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conspiracies

A Skeptical View of J. Edgar Hoover & the FBI

Michelle Ainsworth reviews: G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century by Beverly Gage (2022) and The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism (2023) by Lerone A. Martin.

Secret Scientists and Real Conspiracies — John Lisle on Stanley Lovell, the OSS precursor to the CIA, and the Masterminds of World War II Secret Warfare

Shermer and Lisle discuss: • why countries have spy agencies • from COI to OSS to CIA • Wild Bill Donavan • Stanley Lovell as Professor Moriarty • Vannevar Bush • Division 19 • George Kistiakowsky and the Aunt Jemima explosive weapon • cat bombs, bat bombs, rat bomb, suicide pills, fighting knives, silent pistols, camouflaged explosives, A-pills, B-pills, E-pills, L-pills • psychological warfare • heavy water and nuclear weapons • Werner Heisenberg, Moe Berg, and Carl Eifler • biological…

Michael Shermer — Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational

The problem of conspiracism is urgent—arguably more pressing than at any time in our history. In his new book, Conspiracy, out October 25, 2022, Shermer: reviews and integrates evolutionary, psychological, social, cultural, political, and economic conditions that fuel conspiracy theories • presents his original three-tiered theoretical model of Proxy Conspiracism, Tribal Conspiracism, and Constructive Conspiracism • classifies and systematizes conspiracy theories in order to tease apart their different causes • offers his Conspiracy Detection Kit on how to tell if…

Nick Pope on UAPs, UFOs, Conspiracies, and Cover-ups

Author, journalist and TV personality Nick Pope ran the British government’s UFO program for the Ministry of Defense, leading the media to call him the real Fox Mulder. He’s recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on UFOs, the unexplained, and conspiracy theories. Nick is the media’s go-to person for UFOs.

eSkeptic for February 1, 2022

Read the Skeptic Research Center’s general report, “Pandemic Politics: How 2020 Impacted Americans’ Social and Political Attitudes,” based on their nine reports from the Civil Unrest and Presidential Election Study (CUPES) released in late 2020–early 2021. PLUS: Michael Shermer speaks with author, journalist, and TV personality Nick Pope about UAPs, UFOs, conspiracies, and cover-ups.

Jonathan Rauch — The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth

In episode 190, Michael Shermer speaks with Jonathan Rauch as he reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the “Constitution of Knowledge” — our social system for turning disagreement into truth.

eSkeptic for June 26, 2021

In episode 190, Michael Shermer speaks with Jonathan Rauch as he reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the “Constitution of Knowledge” — our social system for turning disagreement into truth.

eSkeptic for July 17, 2020

Dr. Anondah Saide and Dr. Kevin McCaffree examine whether political party identification is associated with tolerant attitudes towards individuals with different political views. ALSO, Michael Shermer explains who believes conspiracy theories and why they believe them in an essay derived from a lecture on conspiracies and conspiracy theories.

Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories

What is a conspiracy, and how does it differ from a conspiracy theory? Michael Shermer explains who believes conspiracy theories and why they believe them in the following essay, derived from Lecture 1 of his 12-lecture Audible Original course titled “Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories: What We Should Believe and Why.”

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.

Dr. Lee McIntyre — The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience

In Science Salon # 77, an engaging conversation on the nature of science, Dr. McIntyre and Dr. Shermer get deep into the weeds of where to draw the line between science and pseudoscience.

eSkeptic for July 30, 2019

In Science Salon # 77, an engaging conversation on the nature of science, Dr. McIntyre and Dr. Shermer get deep into the weeds of where to draw the line between science and pseudoscience. PLUS Dr. John Glynn reflects on our ever-increasing sensitivity to the perception of harm in an article about concept creep.

eSkeptic for May 23, 2018

Listen to Science Salon # 24: a remarkable conversation between Michael Shermer and mission leader Dr. Alan Stern along with co-author of the spell-binding new book Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, Dr. David Grinspoon, as they recount the story of the men and women behind this amazing mission.

eSkeptic for January 17, 2018

In this week’s eSkeptic, Tim Callahan reviews Unacknowledged: An Exposé of the World’s Greatest Secret, a new Netflix documentary, purporting to provide proof of alien visitation, that fails to deliver.

Unsubstantiated: A new Netflix documentary purporting to provide proof of alien visitation fails to deliver

Tim Callahan reviews Unacknowledged: An Exposé of the World’s Greatest Secret, a new Netflix documentary, purporting to provide proof of alien visitation, that fails to deliver.

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

11-05-25

In this week’s eSkeptic, we announce the release of Michael Shermer’s latest book, The Believing Brain: From Ghosts, Gods, and Aliens to Conspiracies, Economics, and Politics—How the Brain Constructs Beliefs and Reinforces Them as Truths. Synthesizing 30 years of research, Shermer presents his comprehensive theory on how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.

11-04-08

In this eSkeptic, Michael Shermer announces his lecture schedule for Illinois and Wisconsin for April 2011.

The Da Vinci Code Cult: A Critical Look at Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Robert Sheaffer takes a critical look at Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

10-12-29

In this week’s eSkeptic, Richard Morrock discusses psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich’s development of pseudoscientific psychotherapy, sensational claims and extreme theories. This article appeared in Skeptic magazine, volume 2, number 3 (1994). This is a follow-up article to Epigones of Orgonomy, which appeared two weeks ago in eSkeptic.

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