the official site of Michael Shermer

top navigation:

News

Learn about Michael Shermer's new book, Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye. Available in stores now!

Skeptic Presents…

Michael Shermer’s latest book

Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye (book cover)

Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye

Michael Shermer’s new book, available January 12 and published by Henry Holt/Macmillan, is a collection of his Scientific American essays that began in April of 2001.

Buy Skeptic by Michael Shermer at Amazon Buy the ebook edition of Skeptic by Michael Shermer at the Apple iBookstore

Scientific American columns

*

Malthusian Menace

In his May 2016 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, Michael Shermer discusses why Malthusian reasoning makes for bad science policy when it comes to solving the issue of overpopulation.

Hooey. Drivel. Baloney…

In his April 2016 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, Michael Shermer discusses different types of thinking — one of which makes us more vulnerable to accepting nonsense as legitimate based on our ability (or lack thereof) to grasp language.

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:

Cons

Why are we so bad at spotting deception? Read this excerpt from The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time, by Maria Konnikova, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2016 by Maria Konnikova. This excerpt appeared in Skeptic magazine 21.1 (2016).

Dr. Stephon Alexander — The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe (Science Salon # 6)

A recording of this event will be made available for free viewing right here in about two weeks. Please check back. Photo by Lendel Marshal In The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe, physicist and jazz saxophonist Dr. Stephon Alexander revisits the ancient realm where music, physics, […]

eSkeptic for May 18, 2016

In this week’s eSkeptic, Raymond Barglow & Margret Schaefer discuss the issue of vaccination of school children, the subject in California of a prolonged and bitter debate which led to California Senate Bill 277 which eliminated the personal belief exemption that allowed unvaccinated children to attend school. The bill became law in California on the last day of June 2015.