Cover image of Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer

102 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 Dec 2022 | Updated Daily

Episode artwork

Michael Shermer: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational

Commonwealth Club of California Podcast

Long a fringe part of the American political landscape, conspiracy theories are now mainstream: 147 members of Congress voted in favor of objections to the 2020 presidential election based on an unproven theory about a rigged electoral process promoted, in part, by followers of the mysterious QAnon community, itself a network of believers of a wide-ranging conspiracy involving pedophilia among elected officials and other civic and business leaders. But these are only the latest examples of a long history of conspiracies that have gained adherents in society. In his timely new book, Conspiracy, Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, discusses what makes conspiracies so appealing to segments of the population.Shermer finds that conspiracy theories cut across gender, age, race, income, education level, occupational status―and even political affiliation. One reason that people believe these conspiracies, Shermer argues, is that enough of them are real that we should be constructively conspiratorial: elections have been rigged, medical professionals have intentionally harmed patients in their care, your government does lie to you, and, tragically, some adults do conspire to sexually abuse children. But Shermer reveals that other factors are also in play: anxiety and a sense of loss of control play a role in conspiratorial cognition patterns, as do certain personality traits.Join us for Dr. Shermer's discussion in our continuing series on false narratives. It is for anyone concerned about the future direction of American politics, as well as anyone who has watched friends or family fall into patterns of conspiratorial thinking.MLF ORGANIZEREric SiegelSPEAKERSMichael ShermerPublisher, Skeptic Magazine; Executive Director, The Skeptics Society; Author, Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the IrrationalEric SiegelChair, Personal Growth Member-led Forum, The Commonwealth Club of California—ModeratorIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently hosting all of our live programming via YouTube live stream. This program was recorded via video conference on November 1st, 2022 by the Commonwealth Club of California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 9mins

8 Nov 2022

Episode artwork

Cosmic Queries – Why do we believe conspiracy theories? with Michael Shermer

StarTalk Radio

Why do rational people believe irrational things? Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice break down media literacy, the psychology behind conspiracy theories, and how to combat our cognitive biases with author and science historian, Michael Shermer.NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can listen to this entire episode commercial-free.Thanks to our Patrons Zachary Vex, Alexandru Dolipschi, Chris Knopp, Gianni Gaetano, and D'Angelo Garcia for supporting us this week.Photo Credit: Charlie Duke, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


1 Nov 2022

Similar People

Episode artwork

55. Michael Shermer (Part 2) - How to Tell If a Conspiracy Theory Is True

The Dr. Debra Soh Podcast

This week, Michael Shermer (Publisher, Skeptic Magazine) returns to the podcast to talk with our host about his new book, "Conspiracy," why censorship is never the solution, how to have civil conversations people with whom we disagree (it is possible!), and how Michael maintains his joyful disposition. // Get "The End of Gender" at DrDebraSoh.com (FREE Audible audiobook), @DrDebraSoh // Get "Conspiracy" at michaelshermer.com and @michaelshermer // Please support this podcast: patreon.com/drdebrasoh // © 2022 Dr. Debra Soh


1 Nov 2022

Episode artwork

Are You Skeptical Enough? Challenging Your Beliefs with Michael Shermer

The Science of Success

Dr. Michael Shermer is an author, the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, a regular contributor to Time.com, and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. His new book is Giving the Devil his Due, a defense of Free Speech and Open Inquiry in Politics, Culture and Science. He is also the author of The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies, and many others. He appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, and Larry King Live (but, proudly, never Jerry Springer!). He has been interviewed in countless documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, and other science and learning channels. He regularly contributes opinion editorials, essays, and reviews to: the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Science, Nature, and other publications. His two TED talks, seen by millions, were voted in the top 100 of the more than 1000 TED talks.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 7mins

29 Oct 2022

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Biden's Mental Fitness, Targeting Political Enemies, and "Trans Dopers," with Ted Cruz and Michael Shermer | Ep. 418

