the official site of Michael Shermer

top navigation:

News

Skeptic Presents…

Michael Shermer’s latest book: THE BELIEVING BRAIN

From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

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…

Scientific American columns

*

The Myth of Income Inequality

Are the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer? In Michael Shermer’s June 2014 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, he takes a look at the accuracy of our perceptions about income equality and social mobility.

Nuclear Nada

Efforts have been made over the past two decades to reduce the world’s active nuclear stockpiles. Can we get to “nuclear zero”? In Michael Shermer’s June 2014 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, he asks whether deterrence prohibits the total abolishment of nuclear weapons?

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

+

TAM 2014: the mind of the science denier

A brief summary of my presentation at TAM 2014 in Las Vegas, July 9-13.

Bigfoot and Yeti DNA: results are in

The results are in on the DNA from "Bigfoot" and "Yeti" and other ape-like cryptids

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 Wednesday July 23, 2014

Last week, the James Randi Educational Foundation’s “The Amazing Meeting 2014” conference in Las Vegas brought together many of the most engaging voices in science and skepticism for a challenging and joyful celebration of ideas. The Skeptics Society was in the spotlight, with Michael Shermer, Donald Prothero, and Junior Skeptic’s Daniel Loxton taking the stage for feature presentations. In this week’s eSkeptic, we share the text of Loxton’s well-recieved speech on skeptical history, titled “A Rare and Beautiful Thing.” Although designed as a live multimedia presentation, we hope this distilled format will give a sense of the passion behind this unusual piece.

eSkeptic for Wednesday July 16, 2014

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer recounts the time he was abducted by aliens. This is a review of Captured by Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe, by Joel Achenbach. This review appeared in Skeptic magazine 7.4 (1999)