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mythology

Holy Relics, Holy Places, Wholly Fiction

Holy relics like the Ark of the Covenant, Moses’s Ten Commandment stone tablets, the Holy Grail, the chalice from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper, The Spear of Destiny, and the like, are the stuff of myth, legend, Hollywood movies, and even Nazi villains, but what is the real story behind the myths? In this insightful analysis Skeptic magazine religion editor Tim Callahan reveals what we know and don’t know about these legendary icons.

Michel Gagné — How to Think About Conspiracy Theories

As we approach the sixtieth anniversary of the violent public assassination of President John F. Kennedy, over half of all Americans surveyed continue to believe that he was killed by a conspiracy involving multiple assassins. Shermer and Gagné discuss: conspiracies and conspiracy theories; what role conspiracy theories play in society; who believes them and why; why conspiracy theorists rewrite the past; Trump and rigged election; Obama Birtherism; and more…

Bart Ehrman — Did the Christmas Story Really Happen? The Birth of Jesus in History & Legend

In episode 230, Michael Shermer speaks with renowned biblical scholar and historian Bart Ehrman about how Jesus became God and how Christianity grew from a few dozen followers at the time of Jesus’s death to over two billion followers today.

eSkeptic for Nov 27, 2021

In episode 230, Michael Shermer speaks with renowned biblical scholar and historian Bart Ehrman about how Jesus became God and how Christianity grew from a few dozen followers at the time of Jesus’s death to over two billion followers today.

eSkeptic for May 1, 2021

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante. PLUS: From now through May 3, 2021 all print and digital back issues of Skeptic magazine are on sale for only 99 cents each! Now is the time to complete your collection!

Angus Fletcher — 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante.

Jordan Peterson & Michael Shermer on Science, Myth, Truth, and the Architecture of Archetypes

Michael Shermer and Jordan Peterson discuss: the balance between chaos and order • Maps of Meaning • truths: objective, subjective, historical, political, religious, and literary • why all countries aren’t democracies • the appeal of populist, authoritarian leaders • the danger of assessing according to race, sex, class and power • oppression-redemption myths • how Peterson’s dark dreams and mental health issues inform his worldview as tilting toward the darker side of humanity.

eSkeptic for April 20, 2021

In episode 174, join Michael Shermer and Jordan Peterson (bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life) for this extraordinary conversation based on Peterson’s new book Beyond Order. PLUS: Save 40% on new digital subscriptions to Skeptic Magazine via Pocketmags.com, now through April 27, 2021!

David J. Halperin — Intimate Alien: The Hidden Story of the UFO

In Science Salon # 124 Michael Shermer speaks with David J. Halperin about what our fascination with UFOs tells us about ourselves as individuals, as a culture, and as a species.

eSkeptic for July 14, 2020

In Science Salon # 124 Michael Shermer speaks with David J. Halperin about what our fascination with UFOs tells us about ourselves as individuals, as a culture, and as a species.

Howard Bloom — Einstein, Michael Jackson, and Me: A Search for the Soul in the Power Pits of Rock and Roll

Howard Bloom — called “the greatest press agent that rock and roll has ever known” — is a science nerd who founded the biggest PR firm in the music industry and helped build or sustain the careers of rock-and-roll legends: Michael Jackson, Prince, Bob Marley, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Queen, Kiss, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run DMC, ZZ Top, Joan Jett, Chaka Khan, and one hundred more. What was he after? He was on a hunt for the gods inside of you and me.

eSkeptic for June 9, 2020

In Science Salon # 119 Michael Shermer speaks with Howard Bloom about his book Einstein, Michael Jackson, and Me: A Search for the Soul in the Power Pits of Rock and Roll. PLUS, we examine free speech and censorship in Skeptic Magazine 25.2 (2020): Giving the Devil His Due, available now in print and digital formats.

eSkeptic for May 29, 2020

In this lecture on Evolution and Creationism (Part 1), Dr. Michael Shermer takes viewers to the Galápagos Islands to retrace Darwin’s footsteps and show that, in fact, Darwin did not discover natural selection when he was there in September of 1835. He worked out his theory when he returned home, and Shermer shows exactly how Darwin did that, along with the story of the theory’s co-discoverer, Alfred Russel Wallace.

Evolution & Creationism, Part 1

In this lecture on Evolution and Creationism (Part 1), Dr. Michael Shermer takes viewers to the Galápagos Islands to retrace Darwin’s footsteps and show that, in fact, Darwin did not discover natural selection when he was there in September of 1835. He worked out his theory when he returned home, and Shermer shows exactly how Darwin did that, along with the story of the theory’s co-discoverer, Alfred Russel Wallace.

Deities for Atheists, Skygods for Skeptics: UFOs & ETIs

Dr. Michael Shermer distinguishes between two questions: (1) Are extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) out there somewhere in the cosmos? and (2) Have aliens come here? Evidence for both questions is considered in the larger context of why the issue so compels us to answer it almost religiously.

eSkeptic for April 7, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer distinguishes between two questions: (1) Are extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) out there somewhere in the cosmos? and (2) Have aliens come here? Evidence for both questions is considered in the larger context of why the issue so compels us to answer it almost religiously.

Cults, Myths, and Religion

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the characteristics of cults, how they differ from sects, religions, and myths, the role that myths and religions play in culture and people’s lives, and what Scientologists really believe.

eSkeptic for April 3, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the characteristics of cults, how they differ from sects, religions, and myths, the role that myths and religions play in culture and people’s lives, and what Scientologists really believe.

eSkeptic for March 31, 2020

Nearly everyone wonders about what, if anything, comes after death. In Science Salon # 110 Michael Shermer speaks with Bart Ehrman about his book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife in which Ehrman investigates the powerful instincts that gave rise to the common ideas of heaven and hell and that help them endure. PLUS, save 40% on new digital subscriptions to Skeptic magazine now through April 12, 2020.

Bart Ehrman — Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife

Nearly everyone wonders about what, if anything, comes after death. In Science Salon # 110 Michael Shermer speaks with Bart Ehrman about his book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife in which Ehrman investigates the powerful instincts that gave rise to the common ideas of heaven and hell and that help them endure.

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