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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.

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.


The Three Shades of Atheism
How Atheists Differ in Their Views on God

Posted on Jun. 09, 2017 by Brittany Page & Douglas J. Navarick

Based on a sample of hundreds of respondents to a survey distributed through social media, California State University, Fullerton psychologists Brittany Page and Douglas J. Navarick explain the differences they found in how atheists view God.


Some Thoughts on “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” Hoax

Posted on Jun. 07, 2017 by Alan Sokal

Alan Sokal reflects on the hoax perpetrated by James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian who published a nonsensical paper “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” in the peer-reviewed journal Cogent Social Sciences.


The Exorcist: The Reincarnation of a Particular Kind of Irrationality

Posted on May. 31, 2017 by Kathleen J. Schultheis

Since the death of William Peter Blatty—the author best known for his novel turned blockbuster film The Exorcist— exorcism is, once again, showing a robust presence in contemporary life, this time among millennials. In this article, Kathy Schultheis warns that this resurgence of interest in exorcism is a sign of how far reason has fallen.


Paradoxology:
If It Doesn’t Make Sense, It Must Be True

Posted on May. 24, 2017 by Tim Callahan

Can paradoxes that seem to undermine belief in the God of Christianity actually support a belief in Him? Skeptic magazine’s religion editor, Tim Callahan, reviews Paradoxology: Why Christianity Was Never Meant To Be Simple, by Krish Kandiah.


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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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