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eSkeptic for January 17, 2021

In episode 152 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael responds to critics, reminding us that whether a particular conspiracy theory is true or false very much matters — especially those in the realm of politics, economics, and ideology, which as we’ve seen matters very much to the stability of our democracy and trust in the institutions that keep society stable.

Politics & Truth — Michael Shermer Responds to Critics of His Commentary “Trump & Truth”

In episode 152, Dr. Michael Shermer responds to critics of episode 151, reminding us that the truth or falsity of a claim of any kind that can be adjudicated by science and reason applies not just to astrologers, psychics, UFO proponents, and Big Foot hunters (all of which we cover in Skeptic magazine), but to conspiracy theories, including and especially those in the realm of politics, economics, and ideology, which as we’ve seen matters very much to the stability of our democracy and trust in the institutions that keep society stable. Whether a particular conspiracy theory is true or false very much matters.

Politics of Belief

Dr. Michael Shermer explains how we arrived at the Left-Right spectrum, both historically and evolutionarily, and the numerous metaphors used to wrap our minds around such complex systems as politics and economics.

eSkeptic for April 17, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer explains how we arrived at the Left-Right spectrum, both historically and evolutionarily, and the numerous metaphors used to wrap our minds around such complex systems as politics and economics. This Chapman University lecture is based on chapters in his books The Believing Brain, The Moral Arc, and Giving the Devil His Due, along with the books of Christian Sith, George Lakoff, Alan Fiske, Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Sowell, and Steven Pinker.

eSkeptic for September 17, 2019

We are pleased to announce Dr. Michael Shermer’s brand new 12-lecture Audible Original Course: Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories — What We Should and Shouldn’t Believe — and Why, available now from audible.com. PLUS, in Science Salon # 83, Michael Shermer speaks with Peter Boghossian about his new book How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide.

Peter Boghossian — How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide

In our current political climate, it seems impossible to have a reasonable conversation with anyone who has a different opinion. Everyone seems to be on a hair trigger. This conversation is a guide to straightforward, practical, conversational techniques necessary for every successful conversation — whether the issue is climate change, religious faith, gender identity, race, poverty, immigration, or gun control.

eSkeptic for June 15, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer dispels seven myths of terrorism. This is an excerpt from his book The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. This excerpt also appeared in Skeptic magazine 20.1—a special issue on Terrorism—in 2015.

15-10-21

In this week’s eSkeptic: Guns in the U.S.: — We’re Better at Killing Americans Than Our Enemies Are (an LA Times op-ed by Michael Shermer); When Cops Kill: An Insider’s Perspective; Insight at Skeptic.com: The 10 Percent Brain Myth

15-01-07

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer discusses race relations and the law in America through the lens of Max Weber’s 1919 theory on “legitimate use of physical force.” A slightly different version of this OpEd was originally published at Time.com on December 23, 2014.

The Sandy Hook Effect

On December 14, 2012, 20-year old Adam Lanza broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, killing 20 children and six adults—and then himself—after first slaying his mother Nancy Lanza in their home. In this article from Skeptic magazine issue 18.1 (2013), Michael Shermer takes a look at why preventing highly improbable mass murders like that at Sandy Hook Elementary School is impossible, and discusses what social science research shows are the most reliable means to decreasing violence overall.

The Mass Murder Problem

Oklahoma City, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook. The list of mass murders in America grows and grows. Why? And what can we do about it? In this article, David Hillshafer has aggregated large amounts of data from reputable sources with an aim toward providing evidence-based suggestions for possible solutions.

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