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health

eSkeptic for March 5, 2022

“Havana Syndrome” is the latest in a long list of health scares involving the fear of new technology. The present panic involves claims of a secret weapon that uses sound or microwaves to zap people anywhere in the world. Robert Bartholomew examines some of the sensational claims made in a recent 60 Minutes episode suggesting White House attacks amid ongoing political tensions with Russia.

60 Minutes Whips Up “Havana Syndrome” Hysteria, Airs Sensational Segment on White House “Attacks”

“Havana Syndrome” is the latest in a long list of health scares involving the fear of new technology. The present panic involves claims of a secret weapon that uses sound or microwaves to zap people anywhere in the world. Robert Bartholomew examines some of the sensational claims made in a recent 60 Minutes episode suggesting White House attacks amid ongoing political tensions with Russia.

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.

Havana Syndrome Hysteria and the Great Wild Goose Chase: Classified documents reveal skepticism of foreign actors & bolster the role of psychogenic illness

Have foreign agents been committing nefarious deeds, targeting dozens of American and Canadian diplomats and their families with an energy weapon, or is Havana Syndrome a social panic aided by sensational journalism, dubious science, and social media conspiracy theories? The contents of a U.S. Government investigation into “Havana Syndrome” released under the Freedom of Information Act, concluded that mass psychogenic illness likely played a major role.

Gary Taubes — The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating

Michael Shermer and Gary Taubes discuss: why consensus science doesn’t always work •  replication crisis and nutrition science • Newtonian mechanical model and why it doesn’t work with human bodies • physics model of calories and why it’s misleading for dietary advice and obesity • how difficult it is to collect accurate data on what people eat • the complicating variables in determining dietary recommendations • what, precisely, is wrong with the long-standing recommendations about what we should eat • intermittent fasting • why some people gain weight whereas others don’t on the same diets, and more…

eSkeptic for March 23, 2021

In The Michael Shermer Show # 167, Dr. Shermer speaks with Gary Taubes about The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating. PLUS: Save 40% on new digital subscription to Skeptic Magazine via Pocketmags.com, now through April 4, 2021!

eSkeptic for January 5, 2021

In episode 150 of The Michael Shermer Show, Harvard professor of human evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman discusses his pioneering researcher on the evolution of human physical activity in his book Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding. PLUS: Perhaps one of the most bizarre beliefs rampant in modern times is that malign, shape-shifting reptilian extraterrestrial invaders, disguised as human beings, secretly control the governments of the world. It is possible that we recently experienced a violent consequence of that belief.

Daniel Lieberman — Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding

In episode 150 of The Michael Shermer Show, Harvard professor of human evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman discusses his pioneering researcher on the evolution of human physical activity in his book Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding. Using his own research and experiences throughout the world, Lieberman recounts how and why humans evolved to walk, run, dig, and do other necessary and rewarding physical activities while avoiding needless exertion.

eSkeptic for October 13, 2020

In Science Salon podcast # 137, Michael Shermer speaks with Marta Zaraska about her new book Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism, and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100. In addition to healthy nutrition and physical activity, deepening friendships, practicing empathy and contemplating your purpose in life can improve your lifespan.

Marta Zaraska — Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism, and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100

In Science Salon podcast # 137, Michael Shermer speaks with Marta Zaraska about her new book Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism, and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100. In addition to healthy nutrition and physical activity, deepening friendships, practicing empathy and contemplating your purpose in life can improve your lifespan.

eSkeptic for January 14, 2020

In Science Salon # 99 Michael Shermer speaks with Bobby Duffy about his research into public perception across more than 40 countries, offering a sweeping account of the stubborn problem of human delusion: how society breeds it, why it will never go away, and what our misperceptions say about what we really believe. PLUS: Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the evidence and the arguments for and against water fluoridation to see what holds up to scrutiny.

Water Fluoridation: Public Health, Not Poison

Fluoridation of public water sources remains controversial as a public health measure despite the strong evidence that fluoride prevents tooth decay. Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the evidence and the arguments for and against water fluoridation to see what holds up to scrutiny.

Coconut Oil: Health Food or Health Hazard?

Incredible health claims are being made for coconut oil — from reversing Alzheimer’s, heart and liver disease, to treating epilepsy, slowing aging, and reducing asthma. Marketing hype has triumphed over scientific evidence. In this column from Skeptic magazine 24.3 (2019), Harriet Hall, M.D. looks at the evidence for some of these extraordinary claims.

eSkeptic for September 24, 2019

Science Salon # 84 Michael Shermer speaks with Christof Koch about his new book The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness is Widespread but Can’t Be Computed; PLUS, Harriet Hall, M.D. looks at the evidence for some of the extraordinary claims for coconut oil.

eSkeptic for December 12, 2018

In his December 2018 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American Michael Shermer discusses how to avert a looming crisis among today’s youth.

eSkeptic for November 30, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer reviews What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality, by Richard G. Bribiescas. A shortened version of this review ran in the Wall Street Journal on November 18, 2016, under the title “Why Men Die First.”

The Ultimate Trade Off

Michael Shermer reviews What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality, by Richard G. Bribiescas. A shortened version of this review ran in the Wall Street Journal on November 18, 2016, under the title “Why Men Die First.”

eSkeptic for June 22, 2016

Could it be that shoes are the world’s most dangerous invention and the cause of health problems ranging from autoimmune diseases to premature aging? In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the claims of “grounding” or “earthing” — the idea that shoes are the most destructive invention ever and that maintaining health requires direct contact with the earth.

Barefoot in Sedona: Bogus Claims About Grounding Your Feet to Earth Promote Medical Pseudoscience

Could it be that shoes are the world’s most dangerous invention and the cause of health problems ranging from autoimmune diseases to premature aging? Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the claims of “grounding” or “earthing” — the idea that shoes are the most destructive invention ever and that maintaining health requires direct contact with the earth.

eSkeptic for November 18, 2015

In this week’s eSkeptic: Science Salon: This Sunday: Lisa Randall on Dark Matter & the Dinosaurs Feature: An Internet Story for Our Time Skepticality: Based on The Bible SCIENCE SALON THIS SUNDAY Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe Event Date: Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015 at 2 pm Speaker: Dr. Lisa […]

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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.

FREE PDF Download

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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