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"The Conspiracy Theory Detector"


Guest James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-conspiracy-theory-director

10. JimFetzer

04:06 PM 12/4/10

Michael Shermer must be the least skeptical "skeptic" in history. He not only buys the

official account of the assassination of JFK but even the official account of 9/11! I await his

announcement that Julius Caesar did not die as the result of a conspiracy. According to

Shermer, after all, for a conspiracy to exist, it must involve superhuman powers and large

numbers of persons who would all have to maintain their silence.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no "conspiracies" of this kind.

He doesn't seem to realize that conspiracies only require two or more individuals collabo-

rating in bringing about an illegal end, They are as American as apple pie. I earned my Ph.D.

in the history and philosophy of science. I have published three books on the death of JFK.

I am the Founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. I organized its first conference, published its

first book, and produced its first DVD.

I also debated Michael Shermer on the "Free Beer and Hot Wings" show 11 September 2007.

Listen to Part I here:

http://twilightpines.com/media/Shermer_Fetzer_Rd_1_09_11_07.mp3

and Part II here:

http://twilightpines.com/media/Shermer_Fetzer_Rd_2_09_11_07.mp3

Michael comes across as a very nice, soft spoken man, but most of his remarks about

conspiracies are simply wrong. They are factually challenged and poorly reasoned. I say that

as someone who spent 35 years teaching logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning.

And I would be glad to debate Michael again about any of these things.

On the nature of conspiracy theories, consider:

"Thinking about 'Conspiracy Theories': 9/11 and JFK"

http://www.scholarsfor911truth.org/fetzerexpandedx.htm

"Birds of a Feather: Subverting the Constitution at Harvard Law"

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Birds-of-a-Feather-Subver-by-Jim-Fetzer-100121-980.html

"Conspiracies and Conspiracism"

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_6047.shtml

For more about JFK and RFK:

"JFK and RFK: The Plots that Killed them, The Patsies that Didn't"

http://www.voltairenet.org/article165721.html

"RFK: Outing the CIA at the Ambassador"

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_6464.shtml

"JFK: What We Know Now"

http://www.opednews.com/articles/JFK-What-We-Know-Now-by-James-Fetzer-101122-863.html

For more about 9/11:

"Why doubt 9/11?"

http://twilightpines.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=46

"Was 9/11 an 'inside job'?"

http://twilightpines.com/JF-BuenosAires/Buenos-Aires.html

"Are Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan justified by 9/11?"

http://noliesradio.org/archives/21621/

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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According to Shermer, after all, for a conspiracy to exist, it must involve superhuman powers and large numbers of persons who would all have to maintain their silence.

You misrepresent him, Jim (what a surprise). He didn't say that. In fact, he said:

"...Nevertheless, we cannot just dismiss all such theories out of hand, because real conspiracies do sometimes happen..."

(my bolding)

He said that if a theory has the following characteristics, then the more likely the theory is untrue:

- The agents behind the pattern of the conspiracy would need nearly superhuman power to pull it off.

- Similarly, the conspiracy involves large numbers of people who would all need to keep silent about their secrets. The more people involved, the less realistic it becomes.

I earned my Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science. I have published three books on the death of JFK. I am the Founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. I organized its first conference, published its first book, and produced its first DVD.

Which has nothing to do with what Shermer is saying, and is just an Appeal to Authority. And an egotistical one at that.

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"Similarly, the conspiracy involves large numbers of people who would all need to keep silent about their secrets. The more people involved, the less realistic it becomes."

First of all, this author's assertion is extremely ambiguous. But, even if taken at face value...it is not necessarily true. There need only be one exception to his self-serving "rule" and it becomes a false statement. For instance, throughout America on a daily basis robberies occur. The vast majority of these robberies involve at least 2 perpetrators, but usually no more than that. By definition, THAT is a conspiracy. Yet, do we delude ourselves about Watergate? Would you agree that Watergate represents a very extensive conspiracy involving DOZENS (at the very least) of participants? Of course it did. Does that make it "less realistic" (simply by virtue of the number of co-conspirators involved) than the probability of a robbery being the result of a conspiracy even though it only involved 2 co-conspirators?

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Here's what Shermer says about his (grossly exaggerated) conception of conspiracies, which creates a straw man to make it easier to attack:

Proof of the conspiracy supposedly emerges from a pattern of “connecting the dots” between events that need not be causally connected.

When no evidence supports these connections except the allegation of the conspiracy or when the evidence fits equally well to other causal

connections—or to randomness—the conspiracy theory is likely to be false. The agents behind the pattern of the conspiracy would need

nearly superhuman power to pull it off. People are usually not nearly so powerful as we think they are.

It's a common pattern among those who want to discourage interest in how the world works. Another who espouses a very similar line of

bunk is Chip Berlet, whose views I dissected in "Conspiracies and Conspiracism". Here is a sampling of his conception of conspiracies:

Conspiracism is neither a healthy expression of skepticism nor a valid form of criticism; rather it is a belief system that refuses to obey the

rules of logic. These theories operate from a pre-existing premise of a conspiracy based upon careless collection of facts and flawed assumptions. What constitutes ‘proof’ for a conspiracist is often more accurately described as circumstance, rumor, and hearsay; and the allegations often use the tools of fear -- dualism, demonization, scapegoating, and aggressively apocalyptic stories -- which all too often are commandeered by demagogues.” (Toxic to Democracy)

Why am I not surprised that you are here to defend indefensible conceptions of conspiracies? As for citing my qualifications to discuss them,

what could be more appropriate? I have published three books on JFK. I am the Founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. I did organize its first

conference, published its first book, and produced its first DVD. The point is that I am an expert on conspiracies--real, honest-to-God

conspiracies. Sorry, Evan. You have blundered again, because this is a non-fallacious appeal to authority. Better luck next time!

According to Shermer, after all, for a conspiracy to exist, it must involve superhuman powers and large numbers of persons who would all have to maintain their silence.

You misrepresent him, Jim (what a surprise). He didn't say that. In fact, he said:

"...Nevertheless, we cannot just dismiss all such theories out of hand, because real conspiracies do sometimes happen..."

(my bolding)

He said that if a theory has the following characteristics, then the more likely the theory is untrue:

- The agents behind the pattern of the conspiracy would need nearly superhuman power to pull it off.

- Similarly, the conspiracy involves large numbers of people who would all need to keep silent about their secrets. The more people involved, the less realistic it becomes.

I earned my Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science. I have published three books on the death of JFK. I am the Founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. I organized its first conference, published its first book, and produced its first DVD.

Which has nothing to do with what Shermer is saying, and is just an Appeal to Authority. And an egotistical one at that.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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"Similarly, the conspiracy involves large numbers of people who would all need to keep silent about their secrets. The more people involved, the less realistic it becomes."

First of all, this author's assertion is extremely ambiguous. But, even if taken at face value...it is not necessarily true. There need only be one exception to his self-serving "rule" and it becomes a false statement. For instance, throughout America on a daily basis robberies occur. The vast majority of these robberies involve at least 2 perpetrators, but usually no more than that. By definition, THAT is a conspiracy. Yet, do we delude ourselves about Watergate? Would you agree that Watergate represents a very extensive conspiracy involving DOZENS (at the very least) of participants? Of course it did. Does that make it "less realistic" (simply by virtue of the number of co-conspirators involved) than the probability of a robbery being the result of a conspiracy even though it only involved 2 co-conspirators?

No, you are turning it into a false dichotomy. The assertion is not that if a conspiracy involves a large number of people then it cannot be true, the assertion is that it is less likely, less realistic. You don't look at that factor in isolation; you examine all aspects of the theory and base your opinion on the validity and likelihood of all aspects.

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Micheal Shermer has just as much experience, just as many qualifications as you do in this field:

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University.

Dr. Shermer’s latest book is The Mind of the Market, on evolutionary economics. His last book was Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design, and he is the author of Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown, about how the mind works and how thinking goes wrong. His book The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share Care, and Follow the Golden Rule, is on the evolutionary origins of morality and how to be good without God. He wrote a biography, In Darwin’s Shadow, about the life and science of the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace. He also wrote The Borderlands of Science, about the fuzzy land between science and pseudoscience, and Denying History, on Holocaust denial and other forms of pseudohistory. His book How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God, presents his theory on the origins of religion and why people believe in God. He is also the author of Why People Believe Weird Things on pseudoscience, superstitions, and other confusions of our time.

Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University (1991). He was a college professor for 20 years (1979–1998), teaching psychology, evolution, and the history of science at Occidental College (1989–1998), California State University Los Angeles, and Glendale College. Since his creation of the Skeptics Society, Skeptic magazine, and the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, he has appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Oprah, Leeza, Unsolved Mysteries (but, proudly, never Jerry Springer!), and other shows as a skeptic of weird and extraordinary claims, as well as interviews in countless documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, The Science Channel, and The Learning Channel. Shermer was the co-host and co-producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown.

