The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


racism

Do Diversity Training Programs Work? Creating a Culture of Inclusion through Scientific Reasoning

Agenda-driven diversity and antiracism training programs are everywhere, but do they work in creating an inclusive culture? In our current climate of high racial tensions and deadlocked civil discourse, Dr. Mona Sue Weissmark asks “Is there a more effective way to break down these conversation barriers in order to answer some of the most difficult, polarizing questions that we face today?”

Dave Rubin — Don’t Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason

The left is no longer liberal. Once on the side of free speech and tolerance, progressives now ban speakers from college campuses, “cancel” people who aren’t up to date on the latest genders, and force religious people to violate their conscience. They have abandoned the battle of ideas and have begun fighting a battle of feelings. This uncomfortable truth has turned moderates and true liberals into the politically homeless class…

eSkeptic for April 28, 2020

In Science Salon # 113 Michael Shermer speaks with Dave Rubin, the host of the political talk show The Rubin Report — the most-watched talk show about free speech and big ideas on YouTube — about his first book Don’t Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason.

Shedding Light on the Intellectual Dark Web: A Preliminary Empirical Study

Ever since Bari Weiss introduced the world to the “Intellectual Dark Web” much has been written on what the members of the IDW believe. Pundits, journalists, and scholars have confidently espoused their “hot take” of the IDW without the slightest bit of systematic data collection to back up their claims. This empirical study of members of the IDW offers a preliminary summary of their beliefs on a wide range of issues.

eSkeptic for October 20, 2019

Ever since Bari Weiss introduced the world to the “Intellectual Dark Web” much has been written on what the members of the IDW believe. Pundits, journalists, and scholars have confidently espoused their “hot take” of the IDW without the slightest bit of systematic data collection to back up their claims. This empirical study of members of the IDW offers a preliminary summary of their beliefs on a wide range of issues.

eSkeptic for August 6, 2019

In response to last week’s trifecta shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, Michael Shermer offers an analysis of the psychology of mass public shooters, or why people act on their beliefs, why almost everyone thinks their beliefs are ontologically true and morally right, and why political rhetoric matters.

Guns Don’t Kill People, Beliefs Kill People

In response to last week’s trifecta shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, Michael Shermer offers an analysis of the psychology of mass public shooters, or why people act on their beliefs, why almost everyone thinks their beliefs are ontologically true and morally right, and why political rhetoric matters.

eSkeptic for October 17, 2018

Science Salon Podcast # 42: The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything. A dialogue between Michael Shermer and psychologist Clay Routledge (Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World) on life’s deepest and most meaningful issues.

Great Untruths

Anondah Saide and Kevin McCaffree review The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.

I Am Not a Racist, And So Are You: An Unauthorized Peek at the Great Shaming Taking Place at an Institution of Higher Learning Near You (and Other Fireside Tales)

Stephen Beckner ponders privilege and parity in a postmodern world, weighing in on the many Grand American Shaming Experiments taking place right now, and their potentially enormous personal, political, and cultural opportunity costs.

eSkeptic for June 13, 2018

Stephen Beckner ponders privilege and parity in a postmodern world, weighing in on the many Grand American Shaming Experiments taking place right now, and their potentially enormous personal, political, and cultural opportunity costs.

eSkeptic for June 8, 2018

In his June 2018 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, Michael Shermer discusses Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s idea that Google searches may act as a “digital truth serum” for our deeper and darker thoughts.

eSkeptic for February 14, 2018

The Rise of Victimhood Culture (detail of book cover)

In this week’s eSkeptic, Kevin McCaffree reviews the forthcoming book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars (March 21, 2018) in which sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have produced the first systematic theoretical analysis of the moral culture of “victimhood” emerging on university campuses

Honor, Dignity, Victim: A Tale of Three Moral Cultures

The Rise of Victimhood Culture (detail of book cover)

Kevin McCaffree reviews the forthcoming book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars (March 21, 2018) in which sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have produced the first systematic theoretical analysis of the moral culture of “victimhood” emerging on university campuses.

Are You An Unconscious Racist?

Carol Tavris examines whether the Implicit Association Test (IAT) can really capture unconscious prejudices and predict if people will actually behave in a biased or discriminatory way.

eSkeptic for November 1, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic, Carol Tavris examines whether the Implicit Association Test (IAT) can really capture unconscious prejudices and predict if people will actually behave in a biased or discriminatory way.

The Multi-headed Hydra of Prejudice

Hercules Killing the Lernean Hydra, Cornelis Cort [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Social psychologist (and regular columnist for Skeptic magazine, Carol Tavris, discusses the hydra of prejudice and the psychological predictors that lead to it rearing its ugly heads.

eSkeptic for August 30, 2017

Hercules Killing the Lernean Hydra, Cornelis Cort [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In this week’s eSkeptic, social psychologist (and regular columnist for Skeptic magazine, Carol Tavris, discusses the hydra of prejudice and the psychological predictors that lead to it rearing its ugly heads.

eSkeptic for August 2, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic, Tim Callahan explores the question of whether microbes from any given planet will be brutally harmful to the inhabitants of another planet who have no immunity to the alien pathogens.

The Rise of the Alt-Right and the Politics of Polarization in America

Although Donald Trump’s presidential campaign mobilized the movement that has come be known as the alt-right, it was not he who created it. George Michael explores how the alt-right movement in America has gained traction in recent years, and examines whether it could change the American political landscape, now that Donald Trump is president.

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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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