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Who Should You Trust? Why Appeals to Scientific Consensus Are Often Uncompelling

Consumers of scientific information should be skeptical of an apparent scientific consensus. Consider: How politicized is this topic? What are the career incentives for the scientists? How easy would it be for scientists to selectively report only the favorable results? Would a study have been published if it had found the opposite result or a null result? The answers to these questions will not definitively tell us whether the scientific consensus is right or wrong, but they should help us…

News Media & Declining Race Relations:Social Narratives More Than Real-Life Events May Be Driving Decline in Race Relations

Everyone knows that race relations in America have a long and troubled history. By some measures race relations are very good, with polls showing that people are more tolerant of racial diversity today than they were decades ago. But by other measures it would seem race matters are more disconcerting than ever. In this analysis Chris Ferguson attributes the troubling events of recent years to the news media and how they create a social narrative driving the decline of race…

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.

eSkeptic for January 30, 2019

In Science Salon # 51 Michael Shermer has a wide-ranging dialogue with New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz about myths, narratives, archetypes, and Trump.

Gregg Hurwitz — Into the Light: Myths, Narratives, Archetypes, and Trump

Shermer and Hurwitz discuss: being a public intellectual • how to convey ideas through fiction vs. nonfiction • the role of myths and archetypes in narrative stories • Jordan Peterson and religion • the role of life experience and suffering in the development of a successful novelist, screenwriter, or filmmaker • the role of narrative in politics, and more…

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