Do we judge someone's statements based on the number of books they have written, the number of TV programmes they have featured in, how many qualifications they hold? If so, Jim, then you lose:

education

  • Ph.D. Claremont Graduate School: 1991 History of Science (Dissertation: Alfred Russel Wallace and the Evolution of Man. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Information Service)
  • M.A. California State University, Fullerton: 1978 Experimental Psychology
  • B.A. Pepperdine University: 1976 Psychology/Biology

professional experience

  • 2007–present: Adjunct Professor, Claremont Graduate University.
  • 2001–present: Contributing Editor and Monthly Columnist, Scientific American
  • 1998–present: Science Correspondent, KPCC, 89.3 FM, NPR affiliate for L.A.
  • 1991–present: Founding Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Skeptic magazine
  • 1991–present: Executive Director, Skeptics Society
  • 1991–present: Host, Skeptics Distinguished Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology
  • 1999–2000 Consulting Producer/Host, “Exploring the Unknown” 13-hour TV series, Fox Family
  • 1989–1999 Adjunct Professor, History of Science, Cultural Studies Program, Occidental College
  • 1991–1993 Adjunct Professor, History of Science, California State University, Los Angeles
  • 1986–1991 Assistant Professor of Psychology, Glendale College
  • 1980–1986 Instructor of Psychology, Glendale College

courses taught

Claremont Graduate University (current)

  1. Evolution and Society: Evolutionary Theory, Evolutionary Psychology, Evolutionary Ethics, Evolutionary Economics

Occidental College (1989–1998)

  1. Science: Its History and Impact from Copernicus to Einstein
  2. Evolution and Creation: The History of a Controversy
  3. European Intellectual and Cultural History
  4. Science, Technology, and Culture
  5. Critical Thinking: A Primer in Reason, Logic, and Science
  6. Fascism and Neofascism
  7. The History of War From Napoleon to World War II

California State University at Los Angeles (1991–1993)

  1. Science: Its History and Impact from Copernicus to Einstein

Glendale College (1979–1991)

  1. Introductory Psychology
  2. Social Psychology
  3. Evolution: The History, Science and Nature of Biological Change
  4. History of Great Ideas
  5. War & Peace in the Modern Age: From the Civil War to the Gulf War

associations

  • American Council on Science and Health, Board of Scientific and Policy Advisors
  • History of Science Society
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Psi Chi (Psychology Honors Society)
  • National Center for Science Education
  • American Humanist Association
  • Planetary Society

awards & honors

  • Philip J. Klass Award for outstanding contributions in promoting critical thinking and scientific understanding, 2006
  • Fellow, 2001, Linnean Society of London
  • Alumni of the Year, 2001, California State University, Fullerton
  • Isaac Asimov Award, 2001, New York Area Skeptics
  • Robert Ingersoll Award, Rationalists of East Tennessee
  • Carl Sagan Award, 2000, American Humanist Association, “For those whose efforts include educating the public about science and its methods.”
  • Best Books of 2000, How We Believe, Washington Post Book World
  • Biography, Contemporary Authors, 1999, Published by the Gale Group
  • Visiting Scholar for 1998, Pasadena City College
  • Distinguished Speaker, Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, Claremont McKenna College, 1998
  • Honored Speaker, Urania, Berlin, Germany, October 12, 1998
  • Alumni of the Year, 1997, Department of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton
  • Top 100 Books of 1997, Why People Believe Weird Things, Los Angeles Times Book Review

books

  • The Mind of the Market: Sharing Apes, Trading Humans, & Other Tales of Evolutionary Economics. 2008. New York: Henry Holt/Times Books. (Forthcoming: January)
  • Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design. 2006. New York: Henry Holt/Times Books.
  • Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown. 2005. New York: Henry Holt/Times Books.
  • The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat and Lie, Share and Care, and Follow the Golden Rule. 2004. New York: Henry Holt/Times Books.
  • In Darwin’s Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace. 2002. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. (General Editor.) 2002. Denver: ABC-CLIO.
  • The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense. 2001. New York: Oxford University Press. Books-on-Tape audio unabridged edition. Doubleday Book of the Month Club selection.
  • Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? (Co-authored with Alex Grobman.) 2000. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science. 1999. New York: W. H. Freeman. Translations: Hebrew, Hungarian, Korean. Audio Renaissance audio tape abridged edition. Excerpted in The Media (U.K.), The Humanist (AHA), Public Perspective (Roper Center). Doubleday Book of the Month Club selection.
  • Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstitions, and Other Confusions of Our Time. 1997. New York: W. H. Freeman. (Foreword by Stephen Jay Gould.) Translations: German, Japanese, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Chinese. Audio Renaissance audio abridged edition. Excerpted in Natural History, Faces of Anthropology: A Reader for the 21st Century. Book of the Month Club selection. Paperback Book of the Month Club reprinting. Simon & Schuster and Doubleday Bookclub selection. McGraw-Hill Bookclub selection. Newbridge Science Bookclub selection. Revised Edition. 2002, With new chapter on “Why Smart People Believe Weird Things.” New York: Henry Holt/Times Books.

educational books

  • The Secrets of Mental Math. New edition of Mathemagics (with Arthur Benjamin.) 2006. Random House.
  • Mathemagics: How to Look Like a Genius Without Really Trying. (Co-authored with Arthur Benjamin.) 1993. Chicago: Contemporary Books/Lowell House. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Teach Your Child Math: Making Math Fun for the Both of You. (Co-authored with Arthur Benjamin.) 1991. Chicago: Contemporary Books/Lowell House. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Teach Your Child Science: Making Science Fun for the Both of You. 1989. Chicago: Contemporary Books/Lowell House.

Scientific American columns

  • The Tripod of Science (October, 2007)
  • Science of Atheism (September, 2007)
  • The Prospects for Homo Economics (July, 2007)
  • The (Other) Secret (June, 2007) AUDIO
  • Bush’s Mistake and Kennedy’s Error (May, 2007) AUDIO
  • Free to Choose (April, 2007)
  • Can’t Get No (Satisfaction) (March, 2007)
  • Eat, Drink, and Be Merry (February, 2007)
  • Airborne Baloney (January, 2007)
  • Bowling for God (December, 2006)
  • Wronger Than Wrong (November, 2006)
  • Darwin on the Right (October, 2006)
  • Fake, Mistake, Replicate (September, 2006)
  • Folk Science (August, 2006)
  • The Political Brain (July, 2006)
  • The Flipping Point (June, 2006)
  • SHAM Scam (May, 2006)
  • As Luck Would Have It (April, 2006)
  • Natural Cons “They” Don’t Want You to Know About (March, 2006)
  • It’s Dogged as Does it (February, 2006)
  • Murdercide (January, 2006)
  • Mr. Skeptic Goes to Esalen (December, 2005)
  • Rupert’s Resonance (November, 2005)
  • Unweaving the Heart (October, 2005)
  • Rumsfeld’s Wisdom (September, 2005)
  • Full of Holes (August, 2005)
  • Hope Springs Eternal (July, 2005)
  • Fahrenheit 2777 (June, 2005)
  • Turn Me On, Dead Man (May, 2005)
  • The Feynman-Tufte Principle (April, 2005)
  • The Fossil Fallacy (March, 2005)
  • Abducted! (February, 2005)
  • Quantum Quackery (January, 2005)
  • Common Sense (December, 2004)
  • Flying Carpets and Scientific Prayer (November, 2004)
  • The Myth is the Message (October, 2004)
  • Mustangs and Monists (September, 2004)
  • Miracle on Probability Street (August, 2004)
  • God’s Number is Up (July, 2004)
  • Death by Theory (June, 2004)
  • The Enchanted Glass (May, 2004)
  • Mencken’s Maxim (April, 2004)
  • None So Blind (March, 2004)
  • A Bounty of Science (February, 2004)
  • Bunkum! (January, 2004)
  • What’s the Harm? (December, 2003)
  • A Candle in the Dark (November, 2003)
  • Remember the Six Billion (October, 2003)
  • The Domesticated Savage (September, 2003)
  • The Ignoble Savage (August, 2003)
  • Bottled Twaddle (July, 2003)
  • Codified Claptrap (June, 2003)
  • Show Me the Body (May, 2003)
  • I, Clone (April, 2003)
  • Demon-Haunted Brain (March 2003)
  • Psychic Drift (February 2003)
  • Fidgets and Digits (January 2003)
  • The Captain Kirk Principle (December 2002)
  • Mesmerized by Magnetism (November 2002)
  • The Physicist and the Abalone Diver (October, 2002)
  • The Chronology Conjecture Projector (September, 2002 www.sciam.com web only)
  • Smart People Believe Weird Things (September, 2002)
  • The Value of L (August, 2002) (Published as “Why ET Has Not Phoned In”)
  • Vox Populi (July, 2002)
  • The Shamans of Scientism (June, 2002)
  • The Exquisite Balance (May, 2002)
  • Skepticism as a Virtue (April, 2002)
  • Hermits and Cranks. A Tribute to Martin Gardner (March, 2002)
  • The Gradual Illumination of the Mind (February, 2002)
  • Shermer’s Last Law (January, 2002)
  • Baloney Detection Part II (December, 2001)
  • Baloney Detection Part I (November, 2001)
  • I Was Wrong (October, 2001)
  • Nano Nonsense and Cryonics (September, 2001)
  • Deconstructing the Dead (August, 2001)
  • Contrasts and Continuities (July, 2001) (Published as “Starbucks in the Forbidden City”)
  • Fox’s Flapdoodle (June, 2001)
  • The Erotic-Fierce People (May, 2001)
  • Colorful Pebbles and Darwin’s Dictum (April, 2001)

professional articles

  • “Testing Tenure: Let the Market Decide.” Invited commentary on “Is Tenure Justified?” by Stephen J. Ceci, et al., Behavioral and Brain Sciences, in press, 2007.
  • “The Chain of Accidents and the Rule of Law: The Role of Contingency and Necessity in Evolution.” Contribution for edited volume, The Nature of Nature (Bruce L. Gordon and William A. Dembski, Editors). In press. 2007.
  • “Science and Pseudoscience.” Encyclopedia of Philosophy. MacMillan, 2006.
  • “The Skeptic’s Chaplain: Richard Dawkins as a Fountainhead of Skepticism.” Contribution in edited volume in tribute to Dawkins, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • “Moral Attitudes. An Empirical Study.” With Frank J. Sulloway. In preparation.
  • “Science and Pseudoscience.” Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Publishing. In press.
  • “Belief in God: An Empirical Study.” With Frank J. Sulloway. In press.
  • “Pseudoscience.” Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Carl Mitcham (Ed.) Macmillan Reference. In Press, 2004.
  • “Skepticism.” Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Carl Mitcham (Ed.) Macmillan Reference. In Press, 2004.
  • “Rethinking Stephen Jay Gould: Science and Politics in Evolutionary Theory.” Rethinking Marxism, In Press, 2003.
  • “How to be Open-Minded Without Your Brains Falling Out.” Journal of Thought. July, 2003.
  • “Agnosticism.” Entry in Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. J. Gordon Melton and martin Baumann, Editors. Denver: ABC-CLIO, Vol. 1: 22–23. 2002.
  • “This View of Science: Stephen Jay Gould as Historian of Science and Scientific Historian.” Social Studies of Science. September, 2002.
  • “The Crooked Timber of History: History is Complex and Often Chaotic. Can We Use This to Better Understand the Past?” Complexity, Vol. 2, No.6. July/August 1997: 23–29.
  • “The Fates of Families, Societies, and History: A Consilience of Historical Science.” A Review of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond and Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives by Frank Sulloway. Complexity, Vol. 2, No.6. July/August 1997: 33–38.
  • “Chaos Theory.” Invited entry in The Encyclopedia of Historiography. D.R. Woolf (Ed.) New York: Garland Publishing. 1996.
  • “Exorcising Laplace’s Demon: Chaos and Antichaos, History and Metahistory.” Invited paper for History and Theory. Wesleyan University. Vol. 34, No. 1. 1995. 59–83.
  • “The Chaos of History: On a Chaotic Model that Represents the Role of Contingency and Necessity in Historical Sequences.” Nonlinear Science. Vol. 2, No. 4. 1993: 1–13.
  • “Science Defended, Science Defined: The Louisiana Creationism Case.” Science, Technology & Human Values, Journal for the Society for the Social Studies of Science. Vol. 16, No. 4. Autumn 1991: 517–539.
  • “Darwin, Freud, and the Myth of the Hero in Science.” Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization. Vol. 11, No. 3. March 1990: 280–301.
  • “Ignorance in Exodus: Johann Gutenberg.” In R. C. Hardison. 1988. Upon the Shoulders of Giants. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

