The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


DNA

Matthew Cobb — As Gods: A Moral History of the Genetic Age

Shermer and Cobb discuss: objections to genetic engineering (political, religious, cultural) • selective breeding • recombinant DNA • the ethics of genetics • patenting life • gene therapy • gene editing • CRISPR • literature and films on the dangers of genetic engineering • bioweapons • 3 Laws of Behavior Genetics and what people fear about it.

eSkeptic for January 25, 2022

Social psychologist Carol Tavris thoughtfully explores and questions “affirmative trans medicine,” the latest dangerous medical practices bubble. Few question the mystifying explosion of cases of gender dysphoria among adolescents and the proliferation of clinics to treat them. Vulnerable teens and baffled parents resort to internet misinformation and succumb to biased media influence, while experts spurn exploratory therapies and promote untested treatments that have long-term effects. Dissenters are vilified and silenced as being transphobic. PLUS: Michael Shermer Speaks with Johnjoe McFadden…

Johnjoe McFadden on simplicity in science, based on his book Life is Simple: How Occam’s Razor Set Science Free and Shapes the Universe

Michael Shermer speaks with Professor of Molecular Genetics, Johnjoe McFadden, about: our medieval ancestors • science and religion • how pre-modern theologians thought about the nature of reality • Ptolemaic vs. Tychonic vs. Copernican world systems • simplicity in math, physics, biology, medicine, and the social sciences • quantum physics and simplicity •  Postmodernism and the search for Truth • Is science more Bayesian than Popperian? • the anthropic cosmological principle • the hard problem of consciousness.

Kathryn Paige Harden — The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality

In episode 216, Michael Shermer speaks with University of Texas (Austin) professor of clinical psychology and Director of the Developmental Behavior Genetics Lab, Kathryn Paige Harden about her book The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality.

eSkeptic for October 9, 2021

In episode 216, Michael Shermer speaks with Kathryn Paige Harden about her book The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality. PLUS Robert Bartholomew Havana Syndrome Hysteria and the recent U.S. Government investigation into this probable psychogenic illness.

Neil Shubin — Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA

In Science Salon # 109 Michael Shermer speaks with Neil Shubin about his new book Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA — a lively and accessible account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth.

eSkeptic for March 24, 2020

In Science Salon # 109 Michael Shermer speaks with Neil Shubin about his new book Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA. PLUS Harriet Hall, M.D. reminds us that though many wines improve with age, human bodies don’t; we deteriorate.

American Atlantis

In the new book America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization, author Graham Hancock looks for traces of a lost Ice Age civilization in the Americas. Despite relying on controversial research and drawing extreme conclusions, his hunt still comes up short.

David Quammen — The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

In Science Salon # 33, Michael Shermer talks with David Quammen, one of the best nature and science writers of our generation, about his new book on the history of one of the most exciting revolutions in evolution and genetics that is unfolding before our eyes.

eSkeptic for August 15, 2018

In Science Salon # 33, Michael Shermer talks with with David Quammen, one of the best nature and science writers of our generation, about his new book on the history of one of the most exciting revolutions in evolution and genetics that is unfolding before our eyes.

Dr. Charles S. Cockell — The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution

Shermer and Cockell discuss: the origins of life on earth; the possibility of finding life on Mars and, if we did, would it have something like DNA, albeit with different base pairs?; Fermi’s paradox: if the laws of physics and evolution are so common throughout the universe, and there are so many earth-like planets in our galaxy alone (estimated to be in the billions), where is everyone?; humanity becoming an interplanetary species (possibly the first), and if so what type…

Newly Released Challenge to Sykes’ Yeti DNA Findings

Image of silhouette of yeti-like creature

MonsterTalk host Blake Smith reports on a new paper rebutting DNA-based claims of an unknown bear species in the Himalayas, and places that new paper in context.

10-08-04

In this week’s eSkeptic, Jonathan Lowe reviews the film Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World, produced by Creation Ministries International and Fathom Media, 2009.

H1N1 — The Evolution of a Deadly Virus What Diseases Tell Us About Evolution

In this Caltech lecture, Carl Zimmer, an award-winning science writer (New York Times, Discover), takes readers on a frightening tour of the H1N1 flu virus, how it evolved, and what deadly diseases tell us about how evolution works.

09-07-15

In this week’s eSkeptic, James N. Gardner reviews Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell.

Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity & the DNA of the Chosen People

The author of the highly acclaimed and controversial book, Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It, investigative journalist Jon Entine, in his new book Abraham’s Children, attempts to answer new taboo topics, such as: Did Moses really live? What was the real fate of the Lost Tribes?

07-07-11

In this week’s eSkeptic, Kenneth K. Krause reviews Sean B. Carroll’s book entitled The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Record of Evolution.

05-02-18

In this week’s eSkeptic, Paul R. Gross and Alondra Oubré tackle Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele’s book Race: The Reality of Human Differences.

04-07-30

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer remembers the life of Francis Crick (1916–2004); Anusuya Vethanayagam reviews the film I-Robot

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