Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience like the examples that we list in this free PDF booklet? If so, you know how compelling they can be. A life can be changed or an entire religion founded on the basis of a single brain-generated hallucination. These phenomena are so powerful that throughout history seekers of knowledge have sought to induce them. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be more than a waste of time and energy. It can be dangerous for both the individual and larger society…
lecture by Dr. Linda Spilker and Dr. Thomas Spilker
Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 2 pm
DRAWING ON THEIR DECADES OF WORK FOR NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Drs. Linda and Thomas Spilker give us an inside view of what goes into the unmanned space program, from the origin of a space mission, to how the funds are found to finance it, to how the spacecraft is designed and built, and to the launching and running of such a mission, often designed to last for years and even decades. How do you get a spacecraft to Saturn, anyway? Who decides what it should study when it gets there? What happens when something goes wrong? And, as a society, why do we explore the solar system (and beyond) and what do we learn from it? Don’t miss this revealing account of what rocket scientists do.
The views expressed by the speaker are solely those of the speaker. The content of this presentation does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the California Institute of Technology and should not be taken as an endorsement.
Skepticality — the pioneering original skeptics podcast — is a top-rated audio talk show dedicated to skeptical topics and interviews.
MonsterTalk critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.
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.
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.
January 18–20, 2014
COME JOIN THE SKEPTICS SOCIETY for an exciting trip to the wonders of southern Nevada. We will travel along the Extraterrestrial Highway near the north gates of Area 51, and have lunch at the famous Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada. We will take a tour of the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. In addition, we will visit the stunning alien landscape of Valley of Fire, collect 520 million-year-old trilobites, and revisit the Old West at Calico Ghost Town. Come join us and see some of the most amazing scenery in the world! Seats are limited, so make your reservations soon!
Interested in participating on future Scientific Exploration Geology and Science Tours? Enter your email address here to get priority notification of future events (we will not share your address with any other parties).
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.
What if everything scientists have discovered about the history of the Earth—the evolution of life, the ice ages, the movements of the continents, all of it—was completely wrong? And what if that was just the tip of the iceberg? What if the planets of our solar system had often careened out of their orbits like wrecking balls, bringing catastrophe to the cultures of the ancient world—and then humanity forgot that it happened? Could any of that be true? Let’s find out!
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!
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.
In this week’s eSkeptic, we present a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times from a reader in response to this op-ed written by Michael Shermer, followed by Shermer’s reply.
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.
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).
In this article from Skeptic Magazine issue 18.3 (2013), David Reitzes recounts some of the most durable myths and conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s assassination, and reminds us that the job of a skeptic is to use critical thinking to properly assess the evidence, and to use our critical faculties to distinguish verifiable evidence from idle speculation, not to merely doubt for the sake of doubting.
Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience like the examples that we list in this FREE PDF booklet? If so, you know how compelling they can be. A life can be changed or an entire religion founded on the basis of a single brain-generated hallucination. These phenomena are so powerful that throughout history seekers of knowledge have sought to induce them. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be more than a waste of time and energy. It can be dangerous for both the individual and larger society.
Michael Shermer commemorates, with his own personal reading, the 150th anniversary of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address — one of the most memorable speeches in America history, which Lincoln delivered on November 19, 1863.
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!
SkepticBlog is a collaboration among some of the most recognized names in promoting science, critical thinking, and skepticism including. Regular bloggers include: Brian Dunning, Daniel Loxton, Donald Prothero, Mark Edward, Michael Shermer, and Steven Novella.
It is now well established in psychological research that humans can form false memories – memories for events that never occurred. Further, these false memories are indistinguishable from genuine memories. Questions remain, however, about the neuroanatomical basis of false memories. One potential window into this question are subjects with so-called “Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory” (HSAM). […]
Daniel Loxton plugs the new Vimeo On Demand rental option for the Skeptics Society Distinguished Science Lecture Series.
Out of exasperation back in 2009, I coined the term “Guerrilla Skepticism.” GS was an attempt to get armchair skeptics and those of us who really wanted to get out and do something organized and to stop singing and start swinging. Enough talk! Thanks to the tireless work of my girl Susan Gerbic, GS […]
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Here are the articles that people have been sharing over the last few days.
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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…
The battles over evolution, climate change, childhood vaccinations, and the causes of AIDS, alternative medicine, oil shortages, population growth, and the place of science in our country—all are reaching a fevered pitch. Many people and institutions have exerted enormous efforts to misrepresent or flatly deny demonstrable scientific reality to protect their nonscientific ideology, their power, or their bottom line…
If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!
Topics include: chiropractic, the placebo effect, homeopathy, acupuncture, and the questionable benefits of organic food, detoxification, and ‘natural’ remedies.
Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.