popular articles

  • “Why Americans Believe Weird Things.” Playboy, October, 2006.
  • “Bootstrapping Purpose: Finding Meaning in an Apparently Meaningless Universe.” New Humanist. 2006.
  • “The Woodstock of Evolution.” Scientific American, July, 2005.
  • “Why I am an Atheist.” Science and Spirit, June/July, 2005.
  • “The Soul of Science.” American Scientist, March/April, 2005.
  • “First, Do No Harm: Science and Spirit in Life and Death.” Science and Spirit, March/April, 2005.
  • “Provisional Pornography: How Science Can Inform an Ethical Issue.” Suicidegirls.com, online magazine, June, 2003.
  • “The Day the Earth Moved: Copernicus’s Heresy and Sulloway’s Theory.” Mercury. Pacific Astronomical Association.
  • “Science, Semi-Science and Nonsense: A Professional Skeptic Talks About What’s Real Science (evolution, the Big Bang), What’s Balderdash (ESP, creationism), and What Lies Between (hypnotism, superstring theory).” www.salon.com, August 27, 2001.
  • “Science and the Psychology of Beliefs: A Talk with Michael Shermer” by John Brockman, www.edge.org, August 23, 2001.
  • “Genesis Revisited: A Scientific Creation Story.” In Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition (Selected and Edited by Philip Appleman.) 2001. New York: W.W. Norton: 625–626.
  • “Let Us Reflect: How a Thoughtful, Inquiring, Watchman Provided a Mark to Aim at.” In 25 Years of Skepticism. (Paul Kurtz, Ed.) Amherst: Prometheus Books. 2001.
  • “Psyched Up, Psyched Out: Science Tries to Determine Whether Sports Psychology Actually Works.” Scientific American Presents: Building the Elite Athlete-The Science and Technology of Sport. Fall, 2000: 38–43.
  • “The Storytelling Animal: Myth, Morality, and the Evolution of Religion.” Science & Spirit, July/August, 2000: 18–19, 44–49.
  • “Why People Believe Weird Things” excerpt from Chapter 8: ‘The Unlikeliest Cult’, in From Source to Purpose: A Guide to Researched Writing. 2000. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  • “Why People Believe in God.” Public Perspective, Vol. 11, No. 3. May/June, 2000: 18–20.
  • “Battle Continues Over How We Believe: Michael Shermer Says.” In response to Patrick Watson’s review in the Toronto Globe and Mail, February 5, 2000: D18.
  • “The End is Rarely Nigh.” Excerpt from How We Believe, in The Editor, December 31, 1999.
  • “Why People Believe in God: An Empirical Study on a Deep Question.” The Humanist, November/ December, 1999: 20–26.
  • “A Mark to Aim At.” In “This View of Stephen Jay Gould” tribute in Natural History, November, 1999: 53.
  • “Mathematical Magic for Skeptics.” With Arthur Benjamin. Skeptical Inquirer. Vol. 18, No. 1: 52–62.

book reviews

  • “The Einstein Enigma.” A review of Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. 2007. Simon & Schuster. New York Sun. May 7, 2007.
  • “We Are All Capitalists Now.” (Originally published as “A Long Love Affair with Libertarians.” A review of Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement by Brian Doherty, Public Affairs, 2007. New York Sun, January 24, 2007.
  • “Dawkins Dangerous Idea.” Review of The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, Science, In Press, scheduled for January, 2007.
  • “Dr. DARPA, or: How The Pentagon Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hafnium Bomb.” Review of Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld by Sharon Weinberger, Science, December 15, 2006.
  • “Finding Sagan’s God.” Review of The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, by Carl Sagan, edited by Ann Druyan, The Planetary Report, December, 2006.
  • “War and Peace: Can Science and Religion Ever Reconcile Their Differences? Review of The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion, by E. O. Wilson, The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, by Carl Sagan, God’s Universe by Owen Gingerich, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, by Francis S. Collins, Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine, by Richard Sloan, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. New York Sun, November 13, 2006.
  • “Out of This World.” Review of The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next, by Lee Smolin, and Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law, by Peter Woit. New York Sun, October 27, 2006.
  • “To Grasp the Scheme of Things Entire.” Review of Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief, by Lewis Wolpert. Times Higher Education Supplement, September 1, 2006.
  • “The Last Animal on Earth.” Review of Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of a Conservation Icon, by Henry Nicholls, Times Higher Education Supplement, April 3, 2006.
  • “Deities for Atheists.” Review of Civilized Life in the Universe: Scientists on Intelligent Extraterrestrials, by George Basalla. Science, March 3, 2006.
  • “Belief in Belief.” Review of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, by Daniel Dennett. Science, January 27, 2006.
  • “Science Without Borders.” Review of The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. New York Sun, in press.
  • “The Wings of Science: Right-Wing Science v. Left-Wing Science.” Review of The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney. Washington Monthly, August, 2005.
  • “Did He Who Made the Lamb Make Thee?” Review of The Evolution-Creation Struggle by Michael Ruse. New York Sun, June 1, 2005.
  • “What the Numbers Can Reveal.” Review of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Los Angeles Times Book Review, May 15, 2005.
  • “The Blind Godmaker.” Review of Dawkins’ God by Alister McGrath. Science, 8 April, 2005.
  • “The Key to the Universe.” Review of The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe, By Roger Penrose. New York Sun, March 6, 2005.
  • “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” Review of Inventing Superstition: From the Hippocratics to the Christians. By Dale B. Martin. Wilson Quarterly, Spring, 2005.
  • “You Can Judge This Book by Its Cover.” A review of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. By Malcolm Gladwell. Published as in the New York Sun, February 2, 2005.
  • “The Pentagon’s Psychic Friends Network.” Review of The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June, 2005.
  • “The Major Unsolved Problem in Biology.” Review of Consciouness: An Introduction by Susan Blackmore, Wider Than the Sky by Gerald Edelman, and Consciousness by Christof Koch. Scientific American. March, 2004.
  • “Design, Inc.” Review of Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose? By Michael Ruse. New York Times. 2004.
  • “Mesmerized!” Review of Hidden Depths: The Story of Hypnosis by Robin Waterfield. Los Angeles Times Book Review. October , 2003.
  • “The Demon of Determinism.” Review of Freedom Evolves. By Daniel Dennett. Science, April 4, 2003.
  • “I Knew You Would Say That.” Review of Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. By David Myers. Los Angeles Times Book Review. June, 2003.
  • “Challenging the Brain’s Canon.” Review of The Origin of Minds: Evolution, Uniqueness, and the new Science of the Self by Peggy La Cerra and Roger Bingham. Los Angeles Times Book Review. February, 23, 2003.
  • “The Soul Problem.” Review of The Problem of the Soul: Two Visions of Mind and How to Reconcile Them. By Owen Flanagan. Psychology Today. November/December, 2002: 76/80.
  • “Darwin’s Duomo and Gould’s Pinnacle.” (Published as “Grand Design.”) A Review of The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould. Washington Post Book World. April 14, 2002, 2.
  • “Why Religion?” A Review of World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World. Edited by David B. Barrett, George T. Kurian, Todd M. Johnson; New Historical Atlas of Religion in America by Edwin Scott Gaustad and Philip L. Barlow; Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives by David Snowdon; Stages of Thought: The Co-Evolution of Religious Thought and Science by Michael Horace Barnes; Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief by Huston Smith; Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought by Pascal Boyer; Give Me That Online Religion by Brenda Brasher. Washington Post Book World. February, 2002.
  • “Is God All in the Mind?” A Review of Why God Won’t Go Away by Andrew Newberg, Science, 6 July, 2001, Vol. 293: 54.
  • “The Metagene Gene.” A review of Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley. American Scientist. January/February, 2001.
  • “Head Trips” A Review of Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century by Howard Bloom. Washington Post Book World. October 22, 2000:13–14.
  • “Biology, Destiny and Dissent.” A Review of Defenders of the Truth: The Battle for Science in the Sociobiology Debate and Beyond by Ullica Segerstrale; The Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Genius of Gregor Mendel, the Father of Genetics by Robin Marantz Henig; The Riddled Chain: Chance, Coincidence, and Chaos in Human Evolution by Jeffrey KcKee. Washington Post Book World. July 1, 2000.
  • “Soul Searchers.” A Review of The Buddha From Brooklyn by Martha Sherrill. Washington Post Book World. April 16, 2000: 1–3.
  • “We Are the World.” A Review of Nonzero by Robert Wright. Los Angeles Times Book Review. February 6, 2000.
  • “Out of This World.” A Review of Captured by Aliens by Joel Achenbach. Washington Post Book World. November 21, 1999.
  • “Boo.” A Review of The Culture of Fear by Barry Glassner. Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review. June 27, 1999.
  • “Harum-Scarum.” A Review of The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin. Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review. July 20, 1997: 9.
  • “Battling Bunk: Drosnin vs. Shermer on The Bible Code.” Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review. August 24, 1997: 10.
  • “The Great Bone Hoax.” A Review of Unraveling Piltdown by John Walsh. Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review. September 22, 1996.
  • “Bicycles, Baseball, Bacteria, and Bach.” A Review of Full House by Stephen Jay Gould. Los Angeles Times Book Review. October 20, 1996.

