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Revisiting Colorblindness

Michael H. Bernstein reviews The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America by Coleman Hughes, discussing the author’s analysis of neoracism and the need for a middle ground in discussions of racism.

Quantifying Privilege: What Research on Social Mobility Tells Us About Fairness in America

Is it more of a disadvantage to be born poor or Black? Is it worse to be brought up by rich parents in a poor neighborhood, or by poor parents in a rich neighborhood? The answers to these questions lie at the very core of what constitutes a fair society. So how do we know […]

Liza Mundy — The Secret History of Women at the CIA

Shermer and Mundy discuss: • CIA research methods • a brief history of the CIA • the purpose of intelligence agencies • Misogyny and sexism in the early decades • the skills needed to be a spy • what women notice that men don’t in the spy business • Lisa Manfull Harper feminine approach to espionage, and finding Osama Bin Laden • how women worked around the restrictions on women advancing in the CIA • Lisa Manfull Harper and the…

What Darwin Got Wrong About the Female of (All) Species

According to the standard model of evolutionary psychology females tend to be sexually coy, discriminating, and risk averse while males are sexually assertive, indiscriminate, and risk taking. Not so fast, says Carol Tavris in this skeptical look at the standard model, as context and species also matters in how we analyze behavior, especially sexuality.

Why Reparations and Equity Are Bad Ideas

In this provocative article on the controversial topics reparations, and what is owed to the descendants of African Americans who were enslaved, Jason Hill argues that the Civil Rights movement and ensuing acts and laws in the 1960s and 1970s have already provided a type of reparations, and that more such reparations, particularly in the form of cash payments, are unnecessary, not to mention nearly impossible to determine who is owed what.

Systemic Racism — Explained

As Skeptic Publisher Michael Shermer wrote in his Introduction to Skeptic magazine’s special issue on Race Matters (27.3), the issues outlined in this article documenting the continuation of systemically racist social structures—even as racist attitudes have improved dramatically over the past half century—mean that race still matters very much in the USA. It is thus incumbent on all of us to properly understand the causes of these issues so that we may implement a rational and science-based response to them.

Critical Race Theory: Noble Ends, Terrible Means

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is, at root, an American phenomenon. So thoroughly is this the case that although its ideas have been used outside the United States for some time, they are often highly flavored by U.S. racial history. CRT holds that race is a social construct that was created to maintain White privilege and […]

eSkeptic for November 17, 2021

In this essay, published on Substack today, Dr. Shermer addresses several recent articles in Scientific American of a distinctly unscientific nature related to progressive woke politics, perhaps in obedience to the British historian and Sovietologist Robert Conquest’s eponymous law that “any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

Suzanne Nossel on defending free speech for all, based on her book Dare to Speak

In episode 226, Michael Shermer speaks with a leading voice in support of free expression, Suzanne Nosel, on defending free speech for all, based on her book Dare to Speak. Nossel delivers a vital, necessary guide to maintaining democratic debate that is open, free-wheeling but at the same time respectful of the rich diversity of backgrounds and opinions in a changing country.

eSkeptic for November 13, 2021

In episode 226, Michael Shermer speaks with a leading voice in support of free expression, Suzanne Nosel, on defending free speech for all, based on her book Dare to Speak. Nossel delivers a vital, necessary guide to maintaining democratic debate that is open, free-wheeling but at the same time respectful of the rich diversity of backgrounds and opinions in a changing country.

eSkeptic for September 18, 2021

We pile on “to-dos” but don’t consider “stop-doings.” We create incentives for good behavior, but don’t get rid of obstacles to it. In episode 210, Michael Shermer speaks with Leidy Klotz about his book Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less. PLUS Do you believe that men have greater power and privilege because they are stronger, more aggressive, and smarter than women (and don’t have babies)? Think again.

Inequality: Why Women? A Plausible Sociocultural Explanation for the Persistence & Universality of Gender Inequality Over Thousands of Years

Illustration of a woman carrying a man on her back (by Pat Linse)

Do you believe that men have greater power and privilege because they are stronger, more aggressive, and smarter than women (and don’t have babies)? Think again. Dolores Newton & Jefferson Fish present a plausible sociocultural explanation for the persistence and universality of gender inequality over thousands of years.

Jason D. Hill — We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to The American People

In episode 158 Michael Shermer speaks with Jason D. Hill, a black immigrant from Jamaica, about his eloquent appreciation of the American Dream, and why his adopted nation remains the most noble experiment in enabling the pursuit of happiness.

eSkeptic for February 20, 2021

In episode 158 Michael Shermer speaks with Jason D. Hill, a black immigrant from Jamaica, about his eloquent appreciation of the American Dream, and why his adopted nation remains the most noble experiment in enabling the pursuit of happiness. PLUS: In the 7th CUPES report, we ask: across the political spectrum, how knowledgeable are people when it comes to the available data on fatal police shootings of Black Americans?

Geoffrey Miller — Virtue Signaling: Essays on Darwinian Politics and Free Speech

Shermer speaks with the polymathic polyamorous sapiosexual classically liberal evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller about virtue signaling and why we all do it, how it works, why it’s not a bad thing, how it became a derogatory political meme, the role of virtue signaling in the evolution of the moral sentiments, and more…

Virtue Signaling, Memory, Myth, and JFK

In Science Salon # 93 Michael Shermer speaks with evolutionary psychology professor Geoffrey Miller about his book: Virtue Signaling: Essays on Darwinian Politics and Free Speech. Plus, Michel Jacques Gagné examines the reasons shocking events like the Kennedy assassination give rise to conspiracy myths.

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