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Michael Shermer
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Entries by Michael Shermer

What Is Skepticism, Anyway?

(2155) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 9:00 AM

TED and The Huffington Post are excited to bring you TEDWeekends, a curated weekend program that introduces a powerful "idea worth spreading" every Friday, anchored in an exceptional TEDTalk. This week's TEDTalk is accompanied by an original blog post from...

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Why Ayn Rand Won't Go Away: 'Atlas Shrugged,' Part 2 and the Motor of Moral Psychology

(579) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 1:22 PM

After seeing the Los Angles premiere of Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, the film that opens today based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand (and with an entirely new cast and higher production value, a vast improvement over Part 1), a question struck me as I was exiting the theater...

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Science And Religion: Incompatible?

(2) Comments | Posted March 1, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Science operates in the natural, not the supernatural. In fact, I go so far as to state that there is no such thing as the supernatural or the paranormal. There is just the natural, the normal, and mysteries we have yet to explain by natural causes. Invoking such words as...

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Wrong Again: Why Experts' Predictions Fail, Especially About the Future

(164) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 12:03 AM

With the first week of 2012 upon us it is time to reflect on that favorite pastime of soothsayers and scientists alike: predicting the future. At Skeptic magazine we routinely publish articles about the failed predictions of soothsayers, astrologers, tarot-card readers, palm-readers, and psychics of all stripes. But frankly scientists...

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Why Liberals Should See (and Like) Atlas Shrugged Part 1

(1842) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 10:39 PM

Yesterday a liberal friend of mine told me (in response to my query) that he would never go see the film Atlas Shrugged Part 1 because he read a review in the Los Angeles Times that was critical, and that in any case the author of the novel on which...

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Atlas Shrugged, But You Shouldn't

(1651) Comments | Posted April 15, 2011 | 10:29 AM

A review of Atlas Shrugged Part 1, a film by John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow, screenplay by Brian Patrick O'Toole and John Aglialoro, directed by Paul Johnasson, based on the novel by Ayn Rand. Opens April 15, 2011. 102 minutes. PG-13. Limited release.

After decades of fruitless efforts to...

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My Day in Dealey Plaza: Why JFK Was Killed by a Lone Assassin

(54) Comments | Posted December 14, 2010 | 6:20 PM

On Tuesday, December 7, I walked through and around Dealey Plaza in Dallas where JFK was assassinated by a lone assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO). Or was he? A lone assassin, that is? Yes, he was, but that is not what anyone giving informal tours of the plaza will have...

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Inside Job or Internal Greed?

(4) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 1:42 PM

A review of Inside Job, produced, written, and directed by Charles Ferguson, produced by Audry Marrs, 108 minutes, narrated by Matt Damon.

By Michael Shermer

In this disturbing and often infuriating look at the financial meltdown, the Academy Award-nominated (No End in Sight) documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson promises viewers an...

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Of Testosterone and Pheromones

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2010 | 9:16 PM

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, directed and produced by Alex Gibney, 117 minutes.

Client 9 is an artfully produced, smartly edited, and dramatic reconstruction (and revisionism) of the rise and fall of "The Sheriff of Wall Street," the man who dared to challenge the "Masters of...

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The Eternally Boring Hereafter

(49) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 9:00 PM

After a string of highly successful and critically acclaimed films by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Invictus, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, etc.), I fully expected his latest, Hereafter, to be so well written (screenplay by Peter Morgan -- Frost/Nixon, The Queen) and so compelling...

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What I Believe (about Markets and Morals): A Reply to Jerry Coyne & My Critics

(7) Comments | Posted August 31, 2010 | 8:56 PM

In his endearingly titled blog, "Michael, we hardly knew ye," the venerable evolutionary biologist and slayer of creationist dragons Jerry Coyne (author of Why Evolution is True) wonders if I've gone 'round the bend over capitalism and sold my skeptical soul to the Templeton Foundation, the alleged evil...

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The Free Exercise of Stupidity: Dr. Laura, the 'Ground Zero Mosque,' and the First Amendment

(10) Comments | Posted August 20, 2010 | 7:57 PM

Last week's two biggest media story brouhahas were Dr. Laura's n-word gaff and the Ground Zero mosque, both of which commentators insist are First Amendment issues. They are not. Here's why. First, let's review the First...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free...

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These Are the Good Old Days

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2010 | 1:22 PM

Despite the relative gloom and doom brought about by the 2008 recession, and the recent downturn of the market and the meltdown and bailout of Greece, there are reasons to be optimistic and to believe that these are the good old days, at least if we take the long view...

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Don't Tell Obama What Comes After "Trillion"

(13) Comments | Posted February 4, 2010 | 6:14 PM

A thousand trillion is a quadrillion, which is approximately the number of neuronal connections in the brain between the 100 billion neurons packed inside your head. Fortunately the federal government is no where near budgeting a quadrillion dollars, but $3.8 trillion is no chump change. Just how much is a...

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Creation...the Movie. Bringing Darwin to Life and Love

(2) Comments | Posted January 28, 2010 | 12:09 AM

A review of Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin. Starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. Jon Amiel Director, Jeremy Thomas Producer, John Collee writer. New Market Films. Based on Randal Keynes's book Annie's Box. In general release January 22, 2010.

Creation is one of the most...

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Does God Have a Future? The Great Debate

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2010 | 1:04 PM

Deepak Chopra & Jean Houston v. Michael Shermer & Sam Harris

Sunday, March 14, 2:00pm, Beckman Auditorium, Caltech

A Debate Filmed by ABC's Nightline that will be broadcast nationally and available online.

Tickets are free and may be reserved in advance through the Caltech ticket office: 626/395-4652, or at the...

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Atheists For Haiti

(5) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 9:00 PM

On Friday, January 15, I received in email from Richard Dawkins explaining that his Executive Director Elizabeth Cornwell has organized a campaign to raise money on behalf of the victims of the Haitian earthquake-induced tragedy, and he wanted to know if the Skeptics Society would like to participate, which of...

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Deepakese: The Woo-Woo Master Deepak Chopra Speaks

(32) Comments | Posted December 28, 2009 | 1:47 PM

Deepak Chopra is unhappy with my brand of skepticism--the type that identifies woo-woo nonsense and calls it for what it is: baloney.

Last week Deepak and I debated life after death on Larry King Live, which did not include Larry King and was not live, but did feature guest...

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The Cowardice and Calumny of Creationism

(8) Comments | Posted December 3, 2009 | 9:00 PM

On Monday, November 30, 2009, Occidental College paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Donald Prothero and I teamed up against Intelligent Design (ID) proponents Stephen Meyer and Richard Sternberg. The topic was suppose to be on the origins of life and whether evolutionary theory or intelligent design best explained it. Then it...

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Theism v. Atheism: I'm A Realist, Not An "Accommodationist"

(298) Comments | Posted November 27, 2009 | 1:36 PM

On the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (Tuesday, November 24) I wrote an invited opinion editorial for CNN.

The title, "Religion, Evolution can Live Side by Side," was written by the CNN editors, but it does capture the thrust of the...

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