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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.

What is Mental Illness, Anyway?

Jul 16, 2019 by Peter Barglow, MD

Peter Barglow, MD reviews Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness by Anne Harrington.


Dead Weight

Jul 09, 2019 by Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards reviews Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.


Stranger Danger

Jul 02, 2019 by Nathan H. Lents

Entomologist and nature explorer Mark Moffett has a new book that not only advances our knowledge about human societies, but attempts to create a biological definition and understanding of the very concept of “society” itself. But how does his intriguing thesis integrate with other theories on the origin of our uniquely human sociality?


The Sisyphean Challenges of Skepticism or, Start by Disbelieving

Jun 25, 2019 by Carol Tavris

Social psychologist Carol Tavris reminds us that justice requires us to assess the evidence, and that this requirement is especially imperative when public opinion and emotion are weighted heavily in favor of one side.


The Pentagon’s UFOs
How a Multimedia Entertainment Company created a UFO news story

Jun 05, 2019 by Robert Sheaffer

Countless media outlets are proclaiming that the US Defense Department has “disclosed UFOs,” or has “acknowledged” that they exist. How much of that is true? Very little!


Health Freedom, Right to Try, and Informed Consent

May 29, 2019 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Harriet Hall, M.D. expresses concerns that under the right-to-try law, patients may not fully understand the risks and the low probability of success, and drug companies may take advantage to sell their products to desperate individuals at inflated prices.


Is Low-Dose Radiation Good for You?
The Questionable Claims for Hormesis

May 22, 2019 by Harriet Hall, M.D.

Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the dubious claims of radiation hormesis — that low levels of radiation are beneficial to health.


A Disproof of God’s Existence

May 15, 2019 by Colin McGinn

British philosopher Dr. Colin McGinn avers that it is wrong to say that God is by definition all powerful; he is only powerful within the limits of his nature.


How Science Will Explain & Fix Fake News

May 01, 2019 by David Cowan

Fake news, crafted to exploit us, wreaks havoc on our health, finances and politics. VeriSign founder David Cowan avers that science is the key to combatting the spread of disinformation.


Debating Science and Lost Civilizations
My Experience on the Joe Rogan Experience

Apr 23, 2019 by Michael Shermer

After his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast # 961 with Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson, Michael Shermer devoted a special issue of Skeptic magazine (22.3) to Hancock’s theory that an ancient lost civilization predates by tens of thousands of years all other known ancient civilizations. The follow is Dr. Shermer’s account of the show and a refinement of his notes for why he is skeptical of Hancock’s 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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