the official site of Michael Shermer

top navigation:

News

Learn about Michael Shermer's new book, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. Available in stores now!

Skeptic Presents…

Michael Shermer’s latest book

The Moral Arc (book cover)

The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom

“The Moral Arc displays the impressive depth of Michael Shermer’s scholarship, wisdom and empathetic humanity, and it climaxes in a visionary flight of futuristic optimism. A memorable book, a book to recommend and discuss late into the night.” —RICHARD DAWKINS, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion

Scientific American columns

*

Outrageous

The ongoing rash of police using deadly force against minority citizens has triggered a search for a universal cause—most commonly identified as racism. What in the brains of cops or citizens leads either group to erupt in violence? An answer may be found deep inside the brain, where a neural network stitches together three structures into what neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp calls the rage circuit.

Scientia Humanitatis

Regardless of which university building scholars inhabit, we are all working toward the same goal of improving our understanding of the true nature of things, and that is the way of both the sciences and the humanities, a scientia humanitatis.

reviews by Michael Shermer

*

As Far As Her Eyes Can See

Michael Shermer reviews Lisa Randall’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World (Ecco, 2011), a book in which Randall attempts “the herculean task of explaining to us uninitiated the daunting science of theoretical particle physics.” This review was originally published in the November 2011 issue of Science magazine.

Faith Healing

A torrid tale of quackbusting in 1920s America sheds light on modern medical scares A review of Pope Brock’s Charlatan. America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam. Human cognition has a problem — anecdotal thinking comes naturally whereas scientific thinking does not. The recent medical controversy over whether […]

Shermer on SkepticBlog

+

Announcing INSIGHT at Skeptic.com

The Skeptics Society has retired Skepticblog (while preserving all posts online at their original urls for future reference), but we’re proud to announce our bigger, better new blog: INSIGHT at Skeptic.com! Dedicated to the spirit of curiosity and grounded in scientific skepticism’s useful, investigative tradition of public service, INSIGHT continues and expands upon the energetic conversations begun here […]

A Fond Farewell to Skepticblog

Daniel Loxton shares the news that the Skeptics Society is archiving Skepticblog and preparing for the launch of an exciting new blog project.

essays

+

Does Belief Help Us to Survive?

I don’t think religious beliefs are different from any other kind of beliefs: political attitudes, commitments to political parties, or economic ideologies, for example. These are all forms of belief. I think at the base of it is this whole idea that we’re pattern-seeking primates. We connect the dots — A connects to B connects […]

Confessions of a Former Environmental Skeptic

In his 1964 Republican presidential nomination acceptance speech Barry Goldwater gave voice to one of the most memorable one-liners in political punditry: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” These are stirring sentiments, to be sure, and once in a great while they may […]

get eSkeptic

eSkeptic logo

eSkeptic is Skeptic’s FREE weekly email newsletter, edited by Michael Shermer.

Recommended…

Facebook logo (copyright Facebook Inc.)

skepticism 101

Michael Shermer on TEDTalks

The Power of Belief

In this 14-minute introduction to skepticism from the remarkable TED conference, Dr. Michael Shermer discusses the power of belief systems.

Skeptic magazine & Skeptic.com

Skeptic magazine

Dr. Michael Shermer is the founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine and Skeptic.com, a scientific and educational outreach for scholars, scientists, historians, and professors dedicated to exploring the facts surrounding controversial ideas and extraordinary claims.

Latest additions to Skeptic.com:

eSkeptic for July 29, 2015

Are We All Potentially Evil? A new dramatic film based on the Stanford Prison Experiment reveals why good people turn bad. In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer discusses the film, the original experiment by Philip Zimbardo, and the triad of general principles behind evil posited by Zimbardo: the Person, the Situation, and the System.

eSkeptic for July 22, 2015

In this essay, as a follow-up to his book, The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us (in which he showed that, based on our knowledge of this universe alone, divine fine-tuning claims are without merit), Victor J. Stenger brings the arguments up-to-date with a discussion of the eternal multiverse hypothesis. This article was published in Skeptic magazine issue 19.3 in 2014.

A New Ice Age? No, Bad Journalism Run Amok

Donald Prothero reveals that headlines about a "coming ice age" are just so much hot air.