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Eyewitness Testimony: How to engage with people and accounts of extraordinary claims without evoking anger

Human perception and memory are notoriously inaccurate. Preconceptions and biases shape both our perceptions of events and how we recall them later. Mick West considers how to think about eyewitness testimony so that it does not become emotional and swiftly evolve into an overly polarized argument.

Richard Nisbett on Thinking & Reason

In a wide-ranging conversation Shermer and Richard Nisbett discuss Nisbett’s research showing how people reason, how people should reason, why errors in reasoning occur, and how much you can improve reasoning.

eSkeptic for November 16, 2021

Michael Shermer is now writing on Substack with a new, weekly column called Skeptic: Examining the World Through a Scientific Lens. PLUS in a wide-ranging conversation Shermer and Richard Nisbett discuss Nisbett’s research showing how people reason, how people should reason, why errors in reasoning occur, and how much you can improve reasoning.

Gale Sinatra & Barbara Hofer — Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It

In episode 212, Michael Shermer speaks with Gale Sinatra and Barbara Hofer about the key psychological explanations for science denial and doubt that can help provide a means for improving scientific literacy and understanding — critically important at a time when denial has become deadly.

eSkeptic for September 25, 2021

In episode 212, Michael Shermer speaks with Gale Sinatra and Barbara Hofer about the key psychological explanations for science denial and doubt that can help provide a means for improving scientific literacy and understanding — critically important at a time when denial has become deadly.

Ashley Rindsberg — The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times’s Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History

In episode 211, Michael Shermer speaks with Ashley Rindsberg about his book The Gray Lady Winked in which he pulls back the curtain to reveal an eye-opening, often shocking, look at the New York Times’s greatest journalistic failures, so devastating they changed the course of history.

eSkeptic for September 21, 2021

In episode 211, Michael Shermer speaks with Ashley Rindsberg about his book The Gray Lady Winked in which he pulls back the curtain to reveal an eye-opening, often shocking, look at the New York Times’s greatest journalistic failures, so devastating they changed the course of history.

Richard Dawkins on evangelizing for evolution, science, skepticism, philosophy, reason, and rationality, based on his new book Books Do Furnish a Life: Reading and Writing Science

Michael Shermer and Richard Dawkins discuss: conversations with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, and Christopher Hitchens • Popperian falsification vs. Bayesian reasoning • evolutionary adaptationism • the myth of natural selection as a “force” • E.O. Wilson and group selection, multilevel selection, and other misunderstandings about evolutionary theory • metaphors and analogies in science: artificial selection • convergent evolution • ETIs • Trumpism, and more…

eSkeptic for September 1, 2021

In episode 205, Michael Shermer speaks with Richard Dawkins about evangelizing for evolution, science, skepticism, philosophy, reason, and rationality, based on his new book Books Do Furnish a Life: Reading and Writing Science.

eSkeptic for June 26, 2021

In episode 190, Michael Shermer speaks with Jonathan Rauch as he reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the “Constitution of Knowledge” — our social system for turning disagreement into truth.

Jonathan Rauch — The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth

In episode 190, Michael Shermer speaks with Jonathan Rauch as he reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the “Constitution of Knowledge” — our social system for turning disagreement into truth.

Angus Fletcher — 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante.

eSkeptic for May 1, 2021

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante. PLUS: From now through May 3, 2021 all print and digital back issues of Skeptic magazine are on sale for only 99 cents each! Now is the time to complete your collection!

Metaphors & Mindsets: How to ‘Update’ Beliefs

Admitting our beliefs are false can feel like a failure, a sign of weakness. Instead, we should look at changing our mind as an ‘update.’ The following is a review by Michael Shermer of The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t by Julia Galef (Portfolio).

Jordan Peterson & Michael Shermer on Science, Myth, Truth, and the Architecture of Archetypes

Michael Shermer and Jordan Peterson discuss: the balance between chaos and order • Maps of Meaning • truths: objective, subjective, historical, political, religious, and literary • why all countries aren’t democracies • the appeal of populist, authoritarian leaders • the danger of assessing according to race, sex, class and power • oppression-redemption myths • how Peterson’s dark dreams and mental health issues inform his worldview as tilting toward the darker side of humanity.

eSkeptic for April 20, 2021

In episode 174, join Michael Shermer and Jordan Peterson (bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life) for this extraordinary conversation based on Peterson’s new book Beyond Order. PLUS: Save 40% on new digital subscriptions to Skeptic Magazine via Pocketmags.com, now through April 27, 2021!

eSkeptic for January 17, 2021

In episode 152 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael responds to critics, reminding us that whether a particular conspiracy theory is true or false very much matters — especially those in the realm of politics, economics, and ideology, which as we’ve seen matters very much to the stability of our democracy and trust in the institutions that keep society stable.

Politics & Truth — Michael Shermer Responds to Critics of His Commentary “Trump & Truth”

In episode 152, Dr. Michael Shermer responds to critics of episode 151, reminding us that the truth or falsity of a claim of any kind that can be adjudicated by science and reason applies not just to astrologers, psychics, UFO proponents, and Big Foot hunters (all of which we cover in Skeptic magazine), but to conspiracy theories, including and especially those in the realm of politics, economics, and ideology, which as we’ve seen matters very much to the stability of our democracy and trust in the institutions that keep society stable. Whether a particular conspiracy theory is true or false very much matters.

eSkeptic for October 6, 2020

In Science Salon podcast # 136, Michael Shermer speaks with Gad Saad about his new book The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.

Gad Saad — The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense

Shermer and Saad discuss: dangerous idea pathogens • ideological parasites • the origin of political correctness and how it was corrupted • identity politics and how it perpetrates bigotry, racism, and misogyny • the psychology of victimhood • virtue signaling and why it isn’t virtuous • why social justice is injustice • • the corruption of postmodernism • Islamophobia • diversity, inclusion and equity • safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings • liberalism • the paradox of tolerance, and more…

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