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conspiracy theories

Conspiracy Theorists, and the Harm They Do

No event in the twentieth century did more to popularize conspiracy theories and confuse the general public than the assassination of President Kennedy. By educating people about what actually happened to JFK, and how conspiracy theorists have deliberately lied about it, James K. Lambert hopes that we can also get the general public to better see the lies (aka “fake news”) of today.

eSkeptic for March 21, 2018

There is growing conspiracy theory belief that the Earth is not a globe, but a flat disc. According to believers, government forces promote a completely fictitious model of the cosmos in order to conceal the true nature of the Earth. Daniel Loxton examines whether these claims are true.

Is the Earth Flat?

There is growing conspiracy theory belief that the Earth is not a globe, but a flat disc. According to believers, government forces promote a completely fictitious model of the cosmos in order to conceal the true nature of the Earth. Daniel Loxton examines whether these claims are true.

Ultraterrestrials

Image by Comfreak via Pixabay.com (https://pixabay.com/en/ufo-aliens-landscape-evening-1673929/) [PUBLIC DOMAIN]

How useful are eyewitness reports and “investigations” by UFO proponents? In this week’s eSkeptic, psychology professor Dr. Terence Hines reviews How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth, by David Clarke.

eSkeptic for August 23, 2017

Image by Comfreak via Pixabay.com (https://pixabay.com/en/ufo-aliens-landscape-evening-1673929/) [PUBLIC DOMAIN]

How useful are eyewitness reports and “investigations” by UFO proponents? In this week’s eSkeptic, psychology professor Dr. Terence Hines reviews How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth, by David Clarke.

14-11-19

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by lone-gunman Lee Harvey Oswald. Yet, about three-quarters of Americans believe that President Kennedy was the victim of a multi-shooter conspiracy. In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer discusses several psychological factors at work that allow conspiracy theories to persist.

14-11-12

Since 1992, the Skeptics Society has sponsored over 350 of the biggest names in science in our Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, covering the most advanced, leading-edge discoveries, and controversial topics in all of science. Now we want to take it to a whole new level, and aim to reach millions of people around the world following the TED model. Find out more…

Conspiracy Theories: Who Believes Them, and Why? How Can You Determine if They are True or False?

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? … Download the free PDF

14-10-15

Among the strangest of all bizarre pseudoscientific notions is the idea that ordinary contrails formed by high-flying aircraft are somehow a government conspiracy to spray us with toxic chemicals. In this week’s eSkeptic, Donald R. Prothero discusses how “chemtrail” conspiracy thinking fails the science literacy test.

“Look Up!” Find Your Path Towards Blue Skies Ahead

“Look Up!” Find Your Path Towards Blue Skies Ahead, a Carbon Comic by Kyle Sanders, appeared in Skeptic magazine 19.2 (2014).

14-06-04

In this week’s eSkeptic: The latest issue of Skeptic magazine (19.2): Boston Bombing Conspiracy Theories; Shermer asks whether deterrence prohibits the total abolishment of nuclear weapons; MonsterTalk discusses the legends and facts behind the Mongolian Death Worm; and Loxton reflects on monster hoaxes—and Discovery Channel’s tarnished reputation.

13-12-04

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times from a reader in response to this op-ed written by Michael Shermer, followed by Shermer’s reply.

JFK Conspiracy Theories at 50: How the Skeptics Got It Wrong and Why It Matters

In this article from Skeptic Magazine issue 18.3 (2013), David Reitzes recounts some of the most durable myths and conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s assassination, and reminds us that the job of a skeptic is to use critical thinking to properly assess the evidence, and to use our critical faculties to distinguish verifiable evidence from idle speculation, not to merely doubt for the sake of doubting.

13-06-19

For some obsessed fans of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film, The Shining, there exists hidden meaning in the film. Are these fans suffering from confirmation bias, or did Stanley Kubrick intend to leave clues, like a riddle to be solved? In this week’s eSkeptic, Will Dowd conspiracy thinking in this review of Room 237, a documentary directed by Rodney Ascher, produced by Tim Kirk, and distributed by IFC Films (released January, 2012, 102 minutes).

11-04-08

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

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