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Carl Sagan

eSkeptic for April 24, 2020

Listen to “The Possibility of Life in the Universe,” a lecture by Carl Sagan, delivered one early evening in September 1974 (most likely Thursday, 5 September) to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Arnold Hall theater in front of a 3,000 cadet packed house lecture.

Science Salon # 112
Ann Druyan — Cosmos: Possible Worlds

In Science Salon # 112 Michael Shermer speaks with Ann Druyan about her book Cosmos: Possible Worlds, exploring how science and civilization grew up together. This book is the sequel to Carl Sagan’s beloved classic and the companion to the hit television series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

eSkeptic for April 21, 2020

In Science Salon # 112 Michael Shermer speaks with Ann Druyan about her book Cosmos: Possible Worlds, exploring how science and civilization grew up together. This book is the sequel to Carl Sagan‘s beloved classic and the companion to the hit television series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

eSkeptic for December 20, 2016

This is a special Tuesday release of eSkeptic to honor Carl Sagan on the 20th anniversary of his death. We remember him fondly, on this day, grateful for the inspiration and education that he provided to so many.

eSkeptic for November 9, 2016

On this, November 9th, the day of Carl Sagan’s birthday (1934), we celebrate and remember the man whose contributions and commitment to furthering the work of scientific skepticism have helped make the world a more rational place.

eSkeptic for September 9, 2015

Skeptic Digital Back Issues: on Cryonics, Carl Sagan, and Conspiracies; Follow Michael Shermer: Forensic Pseudoscience: Can Tests be Trusted?; Daniel Loxton on INSIGHT at Skeptic.com: A Rope of Sand; Debate: Do We Need God? Michael Shermer v. Larry Taunton

INSIGHT
Carl Sagan and the Dangers of Skepticism

Daniel Loxton shares an excerpt from Junior Skeptic 50 (released in print format in 2014).

INSIGHT
The Forgetfulness of Skepticism

Daniel Loxton discusses skepticism’s inattention to its own history, and sets up a reflection for another post to follow.

INSIGHT
A Skeptical Maxim (May) Turn 75 This Week

Tim Farley looks into the origin of the saying "keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out," and finds it is older than most skeptics may think.

INSIGHT
From the Skeptical Literature: Thomas Ady on the Role of Mental Illness in Witchcraft Confessions (1655)

Cover of Ady's book A Candle in the Dark

Daniel Loxton shares and discusses a quote from a skeptical volume which was written three and a half centuries ago as an urgent effort to curb the bloodthirsty witch hunting mania.

14-03-12

Pseudoscience runs rampant in much of the popular media, reducing science to stereotypes of evil mad scientists. With the recent reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos documentary, we see the return of science popularization in a manner that inspires people (especially children) to be fascinated by science, to think about careers in science, and to pass Sagan’s mantle on to another generation. In this week’s eSkeptic, scientist and educator Donald Prothero reviews the first episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which premiered March 9, 2014.

14-03-05

The PBS broadcast of Carl Sagan’s 13-part documentary, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, was one of the most watched series in the history of American public television. The soon-to-be-released sequel, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey (see above), written, executively produced and directed by Ann Druyan, premieres Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 9pm/10pm ET/PT on FOX. In light of the rebirth of this stellar production, we present to you, in this week’s eSkeptic, an interview with Ann Druyan conducted by Michael Shermer in 2007, which appeared in Skeptic magazine issue 13.1—our tribute issue to Carl Sagan.

14-02-05

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer asks whether a scientific utopia can succeed; Daniel Loxton shares some thoughts from Carl Sagan about the value of scientific confrontation of pseudoscientific ideas; and Skepticality interview Robert Blaskiewicz and Guy Harrison about critical thinking.

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.

11-11-09

Few celebrities in science have done more for the promotion of science, reason, rationality, and critical thinking than Carl Sagan, whom we remember today upon the occasion of his birthday: November 9, 1934. Carl would have been 77 years old today. Happy Birthday Carl!

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Retrospective

Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine ’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

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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