The Megyn Kelly Show

Megyn Kelly begins the show today revealing her sister died over the weekend, and the need to focus on what matters in our lives. Then Michael Shermer, author of "Conspiracy," joins to discuss why people believe conspiracy theories, being a little "rationally paranoid," what happens when a conspiracy theory turns out to be true, how Alex Jones grew an audience, the growing issue of "trans dopers" competing in women's sports and balancing competing rights, the afterlife, and more. Then Sen. Ted Cruz, author of "Justice Corrupted," joins to discuss the racism of the left, Critical Race Theory in America, discrimination against Asians, FBI and DOJ targeting political enemies, President Biden on "gender-affirming healthcare," predictions for the midterms, Biden's concerning mental fitness, the "reverse Robin Hood" of "student loan forgiveness," how he learned to work with President Trump, getting protested on The View and yelled at at Yankees Stadium, and more.Follow The Megyn Kelly Show on all social platforms: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MegynKellyTwitter: http://Twitter.com/MegynKellyShowInstagram: http://Instagram.com/MegynKellyShowFacebook: http://Facebook.com/MegynKellyShow Find out more information at: https://www.devilmaycaremedia.com/megynkellyshow

1hr 36mins

24 Oct 2022

Episode artwork

187. Michael Shermer | Why people believe weird things

On the Edge with Andrew Gold

Michael Shermer has gained prominence and renown as the founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine, which investigates pseudoscience and supernatural claims. He’s written more than a dozen books, and often takes part in debates about religion and magical thinking, and all that sort of stuff.Michael Shermer links:GET HIS NEW BOOK, CONSPIRACY: https://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Why-Rational-Believe-Irrational/dp/1421444453https://michaelshermer.com/books/https://michaelshermer.substack.comhttps://twitter.com/michaelshermerAndrew Gold links:http://youtube.com/andrewgold1http://instagram.com/andrewgold_okhttp://twitter.com/andrewgold_ok Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 10mins

23 Oct 2022

Episode artwork

Michael Shermer: 'Women Are Not Just Tits and Ass. There's More to It Than That, a Lot More.'

The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie

"I think the second-wave feminists I've talked to are very worried about the kind of woke, gender-identity movement because it's reducing women to just body parts," says Michael Shermer. "A guy can say, 'Well, if I just get breast implants [and] then I can have a vaginoplasty made out of a piece of my skin, I'm in. I'm a woman, right?' Well, no, because women are not just tits and ass. There's more to it than that, a lot more."That's today's guest, Michael Shermer, who for decades has been one of the most popular and provocative explicators of science to popular audiences, having authored bestselling books such as Why People Believe Weird Things, Why Darwin Matters, The Moral Arc, and The Mind of the Market. He founded Skeptic magazine in 1992, hosts a video podcast with leading activists and intellectuals, and, for nearly 20 years, authored a widely read column for Scientific American in which he debunked beliefs in UFOs and other paranormal phenomena, explained the rise of the "new atheism," and showed how evolution systematically informs human behavior.Shermer's work is deeply and explicitly rooted in libertarian and Enlightenment ideas about individual responsibility, free market economics, rationality, and the search for something approaching objective truth. In 2019, Scientific American cut him loose, a move he ascribes to the publication's suffocating embrace of the sort of identity politics and wokeness that he says dominates academic and intellectual circles and, increasingly, the culture at large.Last fall, Shermer, who holds a Ph.D. in the history of science and teaches Skepticism 101 at Chapman University, started a weekly Substack where he posts podcasts and the columns he would have written for Scientific American. I caught up with the 67-year-old former competitive cyclist during FreedomFest, an annual gathering in Las Vegas. We talked about what he sees as the fundamental clash between wokeness and scientific inquiry, how hard it is to overcome the cognitive biases we all have, why he thinks trans athletes should be banned from most women's sports, why we have so much trouble acknowledging moral and technological progress, and why he now identifies as a classical liberal rather than as a libertarian.Given his cycling background, we talk about Lance Armstrong and the widespread but illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs, which leads to all sorts of hypocritical and sociopathic behavior among so many of us. We also discuss how technology—including drugs—fuels human excellence in sports, business, and our personal and professional lives.Previous Reason interviews with Michael Shermer: "The Future of Science," by Matt Welch (December 28, 2018) "Nick Gillespie and Skeptic Magazine's Michael Shermer on Postmodernism, Rationalism, and The Intellectual Dark Web," by Zach Weissmueller (December 21, 2018) "Michael Shermer on Why Even Scientists, Transhumanists, and Atheists Want To Believe in Heaven," by Nick Gillespie (August 3, 2018) "Reason and Science Make Us Moral: Michael Shermer on The Moral Arc," by Zach Weissmueller (January 20, 2015) "Skeptic Michael Shermer on Atheism, Happiness, and the Free Market," by Reason Staff (December 7. 2010) "Michael Shermer on the Modern History of Skepticism," by Reason Staff (August 7, 2009) "Monkeys and Money," by Nick Gillespie (March 31, 2008) "Michael Shermer: Evolutionary Economics and the Google Theory of Peace," by Dan Hayes (January 22, 2008)Today's sponsors: The Novus Society at Donors Trust, which is helping Americans under 40 help create a freer, better world through targeted, effective philanthropy. It offers donor-advised fund accounts for young professionals, featuring lower minimum opening contribution requirements and opportunities to expand your charitable giving horizons by working collaboratively with your peers. The Reason Rundown With Peter Suderman. Free minds. Free markets. Big stories. That's The Reason Rundown, which comes out every Friday. End the week with concise, thought-provoking stories from the journalists at Reason, the magazine of logic, not legends; coherence, not contradictions. Hosted by Features Editor Peter Suderman, each episode he talks to a single Reason journalist about a single big story. Subscribe today. The post Michael Shermer: 'Women Are Not Just Tits and Ass. There's More to It Than That, a Lot More.' appeared first on Reason.com.

