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war

Ian Morris on Deep Time and Big History

In this conversation on deep time and big history, Shermer and Morris discuss the history of Big History, the future of energy and civilization, China and the future of energy and political power, what Britain was like 8000 years ago, the major transitions in British history, counterfactual history, slavery and the abolition of the slave trade, the role of ideas in history (civil rights, rule of law, justice, etc.), reparations and making right the wrongs of the past.

Christopher Blattman on Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace

Shermer and Blattman discuss: Putin, Russia, and Ukraine • game theory and violent conflict • 5 Reasons for conflict and war • common elements of conflict • U.S. foreign policy and its consequences • human nature and conflict: are we wired to fight or do environments push us into conflicts? • cooperation vs. competition, and more…

eSkeptic for April 23, 2022

Education reform researcher and advocate Chris Edwards explains the problem with the U.S. public education system and considers possible solutions. PLUS: Michael Shermer speaks with Christopher Blattman about his new book Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace.

eSkeptic for March 29, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with Professor of International Relations, Dr. Jacek Kugler, about his Power Transition Theory as it pertains to China, Russia, and Ukraine. PLUS: Robert Zubrin takes a renewed look at his 2015 Skeptic article about the Mystical High Priest of Russian Fascism, Alexander Dugin, in light of Putin’s recent, full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Jacek Kugler — Putin & Power Transition Theory: China, Russia, and Ukraine

Michael Shermer and Dr. Jacek Kugler, the Elisabeth Helm Rosecrans Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and Policy at Claremont Graduate University, discuss Power Transition Theory. According to the theory, developed by Dr. Kugler, an even distribution of political, economic, and military capabilities between contending groups of states is likely to increase the probability of war; peace is preserved best when there is an imbalance of national capabilities between disadvantaged and advantaged nations.

Putin’s Rasputin: Meet Aleksandr Dugin, the Mystical High Priest of Russian Fascism Who Wants to Bring About the End of the World

Robert Zubrin takes a renewed look at his 2015 Skeptic article about the Mystical High Priest of Russian Fascism, Alexander Dugin, in light of Putin’s recent, full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It will strike readers as all too prescient.

John Mueller on Putin’s War: Russia, Ukraine, and NATO

Shermer speaks with renowned Ohio State University political scientist John Mueller about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and what we might expect from Putin’s Russia in the coming weeks, months, and years, along with Dr. Mueller’s outline for how to end the current conflict and compromise with Putin.

Putin’s War—Russia, Ukraine, and NATO

Political scientist and war historian John Mueller argues that Putin’s war in Ukraine could have been avoided and can still be stopped through compromise since NATO was not going to accept Ukraine as a member for decades anyway, and Crimea will be returned to Ukraine about the time Texas is returned to Mexico.

eSkeptic for March 8, 2022

Shermer speaks with renowned Ohio State University political scientist John Mueller, author of The Stupidity of War, about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and what we might expect from Putin’s Russia in the coming weeks, months, and years, along with Dr. Mueller’s outline for how to end the current conflict and compromise with Putin.

eSkeptic for February 26, 2022

Michael Shermer provides an analysis of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Will sanctions work? Plus, the Skeptic Research Center releases its second report: Who Endorses Race and Gender Conspiracies?

Will Sanctions Work? War in Ukraine

T-90 Russian battle tank (background image)

Michael Shermer provides an analysis of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Will sanctions work? This reading is based on his Substack post entitled: “Putin’s Problem: The outlawry of war has forced tyrants to concoct excuses for invading other countries. How should we respond? Evidence shows that outcasting in the form of economic sanctions beats armed conflict.”

Craig Whitlock — The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War

In episode 218, Michael Shermer speaks with Craig Whitlock about his book The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War which contains startling revelations from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines.

eSkeptic for October 16, 2021

In episode 218, Michael Shermer speaks with Craig Whitlock about his book The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War which contains startling revelations from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines.

eSkeptic for April 10, 2021

In episode 171 of Michael Shermer’s podcast he speaks with political scientist John Mueller about his new book The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency.

John Mueller — The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency

Political scientist John Mueller argues that American foreign policy since 1945 has been one long miscue; most international threats — including during the Cold War — have been substantially exaggerated. Dr. John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State University, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fat Man & Little Boy

On the 75th anniversary of nuclear weapons, Dr. Michael Shermer presents a moral case for their use in ending WWII and the deterrence of Great Power wars since, and a call to eventually eliminate them.

eSkeptic for August 7, 2020

In SPAS-005, the researchers asked, “Do attitudes about language differ by political party affiliation?” PLUS: On the 75th anniversary of nuclear weapons, Dr. Michael Shermer presents a moral case for their use in ending WWII and the deterrence of Great Power wars since, and a call to eventually eliminate them.

eSkeptic for September 12, 2018

In Science Salon # 37, Michael Shermer and Neil deGrasse Tyson take a deep dive into the history of science and war, and the strange but productive alliances that have been formed over the centuries—particularly those between astrophysicists and politicians, governments, military, and corporations.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson — Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military

In Science Salon # 37, Michael Shermer and Neil deGrasse Tyson take a deep dive into the history of science and war, and the strange but productive alliances that have been formed over the centuries—particularly those between astrophysicists and politicians, governments, military, and corporations.

Dr. Ian Morris — On the Future of War and Human Values

Looking over the past 10,000 years historian and archaeologist Ian Morris reveals patterns in the past related to energy consumption and resources, and how our age of fossil fuels will likely be a temporary one as we transition to renewables, and how this transition may lead to new human values, including the value of peace in a long human history filled with war.

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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

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?

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.

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