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human nature

Dr. Gad Saad — Doing Gad’s Work

In this episode of the Science Salon Podcast, Michael Shermer talks to the renowned evolutionary behavioral scientist and Concordia University professor Dr. Gad Saad.

eSkeptic for November 7, 2018

Humans have long seen ourselves as the center of the universe. This viewpoint — a persistent paradigm of our own unique self-importance — is as dangerous as it is false. In this Science Salon with Michael Shermer based on his new book Through a Glass Brightly noted biologist and evolutionary psychologist David Barash explores the process by which science has, throughout time, cut humanity “down to size,” and how humanity has responded.

Dr. David P. Barash — Human Nature Through a Glass Brightly

Humans have long seen ourselves as the center of the universe. This viewpoint — a persistent paradigm of our own unique self-importance — is as dangerous as it is false. In this Science Salon with Michael Shermer based on his new book Through a Glass Brightly noted biologist and evolutionary psychologist David Barash explores the process by which science has, throughout time, cut humanity “down to size,” and how humanity has responded.

Dr. Robert Trivers — Evolutionary Theory & Human Nature

Dr. Robert Trivers and Dr. Michael Shermer have a lively conversation on everything from evolutionary theory and human nature to how to win a knife fight and Trivers’ membership in the Black Panthers. Don’t miss this engaging exchange with one of the most interesting scientists of the past half century.

eSkeptic for February 24, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, scientist and historian, Michael Shermer, responds to evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, about ancient warfare and the notion the blank slate.

On Slates and Tweets: A Reply to David Sloan Wilson on Ancient Warfare and the Blank Slate

Scientist and historian, Michael Shermer, responds to evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, about ancient warfare and the notion the blank slate.

Dr. Jared Diamond — On Mistakes Made by People and Nations that Hurt Their Futures

Jared Diamond considers the risks and mistakes that people and nations make. Based on his extensive research on and experience with the human condition Dr. Diamond considers the future based on what we know about the past — historically and personally.

eSkeptic for March 25, 2015

In this week’s eSkeptic, Kevin Mccaffree and Anondah Saide present a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed empirical studies that evaluate the success of teaching critical thinking strategies in the classroom. In addition, they discuss some reasons for the limited impact of these strategies.

10-02-24

In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr Harriet Hall, MD, (aka the Skepdoc) reviews 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry L. Beyerstein.

10-02-17

In this week’s eSkeptic, P.J. Rooks reviews SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

The Philosophical Baby

Leading child psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik examines children’s imaginations, their consciousness, and their ideas about love and morality, and finds that the way they play, pretend, and explore are actually part of the most profound and fundamental aspects of human nature. It is through play and imagination that children solve problems of morality, learn about the world around them, and create bonds with other people.

09-09-09

In this week’s eSkeptic, David Cowan reviews Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, a graphic novel about the life and ideas of philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell, written by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou.

09-01-28

In this week’s eSkeptic, our regular contributor Kenneth Krause reviews the latest research on altruism, most notably that of primate research in controlled experiments in which both monkeys and apes are given choices to cooperate or compete against game partners in exchange scenarios, with implications for human research in this area.

08-01-30

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer answers the Annual Edge.org Question “What Have You Changed Your Mind About?”.

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Dr. Steven Pinker marries two of the subjects he knows best — language and human nature — into his new book on how words can help explain our nature (for example, what swearing reveals about our emotions or what innuendo discloses about relationships). The author of the bestselling books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works and Blank Slate, Pinker reveals how our use of prepositions and tenses taps into peculiarly human concepts of space and time, and how our nouns and verbs speak to our notions of matter…

Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Renowned social psychologist Dr. Carol Tavris takes a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification…

07-03-28

In this week’s eSkeptic, Warren Allmon reviews two books: The Measure of God. Our Century-Long Struggle to Reconcile Science & Religion. The Story of the Gifford Lectures, by Larry Witham; and Before Darwin. Reconciling God and Nature, by Keith Stewart Thomson.

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

How is it possible for ordinary, average, even good people to become perpetrators of evil? Dr. Zimbardo, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, ran the famous “Stanford Prison Experiment” in the late 1960s that randomly assigned healthy, normal intelligent college students to play the roles of prisoner or guard in a projected 2 week-long study that he was forced to terminate after only 6 days because it went out of control, with pacifists becoming sadistic guards, and normal kids breaking down emotionally…

07-03-21

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer tries out some new ideas at a free lecture on evolutionary economics; and Dr. Philip Zimbardo lectures at Caltech on the topic of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.

The Gospel of Food

In his latest debunking project (after The Culture of Fear), sociologist Glassner argues that frequent sensational headlines and scientific controversies about obesity, fast food, and food safety have left many Americans bewildered about what to eat…

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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.

FREE PDF Download

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.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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