Shermer is the editor of Skeptic Magazine, and founder of the Skeptics Society. He contributes a monthly column to Scientific American, and hosts the Skeptics Distinguished Lecture Series at Caltech, having featured Stephen Jay Gould, James Randi, Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. He produced the Fox Family TV series Exploring the Unknown, and he has written many life-changing books on science, including The Science of Good and Evil, Denying History (deconstructing Holocaust denial), The Borderlands of Science (debunking pseudo-science), Teach Your Child Science (a fun gift for parents), and—my first exposure ever to critical thinking—Why People Believe Weird Things.
An excerpt of his latest book is available here, in which Shermer explains logically why, according to a 2005 Pew Research Poll, 42 percent of Americans express strict Creationist views. Rather than try to un-convert the converted, Shermer proposes to reconcile evolution with theology (in a gesture that I find overly appeasing to superstition).
In fact, Shermer has long been an effective champion of fostering science education, which has come under fierce attack by Intelligent Design advocates, who all coincidentally happen to be highly vested in their religions. (Shermer, raised a Christian Creationist, had the intellectual courage to step out of line.) He should be encouraged by this week’s profile of brilliant skeptics titled The New Naysayers that appears in Newsweek, which has long pandered to the church.
I hope to see you at Kepler's on Saturday!
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