The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


pandemics

William Nordhaus on the Economics of Global Warming, Pandemics, and Corporate Malfeasance

In episode 186 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with Nobel Prize-winning pioneer in environmental economics, Dr. Nordhaus, about his book The Spirit of Green: The Economics of Collisions and Contagions in a Crowded World in which he explains how and why “green thinking” could cure many of the world’s most serious problems — from global warming to pandemics.

eSkeptic for June 2, 2021

In episode 186 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with Nobel Prize-winning pioneer in environmental economics, Dr. Nordhaus, about his book The Spirit of Green: The Economics of Collisions and Contagions in a Crowded World in which he explains how and why “green thinking” could cure many of the world’s most serious problems — from global warming to pandemics.

Niall Ferguson — Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe

In episode 179 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael Shermer speaks with one of the world’s most renowned historians, Niall Ferguson, who explains why our ever more bureaucratic and complex systems are making us worse, not better, at handling disasters.

eSkeptic for May 8, 2021

In episode 179 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael Shermer speaks with one of the world’s most renowned historians, Niall Ferguson, who explains why our ever more bureaucratic and complex systems are making us worse, not better, at handling disasters.

Red Alert: Anti-Vaccination in the Age of COVID-19

Raymond Barglow and Margret Schaefer discuss the anti-vaccination movement in the age of COVID-19.

eSkeptic for January 15, 2021

In this cover story article (written in October 2020) for Skeptic magazine 25.4 (December 2020), Daniel Loxton considers the unsavory origins and rising threat of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Written prior to the deadly QAnon-led occupation of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, this analysis exposes the conspiracy theory as baseless, unoriginal, and harmful for believers and society at large.

QAnon Is Just a Warmed Over Witch Panic — and It’s Also Very Dangerous

In this cover story article (written in October 2020) for Skeptic magazine 25.4 (December 2020), Daniel Loxton considers the unsavory origins and rising threat of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Written prior to the deadly QAnon-led occupation of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, this analysis exposes the conspiracy theory as baseless, unoriginal, and harmful for believers and society at large.

eSkeptic for December 29, 2020

In Science Salon 149, the last of 2020, Dr. Michael Shermer reflects on the many issues we have witnessed this year: Black Live Matter, class conflicts, income inequality, lack of education, anti-Semitism, far-left illiberalism, far-right xenophobia and bigotry, and religious indoctrination. He then reads an expanded version of his essay The After Time: The Future of Civilization After COVID-19.

The After Time: The Future of Civilization After COVID-19

In Science Salon 149, the last of 2020, Dr. Michael Shermer reflects on the many issues we have witnessed this year: Black Live Matter, class conflicts, income inequality, lack of education, anti-Semitism, far-left illiberalism, far-right xenophobia and bigotry, and religious indoctrination. He then reads an expanded version of his essay The After Time: The Future of Civilization After COVID-19.

Nicholas Christakis — Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live

Shermer and Christakis discuss: the replication crisis in social science and medicine • determining causality: how we know smoking causes cancer and HIV causes AIDS, but vaccines do not cause autism and cell phones do not cause cancer • randomized controlled trials and why they can’t be done to answer many medical questions • natural experiments and the comparative method of testing hypotheses (e.g., comparing different countries differing responses to Covid-19) • the hindsight bias and the curse of knowledge in judging responses to pandemics after the fact, and more…

eSkeptic for September 1, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the pitfalls of projecting the consequences of the pandemic for our future (the availability heuristic, the negativity bias, the difficulties of superforecasting, and the contingent nature of history). PLUS: In Science Salon # 131, Michael Shermer speaks with Stuart Ritchie his book Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth.

eSkeptic for August 14, 2020

Right now, we are all confronting one of humanity’s scariest enemies: epidemic disease. Are we brave enough to face this horror? You bet we are! Download Junior Skeptic 76 for free: Pandemics Throughout History—How Mistakes, Fakes, and Missing Facts Make Epidemics Worse. PLUS: Dr. Michael Shermer gives a remote lecture on free speech & censorship.

Bjorn Lomborg — False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet

Bjorn Lomborg argues that climate change is real, but it’s not the apocalyptic threat that we’ve been told it is. Projections of Earth’s imminent demise are based on bad science and even worse economics, he claims. Lomborg attempts to convince us that everything we think about climate change is wrong — and points the way toward making the world a vastly better, if slightly warmer, place for us all.

eSkeptic for July 21, 2020

In Science Salon # 125 Michael Shermer speaks Bjorn Lomborg about his new book False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.

eSkeptic for June 30, 2020

In Science Salon # 122 Michael Shermer speaks with Walter Scheidel as he recounts the gripping story of how the end of the Roman Empire was the beginning of the modern world. PLUS, Harriet Hall, M.D. sets the record straight on wearing face masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Wear a Mask, But Act as If It Doesn’t Work

Masks have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but instead of believing the evidence and following public health guidelines, many people have turned mask wearing into a political statement. They are refusing to wear masks for reasons that are laughable. Rejecting masks is selfish: it means they don’t care if other people get sick and die. Here’s what Harriet Hall, M.D., The SkepDoc, has to say about it.

Matt Ridley — How Innovation Works: and Why It Flourishes in Freedom

Innovation is the main event of the modern age, the reason we experience both dramatic improvements in our living standards and unsettling changes in our society. Matt Ridley argues that we need to think about innovation as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens to society as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan.

eSkeptic for May 26, 2020

In Science Salon # 117, Michael Shermer speaks with Matt Ridley about his book How Innovation Works: and Why It Flourishes in Freedom.

eSkeptic for May 19, 2020

How much is a human life worth? In Science Salon # 116, Michael Shermer speaks with Howard Steven Friedman about the calculations that governments routinely use to place a price on human life.

Howard Steven Friedman — Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life

How much is a human life worth? In Science Salon # 116, Michael Shermer speaks with Howard Steven Friedman about the calculations that governments routinely use to place a price on human life.

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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.

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