Skeptic Magazine

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

the skeptics society is a nonprofit organization that investigates extraordinary claims and promotes science and critical thinking.

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  • Bradley Campbell — How to Think About Social Justice
    par Skeptic le 21/05/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Campbell discuss: the telos of sociology: truth or activism? • Can we make people better? • evaluating ideologies • victimhood culture vs. honor culture • conflicting rights and social tradeoffs • CRT, DEI, cancel culture, identity politics • the true […]

  • Sean Carroll — Quanta and Fields
    par Skeptic le 18/05/2024 à 3:00

    Shermer and Carroll discuss: the measurement problem in physics • wave functions • entanglement • fields • interactions • scale • symmetry • gauge theory • phases • matter • atoms • time • double-slit experiment • superposition • […]

  • Why Should We Pursue Human Intelligence With AI?
    par Rudy van Belkom le 17/05/2024 à 7:00

    In the quest for intelligent machines, approaching, or even surpassing human intelligence, has been a prominent dot on the horizon since the 1950s. Aside from the various technological challenges, I believe this quest is enormously difficult for three reasons: We don’t have a clear picture of […]

  • Nellie Bowles — Reporting From the Frontlines of the Culture Wars
    par Skeptic le 14/05/2024 à 3:00

    Shermer and Bowles discuss: what it’s like to work at The New York Times • what it’s like to found a new media company • same-sex marriage • Liberalism vs. Progressivism • the Black Lives Matter, #metoo, and transgender movements • Patrisse Khan-Cullors • […]

  • Christof Koch — How to Expand Consciousness
    par Skeptic le 11/05/2024 à 7:00

    hermer and Koch discuss: “subjective experience” • the author’s near-death experience changed him • the difficulties of materialism/physicalism • a fundamental theory of consciousness that explains subjective experiences in objective measures • designing a […]

  • Climate and the Energy Transition: Current Status and Challenges
    par Lorne Trottier & Jean-Patrick Toussaint le 10/05/2024 à 7:00

    Lorne Trottier and Jean-Patrick Toussaint discuss the current status and challenges of climate change and the energy transition, focusing on the need for renewable energy and electrification to mitigate climate change.

  • Tom Chivers — Everything is Predictable: How Bayesian Statistics Explain Our World
    par Skeptic le 07/05/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Chivers discuss: Thomas Bayes, his equation, and the problem it solves • Bayesian decision theory vs. statistical decision theory • Popperian falsification vs. Bayesian estimation • Sagan’s ECREE principle • Bayesian epistemology and family resemblance • […]

  • Lisa Kaltenegger — The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos
    par Skeptic le 04/05/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Kaltenegger discuss: Carl Sagan and his influence • Sagan’s Dragon • ECREE Principle • how stars, planets and solar systems form • how exoplanets are discovered • Hubble Space Telescope, Kepler Space Telescope, James Webb Space Telescope • The Origin […]

  • AI and Uncertainty
    par Maggie Jackson le 03/05/2024 à 7:00

    Maggie Jackson discusses the importance of uncertainty in artificial intelligence (AI) and how it can lead to more collaborative and adaptable systems. Openly uncertain AI models are being developed to improve transparency and allow for better human-AI interaction. By constructing AI that admits […]

  • Bruce Hood — The Science of Happiness: 7 Lessons for Living Well
    par Skeptic le 30/04/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Hood discuss: psychedelic drugs • defining the “good life” or “happiness” • measuring emotions • happiness as social contagion • eudaimonia (the pursuit of meaning) versus hedonism (the pursuit of pleasure) • genetics and heritability […]

  • Robin Reames — The Power of Rhetoric in Polarized Times
    par Skeptic le 27/04/2024 à 7:00

    Reames and Shermer discuss: what rhetoric is • what reason is • how rhetoric changed Reames’ life • rhetoric vs. facts (rhetorical truths vs. empirical truths) • the point of reason (to understand reality or to persuade?) • Canons of rhetoric: invention, arrangement, […]

  • Bedbug Bedlam: Real Infestation or Social Panic in Paris?
    par Robert E. Bartholomew le 26/04/2024 à 7:00

    Bedbugs. Just mention of the word is enough to give people the heebie-jeebies and send shivers down their spines—or start scratching. Beginning in early fall of 2023 and coinciding with Paris Fashion Week from September 25 to October 3, fear of the unhealthy vermin swept across Paris. There […]

  • Adam Gopnik — All That Happiness Is
    par Skeptic le 23/04/2024 à 7:00

    Our society is obsessed with achievement. Young people are pushed toward the next test or the “best” grammar school, high school, or college they can get into. Adults push themselves toward the highest-paying, most prestigious jobs, seeking promotions and public recognition. As Adam […]

  • Annie Jacobsen — What Happens Minutes After a Nuclear Launch?
    par Skeptic le 20/04/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Jacobsen discuss: why we have a nuclear triad • competition among military forces • increasing budgets for more weapons • types and quantities of nuclear weapons • why humans engage in aggression, violence, and war • The Prisoner’s dilemma, Hobbesian trap, […]

  • Bayesian Balance: How a Tool for Bayesian Thinking Can Guide Us Between Relativism and the Truth Trap
    par Ed Gibney & Zafir Ivanov le 19/04/2024 à 7:00

    This article explores the concept of truthiness, introduced by Stephen Colbert, and its implications in today's discourse, where subjective truths often overshadow objective reality. It discusses the dangers of absolute certainty in beliefs, exemplified by a Young Earth creationist. Through […]

