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ESP Debate: Is Belief in ESP Irrational?

A three-part debate between Steven Pinker and Brian D. Josephson, initiated from a private email exchange in which Josephson challenged Pinker’s claims in a BBC radio program that there is no rational reason to believe in ESP. Here, Pinker first makes his case, followed by Josephson’s critique, and then Pinker’s response to that critique. As is our custom, we prefer to steel-man a position someone else holds, especially with a controversial subject like ESP, but better still is to have a proponent of it make the case for believing in it.

Daniel Dennett & Gregg Caruso — Just Deserts: Debating Free Will (moderated by Michael Shermer)

The concept of free will is profoundly important to our self-understanding, our interpersonal relationships, and our moral and legal practices. If it turns out that no one is ever free and morally responsible, what would that mean for society, morality, meaning, and the law? This conversation brings together two philosophers — Daniel C. Dennett and Gregg D. Caruso — to debate their respective views on free will, moral responsibility, and legal punishment.

eSkeptic for March 30, 2021

In The Michael Shermer Show # 168, Dr. Shermer moderates an entertaining, rigorous, and sometimes heated philosophical dialogue between two leading thinkers: Daniel Dennett and Gregg Caruso, based on their book Just Deserts.

Debating Science and Lost Civilizations: My Experience on the Joe Rogan Experience

After his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast # 961 with Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson, Michael Shermer devoted a special issue of Skeptic magazine (22.3) to Hancock’s theory that an ancient lost civilization predates by tens of thousands of years all other known ancient civilizations. The follow is Dr. Shermer’s account of the show and a refinement of his notes for why he is skeptical of Hancock’s theory.

Michael Shermer — “Are the Miracles of Jesus Unbelievable?” Debate Postmortem (AMA # 5)

In this AMA special, Dr. Michael Shermer conducts a postmortem on his debate with the evangelical Christian theologian Luuk van de Weghe, elaborating on his notes from the debate, and suggesting ways to think about miracles from a scientific or naturalistic perspective.

eSkeptic for September 6, 2017

Does Guinness really taste better in Ireland?

In this week’s eSkeptic: Tour of the Emerald Isle in our 2018 Grand Irish Odyssey; Science Salon # 14: Dr. Nancy Segal on Twin Mythconceptions; Sept. 15 Debate: Is God a Figment of Our Imagination? Shermer v. McGrath; Promotional Offer: Save 25% off the Reasons to Believe film on Vimeo; Oct. 19 Debate: Solving Moral Dilemmas: How Do We Know What’s Right?.

eSkeptic for May 25, 2016

Why are we so bad at spotting deception? In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an excerpt from The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time, by Maria Konnikova, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2016 by Maria Konnikova. This excerpt appeared in Skeptic magazine 21.1 (2016).

eSkeptic for May 18, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, Raymond Barglow & Margret Schaefer discuss the issue of vaccination of school children, the subject in California of a prolonged and bitter debate which led to California Senate Bill 277 which eliminated the personal belief exemption that allowed unvaccinated children to attend school. The bill became law in California on the last day of June 2015.

eSkeptic for March 2, 2016

How Science Makes Us Better People: Now Available in Paperback; Scientific American: Left Behind: Political Bias in the Academy; New Episode: The God Distraction Chapter Two: The Unknowable; Chapman University Debate March 7: God vs. Science Smackdown (Keith Ward vs. Michael Shermer)

eSkeptic for February 24, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, scientist and historian, Michael Shermer, responds to evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, about ancient warfare and the notion the blank slate.

eSkeptic for October 10, 2015

On September 30, 2015, Michael Shermer and Larry Taunton debated the question “Do We Need God?”. In this week’s eSkeptic, we present Michael Shermer’s notes for the debate: “10 Reasons Why We Do Not Need God.”

eSkeptic for September 23, 2015

In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall examines the statements about vaccines made by four candidates in the recent GOP debate. They all demonstrated a poor grasp of vaccine science, and advocated delays in the vaccine schedule that would represent a danger to the young, the immunocompromised, and to the herd immunity that is a mainstay of our public health.

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

eSkeptic for September 2, 2015

Learn more about Alfred Russel Wallace—seeker, believer, heretic, scientist, skeptic—in the latest issue of of Skeptic magazine (20.3), available now in digital format; Debate: Do We Need God? Michael Shermer v. Larry Taunton (September 30, 2015, Seattle); INSIGHT at Skeptic.com: Resolving Conflicts in Findings: Vaccine Promotion is Tricky (by Barbara Drescher), and The Problematic Process of Cryptozoologification (by Daniel Loxton); Skepticality: Future Climate Thoughts: Interview with Donald Prothero

A Tale of Two Debaters

Donald Prothero considers the diverging fortunes of Bill Nye the Science Guy and creationist Ken Ham in the wake of their "Great Debate."

12-04-04

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present Robert Sheaffer’s rebuttal to George Michael’s review of UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record that we published in last week’s eSkeptic. This rebuttal, republished here with permission, originally appeared on April 2, 2012 in Sheaffer’s blog Bad UFOs: Skepticism, UFOs, and The Universe.

The Great Debate: Has Science Refuted Religion?

“Has Science Refuted Religion?” Caltech cosmologist and physicist Sean Carroll teams up with Skeptic magazine publisher and science historian Michael Shermer in this epic debate with noted conservative author and King’s College President Dinesh D’Souza and MIT physicist Ian Hutchinson as they go head-to-head over one of the most controversial issues of our age.

12-01-11

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present a debate between Christopher Hitchens and Kenneth Miller. Hitchens (self-proclaimed anti-theist and author of God Is Not Great) and Kenneth Miller (a pro-evolution Christian and author of Finding Darwin’s God) are worlds apart both by profession and belief, and yet both have brilliant minds for dissecting arguments both scientific and philosophical.

The Nightline Face-off: Does God Have a Future? Deepak Chopra v. Michael Shermer

Science and faith do battle as archrivals Michael Shermer and Deepak Chopra debate in this ABC Nightline Face-off from March 2010.

10-03-24

In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. Jeremy E.C. Genovese examines an educational urban legend that suggests a willingness to accept assertions about instructional strategies without empirical support. This article appeared in a SOLD OUT issue of Skeptic magazine Volume 10 Number 4 (2004). PLUS, Michael Shermer and Sam Harris debate Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston on the question: Does God Have a Future? This debate was filmed as an ABC Nightline Faceoff.

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