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Jesse Singal on Why Fad Psychology Can’t Cure Our Social Ills 

Michael Shermer and Jesse Singal discuss: how social scientists determine causality • cognitive priming • The Malcolm Gladwell-effect • self-help movements • power posing • positive psychology • Implicit Association Test • racism, gender, class, misogyny, bigotry • replication crisis • choice architecture • I.Q. • free will and determinism • nature/nurture and how lives turn out • abortion • and U.S. foreign policy.

eSkeptic for April 26, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with Jesse Singal about this new book: Why Fad Psychology Can’t Cure Our Social Ills.

Mary Eberstadt on God, Religion, Politics, and Sex, based on her books How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization and Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

In episode 215, Michael Shermer speaks with Mary Eberstadt about the decline of religion in which Eberstadt presents her alternative theory for the “secularization thesis” (that the undermining of the family has undermined Christianity itself). In the second half, they discuss the rise of identity politics and how identitarians track and expose the ideologically impure, as people face the consequences of their rancor.

eSkeptic for October 5, 2021

In episode 215, Michael Shermer speaks with Mary Eberstadt about the decline of religion in which Eberstadt presents her alternative theory for the “secularization thesis” (that the undermining of the family has undermined Christianity itself). In the second half, they discuss the rise of identity politics and how identitarians track and expose the ideologically impure, as people face the consequences of their rancor.

Chris Edwards on Educational Reform and Thought Experiments

Michael Shermer speaks with Chris Edwards about educational reform, his study and teaching of world history, the problems in K–12 education, the zip-code model vs. the seat time model of education and how they result in massively different educational outcomes, how “no child left behind” left children behind, federal vs. state educational systems, and more…

eSkeptic for July 17, 2021

In episode 193, Michael Shermer speaks with Chris Edwards about educational reform and thought experiments. Plus, Harriet Hall, M.D. discusses osteopathy. What is it? What is the difference between an MD and a DO? Should the DO degree be abolished?

James Hunter & Paul Nedelisky on Religious vs. Secular Morality — Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality

Professional philosophers James Hunter and Paul Nedelisky trace the origins and development of the centuries-long, passionate, but ultimately “failed quest” to discover a scientific foundation for morality. The conversation takes a decidedly interesting turn when Drs. Hunter and Nedelisky revealed, unbeknownst to Dr. Shermer, that they are both theists and that their Christian worldview informs their thinking on moral issues.

eSkeptic for May 4, 2021

In episode 178 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with philosophers James Hunter and Paul Nedelisky about religious vs. secular morality and their book Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality.

Kevin Dutton — Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World

Michael Shermer and Kevin Dutton discuss: black-and-white thinking in: physics, biology, psychology, politics, economics, society • categories and why we need them • when does a hill become a mountain? • How many grains of sand makes a heap? • from quantitative scaling to qualitative categories • How can there be dozens of genders if there are just males and females? abortion • stereotypes • tribalism, xenophobia, & racism • the difference between a cult, a sect, and a religion • mental disorders: are we all a little crazy?, and consciousness.

eSkeptic January 19, 2021

In episode 153 Dr. Michael Shermer speaks with University of Oxford research psychologist Dr. Kevin Dutton about his new book Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World.

eSkeptic for November 2, 2020

In Science Salon podcast # 141, Michael Shermer speaks with Richard Kreitner about this new book: Break it Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union.

Richard Kreitner — Break it Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union

In Science Salon podcast # 141, Michael Shermer speaks with Richard Kreitner about this new book: Break it Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union.

Howard Steven Friedman — Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life

How much is a human life worth? In Science Salon # 116, Michael Shermer speaks with Howard Steven Friedman about the calculations that governments routinely use to place a price on human life.

eSkeptic for May 19, 2020

How much is a human life worth? In Science Salon # 116, Michael Shermer speaks with Howard Steven Friedman about the calculations that governments routinely use to place a price on human life.

Katherine Stewart — The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

In Science Salon # 114, Michael Shermer speaks with Katherine Stewart about her new book The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.

eSkeptic for May 5, 2020

In Science Salon # 114, Michael Shermer speaks with Katherine Stewart about her new book The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. PLUS: Frank S. Robinson reviews The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, The Academy, and the Hunt for Political Heresies by Robert Boyers.

Dave Rubin — Don’t Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason

In Science Salon # 113 Michael Shermer speaks with Dave Rubin, the host of the political talk show The Rubin Report — the most-watched talk show about free speech and big ideas on YouTube — about his first book Don’t Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason.

eSkeptic for April 28, 2020

In Science Salon # 113 Michael Shermer speaks with Dave Rubin, the host of the political talk show The Rubin Report — the most-watched talk show about free speech and big ideas on YouTube — about his first book Don’t Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason.

Catherine Wilson — How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well

In Science Salon # 96 Michael Shermer speaks with Catherine Wilson about the ancient wisdom of Epicureanism: a philosophy of living well that promoted reason, respect for the natural world, and reverence for our fellow humans.

eSkeptic for December 24, 2019

In Science Salon # 96 Michael Shermer speaks with Catherine Wilson about the ancient wisdom of Epicureanism: a philosophy of living well that promoted reason, respect for the natural world, and reverence for our fellow humans. PLUS, Jonathan Kay tells us what board games teach us about capitalism and how to modify it.

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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

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.

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