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astronomy

Avi Loeb — Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

Shermer and Loeb discuss: anomalies in science and astronomy in particular • Galileo and Saturn • Signal Detection Theory • face on Mars • Is Oumuamua ETI in origin? • Intelligent Design • Carl Sagan and SETI • Law of Very Large Numbers • How many unknown knowns could account for Oumuamua? • Kip Thorne • gravitational waves • multiverse theory, and more…

eSkeptic for February 16, 2021

In episode 157 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Avi Loeb about his new book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth which outlines his controversial theory and its profound implications for science, religion, and the future of our species and our planet.

eSkeptic for February 11, 2020

In Science Salon # 103 Michael Shermer speaks with Robert Frank about how social environments profoundly influence our behavior. This conversation is based on Frank’s new book: Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work. PLUS: Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and then repackaged in the early 1970s with contributions from Sherman J. Larson, of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

Are We Alone? J. Allen Hynek & UFOs

Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and then repackaged in the early 1970s with contributions from Sherman J. Larson, of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

eSkeptic for December 26, 2018

In this wide-ranging dialogue Michael Shermer talks with Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees — a leading astrophysicist as well as a senior figure in UK science and a public intellectual in England and America.

Sir Martin Rees — On the Future: Prospects for Humanity

In this wide-ranging dialogue Michael Shermer talks with Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees — a leading astrophysicist as well as a senior figure in UK science and a public intellectual in England and America.

Dark Matter and Periodic Mass Extinctions? Not So Fast!

Don Prothero considers a conjecture proposed to explain a supposed periodicity in mass extinctions.

A Rope of Sand

Can skeptics change minds? Daniel Loxton considers the cynicism of 19th century astronomer, science popularizer, and skeptic Richard Anthony Proctor.

A Cautionary Tale from Science History: The Life and Death of Tycho Brahe

A Cautionary Tale from Science History: The Life and Death of Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), a Carbon Comic by Kyle Sanders, appeared in Skeptic magazine 18.4 (2013).

12-10-31

In this week’s eSkeptic, Apurva Narechania takes an inside look at how astronomers are searching for extrasolar planets. This article was published this year in the current issue of Skeptic magazine (17.3).

11-04-20

In this week’s eSkeptic, Justin Trottier reviews Ray Jayawardhana’s new book Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System.

10-01-13

Could a remote African people have gained esoteric knowledge about the sky without having telescopes? Were aliens, lost technology or something else entirely involved? In this week’s eSkeptic, Liam McDaid examines these claims.

The Crowded Universe

We are now nearing a turning point in our quest for life in the universe — we now have the capacity to detect Earth-like planets around other stars. But will we find any? In The Crowded Universe, renowned astronomer Dr. Alan Boss — a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union — argues that based on what we already know about planetary systems, in the coming years we will find abundant Earths, including many that are indisputably alive. Life is not only possible elsewhere in the universe, Boss argues — it is common…

Black Holes Sing: Black Holes, Their Orbits & Gravitational Waves

Black Holes are the ultimate death state of very massive stars. Collapsing under their own weight, the dead cores will curve spacetime so strongly that not even light can escape. Black holes emit no light and reflect no light. They are dark against a dark sky and effectively invisible. When two black holes move in orbit around each other, they churn up the spacetime around them, emanating waves in the fabric of space itself…

Origins & the Big Questions: Our 2008 Conference at Caltech

Our 2008 conference at Caltech, on the question of origins, featured lectures by Leonard Susskind, Paul Davies, Sean Carroll, Donald Prothero, Christof Koch, Stuart Kauffman, Kenneth Miller, Nancey Murphy, Michael Shermer, Hugh Ross, Victor Stenger, and a performance by Mr. Deity.

06-12-06

In this week’s eSkeptic, on Skepticality, correspondent David Federlein interviews Skepchick founder (and head volunteer) Rebecca Watson, and Derek & Swoopy talk to Bad Astronomy’s Dr. Phil Plait about his revealing 2007 Skepdude calendar photo. Also, the 9/11 issue of Skeptic magazine hits the stands, the Why Darwin Matters lecture is now on DVD, and Roy Zimmerman sings satire at Shop Skeptic.

05-02-02

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer recounts his experience with the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory.

05-01-11

In this week’s eSkeptic, we announce upcoming events.

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