The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


free speech

eSkeptic for April 16, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with Dave Rubin: New York Times bestselling author, and creator and host of The Rubin Report. They discuss his book Don’t Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia.

Dave Rubin — Left, Right, and Woke, based on his book Don’t Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia

Michael Shermer speaks with Dave Rubin: New York Times bestselling author, and creator and host of The Rubin Report. They discuss his book Don’t Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia.

Kelly Weill on Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything

Michael Shermer speaks with journalist Kelly Weill whose work covers extremism, disinformation, and online conspiracy theories in current affairs. The conversation is based on her book Off the Edge which tells a powerful story about belief, polarized realities, and what needs to happen so that we might all return to the same spinning globe.

eSkeptic for March 1, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with journalist Kelly Weill whose work covers extremism, disinformation, and online conspiracy theories in current affairs. The conversation is based on her book Off the Edge which tells a powerful story about belief, polarized realities, and what needs to happen so that we might all return to the same spinning globe.

Jacob Mchangama on Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media

In this episode, based on the book Free Speech, Michael Shermer and Jacob Mchangama discuss the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of the principle, how much we have gained from it, and how much we stand to lose without it.

eSkeptic for February 8, 2022

In this episode, based on the book Free Speech, Michael Shermer and Jacob Mchangama discuss the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of the principle, how much we have gained from it, and how much we stand to lose without it.

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.

Pandemic Politics: How 2020 Impacted Americans’ Social and Political Attitudes

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 & Presidential Election Study (CUPES) released in late 2020–early 2021.

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.

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.

Bari Weiss & Bion Bartning on Their New Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism

Shermer, Weiss, and Bartning discuss: why we need FAIR when we have the ACLU, the SPLC, etc. • Richard Dawkins canceled by the AHA • hate speech as violence • how Liberal and Conservative attitudes have shifted • private vs. public speech • government censorship vs. cancel culture • social media companies: platforms or publishers? • anti-Semitism • QAnon • conspiracies • why free speech is foundational to other rights, and more…

eSkeptic for May 22, 2021

In episode 183 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with Bari Weiss and Bion Bartning about their new Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR).

Andrew Doyle — Free Speech: And Why It Matters

In episode 172 of Michael Shermer’s podcast he speaks with Andrew Doyle about his new book on free speech and why it matters. Taking on board legitimate concerns about how speech can be harmful, Doyle argues that the alternative — an authoritarian world in which our freedoms are surrendered to those in power — has far worse consequences.

eSkeptic for April 13, 2021

In episode 172 of Michael Shermer’s podcast he speaks with Andrew Doyle about his new book on free speech and why it matters. Taking on board legitimate concerns about how speech can be harmful, Doyle argues that the alternative — an authoritarian world in which our freedoms are surrendered to those in power — has far worse consequences.

Greg Lukianoff — How Free is Free Speech?

Shermer and Lukianoff discuss: the state of free speech • how coddled today’s students are • rates of depression and anxiety in students today • possible causes: social media, screen time, culture of safetyism, culture of victimhood, helicopter parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play • cancel culture • current rates of deplatforming and canceling in academia, the polarization of politics • when self-censorship is healthy, and more…

eSkeptic for October 6, 2020

In Science Salon podcast # 136, Michael Shermer speaks with Gad Saad about his new book The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.

Gad Saad — The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense

Shermer and Saad discuss: dangerous idea pathogens • ideological parasites • the origin of political correctness and how it was corrupted • identity politics and how it perpetrates bigotry, racism, and misogyny • the psychology of victimhood • virtue signaling and why it isn’t virtuous • why social justice is injustice • • the corruption of postmodernism • Islamophobia • diversity, inclusion and equity • safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings • liberalism • the paradox of tolerance, and more…

eSkeptic for August 14, 2020

Right now, we are all confronting one of humanity’s scariest enemies: epidemic disease. Are we brave enough to face this horror? You bet we are! Download Junior Skeptic 76 for free: Pandemics Throughout History—How Mistakes, Fakes, and Missing Facts Make Epidemics Worse. PLUS: Dr. Michael Shermer gives a remote lecture on free speech & censorship.

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

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The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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