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eSkeptic for eSkeptic for January 4, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic: The Case Against Sugar (by Gary Taubes); Changing the World Through Skepticism and Critical Thinking; British Natural History and Zoology (a 17-day tour); Skeptic Magazine Current Issue (21.4).

eSkeptic for eSkeptic for December 14, 2016

Guest writer Steve Cuno shares an insider’s view on the ethics of advertising in a world full of false claims.

INSIGHT
Confessions of a Skeptical Marketer

Guest writer Steve Cuno shares an insider’s view on the ethics of advertising in a world full of false claims.

eSkeptic for eSkeptic for November 9, 2016

On this, November 9th, the day of Carl Sagan’s birthday (1934), we celebrate and remember the man whose contributions and commitment to furthering the work of scientific skepticism have helped make the world a more rational place.

eSkeptic for eSkeptic for September 14, 2016

Unsubstantiated reports of phantom clowns in the United States can be traced back decades and are a form of social panic. In this week’s eSkeptic, sociologist and authority on culture-specific mental disorders, outbreaks of mass psychogenic illness, and moral panics—Dr. Robert Bartholomew—reminds us that they reflect age-old fears that are dressed up in new garb—literally.

Reading Room
Clown Panic! Sightings of Mysterious Clowns Rattle Nerves in South Carolina

Unsubstantiated reports of phantom clowns in the United States can be traced back decades and are a form of social panic. In this week’s eSkeptic, sociologist and authority on culture-specific mental disorders, outbreaks of mass psychogenic illness, and moral panics—Dr. Robert Bartholomew—reminds us that they reflect age-old fears that are dressed up in new garb—literally.

eSkeptic for eSkeptic for June 8, 2016

Depending on who you listen to, aspartame is either a safe aid to weight loss and diabetes control or it is evil incarnate—a deadly poison that is devastating the health of consumers. In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. examines the claims and explains how we know that aspartame is safe for almost everyone.

INSIGHT
The Complexity of Alien Abduction and the Multidisciplinary Nature of Fringe Claims

Daniel Loxton explains that skepticism attracts mixed groups of people with complementary expertise because fringe claims require a multidisciplinary approach.

INSIGHT
Fringe Claims: Unified by Neglect, Structural Similarity, and Direct Interconnection

Daniel Loxton considers some of the commonalities that unite the broad portfolio of fringe topics studied by scientific skepticism.

eSkeptic for eSkeptic for May 25, 2016

Why are we so bad at spotting deception? In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an excerpt from The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time, by Maria Konnikova, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2016 by Maria Konnikova. This excerpt appeared in Skeptic magazine 21.1 (2016).

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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 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. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

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 why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one 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

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They 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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