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The Skeptical Studies Curriculum Resource Center is a comprehensive, free repository of resources for teaching students how to think skeptically. This Center contains a selection of books, reading lists, course syllabi, in-class exercises, PowerPoint presentations, student projects, papers, and videos that you may download and use in your own classes. Lessons in these resources include:

  • what science is, how it differs from pseudoscience, and why it matters
  • the scientific method and how to use it to investigate and conduct skeptical analyses of extraordinary claims
  • how to construct effective arguments and rhetorical strategies
  • how to effectively use presentations and papers to present an argument
  • reason, logic, and skeptical analysis
  • the psychology of belief
  • how ideas are presented within academia
  • how peer review works
  • and much more…

The Moral Arc: How Thinking Like a Scientist Makes the World More Moral

In this, the final lecture of his Chapman University Skepticism 101 course, Dr. Michael Shermer pulls back to take a bigger picture look at what science and reason have done for humanity in the realm of moral progress. Watch The Moral Arc: How Thinking Like a Scientist Makes the World More Moral.


What is Truth, Anyway?

In this lecture Dr. Michael Shermer addresses one of the deepest questions of all: what is truth? How do we know what is true, untrue, or uncertain?


Is Freedom of Speech Harmful for College Students?

In this lecture, Dr. Michael Shermer addresses the growing crisis of free speech in college and culture at large, triggered as it was by the title lecture, which he was tasked to deliver to students at California State University, Fullerton, after a campus paroxysm erupted over Taco Tuesday.


What are Science & Skepticism?

In this lecture, Dr. Michael Shermer presents descriptions of skepticism and science and how they work, along with a discussion of the difference between science and pseudoscience, and some very practical applications of how to test claims and evaluate evidence.


Evolution & Creationism, Part 2: Who says evolution never happened, why do they say it, and what do they claim?

Dr. Michael Shermer continues the discussion of evolution and creationism, focusing on the history of the creationism movement and the four stages it has gone through.


Evolution & Creationism, Part 1

In this lecture on Evolution and Creationism (Part 1), Dr. Michael Shermer takes viewers to the Galápagos Islands to retrace Darwin’s footsteps and show that, in fact, Darwin did not discover natural selection when he was there in September of 1835. He worked out his theory when he returned home, and Shermer shows exactly how Darwin did that, along with the story of the theory’s co-discoverer, Alfred Russel Wallace.


Holocaust Denial

In this lecture on Holocaust Denial, Dr. Shermer employs the methods of science to history, showing how we can determine truth about the past.


Pathways to Evil, Part 2

In his lecture on Pathways to Evil (Part 2), Dr. Michael Shermer fleshes out the themes of Part 1 by exploring how the dials controlling our inner demons and better angels can be dialed up or down depending on circumstances and conditions. Are we all good apples but occasionally bad barrels turn good apples rotten, or do we all harbor the capacity to turn bad?


Pathways to Evil, Part 1

In his Skepticism 101 lecture on Pathways to Evil (Part 1), Dr. Michael Shermer considers the nature of evil in his attempt to answer the question of how you can get normal civilized, educated, and intelligent people to commit murder and even genocide.


How to Think About the Bermuda Triangle

Dr. Michael Shermer examines the claims about the Bermuda Triangle using the tools of skepticism, science, and rationality to reveal that there is no mystery to explain.


Politics of Belief

Dr. Michael Shermer explains how we arrived at the Left-Right spectrum, both historically and evolutionarily, and the numerous metaphors used to wrap our minds around such complex systems as politics and economics.


Deities for Atheists, Skygods for Skeptics: UFOs & ETIs

Dr. Michael Shermer distinguishes between two questions: (1) Are extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) out there somewhere in the cosmos? and (2) Have aliens come here? Evidence for both questions is considered in the larger context of why the issue so compels us to answer it almost religiously.


Cults, Myths, and Religion

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the characteristics of cults, how they differ from sects, religions, and myths, the role that myths and religions play in culture and people’s lives, and what Scientologists really believe.


Cognitive Biases & How Thinking Goes Wrong

Dr. Michael Shermer reviews the many ways that our attempts to understand the truth about the world are derailed by cognitive biases, including the anchoring bias, the representative bias, the availability bias, the confirmation bias, the hindsight bias, the self-serving bias, and even the bias bias.


Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories

Dr. Michael Shermer explains the difference between conspiracies and conspiracy theories, who is more likely to believe which conspiracy theories, the social, political, cultural, and psychological conditions in which conspiracy theories flourish, real conspiracies, and who really killed JFK.


The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created an infographic inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit.


Science Based Medicine

The James Randi Educational Foundation has produced a superb 10-part video lecture series in which Harriet Hall, M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods. The topics include: What is CAM?; acupuncture; chiropractic; energy medicine; homeopathy; miscellaneous “alternatives”; naturopathy and herbal medicines; pitfalls in research; science based medicine vs. evidence-based medicine; science-based medicine in the media and politics. The lectures range from 32 to 45 minutes. A companion course guide is also available.


Skeptic Presents: An Interview with Pope Francis

In this video — the sixth in our witty and satirical “Skeptic
Presents” series, Michael Shermer interviews Pope Francis.


Skeptic Presents: Get Your Guru Going

In this video — the fifth in our series of videos that promote science and critical thinking through the use of humor, wit, and satire — we present a Con Academy mini course in the techniques of New Age Spiritual Gurutry.


Skeptic Presents: What is a Skeptic?

In this video — the fourth in our series of videos that promote science and critical thinking through the use of humor, wit, and satire — we present a fun and informative look at the principles of Skepticism.


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