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genetics

eSkeptic for April 27, 2022

Was the great scientist E. O. Wilson a racist? No! Because Wilson corresponded with the notorious race differences psychologist Phillippe Rushton, critics claim it proves Wilson was a racist. Here’s why the critics are wrong, dangerously wrong.

Self-Righteous Vigilantism in Science: The Case of Edward O. Wilson

Is there vigilantism in science? Was the renowned Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson wrongly convicted of racism and promoting race science in the court of public opinion? Yes, says his long-time collaborator and world-class scientist Bert Hölldobler.

Nancy Segal — Deliberately Divided: Inside the Controversial Study of Twins and Triplets Adopted Apart

In this conversation, Nancy Segal reveals the inside stories of the agency that separated the twins, and the collaborating psychiatrists who, along with their cadre of colleagues, observed the twins until they turned twelve. This study, far outside the mainstream of scientific twin research, was not widely known to scholars or the general public.

eSkeptic for November 9, 2021

In episode 225, Michael Shermer speaks with Nancy Segal about deliberately divided twins and what they tell us about human nature, based on her book Deliberately Divided: Inside the Controversial Study of Twins and Triplets Adopted Apart.

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.

eSkeptic for April 3, 2019

In Science Salon # 60 — exceptionally important conversation — Dr. Shermer discusses at length the background to and research of Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a physician and evolutionary sociologist famous for his study of social networks in humans and other animals. PLUS: The breadth of what can be meant by the word “hoax” makes the concept — and consequences — worthy of renewed study. Michelle E. Ainsworth reviews Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young and Hoax: A History of Deception: 5000 Years of Fakes, Forgeries, and Fallacies by Ian Tattersall and Peter Nevraumont.

Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis — Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

In Science Salon # 60 — an exceptionally important conversation — Dr. Shermer discusses at length the background to and research of Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a physician and evolutionary sociologist famous for his study of social networks in humans and other animals.

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.

14-04-09

In this week’s eSkeptic, Donald R. Prothero reviews Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion Year History of the Human Body, a three-part documentary series airing on PBS beginning on April 9, 2014.

Born Together, Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study

Dr. Nancy Segal offers an overview of the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart, its scientific contributions, and its effect on public consciousness. The study startled scientists by demonstrating that twins reared apart are as alike, across a number of personality traits and other measures, as those raised together, suggesting that genetic influence is pervasive.

10-06-23

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present William Stansfield’s article from the archives of Skeptic magazine Volume 10, Number 4 in which he critiques the typing monkeys metaphor generated by Richard Hardison and Richard Dawkins as being too unlike the biological realities of natural selection.

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.

In Sagan’s Own Words: In Memory of Carl Sagan 1934–1996

Culled from the expansive work of Carl Sagan, we present some of his own words on the cosmos, ETs, childhood, genes, brains, pseudoscience, science literacy, nonsense, uncertainty, biology, history and God.

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?

05-04-19

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer reviews Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath.

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.

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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.

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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?

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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…

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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!

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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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