  • Nick Bostrom — Life and Meaning in a Solved World
    par Skeptic le 16/04/2024 à 7:00

    Bostrom and Shermer discuss: An AI Utopia and Protopia • Trekonomics, post-scarcity economics • the hedonic treadmill and positional wealth values • colonizing the galaxy • The Fermi paradox: Where is everyone? • mind uploading and immortality • Google’s […]

  • Robert Zubrin — How What We Can Create on the Red Planet Informs Us on How Best to Live on the Blue Planet
    par Skeptic le 13/04/2024 à 5:40

    Shermer and Zubrin discuss: why not start with the moon? • what it is like on Mars • whether Mars was ever like Earth • how much it will cost to go to Mars • how to get people to Mars • resources on Mars • colonization of Mars • public vs. private enterprise for […]

  • Pain & Profit: Who’s Responsible for the Opioid Crisis?
    par Gerald Posner le 12/04/2024 à 7:00

    Gerald Posner discusses the opioid crisis, highlighting the history of opioids, the role of the pharmaceutical industry, and the marketing tactics used to promote drugs like OxyContin. Posner emphasizes the greed, poor government regulation, and missed opportunities that contributed to the crisis. […]

  • Eve Herold — Robots and the People Who Love Them
    par Skeptic le 09/04/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Herold discuss: social robots, sex robots, robot nannies, robot therapists • flying cars, jetpacks and The Jetsons • Masahiro Mori • emotions, animism, mind • emotional intelligence • artificial intelligence • large language lodels • ChatGPT, GPT-4, […]

  • Lance Grande — The Formation, Diversification, and Extinction of World Religions
    par Skeptic le 06/04/2024 à 7:00

    Lance Grande explores the diversity of religions using evolutionary systematics and philosophy. Grande examines the growth and interrelationships of hundreds of religions throughout history, tracing their formation, extinction, and diversification. Combining evolutionary theory with cultural […]

  • Maggie Jackson — Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure
    par Skeptic le 02/04/2024 à 8:39

    Maggie Jackson — an award-winning author and journalist known for her pioneering writings on social trends, particularly technology’s impact on humanity — explores the importance of uncertainty and the benefits it can bring in an era of unpredictability.

  • It’s The Russians! The Latest 60 Minutes Episode on Havana Syndrome Engages in Tabloid Journalism
    par Robert E. Bartholomew le 02/04/2024 à 7:00

    In a special double segment that is reminiscent of The National Enquirer in its heyday, 60 Minutes has aired another dramatic story on Havana Syndrome. If it had been a sporting event, the score would have been 8-0: eight people interviewed and not a single skeptic. Billed by CBS News as a […]

  • Revisiting Colorblindness
    par Michael H. Bernstein le 30/03/2024 à 7:00

    Michael H. Bernstein reviews The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America by Coleman Hughes, discussing the author’s analysis of neoracism and the need for a middle ground in discussions of racism.

  • Coleman Hughes — The End of Race Politics
    par Skeptic le 30/03/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Hughes discuss: why he is considered “black” if he is “half-black, half-Hispanic” • what it means to be “colorblind” • population genetics and race differences • Base Rate Neglect, Base Rate Taboos • institutionalized neoracism […]

  • Max Stearns — How to Repair America’s Broken Democracy
    par Skeptic le 26/03/2024 à 7:00

    Law professor and author of dozens of articles and several books on the Constitution, Max Stearns examines the broken state of American democracy and the proposal to transform it into a parliamentary system to address the issues of polarization and dysfunction.

  • The Game is Up: New Study Finds No Evidence for Havana Syndrome
    par Robert E. Bartholomew le 26/03/2024 à 7:00

    On March 18, 2024, the National Institutes of Health released two studies that failed to find any evidence of brain or inner ear damage in victims of Havana Syndrome—a mysterious array of ailments that have befallen U.S. Government personnel in Havana, Cuba, since 2016. The results were […]

  • Political Accuracy & Divisions Study (PADS)
    par Skeptic le 25/03/2024 à 7:00

    In the Political Accuracy & Divisions Study (PADS), we conducted an extensive survey of over 3,000 American adults to assess their accuracy about a variety of controversial topics including, abortion, immigration, gender, race, crime, and the economy. So much of our political discourse revolves […]

  • Abigail Shrier — Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up
    par Skeptic le 24/03/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Shrier discuss: Irreversible Damage redux: WPATH Files • what view this book for or against • what is the problem to be solved? • theories: coddling, social media, screen time, generations/life history theory • good and bad therapists and therapies • anxiety, […]

  • How Evolution Matters To Our Health: A Practicing Physician Explores How We Evolved to Be Healthy
    par William Meller, M.D. le 22/03/2024 à 7:00

    “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” —Theodosius Dobzhansky Why can one person smoke and drink heavily into their 90s while another dies from cancer in their 40s? Why are we fat? Why does a suntan look and feel so good if it is bad for us? Why is […]

  • Dan Stone — An Unfinished History of the Holocaust
    par Skeptic le 19/03/2024 à 7:00

    Shermer and Stone discuss: what is unfinished in the history of the Shoah • Holocaust denial • psychology of fascist fascination and genocidal fantasy • alt-right • ideological roots of Nazism and German anti-Semitism • industrial genocide • magical thinking […]

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