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eSkeptic for eSkeptic for January 27, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic: Upcoming Science Salon: Mar. 20 / Sean B. Carroll / The Serengeti Rules New Interview Video: Shermer on His Favorite Topics to Write About Feature Article: Great ET Paradox: Will We Find Them Before They Find Us? INSIGHT: Taking a Shot at the Boot Hill Ghost SCIENCE SALON MARCH 20 The […]

Reading Room
The Great ET Paradox: Why We are Likely to Find Them Before They Find Us

It’s possible that life exists outside of our solar system and that we may, one day, find it. The Internet has been abuzz with speculation that an alien megastructure orbiting the star KIC 8462852 is responsible for the star’s erratic flicker. Since scientists have yet to advance a convincing natural explanation, attention has turned to more tantalizing possibilities. In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. George Michael discusses a number of theories that have been advanced to explain the anomalous activity of the star.

INSIGHT
Monsters & Science

Just in time for Halloween, Blake Smith recommends some of the spookiest episodes of MonsterTalk, The Science Show About Monsters.

Past Lecture
Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math
in Fantasy and Science Fiction

From teleportation and space elevators to alien contact and interstellar travel, science fiction and fantasy writers have come up with some brilliant and innovative ideas. Yet how plausible are these ideas? Which concepts might actually happen, and which ones wouldn’t work at all? In this lecture, professor of physics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Dr. Charles Adler, delves into the most extraordinary details in science fiction and fantasy—time warps, shape changing, rocket launches, and illumination by floating candle—and shows readers the physics and math behind the phenomena.

eSkeptic for 13-07-03

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present a bit of fun from the current issue of Junior Skeptic entitled Alien Invaders! Junior Skeptic comes physically bound within every issue of Skeptic magazine. You’ll find this issue of Junior Skeptic in our current issue of Skeptic magazine (18.2), available in print and digital versions now.

eSkeptic for 13-02-20

In this week’s eSkeptic, George Michael reviews the book Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society edited by Douglas A. Vakoch and Albert A. Harrison (Berghahn Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0857452115).

Reading Room
Extraterrestrials May Be Out There
But He Says They’re Not Here

In the past half century of UFOlogy, one man stands out, among a sea of believers, as the definitive skeptic of all matters flying saucers and aliens. This interview with Philip J. Klass (1919–2005), one of the last he gave of his career, goes inside his investigations into the claims of extraterrestrial investigations. This interview was published in Skeptic magazine volume 7, number 4 in 1999.

eSkeptic for 11-10-12

In this week’s eSkeptic, Skeptic co-founder Pat Linse is contacted by an expert who has the expertise to solve the mystery of Bob White’s UFO artifact—an object which has long baffled both the public and the scientists who examined it. This article appeared in Skeptic magazine volume 16, number 3 (2011).

Past Lecture
Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s
Top Secret Military Base

IT IS THE MOST FAMOUS MILITARY INSTALLATION IN THE WORLD. And it doesn’t officially exist. Located a mere seventy-five miles outside of Las Vegas, the base has never been acknowledged by the U.S. government. Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing itself was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

eSkeptic for 11-09-14

For nearly 50 years, the SETI (Search for Alien Intelligence) project has searched for evidence of alien civilizations and has occasionally sent messages into space with the intention of communicating with intelligent sentient extraterrestrial beings. How likely are we to come into contact with an extraterrestrial civilization? If they do exist, their aspirations could differ markedly from our own. Could visitors from extraterrestrial civilizations pose a threat to Earth? What would motivate aliens to visit the Earth? In this week’s eSkeptic, George Michael discusses these fascinating questions.

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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 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. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

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 why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one 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

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They 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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