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Michael Shermer

Biography:

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the cohost and producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown.

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 codiscoverer 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.

According to the late Stephen Jay Gould (from his Foreword to Why People Believe Weird Things): "Michael Shermer, as head of one of America's leading skeptic organizations, and as a powerful activist and essayist in the service of this operational form of reason, is an important figure in American public life."

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. He was a college professor for 20 years (1979-1998), teaching psychology, evolution, and the history of science at Occidental College, 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 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Oprah, Lezza, Unsolved Mysteries, and other shows (but never Jerry Springer!) 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.

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