A comprehensive theory on how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished. This book synthesizes Dr. Shermer’s 30 years of research to answer the questions of how and why we believe what we do in all aspects of our lives, from our suspicions & superstitions to our politics, economics, and social beliefs. More…
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 […]
A review of Dr. Karen Stollznow's excellent summary of America's bizarre religions, "God Bless America"
A review of the upcoming three-part series on PBS, "Your Inner Fish" with Neil Shubin
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 […]
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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.
Particle Fever follows the inside story of six brilliant scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe, documenting the successes and setbacks in the planet’s most significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough. Find out about our screening of this film, and more, in this week’s eSkeptic.
In this lecture, based on his book Trying Not To Try, Edward Slingerland explains why we find happiness and spontaneity so elusive. Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs, Slingerland effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can live more fulfilling lives.