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scientific consensus

Steven Koonin on what climate science tells us, what it doesn’t, and why it matters, based on his book Unsettled

According to Steven Koonin, when it comes to climate change, the media, politicians, and other prominent voices have declared that “the science is settled.” Koonin avers that the long game of telephone from research to reports, to the popular media, is corrupted by misunderstanding and misinformation. Koonin says that core questions about the way the climate is responding to our influence, and what the impacts will be remain largely unanswered.

eSkeptic for November 20, 2021

In episode 228, Michael Shermer speaks with Steven Koonin about what climate science tells us, what it doesn’t, and why it matters, based on his book Unsettled. Plus, we annouce a 6-hour seminar with Bart Ehrman on Dec 5, and recap Michael Shermer’s Substack posts this week.

Gary Taubes — The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating

Michael Shermer and Gary Taubes discuss: why consensus science doesn’t always work •  replication crisis and nutrition science • Newtonian mechanical model and why it doesn’t work with human bodies • physics model of calories and why it’s misleading for dietary advice and obesity • how difficult it is to collect accurate data on what people eat • the complicating variables in determining dietary recommendations • what, precisely, is wrong with the long-standing recommendations about what we should eat • intermittent fasting • why some people gain weight whereas others don’t on the same diets, and more…

eSkeptic for March 23, 2021

In The Michael Shermer Show # 167, Dr. Shermer speaks with Gary Taubes about The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating. PLUS: Save 40% on new digital subscription to Skeptic Magazine via Pocketmags.com, now through April 4, 2021!

Neil deGrasse Tyson — Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going

In episode 164 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going. Enjoy this thought-provoking conversation on life, the universe, and everything, as Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the world’s most important philosophical questions about the universe with wit, wisdom, and cutting-edge science.

eSkeptic for March 13, 2021

In episode 164 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going. Enjoy this thought-provoking conversation on life, the universe, and everything, as Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the world’s most important philosophical questions about the universe with wit, wisdom, and cutting-edge science.

Donald R. Prothero — Weird Earth: Debunking Strange Ideas About Our Planet

Shermer and Prothero discuss: flat earth theories and how we know the earth is round • hollow earth theories and how we know it’s not hollow • the return of Ptolemy and an earth-centered solar system model (and how we know it’s wrong) • how science deals with anomalies and fringe claims • Were humans in the San Diego area 130,000 years ago? • flood myths • the age of the earth and how geologists determined it, and more…

eSkeptic for December 8, 2020

We are pleased to announce Skeptic’s 100th issue (25.4) which focuses on QAnon in conspiratorial context. Instantly download the digital edition or order the print edition today. PLUS: In Science Salon podcast # 146, Michael Shermer speaks Donald Prothero about his new book Weird Earth: Debunking Strange Ideas About Our Planet.

Coconut Oil: Health Food or Health Hazard?

Incredible health claims are being made for coconut oil — from reversing Alzheimer’s, heart and liver disease, to treating epilepsy, slowing aging, and reducing asthma. Marketing hype has triumphed over scientific evidence. In this column from Skeptic magazine 24.3 (2019), Harriet Hall, M.D. looks at the evidence for some of these extraordinary claims.

eSkeptic for September 24, 2019

Science Salon # 84 Michael Shermer speaks with Christof Koch about his new book The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness is Widespread but Can’t Be Computed; PLUS, Harriet Hall, M.D. looks at the evidence for some of the extraordinary claims for coconut oil.

eSkeptic for December 2, 2015

In this week’s eSkeptic, David Priess reviews Red Team: How To Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy by Micah Zenko.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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…

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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!

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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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