(Shermer regularly writes reviews for Science, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. He regularly writes Opinion Editorials for the Los Angeles Times and the Toronto Globe and Mail.)

opinion editorials

  • “Science and the Decline of Magic.” www.edge.org. January 1, 2007.
  • “We’re All Racists Now.” Los Angeles Times, November 24, 2006.
  • “Free Speech, Even if it Hurts.” Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2006.
  • “My Dangerous Idea.” Edge.org. January 1, 2006.
  • “Why God’s in a Class by Himself.” Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005.
  • “What I Believe But Cannot Prove.” Edge.org. June, 2005.
  • “Dear Kansas.” HuffingtonPost.com. June, 2005.
  • “Not Intelligent, Surely Not Science. Opinion Editorial. Los Angeles Times. April, 2005.
  • “Where Goods Do Not Cross Frontiers, Armies Will.” Commentary. Toronto Globe and Mail, February, 2004.
  • “The Divinity of Politics.” Opinion Editorial, Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2004
  • “Smallpox, Big Scare, and the Lesson of the Camarinas.” Opinion Editorial, Los Angeles Times, April, 2003.
  • “Cloning and the Soul of Science.” Opinion Editorial, Los Angeles Times, March, 2003.
  • “Spin-Doctoring Science: What’s Really Going on in the ‘Anthropology Wars’ over the Yanomamö People of Amazonia.” Op-Ed Comment. Toronto Globe and Mail. July 2001.
  • “Doubting Dembski: A Commentary on Science and Religion.” American Outlook, January/February, 2001.
  • “Fools and the Wise of Heart: Trouble in the House of Medicine has Led us to Inherit the Wind of Medical Quackery.” Op-Ed Comment. Toronto Globe and Mail. January 4, 2001.
  • “75 Years and Still No Peace.” Up Front. The Humanist. September/October, 2000: 3–4.
  • “A Case of Stalled Evolution: The 75th Anniversary of the Scopes Monkey Trial Reveals that Science and Religion Have Yet to Make Peace.” Comment. Toronto Globe and Mail. September 1, 2000.
  • “If Only God Can Do It, No More Triple Bypasses.” Op-Ed “Perspectives on Cloning.” Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1998.
  • “The Delirium Tremens of Technology.” Op-Ed on Technology. Los Angeles Times, May 21, 1998.
  • “We See What We Believe We See.” Invited Commentary Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times, June 26, 1997.

Skeptic magazine articles

  • “The Value of Skepticism: Is Skepticism a Negative or a Positive for Science and Humanity?” Deepak Chopra v. Michael Shermer. Vol. 12, No. 2: 42–48.
  • “Enigma: The Faustian Bargain of David Irving.” Vol. 12, No. 1: 34–39.
  • “Astonishing Mind: Francis Crick 1916 – 2004.” Vol. 11, No. 2: 16–17.
  • “The Big ‘Bright’ Brouhaha.” Vol. 10, No. 3: 36–42, 2004.
  • “Why Smart People Believe Weird Things.” Vol. 10, No. 2: 58–66, 2003.
  • “Psychic for a Day: Or How I Learned Tarot Cards, Palm Reading, Astrology, and Mediumship in 24 Hours.” Vol. 10, No. 1: 48–55, 2003.
  • “To Be Or Not to Be a Weasel: Hamlet, Intelligent Design, and How Evolution Works.” Vol. 9, No. 4: 16–20, 2003.
  • “Skeptical Sayings: Wit and Wisdom from Skeptics Past and Present.” (Edited). Vol. 9, No. 2, 2002: 13–16.
  • “Spin-Doctoring the Yanomamö: Science as a Candle in the Darkness of the Anthropology Wars.” Vol. 9, No. 1, 2002: 36–47. [Reprinted in Anthropology. Annual Editions. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2003.]
  • “The Pinker Instinct: An Interview with MIT Evolutionary Psychologist Steven Pinker.” Vol. 9, No. 1, 2002: 16–21.
  • “An Amazing Life: An Interview with James ‘the Amazing’ Randi.” Vol. 8, No. 4, 2001: 34–40.
  • “Contingencies and Counterfactuals: What Might Have Been and What Had to Be.” Vol. 8, No. 3, 2000: 78–85.
  • “Humans, History, and Environments: An Interview with Jared Diamond.” Vol. 8, No. 3, 2000: 41–47.
  • “ID Works in Mysterious Ways: A Critique of Intelligent Design.” Vol. 8, No. 2, 2000: 22–24.
  • “The Pundit of Primate Politics: An Interview with Frans de Waal.” Vol. 8, No. 2, 2000: 29–35.
  • “Blood, Sweat, and Fears: Why Some Black Athletes Dominate Some Sports and What it Really Means.” Vol. 8, No. 1, 2000: 44–50.
  • “The Grand Old Man of Evolution. An Interview with Evolutionary Biologist Ernst Mayr.” With Frank Sulloway. Vol. 8, No. 1, 2000: 76–83.
  • “The Measure of a Life: Carl Sagan and the Science of Biography.” Vol. 7, No. 4, 1999: 68–76.
  • “The Fire That Will Cleanse: Millennial Meanings and the End of the World.” Vol. 7, No. 3, 1999: 70–75.
  • “Only God Can Do That?: Cloning and Genetic Engineering Test the Moral Limits of Science.” Vol. 7, No. 2, 1999: 58–63.
  • “The Knowledge Filter: Reality Must Take Precedence in the Search for Truth.” Vol. 7, #1, 1999: 64–69.
  • “The Measure of a Woman: An Interview with Social Scientist Carol Tavris.” Vol. 7, #1, 1999: 61–66
  • “The Lost World of Jack Horner: An Interview with the World’s Most Famous Dinosaur Digger.” Vol. 6, #4, 1998: 74–81.
  • “Is God Dead?: Why Nietzsche and Time Magazine Were Wrong.” Vol. 6, #3, 1998: 80–87.
  • “A Mind Out of Body: An Interview with Skeptical Parapsychologist Susan Blackmore.” Vol. 6, #3, 1998: 72–79.
  • “Do You Believe In God?: The Difference in Your Answer and the Difference it Makes.” Vol. 6, #2, 1998: 74–79.
  • “The Truth is Out There and Ray Hyman Wants to Find it: An Interview with a Co-Founder of Modern Skepticism.” Vol. 6, #2, 1998: 90–96.
  • “Talking Twaddle With the Dead: The Tragedy of Death-the Farce of James Van Praagh.” Vol. 6, #1, 1998: 48–53.
  • “The Belief Module: How We Came to Believe in Magic.” Vol. 5, #4, 1997: 78–86.
  • “God and the Ghost Dance: Farrakhan, Wovoka, and Jesus: The Eternal Return of the Messiah Myth.” Vol. 5, #3, 1997: 82–89.
  • “The Annotated Gardner: An Interview With Martin Gardner-Founder of the Modern Skeptical Movement.” Vol. 5, #2, 1997: 56–61.
  • “O Ye of Little Faith: Cracking the Bible Code and Other ‘Proofs’ of God.” Vol. 5, #2, 1997: 50–55.
  • “The Beautiful People Myth: Why the Grass is Always Greener in the Other Century.” Vol. 5, #1, 1997: 72–79.
  • “An Awful Hole, A Wonderful Life.” A Tribute to Carl Sagan. Vol. 4, #4, 1996: 13. v“History at the Crossroads: Can History Be a Science? Can it Afford Not to Be?” Vol. 4, #4, 1996 56–67.
  • “Rebel With a Cause: An Interview With Frank Sulloway.” Vol. 4, #4, 1996: 68–73.
  • “Heretic-Personality: Alfred Russel Wallace and the Nature of Heretical Science.” Vol. 4, #3, 1996: 84–93.
  • “The Secular Sphinx: The Riddle of Ethics Without Religion.” Vol. 4, No. 2, 1996: 78–87.
  • “An Urchin in a Haystack: An Interview with Stephen Jay Gould.” Vol. 4, No. 1, 1996: 86–90.
  • “Gould’s Dangerous Idea: Contingency, Necessity, and the Nature of History.” Vol. 4, No. 1, 1996: 91–95.
  • “Hope Springs Eternal: Dr. Tipler Meets Dr. Pangloss.” Vol. 3, No. 4. 1995: 68–73.
  • “Cycles and Curves.” Vol. 3, No. 3. 1995: 58–61.
  • “A Gentlemanly Arrangement: Alfred Russel Wallace, Charles Darwin, and the Resolution of a Scientific Priority Dispute.” Vol. 3, No. 2. 1995: 80–89.
  • “The Thinker on the Edge of Forever.” A Review of Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry by David Alexander. Vol. 3, No. 1. 1994: 101–105.
  • “A Heretic-Scientist Among the Spiritualists: Alfred Russel Wallace and 19th-Century Spiritualists. Part I.” Vol. 3, No. 1. 1994: 70–83.
  • “Holocaust Denial, Free Speech, and the Burden of Proof.” Vol. 2, No. 3. 1994: 13–14.
  • “How Thinking Goes Wrong.” Vol. 2, No. 3. 1994: 42–49.
  • “An Epidemic of Accusation: The Chaos of Witch Crazes and Their Modern Descendants.” Vol. 2, No. 3. 1994: 52–57.
  • “The Unlikeliest Cult in History.” Vol. 2, No. 2. 1993: 74–81.
  • “Holocaust Revisionism and Pseudohistory: Should Skeptics Investigate?” Vol. 2, No. 2. 1993: 20–22.
  • “25 Creationist Arguments and 25 Evolutionists’ Answers.” Vol. 2, No. 2. 1993: 23–29.
  • “How Do You Explain the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon?” Vol. 2, No. 1 1993: 13.
  • “The Amadeus Myth: Musings on the Mental Miracles of Genius.” Vol. 2, No. 1. 1993: 32–39.
  • “Who and What Mattered in History?” Vol. 2, No. 1. 1993: 68–79.
  • “The Day the Earth Moved: The Psychology of Resistance to the Heretical-Science of Copernicus. A Reappraisal on the 450th Anniversary of Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus.” Vol. 1, No. 4. 1992: 57–75.
  • “The Mismeasure of History: Darwin, Gould, and the Nature of Change.” Vol. 1, No. 3. 1992: 20–37.
  • “Deviations: A Skeptical Investigation at Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment.” Vol. 1, No. 3. 1992: 12–17.
  • “One Little ‘i’ and the Paradox of Science.” A Review of Science Deified, Science Defied. The Historical Significance of Science in Western Culture. Vol. 2. By Richard Olson. University of California Press. Vol. 1, No. 2. 1992: 69–70.
  • “Can Science Cheat Death?” Vol. 1, No. 2. 1992: 36–52.
  • “Sum Ergo Cogito-I Am Therefore I Think: A Skeptical Manifesto.” Vol. 1, No. 1. 1992: 15–21.
  • “The Most Precious Thing We Have: The Triumph of the Scientific Method.” Vol. 1, No. 1. 1992: 34–49.

