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skeptical-history

INSIGHT
A Rope of Sand

Can skeptics change minds? Daniel Loxton considers the cynicism of 19th century astronomer, science popularizer, and skeptic Richard Anthony Proctor.

INSIGHT
Alternative Medicine Critic Wallace Sampson Has Passed Away at Age 85

Wallace Sampson, a longtime leading critic of alternative medicine, passed away on May 25, 2015.

INSIGHT
History and Hyman’s Maxim (Part One)

Daniel Loxton reflects on one of skepticism’s most valuable sayings: "Do not try to explain something until you are sure there is something to be explained."

INSIGHT
Gotcha! Thinking About Skeptical “Stings”

Daniel Loxton considers the long, valuable, and ethically complicated history of skeptical undercover investigations and debunking traps.

INSIGHT
Things Skeptics Knew a Century Ago About How Thinking Goes Wrong

Daniel Loxton shares some very old skeptical discussions of some very modern psychological concepts.

INSIGHT
The Forgetfulness of Skepticism

Daniel Loxton discusses skepticism’s inattention to its own history, and sets up a reflection for another post to follow.

INSIGHT
Video: TAM 2013 Skeptical History Workshop

Daniel Loxton shares video from the Preserving Skeptical History workshop at The Amazing Meeting 2013 conference, in which he was joined by Ray Hyman, Robert Sheaffer, Susan Gerbic, and Tim Farley.

14-10-01

In this week’s eSkeptic, Steven Pinker moves to Beckman Auditorium from Baxter Hall, and tickets are now available in advance; Eve Siebert discuss the History Channel’s Vikings, and Daniel Loxton discusses the scope of skepticism and skeptical history on INSIGHT at Skeptic.com; Skepticality interviews Ian Harris; and Lucy talks with Mr. Deity about all the help he’s been giving people in the wealthier countries of the world.

INSIGHT
Some of My Work in Skeptical History (Updated)

Daniel Loxton provides links to many of his pieces which touch upon skeptical history. (Updated from a piece published previously at the now-retired Skepticblog.)

INSIGHT
From the Skeptical Literature: Thomas Ady on the Role of Mental Illness in Witchcraft Confessions (1655)

Daniel Loxton shares and discusses a quote from a skeptical volume which was written three and a half centuries ago as an urgent effort to curb the bloodthirsty witch hunting mania.

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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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