The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Skeptics Society News and Site Highlights

  • Buy Michael Shermer's New Book: SKE?TIC: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye, available in stores now!
  • Get the latest issue of Skeptic magazine (issue 20.4)
  • Science Salon with Michelle Feynman, December 20, 2015
  • Get 30-day free trial of Skeptic magazine, with a new digital subscription
  • Mind-reading not required. Give Skeptic eGift Certificates, in denominations of $10-250.
  • When you shop at Amazon, donate to Skeptic at no cost to you

Skeptic Science Lectures: on Vimeo On Demand

Skeptic Presents…

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Latest INSIGHTS

INSIGHT at Skeptic.com brings together a variety of accomplished voices for a broad-ranging but focussed discussion of science and skepticism. INSIGHT will shed light, offer critical perspective, and serve as a broadly accessible, evidence-based resource on mysteries of science, paranormal claims, and the wild, woolly, wonderful weirdness of the fringe.

Taking a Shot at the Boot Hill Ghost

Blake Smith presents a possible solution to a 1996 photograph of a purported phantom cowboy rising from the grave.

Good Grief, Skip! Murder, Mourning, or Anthropomorphism?

Mike McRae considers our often mistaken tendency to interpret non-human animals as exhibiting human thoughts and emotional states.

Is It Irrational to Play the Lottery?

Is buying a lottery ticket irrational? Is any gambling rational? What makes one bet fair while another is a sucker's bet?

Past Science Lectures

Marcelo Gleiser (photo by Gil Inoue)

Since 1992, the Skeptics Society has sponsored a series of science lectures, hosting over 350 lectures, covering the most cutting edge discoveries and controversial topics in all of science.

The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why

Arthur Benjamin (TED Global) The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples—from ice cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares—this book empowers you to see the beauty, simplicity, and truly magical properties behind those formulas and equations that […]

The Quotable Feynman (& His Van)

In this conversation with Michael Shermer, Michelle Feynman discusses the life and legacy of her father: Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman (1918–88).

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe

In this conversation with Michael Shermer, renowned Harvard cosmologist, Dr. Lisa Randall, discusses her book in which she teaches us an enormous amount about dark matter, our Universe, our galaxy, asteroids, and comets—and the process by which scientists explore new concepts.

latest additions to
the reading room

The Reading Room is a comprehensive, free resource of articles relating to science and skepticism.

Charlie Sheen’s HIV Goat Milk Doctor

Harriet Hall, M.D. (a.k.a. The SkepDoc) takes a close look at Samir Chachoua, a man who claims to have discovered a cure for HIV/AIDS, cancer, and a host of other illnesses.

The Great ET Paradox: Why We are Likely to Find Them Before They Find Us

It’s possible that life exists outside of our solar system and that we may, one day, find it. The Internet has been abuzz with speculation that an alien megastructure orbiting the star KIC 8462852 is responsible for the star’s erratic flicker. Since scientists have yet to advance a convincing natural explanation, attention has turned to more tantalizing possibilities. In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. George Michael discusses a number of theories that have been advanced to explain the anomalous activity of the star.

Paleoanthropology Wars: The discovery of Homo naledi has generated considerable controversy in this scientific discipline

Through random mutation, evolution is relentlessly tinkering—driving species toward diversification. The result is often a wide and bushy family tree that is trimmed and culled by the harshness of natural selection. Could it be that Homo naledi is not a new species at all, but is instead a smaller and more primitive variant of the well known Homo erectus? In this week’s eSkeptic, Nathan H. Lents discusses the recent discovery of Homo naledi, which has created considerable controversy in the world of paleoanthropology.

this week’s eSkeptic

Charlie Sheen’s HIV Goat Milk Doctor

Harriet Hall, M.D. (a.k.a. The SkepDoc) takes a close look at Samir Chachoua, a man who claims to have discovered a cure for HIV/AIDS, cancer, and a host of other illnesses.

last week’s eSkeptic

The Great ET Paradox: Why We are Likely to Find Them Before They Find Us

It’s possible that life exists outside of our solar system and that we may, one day, find it. The Internet has been abuzz with speculation that an alien megastructure orbiting the star KIC 8462852 is responsible for the star’s erratic flicker. Since scientists have yet to advance a convincing natural explanation, attention has turned to more tantalizing possibilities. In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. George Michael discusses a number of theories that have been advanced to explain the anomalous activity of the star.

Junior Skeptic # 57

Junior Skeptic issue 57 (detail of cover)

Flying Saucer “Space Brothers” from Venus!?

In this issue we’ll hear tales from a man who said he met flying saucer travellers—human beings from Venus and several other planets! Amateur astronomer George Adamski became famous in the 1950s for photographs of objects he said were alien spaceships. His stories only got wilder from there. He claimed he befriended saucer people, rode in their spaceships, and even attended a meeting on Saturn. His books about these adventures became a public sensation. But what was the truth behind Adamski’s storytelling? Find out in this issue of Junior Skeptic!

global warming

How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human Caused

Donald R. Prothero addresses climate change denialism head on, demolishing deniers’ arguments and rebuttals, and clearly demonstrating how we know global warming is real and human caused.