Exploring the Unknown —

a 13-hour television documentary series

for Fox Family Channel, 1999–2000

Pilot Psychics, Firewalking, Psychic Surgery, Out of Body Experiences, Space Shuttle UFOs Episode 1 Polygraph/Lie Detection, Multidimensional UFOs, Shroud of Turin, Cryonics Episode 2 Full Moon Effect, Remote Viewing, Magnet Therapy, Nostradamus, Curse of the Mummy Episode 3 Ouija Board, Graphology, Magic, Bee Sting Therapy Episode 4 Miami Circle, Mozart Effect, Fake UFO Photos, Earthquake Prediction, Coronado Hotel Ghost Episode 5 Taos Mystery Staircase, Civil War Reincarnation, Iridology, Hutchinson Effect Episode 6 Faked Moon Landing, Spoonbending, Lost Continent of Atlantis, Phoenix Lights UFO Episode 7 Astrology, Stolen Kidney Urban Legend, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Ghosts Episode 8 Con Games, Coral Castle, Chiropractic, Cattle Mutilation Episode 9 Roswell, Acupuncture, Life on Mars, Spontaneous Human Combustion Episode 10 UFOs, Heart Transplant Memory, Bible Code, Reflexology, Vampires Episode 11 Hypnosis, Artificial Intelligence, Global Warming, Ghost Traintracks Episode 12 Spirit Mediums, Cults and Brainwashing, Space Tourism, Pain Cures

reviews of Shermer’s books have appeared in

  • New York Times
  • New York Review of Books
  • New York Sun
  • New York Post
  • Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • Washington Post Book World
  • The Times Literary Supplement
  • Toronto Globe and Mail
  • Scientific American
  • Natural History
  • Science
  • Nature
  • Human Nature Review
  • New Scientist
  • American Scientist
  • Wilson Quarterly
  • Psychology Today
  • Choice
  • Library Journal
  • School Library Journal
  • Public Perspective
  • The Boston Book Review
  • The Editor
  • The Humanist
  • Free Inquiry
  • Skeptical Inquirer
  • Publisher’s Weekly
  • Kirkus Reviews
  • CNN.com Reviews
  • Bergen Record
  • WBUR (Boston University book review)
  • History and Theory
  • Clio
  • UTNE Reader
  • Reason magazine
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Science and Spirit magazine
  • Public Understanding of Science
  • The Christian Century
  • The Times (Trenton, NJ)
  • The Mail-Star, Halifax, N.S., Canada
  • The Times of Acadiana (Lafayette, LA)
  • Congress Monthly
  • San Francisco Examiner
  • Australian Review of Book
  • Denver Post
  • Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)
  • Vancouver Sun
  • Telegraph Journal (Saint John, N.B., Canada)
  • Toronto Sun
  • Daily Breeze (Ventura, CA)
  • American Outlook
  • Union Tribune (San Diego)
  • Tribune and Times (Tampa, FL)
  • The Sunday Tribune (Dublin)
  • Financial Times (London)The Record
  • Salon.com
  • Independent Digital (UK)
  • Physics and Society
  • Martyrdom and Resistance
  • Jewish Book World
  • MultiCultural Review
  • National Post
  • Book Marketing Update
  • Santa Monica Bay Week
  • Jewish Bulletin
  • Lifestyles
  • The Jewish Voice and Opinion
  • Jewish Studies
  • Perspectives
  • Canadian Jewish News
  • Bergen Record (Hackensack, NJ)
  • New York Board of Rabbis Bulletin
  • SHOFAR Book Notes
  • Jewish Book Council
  • Pioneer Press (Minneapolis)
  • German History
  • Virginia Quarterly Review (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Common Sense
  • Bay Guardian
  • Middlesex News
  • Beverly Hills Courier
  • Castro Valley Forum
  • Psychiatric Services
  • Healthline
  • Old Farmer’s Almanac, Western Edition

(List does not include reviews in newsletters of skeptics, humanists, and free thought organizations.)

(I regularly write reviews for Science, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times)

(I regularly write Opinion Editorials for the Los Angeles Times and the Toronto Globe and Mail.)

stories about Shermer have appeared in

  • Los Angeles Times
  • Los Angeles Times Magazine (Sunday)
  • Fortune
  • Edge (www.edge.org interview)
  • Salon.com
  • Boston Globe
  • Toronto Star
  • Pasadena Weekly
  • Pasadena Star News
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Metro Pulse
  • Sun Sentinel, South Florida
  • San Gabriel Valley Weekly
  • The State Journal Register (Springfield, IL)
  • Veja (Brazil’s Time magazine, www.veja.com.br)
  • Yale Daily News (Yale University newspaper)
  • Spartan Daily (San Jose State University newspaper)
  • The Chart (Missouri Southern State College newspaper)
  • Athens Daily News (University of Georgia newspaper)
  • Chicago Flame (University of Illinois at Chicago newspaper)
  • The Fortnightly (Claremont McKenna College newspaper)
  • The Daily Barometer (Oregon State University newspaper)
  • The Joplin Globe (Missouri Southern State College newspaper)
  • The Daily Beacon (University of Tennessee, Knoxville newspaper)
  • The Advocate (Ohio State University, Newark, newspaper)
  • Orange County Weekly
  • Honolulu Advertiser
  • Sunday Star (Ventura, CA)
  • Cosmic Debris magazine

(List does not include stories in skeptics, humanists, and free thought group newsletters)

museum, library, bookstore lectures & book signings

  • Agoura Hills Library
  • American Museum of Natural History (New York)
  • Border’s Books (Glendale, CA)
  • Borders Books (Pasadena, CA)
  • Buena Vista Library (CO)
  • Cato Institute (Washington, DC)
  • Cody’s Books (San Francisco, CA)
  • Dutton’s Bookstore (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Elliott Bay (Seattle, WA)
  • Field Museum (Chicago)
  • Franklin Institute (Philadelphia)
  • Griffith Park Observatory (Los Angeles)
  • Huntington Library Book Feast (Pasadena, CA)
  • Kepler’s Books (Menlo Park, CA)
  • Los Angeles Public Library
  • Los Angeles Science Center
  • Los Angeles Times Book Festival (UCLA) (every year)
  • Mystic Seaport Museum
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • P.E.N. Forum on Science Writing (sponsored by writer’s union) (Santa Monica, CA)
  • Powell’s Bookstore (Portland, OR)
  • Ruben H. Fleet Space Center (San Diego)
  • Tattered Cover (Denver, CO)
  • UCLA BookZone/UCLA Store (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Virginia Festival of Books
  • Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, CA)

university & college lectures & debates

  • Arkansas State University
  • Boise State University (Idaho)
  • Butler University (Indiana)
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • California State University, Northridge
  • Central Arkansas University (Little Rock)
  • Chapman University (California)
  • Claremont Graduate University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Clemson University (South Carolina)
  • DePauw University (Indiana)
  • Des Moines Community College (Des Moines, IA)
  • Dennison University (Ohio)
  • El Camino College
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Tech University
  • Glendale Community College (CA)
  • Grand Rapids Community College (MI)
  • Harvard University
  • Idaho State University, Pocatello
  • Johnson County Community College (Kansas)
  • Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Minnesota State University, Moorhead
  • Mississippi State University
  • Missouri Southern State College (Joplin, MO)
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University, Newark
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Oregon State University (Corvallis)
  • Pasadena City College (Scholar in Residence)
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Pomona College
  • Purdue University
  • Radford University (Virginia)
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Sacramento City College
  • San Jose State University (California)
  • Santa Clara University
  • Santa Monica College
  • Shippenburg University (PA)
  • South Dakota State University
  • Southern Connecticut University
  • Southwest Texas State University
  • St. Mary’s College (Maryland)
  • Union College (Schenectady, NY)
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of Calgary
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of Colorado (Colorado Springs)
  • University of Georgia (Gainesville, GA)
  • University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • University of Southern Colorado (Pueblo)
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS)
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Texas, Arlington
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie
  • Utah State University, Logan, UT
  • Vincennes University (Indiana)
  • Yale University