1hr 24mins

17 Aug 2022

Episode artwork

Yaron Interviewed: Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, and Objectivism, Michael Shermer Show

Yaron Brook Show

In this interview, Yaron Brook and Michael Shermer of the Michael Shermer Show discuss freedom, Ayn Rand, Objectivism and Atlas Shrugged.Recorded August 11, 2021 by the Michael Shermer Show. Like what you hear? Like, share, and subscribe to stay updated on new videos and help promote the Yaron Brook Show: https://bit.ly/3ztPxTxBecome a sponsor to get exclusive access and help create more videos like this: https://bit.ly/2TCEqHcOr make a one-time donation: https://bit.ly/2RZOyJJContinue the discussion by following Yaron on Twitter (https://bit.ly/3iMGl6z) and Facebook (https://bit.ly/3vvWDDC )Want to learn more about Ayn Rand and Objectivism? Visit the Ayn Rand Institute: https://bit.ly/35qoEC3

2hr 3mins

29 Apr 2022

Episode artwork

The Skeptic's View - Dr. Michael Shermer - 2004-10-17 - Coast to Coast AM

art bell tape vault

art is joined by dr. michael shermer, science writer, founder of Skeptic Magazine, and director of the Skeptic Society - dr. shermer talks about his work investigating and debunking various conspiracies and pseudoscientific claims like 9/11, the moon landing hoax conspiracy, and spoon-bending psychics. plus an entertaining open lines with caller questions

2hr 53mins

22 Apr 2022

Episode artwork

Episode 110 - Special Guest Michael Shermer

Citizen Podcast

Dr. Michael Shermer, the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine and the host of the Science Salon Podcast, joins the show to talk about his work researching conspiracy theories like QAnon and the JFK assassination, what he thinks of UFOs and aliens, and why nuclear energy is so important. Buy Drinkin' Bros new Hard AF Seltzer Here! Get your Drinkin' Bros Merch here!  Go to ghostbed.com/drinkinbros and use code DRINKINBROS for 30% off EVERYTHING (Mattresses, Adjustable Base, and more) -- plus a 101 Night Sleep Trial and Mattresses Made in the USA! Get a free indoor security camera plus 20% off, Go to SIMPLISAFE.com/americanparty.

1hr 2mins

17 Mar 2022