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rationality

eSkeptic for October 29, 2019

In Science Salon # 89 Michael Shermer speaks with Richard Dawkins about his new book Outgrowing God. Dawkins explains how the natural world arose without a designer and challenges head-on some of the most basic assumptions made by the world’s religions. PLUS: Is the statement “We are living in a post-truth world” true? If your answer is “yes” then the answer is “no” because you’ve just evaluated the statement in an evidentiary manner, so evidence still matters and facts still matter. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker explains why were are not living in a post-truth world in this deeply insightful cover story from Skeptic magazine 24.3 (2019).

Reading Room
Why We Are Not Living in a Post‑Truth Era
An (Unnecessary) Defense of Reason and a (Necessary) Defense of Universities’ Role in Advancing it

Is the statement “We are living in a post-truth world” true? If your answer is “yes” then the answer is “no” because you’ve just evaluated the statement in an evidentiary manner, so evidence still matters and facts still matter. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker explains why were are not living in a post-truth world in this deeply insightful cover story from Skeptic magazine 24.3 (2019).

eSkeptic for January 13, 2016

Michael Shermer’s new book, now available and published by Henry Holt/Macmillan, is a collection of his Scientific American essays that began in April of 2001. Shermer is most pleased with being able to bind the first 75 essays between two covers, and tell you about them here through the Introduction to the book, reprinted by permission of the publisher.

INSIGHT
Is It Irrational to Play the Lottery?

Is buying a lottery ticket irrational? Is any gambling rational? What makes one bet fair while another is a sucker’s bet?

INSIGHT
Why Smart Doesn’t Guarantee Rational, Part III

Barbara Drescher wraps up her series on the difference between rationality and intelligence.

INSIGHT
More On Why Smart People Are Not Always Rational

Barbara Drescher digs further into the roots of irrationality in Part Two of her exploration of the difference between rationality and intelligence.

INSIGHT
Why Smart People Are Not Always Rational

Barbara Drescher tells the story of a very smart man who made a very stupid decision, and digs into the difference between “intelligence” and “rationality.”

Distinguished Science Lecture
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

IN THIS FASCINATING LECTURE, based on his new book The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Dr. Matt Ridley demonstrates that life is getting better — and at an accelerating rate — and he explains why. His new book covers the entire sweep of human history, from the Stone Age to the Internet, from the stagnation of the Ming empire to the invention of the steam engine, from the population explosion to the likely consequences of climate change.

10-05-19

In this week’s eSkeptic, Victoria Bekiempis reviews The Case for Rational Optimism by Frank S. Robinson.

Distinguished Science Lecture
Drs. Paul Zak & Michael Shermer — Moral Markets & the Mind of the Market

In this unusual tag-team lecture, Zak and Shermer debunk two myths: (1) Homo economicus: that “economic man” is rational, free and selfish and (2) that evolution and economics are based almost entirely on cutthroat competition and self-maximizing greed. In Zak’s Moral Markets and Shermer’s The Mind of the Market, the authors demonstrate that people are as irrational with money as they are in all other aspects of 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

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

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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