lectures & keynote speeches at conference & events

  • Alaska Psychiatric Association (Anchorage)
  • Alternative Careers in Science, California Institute of Technology)
  • Amazing Meeting (James Randi Educational Foundation)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), San Francisco
  • American Association of Physics Teachers. Annual Conference. Reno, NV.
  • American Historical Association 108th Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA
  • American Humanist Association, Carl Sagan Contributions to Science Education Award
  • American Humanist Association, Keynote Speaker
  • American Physical Society conference, Minneapolis, MN
  • American Psychological Association (Portland, OR)
  • Art Center (Pasadena, CA)
  • Atheist Alliance International (Tampa, FL)
  • Atheists United Annual Banquet. Los Angeles, CA
  • Baptist Church of Minnesota (God Debate)
  • California State Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA
  • California State University, Fullerton Alumni of the Year Award Dinner
  • Canadian Association of Magicians (tribute to James Randi in Toronto)
  • Church of the Rocky Peak, San Fernando Valley, CA (God debate with Doug Geivett)
  • Commonwealth Club (San Francisco)
  • Community Bible church, Mira Mesa, CA (debate with Barry Minkow)
  • Conference on World Affairs, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • Council of Scientific Society Presidents
  • Eris Society, Aspen, CO
  • George Dock Society for the History of Medicine, Huntington Library (CA)
  • First Baptist Church of Downey (California, God debate)
  • Foundation for the Future (Seattle)
  • Gathering for Gardner (tribute to Martin Gardner)
  • Getty Museum
  • Global Business Network (hosted by Stewart Brand in San Francisco)
  • History of Science Society 1993 conference (New Orleans)
  • History of Science Society 2001 conference (Denver)
  • Holocaust Remembrance Conference, Hillel Foundation, West Lafayette, IN
  • Human Behavior and Evolution Society 1996 conference (Santa Barbara)
  • Huntington Library, Darwin Exhibition Lecture
  • I-Con (Science Fiction Convention), Long Island, NY
  • Intelligent Design v. Evolution conference, Baylor University, Waco, TX
  • Interface 88, Atlanta, GA
  • International Conference on Science Communication, Bejing, China
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
  • Jewish Federation L.A. Museum of the Holocaust, Symposium on Holocaust Denial
  • Jewish Fellowship of the University of California, Davis for Yom Hashoah Holocaust Memorial
  • Kaiser Medical Center
  • Lifelines Center (New York)
  • Long Beach Jewish Community Center
  • Long Beach Pacific Hospital (keynote speaker at annual conference)
  • Los Angeles Association of Teachers
  • Los Angeles Medical Association
  • Martyr’s Memorial Museum of the Holocaust
  • Mensa Society Annual Conferences (Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County)
  • National Science Foundation Conference (Woods Hole)
  • National Science Foundation Chataqua Seminar Series (Philadelphia)
  • Phi Alpha Theta Southern California Regional Conference. California State University, L.A.
  • Philosophical Club (hosted by comedian Steve Martin)
  • Plato Society (L.A.)
  • Polaris Astronomical Society, Los Angeles, CA
  • Reason Foundation (sponsored by Reason magazine in San Diego)
  • Salon: The Art of Conversation (keynote in Orange County)
  • Secular Humanists of Los Angeles Annual Conference, Banning, CA
  • Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, St. Louis, MO
  • Society for Amateur Scientists (Caltech)
  • Student Achievement Advocacy (Seattle)
  • Throop Memorial church Unitarian Universalist
  • UCLA Galapagos Symposium (hosted by Ben Zuckerman)
  • Urania (Berlin, Germany)
  • Western Psychological Association, San Diego, CA
  • Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembered), Alpert Jewish Community Center, Long Beach

Around the World Tour (sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, lecturer on chartered 757 jet to Amazon, Galapagos, Easter Island, Samoa, Australia, Borneo, New Guinea, Nepal, Seychelles Islands, Serengeti Plains, Canary Islands)

(List does not include lectures at regional skeptics, humanists, and free thought organizations)

Skeptics television & media appearances

  • 2002 Approximately one media interview per week.
  • 2001 Approximately two media interviews per week.
  • 2000 Approximately one media interview per day.
  • 1999 Approximately 250 media interviews on radio, television, and print.
  • 1998 Approximately 250 media interviews were given on radio, television, and print. Most significantly was an ABC News Special with John Stossel focusing on the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine. From 1994-1998 Featured on CNN Talkback Live, Rosanne, Good Morning America, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Tom Snyder, Politically Incorrect, Donahue, Oprah, Extra!, Sally, Leeza, Unsolved Mysteries, and documentaries on A&E, Discovery, the History Channel, and The Learning Channel.
  • 1998 Science Talk. KPCC, Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:00 pm.
  • 1997 Guest on 92.3 The Beat (Los Angeles) on Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, UFO, Alien Abductions. Airdate: March 16, 1997.
  • 1997 Guest on WFMU 91.1 East Orange, NJ/WBAI 99.5 New York, Dorian Devins Show, on science and pseudoscience. Airdate: February 28, 1997.
  • 1997 Guest on KPFK (Los Angeles), Sam Brown Show, on Race and Racism. Airdate: February 28, 1997.
  • 1997 Guest on WFLP (Erie, Pennsylvania), Patrick Campbell Show. Why People Believe Weird Things. Airdate: January 27, 1997.
  • 1997 Guest on PBS/KCET’s Life and Times with Patt Morrison, on Asteroids. Airdate: February 18, 1997.
  • 1997 Guest on PBS/KCET’s Life and Times with Patt Morrison, on Skepticism. Airdate: January 7, 1997.
  • 1997 Guest on NPR’s Airtalk with Larry Mantle, KPCC, on Science, Religion, and Creationism. Airdate: January 7, 1997.
  • 1996 Guest on NPR’s Airtalk with Larry Mantle, KPCC, on Aromatherapy. Airdate: September 13, 1996.
  • 1996 Guest on NPR’s Airtalk with Larry Mantle, KPCC, on Alternative Healing and Spontaneous Cancer Remission. Airdate: February 12, 1996.
  • 1995 Guest on KCAL Television News segment, December 28, 1995, on cults.
  • 1995 Guest on NPR’s Airtalk with Larry Mantle, KPCC, on Shades of L.A.: Religion. Airdate: December 15, 1995.
  • 1995 Guest on the Gabriel Show (Fox) on Angels. Airdate: December 14, 1995.
  • 1995 Guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show (ABC) on Psychics. Airdate: October 2, 1995.
  • 1995 Guest on NBC’s The Other Side, 9:00 A.M., nationally syndicated program hosted by Dr. Will Miller. Subject: Skeptics v. Psychics
  • 1994 Guest on NBC’s The Other Side, 9:00 A.M., nationally syndicated program hosted by Dr. Will Miller. Subject: Bigfoot
  • 1994 Guest on Sally Jessy Raphael Show on Near-Death Experiences.
  • 1994 Guest on Sally Jessy Raphael Show on ghosts and haunted houses.
  • 1994 Guest on Airtalk, the Larry Mantle Show, National Public Radio, 50,000 watts KPCC, on animal rights and the use of primates in scientific research.
  • 1994 Guest on NBC’s The Other Side, 9:00 A.M., nationally syndicated program hosted by Dr. Will Miller. Subject: Alien Abductions.
  • 1994 Guest on NBC’s The Other Side, 9:00 A.M., nationally syndicated program hosted by Dr. Will Miller. Subject: Astrology
  • 1994 Guest on NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries, on communication with the dead. Airdate: Feb. 3, 1995
  • 1994 Interviewed for the NBC Nightly News, segment by Conan Nolan on Psychics and Psychic 900 Hotlines.
  • 1994 Interviewed for Sci Fi Channel Program on Miracles, Magic, and Mysteries on pseudoscience, psychics, and the paranormal.
  • 1994 Guest on Lifestyle Magazine on 900 psychic hotlines and their techniques.
  • 1994 Guest on Phil Donahue talk show with Holocaust deniers on the Holocaust.
  • 1993 Guest on Connie Chung’s Eye to Eye News Magazine program, on haunted houses.
  • 1992 Guest on Airtalk, Larry Mantle Show, National Public Radio, 50,000 watts KPCC, on cults, religion, and science.
  • 1992 Guest on Tom Leykis Talk Show, 50,000 watts KFI Talk Radio, on pseudoscience.

Skeptics Distinguished Lecture Series at Caltech

Organized by Michael Shermer, Pat Linse, Kim Ziel Shermer; Filmed at the California Institute of Technology by Brad Davies; Introduced by Michael Shermer; Produced by Brad Davies, Michael Shermer, Pat Linse, Kim Ziel Shermer and Conceptual Envisage.

2007

  • Dr. Frank Tipler v. Dr. Lawrence Krauss. “Debate: The Physics of Christianity.” June 3.
  • Dr. Carol Tavris. “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me). April 29.
  • Dr. Philip Zimbardo. “The Lucifer Effect.” March 25.
  • Jennifer Ouelette. “The Science of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” March 11.
  • Dr. Randel Helms. “The Bible Against Itself.” February 18.
  • Dr. Barry Glassner. “The Gospel of Food.” January 7.

2006

  • Jonathan Kirsch. A History of the End of the World. Sunday December 3.
  • Dr. Bart Kosko. Noise. A Fuzzy Logic Perspective. October 28.
  • Symposium on Science, Religion, and Politics: A Conversation, with Dr. Owen Gingerich, Dr. Richard Sloan, Dr. Sam Harris. October 8.
  • Dr. Michael Shermer. Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design. September 24.
  • Dr. Tim Flannery. The Weather Makers: How Humans are Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth. April 9.
  • Dr. Walter Goldschmidt. The Bridge to Humanity: How Affect Hunger Trumps the Selfish Gene. March 12.
  • Dr. Daniel Dennett. Breaking The Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. February 26.
  • Dr. Lisa Randall. Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions. February 12.
  • Dr. Jared Diamond. Crisis Management by People and Nations. How Individuals and Societies in Crisis Do (or Don’t) Reappraise Core Values. January 22.

The following lectures took place during the 2006 Skeptics Society Annual Caltech Conference. The Environmental Wars: The Science Behind the Politics. June 2–4.

  • Dr. David Baltimore, Nobel laureate and President of Caltech: “Science and Politics: An Uneasy Relationship”
  • Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher Skeptic magazine: “The Beautiful People Myth: The Grass is Always Greener in the Other Century”
  • Dr. Tapio Schneider, environmental scientist, Caltech: “Global Climate Change: The Known and the Unknown”
  • Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science v. Ronald Bailey, science editor of Reason magazine: “Distorting Science: Who’s Worse, The Left or the Right?”
  • Dr. Donald Prothero, Occidental College paleontologist: “Catastrophes! Colossal Events that Shape the Planet”
  • Dr. Brian Fagan, U.C. Santa Barbara archaeologist: “Sometimes Too Hot the Eye of Heaven Shines: Climate Change and Ancient Societies”
  • Dr. David Goodstein, Caltech provost and physicist: “Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil”
  • Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western professor of environmental law: “The Fables of Federal Environmental Regulation: A Re-examination of the Reasons for Federal Environmental Regulation”
  • Dr. Gregory Benford, U.C. Irvine physicist and environmental scientist: “In Case of Abrupt Climate Shift, Break Glass: Stabilizing the Future Greenhouse Earth”
  • Dr. Paul MacCready, President of AeroVironment and engineer of the 20th century: “Doing More with Less for a World that Works.” Keynote speakers: John Stossel, Michael Crichton.

