“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
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Daniel Loxton shares the news that the Skeptics Society is archiving Skepticblog and preparing for the launch of an exciting new blog project.
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 […]
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 […]
eSkeptic is Skeptic’s FREE weekly email newsletter, edited by Michael Shermer.
In this 14-minute introduction to skepticism from the remarkable TED conference, Dr. Michael Shermer discusses the power of belief systems.
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.
In this article, written for children and first published in Junior Skeptic no. 5 (1999), Pat Linse discusses cow tipping: the most urban of all urban legends.
Mike McRae provides a glimpse into the history of two competing systems of biology: life as complex chemistry, and the abandoned theory of vitalism. (Part 3 of 3.)
Have you ever questioned your faith, or worried about what life would be like without it, or do you know someone who has? Have you ever wrestled with issues of how to replace religious practices and ideas with secular ones? In this week’s eSkeptic, Donald Prothero reviews Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions: a book by Phil Zuckerman that addresses these topics.