017 by Carol Tavris

Social psychologist Carol Tavris reminds us that it is more important than ever to tolerate complexity and ask questions that evoke cognitive dissonance whenever a movement is fueled by rage and revenge.


Why Freud Matters
Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and the Skeptical Humanist Tradition

Posted on Dec. 13, 2017 by Raymond Barglow

Raymond Barglow discusses how the psychoanalytic tradition inaugurated by Sigmund Freud casts light on the mainsprings of human motivation and helps to explain human irrationality and encourage recovery.


The Pro-Truth Pledge
An Effective Strategy for Skeptics to Fight Fake News and Post-Truth Politics

Posted on Nov. 29, 2017 by Gleb Tsipursky

In a time when the Oxford English Dictionary has named “post-truth” as its word of the year (2016), Dr. Gleb Tsipursky avers that we can create a mechanism for differentiating the liars from the truth-tellers, ensuring the veracity of public information.


The Wizardry of Freud

Posted on Nov. 14, 2017 by Margret Schaefer

Margret Schaefer reviews Freud: The Making of an Illusion, in which its author, Frederick Crews, convincingly argues that Freud constructed psychoanalysis on a fraudulent foundation. How did Freud convince so many people of the correctness and the profundity of his theory?


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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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