2005

  • Dr. Donald Prothero. Evolution: How We Know it Happened. December 11.
  • Dr. Susan Clancy. Abducted! How People Come to Believe they Were Kidnapped by Aliens. November 20.
  • Dr. Richard Wiseman. Luck, ESP, and Magic: Testing the Unusual. November 9.
  • Dr. Lawrence Krauss. Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions, from Plato to String Theory and Beyond. October 30.
  • Dr. William Ruddiman. Ploughs, Plagues, and Petroleum. October 9.
  • Dr. Nancy Segal. Indivisible by Two: Lives of Extraordinary Twins. September 25.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Barber. When They Severed Earth From Sky. March 6.
  • Dr. Michio Kaku. Parallel Worlds. February 20.
  • Dr. Jared Diamond. Collapse. January 9.

2004

  • Mike Newdow. The Pledge, the Constitution, and Freedom of Religion. December 12.
  • Dr. Edward Tufte. Beautiful Evidence. December 5.
  • Dr. Richard Dawkins. The Ancestor’s Tale. November 21.
  • Dr. David Smith. Why We Lie. October 24.
  • Laura Woodmansee. Women in Science. September 26.
  • Dean Cameron. The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam. May 16.
  • Jonathan Kirsch. God Against the Gods: Monotheism, Polytheism, and the Roots of Religious Violence. April 18.
  • Dr. Craig Stanford, Upright: The Key to Becoming Human. March 28.
  • Dr. Michael Shermer. The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share, Care, and Follow the Golden Rule. March 14.
  • Dr. Robert Zubrin. NASA and the Future of Human Space Flight: A Skeptical Perspective. February 22.
  • Dr. Marlene Dobkin DeRios. LSD, Shamans, and Creativity. January 25

2003

  • Dr. Steven Quartz. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. What the New Brain Science Reveals About how We Become Who We Are. December 14.
  • Dr. David Brin. The Future: Science Fact and Science Fiction. November 16.
  • Dr. Diana Deutsch. Phantom Words, Auditory Illusions, and Other Curiosities. October 26.
  • Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht. The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology. September 21.
  • Dr. Victor Stenger. Has Science Found God? September 7.
  • Ian Rowland. Mind Power: Fact, Fiction and Fakery. June 22
  • Dr. Steve Jones. Y: The Descent of Men. Revealing the Mysteries of Maleness, June 15.
  • Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg. A Skeptic on Easter Island: Sex, Lies, Fieldnotes. May 18.
  • 2003. Dr. Robert Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan. The Art of the Infinite: The Pleasures of Mathematics. April 27
  • 2003. Dr. Christof Koch. The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. April.
  • 2003. Dr. Taner Edis. The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science. March 9.
  • 2003. John Horgan. Rational Mysticism: The Scientific Search for Spirituality. March 2.
  • 2003. Dr. Daniel C. Dennett. Freedom Evolves: Free Will, Determinism, and Evolution. February 23.
  • 2003. Dr. Peter Ward and Dr. Donald Brownlee. The Life and Death of Planet Earth. February 9.
  • 2003. Dr. Margaret Wertheim. Who is Science Writing For? January 19.

2002

  • 2002. Dr. Michael Shermer. In Darwin’s Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace. Nov. 17.
  • 2002. Dr. Robert Kirshner. Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmos. November 3.
  • 2002. Dr. Steven Pinker. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. October 16.
  • 2002. Dr. David Sloan Wilson. Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Science. Oct. 6.
  • 2002. Timothy Ferris. Seeing in the Dark. October 3.
  • 2002. Tim Callahan. The Secret Origins of the Bible. September 22.
  • 2002. Dr. John McWhorter. The Power of Babel. June 9.
  • 2002. Dr. Richard Klein. The Dawn of Human Culture. June 2.
  • 2002. Dr. Philip Plait. Bad Astronomy. May 19.
  • 2002. Dr. Janna Levin. How the Universe Got its Spots. April 28.
  • 2002. Dr. John George. American Extremism. March 3.

2001

  • 2001. Dr. Robert Cialdini. Influence. December 2.
  • 2001. Dr. Bjorn Lomborg v. Frank Miele. The Great Environmental Debate. October 7.
  • 2001. Dr. Michael Shermer. The Borderlands of Science. June 10.
  • 2001. Dr. Lawrence Krauss, Atom. May
  • 2001. Julia Sweeney, The God Monologue. May
  • 2001. K.C. Cole, The Hole in the Universe: How Scientists Peered over the Edge of Emptiness and Found Everything. April
  • 2001. Dr. Alison Winter, Mesmerized!: Science, Psueodscience, and the Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain. March
  • 2001. Bob Friedhoffer, “The Madman of Magic,” The Deception of Perception, January.

2000

  • 2000. Dr. Robert Pennock, The New Creationism, December.
  • 2000. Conference: A Festschrift For Stephen Jay Gould. Dr. David Baltimore, Dr. Donald Prothero, Dr. Carol Tavris, Dr. Michael Shermer, Dr. Frank Sulloway, James “The Amazing” Randi, Dr. Paul MacCready, Dr. Louis Friedman, Dr. James Powell, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Richard Milner, and Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, Skeptics Society 2000 Festschrift, October.
  • 2000. Dr. Michael Shermer, Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say it?, June.
  • 2000. Steven Hassan, Combating Cult Mind Control, May.
  • 2000. Dr. Gregory Benford, Deep Time: Communicating Across Millennia, April.
  • 2000. Dr. Seth Shostak, Making Contact with Extraterrestrial Life, March.
  • 2000. Dr. Jan Harold Brunvand, Too Good to be True, February.
  • 2000. Dr. Robert Zubrin, Entering Space: Becoming a Spacefaring Civilization, January.

1999

  • 1999. Dr. Michael Shermer, Why People Believe in God: An Empirical Study of a Deep Question, October.
  • 1999. Dr. Elizabeth Wayland Barber, The Mummies of Urumchi, June.
  • 1999. Conference: Skeptics Society 1999 Conference On Reinventing Evolution: The Great Debate at the High Table of Evolutionary Theory, May: Dr. Eugenie Scott, Dr. Jack Horner, Dr. Donald Prothero, Dr. Michael Ruse, Dr. Michael Shermer, Richard Milner
  • 1999. Dr. Jared Diamond, How to be Rich and Successful: Lessons From History’s Experiments in Organizing Human Groups, April.
  • 1999. Dr. Richard Elliott Friedman, The Hidden Book in the Bible, March.
  • 1999. Jonathan Kirsch, Forbidden Tales in the Bible, February.
  • 1999. Bob Friedhoffer, Magic Tricks, Science Facts: A Scientific Magic Show for Kids and Adults, January.

1998

  • 1998. David Skal, Author, Screams of Reason: Mad Science and Modern Culture, December.
  • 1998. Dr. Dan Kevles, Caltech, Science and Fraud: The Baltimore Case, November.
  • 1998. Dr. Pamela Freyd and Eleanor Goldstein, False Memory Foundation, The Recovered Memory Movement, October.
  • 1998. Conference: Skeptics Society 6th Annual Conference, May, featuring: Dr. Donald Johanson, Institute for Human Origins, Myths and Misconceptions in the Study of Human Evolution. Keynote address Dr. J. Gordon Melton, The Institute for the Study of American Religion, Why Do People Need Religion? Dr. Randel Helms, Arizona State University, on Who Wrote the Gospels? Dr. Michael Shermer, Skeptic, God and the Ghost Dance: the Eternal Return of the Messiah Myth. Richard Abanes, Religious Studies Institute, The God Question From a Believer’s Perspective Milbrae Burch, Associate Director of the Storytelling Project, Storytelling as Mythmaking James Randi’s Solved Mysteries Workshop.
  • 1998. Dr. John Casti, Santa Fe Institute, on Minds, Brains, and Machines, April.
  • 1998. Bob Steiner, Magician, on ESP: A Demonstration, March.
  • 1998. K. C. Cole, Los Angeles Times, on The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty, Feburary.
  • 1998. Dr. Stephen O’Leary, USC, on Millennial Cults: An Inside Look at End Times Groups, What They Believe, and Why, January.

1997

  • 1997. Frank Miele, Skeptic, on In the Goddess We Trusted: the Faith of our Forefathers, December.
  • 1997. Dr. Jared Diamond, UCLA, on Why is Sex Fun?, October.
  • 1997. Dr. Ed Krupp, Griffith Observatory, on Skywatchers, Shamans, and Kings, September.
  • 1997. Dr. William McComas, USC Department of Science Education, on 15 Myths of Science, July.
  • 1997. John Horgan, Scientific American, on The End of Science, June.
  • 1997. Conference: Skeptics Society 5th Anniversary Conference, May, featuring: Dr. Frank Sulloway on Can History Be a Science? Dr. Carol Tavris on The Science Gap Between Therapists and Scientists Dr. Jared Diamond on Guns, Germs, and Steel Dr. Michael Shermer on Why People Believe Weird Things Dr. Vincent Sarich on Controversies in Anthropology Frank Miele on Pilate’s Unanswered Question-“What is Truth?” James Randi on The Million Dollar Psychic Challenge
  • 1997. Dr. Bart Kosko, USC Department of Electrical Engineering, on Fuzzy Thinking, April.
  • 1997. Tim Callahan, Skeptics Society, on Bible Prophecy, March.
  • 1997. Dr. Richard Elliot Friedman, University of California, San Diego, on The Disappearance of God: Big Bang, Kabbalah, and other Mysteries, February.