Science Lectures
For Rent Online

Big names. Even Bigger Ideas. The Skeptics Society's Disintinguished Science Lecture Series. Now available for rent on Vimeo On Demand.

Since 1992, the Skeptics Society has sponsored the Distinguished Science Lecture Series, hosting 350 of the biggest names in science. This series of lectures has covered the most cutting edge discoveries and controversial topics in all of science, and enabled students, educators, and the general public to hear what’s new in science and skepticism. You can watch some of our most popular science lectures online, on demand, around the world, at prices we think you’ll really like!

our podcasts

Skepticality— the official podcast of Skeptic magazine

Skepticality — the pioneering original skeptics podcast — is a top-rated audio talk show dedicated to skeptical topics and interviews.

Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available on the App Store
Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available at Amazon for Android
Skepticality (the Official Podcast App of Skeptic Magazine) is available on Windows Store

MonsterTalk— presented by Skeptic magazine

MonsterTalk critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.

MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available on the App Store
MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available at Amazon for Android
MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available on Windows Store

Lectures

In the tradition of the Enlightenment salons that helped drive the Age of Reason and the public interest in science, the Skeptics Society is pleased to announce that once a month we will be hosting an intimate Science Salon featuring an “in conversation” between Dr. Michael Shermer and a prominent scientist, scholar, or intellectual (similar to the conversations we have hosted with Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, and others). Dr. Shermer will discuss the guest’s latest science book or research project in a dialogue format, followed by an intimate conversation with the audience that allows more interaction with the guest than a formal Q&A.

Attend Upcoming Salons

Skeptic Presents:
Humour & Skepticism

Skeptic Presents is a series of videos that promote science and critical thinking through the use of humor, wit, and satire. With your support, we hope to produce these instructional, educational, and entertaining videos regularly throughout the year for free viewing for everyone, everywhere, to spread the message of the power of science and skepticism to make the world a saner, safer place.

Skeptic Magazine App

Get the Skeptic Magazine App

Get the free Skeptic Magazine App and enjoy digital subscriptions and back issues on your iOS and Android devices, PC, Mac, Kindle Fire, BlackBerry PlayBook, and Windows 8 devices!

The Vaccine Debate

Engaging the
Anti-vaxxers

Vaccines are one of science’s greatest achievements. Yet, fears and anxieties about immunization persist. In this article, Christian Orlic reviews Mark A. Largent’s new book Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America (2012, John Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-1421406077).

Science Education ≠ Skepticism

Science Education is
No Guarantee of Skepticism

Despite the best efforts of skeptics and teachers to advance scientific thinking, paranormal beliefs and pseudoscientific thinking continue to be commonplace. It is a common popular stereotype that knowledge of science and belief in the paranormal are like opposite ends of a teeter totter: with one tending to rise as the other falls. However, the landscape of belief is considerably more complicated than that. Science education may not be enough when we lack the ability to critically evaluate the evidence for claims. In this article from Skeptic 9.3 we examine the relationship between science knowledge and paranormal beliefs.

Skepticism 101

Skeptical Resources Freely Available to Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

The Skeptical Studies Curriculum Resource Center is a comprehensive, free repository of resources for teaching students how to think skeptically. This Center contains an ever-growing selection of books, reading lists, course syllabi, in-class exercises, PowerPoint presentations, student projects, papers, and videos that you may download and use in your own classes.

The Skeptical Movement

Why Is There a Skeptical Movement?

We’re pleased to present Daniel Loxton’s challenging and provocative new project, “Why Is There a Skeptical Movement?”. Almost two years in the writing, these two meticulously-researched chapter-length explorations dig deeply into the roots, founding principles, and purpose of scientific skepticism. Arguing that it is essential for skeptics to “appreciate that we’re caretakers for the work of those who have come before,” Loxton carries forward the discussion about the scope and limits of scientific skepticism.

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Science in your inbox every Wednesday!

eSkeptic is our free email newsletter, delivered once a week. In it, you’ll receive: fascinating articles, announcements, podcasts, book reviews, and more…

Popular Articles
on skeptic.com

Here are the articles that people have been sharing over the last few days.

Giving via PayPal

Did you now that you can support the work of the Skeptics Society by donating to us via PayPal or eBay? You can make a one-time or recurring donation to the Skeptics Society via the PayPal Giving Fund, or favourite us on eBay Giving Works, and specify the percentage of your eBay sales that you’d like to donate to us. Your donations directly support the work of your Skeptics Society.

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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

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Topics include: chiropractic, the placebo effect, homeopathy, acupuncture, and the questionable benefits of organic food, detoxification, and ‘natural’ remedies.

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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