Tag Archives: Michael Shermer

A Good Quote for Skeptical Bloggers from Ernest Hemingway

This Hemingway quote comes from The Writer’s Quotation Book (1985, p. 55): The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in shock-proof shit-detector.

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A River Not Out of Eden: Christopher Columbus and Critical Thinking

On page 2 of A New Literary History of America (Harvard 2009) is an interesting account of what Christopher Columbus thought he had found when he explored the Venezuelan coast on his third voyage to what would come to be known … Continue reading

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A Photo Tour of the October 3, 2009, Atheist Alliance International Annual Convention in Burbank, California!

The Atheist Alliance International Annual Convention, held this year in Burbank, California (at the Marriot Hotel Convention Center next to Bob Hope Airport), happened to be not too far from where I live, and so I went. Ironically, the Marriot … Continue reading

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The Famous Tether UFOs Explained

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Two Roswell Witnesses: Major Jesse Marcel in a 1984 Interview and Lt. Jack Trowbridge in a More Recent Interview

Both Jesse Marcel and Jack Trowbridge sound credible to me. They don’t seem mentally disturbed, and they come across as truthful elderly men recounting their memories of an “out of the ordinary” occurrence from their military service days. They don’t seem to … Continue reading

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Blogging UFOs: A Sad, Sad UFO Story

Below is a bit of testimony concerning the experience of Miriam Titus, an executive secretary at the military base hospital to which the injured, as well as dead, aliens at the Roswell UFO crash site were allegedly brought immediately after … Continue reading

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In Case You Missed It (Like I Did): UFO Over Chicago’s O’Hare Airport!

The promptness of my news reporting definitely sucks. I’m nearly three years late. But below, a Chicago Tribune reporter talks to a CLTV anchorman about an O’Hare Airport UFO sighting (which I believe occurred at the beginning of 2007). I completely missed … Continue reading

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UFOs 101: “Out of the Blue” on DVD is Stimulating, Especially if You’re a Skeptic

As promised at this blog last week, as a UFO skeptic I said I’d get the supposedly best DVD out there on UFOs, watch it, and give it a brief review. Well, I did. Out of the Blue  is a … Continue reading

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The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident: A Brilliant Meteorite, an Alien Spacecraft from Another World, or Perhaps Something Else?

The Rendlesham Forest UFO incident (December 26, 1980), for the spectacularness of the claims surrounding it, its witnesses, and for the documentary evidence accompanying it, has been called “Britain’s Roswell.” It is England’s most famous alleged UFO sighting. With regards to … Continue reading

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A Recent UFO Caught on Video by the BBC

Last week, the BBC caught an unidentified flying object passing through one of its live video feeds. No, it doesn’t mean it was an alien spacecraft from another planet or dimension. Nor does it mean that it was a fast moving … Continue reading

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Should We Believe This Guy’s Extraordinary Eyewitness Testimony of a UFO?

Would somebody out there like to shoot some skeptical holes into this man’s UFO testimony for me? To my ear, he sounds pretty darn credible, and doesn’t strike me as psychotic or blatantly lying about his experience. His name is James Penniston, … Continue reading

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Dr. Jacques Vallee and Dr. Allen Hynek on UFOs

As an agnostic and skeptic, I’ve been trying to get myself up to speed on UFOlogy, and I’m sorry to report that the vast majority of the “information” out there is largely crap. I have found, however, that there are, … Continue reading

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God, Mind, Quantum Effects, and Quantum Fluctuations: Is There Any Evidence that Invisible Entities (That Can Influence Matter) Actually Exist?

When a theist posits that there might have been some sort of mind, wisdom, or telos prior to matter at the beginning of the universe, are there any pieces of evidence that invisible entities even exist? Actually, there are. They’re called minds. … Continue reading

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Francis Collins on Science and Faith

I thought this Francis Collins talk was excellent and thought provoking:

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Does That Mean They’re Not Loonies?

Daniel Dennett’s recent article on skepticism (in the Guardian) was accompanied by what I thought was an amusing editor’s correction: This article was amended on Thursday 16 July 2009. Moon-landing sceptics were referred to as “loonies”, contrary to the Guardian … Continue reading

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An Agnostic Defends Negative Theology

Atheist biologist Jerry Coyne, of the University of Chicago, has a rather nasty post at his blog deriding negative theology, but I think that negative theology has some merits that Coyne might not be considering. In fact, if God exists (and as an agnostic I don’t … Continue reading

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What Might I Substitute for Empiricism in Getting at the Truth of Ultimate Questions?

I would say nothing. I think that empiricism and reason are the best that we can do. So then why, as an agnostic, am I defending (in a previous post) Francis Collins’s explicitly theological gestures? Here’s why: I think that, with … Continue reading

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The Baloney Detection Kit

This is something special and new. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has just put out its first video, and it’s pretty good:

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A Pronouncement

Be ye Ayatollah or Maharishi, Pope or Protestant clergy, should you pronounce from behind your guru gown, prepare to meet the skeptic’s frown:

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Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here? Happy-Face Atheist Marketing v. Albert Camus’s Pessimistic Atheism

In contrast with happy face atheist marketing, Albert Camus tried to ground atheism honestly. Here’s what Camus said that we know (if we are going to see the world in atheist terms): Death is certain. The day of our death … Continue reading

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