1996

  • 1996. Dr. Frank Sulloway, MIT, on Born to Rebel: Birth Order and the Revolutionary Personality, November.
  • 1996. Dr. John Hochman, Psychiatrist, on The Myth of Multiple Personality, October.
  • 1996. Richard Abanes, Director, Religious Information Center, on American Militias, September.
  • 1996. Dr. Mario Di Gregorio, Historian of Science, on Darwin’s Debt to Hume, the Great Skeptic, September.
  • 1996. Dr. Victor Stenger, University of Hawaii Professor of Physics and Astronomy, on Quantum Quackery: Physics, Metaphysics, and Flapdoodle, June.
  • 1996. Dr. Arthur Benjamin, Professor of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College, on Mathemagics and the Art of Mental Calculation, May.
  • 1996. Conference: The Skeptics Society Conference On Evolutionary Psychology And Humanistic Ehtics Part 1 with Dr. Paul Churchland, Dr. Patricia Churchland, Roger Bingham, James Randi, March (#44).
  • 1996. The Skeptics Society Conference On Evolutionary Psychology And Humanistic Ehtics Part 2 with Dr. Donald Symons, Dr. Nancy Segal, Dr. Napoleon Chagnon, Dr. John Hartung, Dr. Michael Shermer, March.
  • 1996. Dr. Burton Mack, Claremont Graduate School, on The Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Origins of the Christian Myth, February.
  • 1996. John Whalen, Wired magazine, on The 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time and Why People Believe Them, January.

1995

  • 1995. Dr. Nancy Segal, California State University, Fullerton, on The Myth of Twins: Separating the Fact From the Fiction, December.
  • 1995. Dr. Henry Ansgar Kelly, U.C.L.A., on Demons, Demonology, and the Meaning of Halloween, October.
  • 1995. Dr. Sanford I. Berman, Ph.D., General Semanticist, AKA Dr. Michael Dean, World’s Greatest Hypnotist, on Hypnosis: See it Done, Hear it Explained, September.
  • 1995. Dr. Richard Dawkins, Oxford University, on River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, July.
  • 1995. Edward Tabash, Attorney at Law, on Does the Wall Still Stand?: Creationism, The Religious Right, Prayer in School, and Other Breaches of the Wall Separating Church and State, June.
  • 1995. Dr. John Gribbin on In Search of Schrodinger’s Kittens and the Search for Reality: Solving the Quantum Mysteries, April First.
  • 1995. Conference: First Annual Skeptics Conference at Caltech and the Pasadena Doubletree Hotel, as Conference Chair for a morning Symposium on Pseudoscience and the Media with Jessica Yu, Linda Rosa, and Frank Miele.
  • 1995. Conference: First Annual Skeptics Conference an Afternoon Symposium on Science and Religion with Dr. Frank Tipler, Dr. Kip Thorne, Dr. Bernard Leikind, and Dr. Michael Kerze debating whether science can be used to prove the existence of God; and an evening Awards Ceremony and Keynote Address by James “The Amazing” Randi. March.
  • 1995. Dr. Vincent Sarich, Dr. Diane Halpern, Dr. Daniel Kevles, Symposium on For Whom the Bell Curve Tolls, February.
  • 1995. Dr. Bernard Leikind and Cynthia Young on The Physics of Ballet: An Afternoon of Science and Art, January.

1994

  • 1994. Dr. Steven B. Harris on Frankenstein and the Fear of Science, December.
  • 1994. David Alexander on The Thinker on the Edge of Forever: The Science and Humanism of Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek, November.
  • 1994. Steve Shaw on The Magic of the Alpha Project, October.
  • 1994. Deborah Blum on The Monkey Wars: Animals-Rights Controversy, September.
  • 1994. Dr. Donald Prothero on Evolution?-The Fossils Say Yes!, June.
  • 1994. Dr. Yahudi Webster on Afrocentrism, Racism, and Other Myths, May.
  • 1994. Dr. Laura Schlessinger on The Devil Made Me Do It! The Decline of Personal Responsibility, April.
  • 1994. Penn & Teller and James “The Amazing” Randi: Skeptical Magic and Awards Ceremony, March.
  • 1994. Dr. Duane Gish v. Dr. Michael Shermer: The Great Debate: Evolution v. Creationism (UCLA), Febuary (#22).
  • 1994. Dr. Gina Green on Facilitated Communication: Mental Miracle or Sleight of Hand?, February.
  • 1994. Dr. Michael Shermer on Proving the Holocaust: A Refutation of Denial, January, (Part 1 of a half-day seminar.
  • 1994. Dr. Michael Shermer on Pseudoscience, Witch Crazes and the Chaos of Mass Hysteries, January, Part 2 of a half-day seminar.

1993

  • 1993. Dr. John Hochman on False Memory Syndrome: Repressed Memories, False Memories, and Therapy Cults, December.
  • 1993. Mark Edward on The Magic of the Psychic and the Psychology of the Believer, November.
  • 1993. Dr. Jared Diamond on The Evolution of Human Creativity and Language, October.
  • 1993. Dr. Bernard Leikind on Mysterious and Amazing Atmospheric Phenomena, September.
  • 1993. Dr. Arthur Benjamin on Mathemagics: How to Look Like a Genius Without Really Trying, June.
  • 1993. Jay Stuart Snelson on Can Science Solve Social Problems?, May.
  • 1993. Dr. Bernard Leikind, Ron Ebert, Mark Helmlinger on Science Fair and Firewalk: The Physics Behind the Psychics, April.
  • 1993. Dr. Diane Halpern on Sex, Brains, & Hands: Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, March.
  • 1993. Dr. Michael Shermer on Evolution and Creationism: History of a Controversy, February.
  • 1993. Dr. Richard Olson on Witches, Spirits, and Science in 17th-Century England, January.

1992

  • 1992. John Mosley on The Christmas Star: Science and Religion, December.
  • 1992. Dr. Richard Popkin on The Origins of Skepticism and Skeptical of the Warren Report, November.
  • 1992. Mark Edward on A Skeptical Seance: Magic and the Paranormal-Houdini and Halloween, October.
  • 1992. Dr. Thomas McDonough on Is E.T. Out There? The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, September.
  • 1992. Dr. Michael Shermer on Altered States and the Quest For Transcendence: Hypnosis & Near-Death Experiences, June.
  • 1992. Dr. Judith Grabiner on The Use and Abuse of Statistics in “The Real World,” May.
  • 1992. Mike Darwin on Can Science Cheat Death? Cryonics and the Science of Life Extension, April.
  • 1992. James “The Amazing” Randi on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, March.

athletic achievements

professional cyclist: 1979–1989

  • 1980 Seattle-to-San Diego: 7 days, 8 hours, 1,515 miles — world record.
  • 1981 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon: 76th place.
  • 1981 Seattle-to-San Diego: 4 days, 14 hours, 1,305 miles — world record.
  • 1982 Great American Bike Race: L.A. to N.Y. 2,976 miles — 3rd place.
  • 1983 Miami-to-Maine: 6 days, 1 hour, 1,906 miles — world record.
  • 1983 Race Across America: DNF 2,600 miles.
  • 1984 Spenco 500: 500 miles — 7th place.
  • 1984 Seattle-to-San Diego: 3 days, 23 hours, 1,250 miles — world record.
  • 1984 Race Across America: 10 days, 16 hours, 3,084 miles — 4th place.
  • 1985 Race Across America: 10 days, 7 hours, 3,150 miles — 3rd place.
  • 1986 Spenco 500: 500 miles — 7th place.
  • 1989 Race Across America: HPV Division: DNF 2,970 miles.
  • 1986–1988; 1991–1992: Assistant Race Director, Race Across America
  • 1993–1995: Race Director, Race Across America
  • 1996–1997: Executive Race Director, Race Across America

cycling books

  • Race Across America: The Glory and Agony of the World’s Longest and Cruelest Bicycle Race. 1993. WRS Publications.
  • Arthritis: A Motivation Program to Help You Live a Better Life. With George Yates. 1989. Chicago: Contemporary Books/Lowell House.
  • The Woman Cyclist. With Elaine Mariolle. 1988. Chicago: Contemporary Books.
  • The Race Across America Book. With John Marino and Lon Haldeman. 1988. San Clemente: Info Net Publishing.
  • Cycling: Endurance and Speed. 1986. Chicago: Contemporary Books.
  • Sport Cycling: A Guide to Training, Racing and Endurance. 1985. Chicago: Contemporary Books.
  • Psychling: Endurance and Speed. 1983. Glendale: Glendale College Press.

television / media appearances

  • 1982 ABC’s Wide World of Sports coverage of the Race Across America.
  • 1983 ABC’s Battle of the Network Stars.
  • 1983 ABC’s Wide World of Sports coverage of the Race Across America.
  • 1984 National commercial for Spenco Sports Products — principle actor.
  • 1984 ABC’s Wide World of Sports coverage of the Race Across America.
  • 1985 National commercial for 7-Up.
  • 1985 ABC’s Wide World of Sports coverage of the Race Across America.
  • 1986 ABC’s Wide World of Sports coverage of the Race Across America.
  • 1987 National commercial for Gatorade.
  • 1988 Sport Cycling video aired on cable sports television.
  • 1980-1992 Countless radio, television, and newspaper interviews about cycling.

video productions

  • “Sport Cycling: A High Performance How To Video.” 1987. Los Angeles: True North Film and Video Productions. Written and Presented.
  • “Race Across America 1993.” 1993. Prime Network. Written and Narrated.
  • “Race Across America 1994.” 1994. ESPN. Written and Narrated.
  • “Race Across America 1995.” 1995 ESPN. Written and Narrated.
  • “Race Across America 1996.” 1996. ESPN. Written and Narrated.
  • “Race Across America 1997.” 1997. Outdoor Life. Written and Narrated.
  • “Race Across America 1998.” 1998. Outdoor Life. Written and Narrated.

Michael Shermer has been inducted into the Ultra Cycling Hall of Fame for his involvement in Race Across America, an event he co-created in 1982 originally known as The Great American Bike Race.

http://www.michaelshermer.com/about-michael/curriculum-vitae/

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How many people knew about the British Intelligence MI5 Double Cross operation that fed the Nazi spies false information? Dozens? Hundreds?

How many people knew about the ULTRA secret in which the Allies read the Nazi military codes? Dozens? Hundreds?

However many there were, they kept these secrets well into the 1970s, when they were first revealed in print, two small operations that involved only

a few hundred people, but all of whom maintained their silence for over 30 years.

But after these operations became publicly known, the whole entire history of World War II had to be Re-written.

So a large number of people CAN and DO keep secrets.

And the REAL SKEPTICS are skeptical of the offical version of what happened at Dealey Plaza.

Bill Kelly

Edited by William Kelly
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