Who is Michael Shermer?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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Science historian and writer Michael Shermer is popularly known as the founder of the Skeptics Society, and a columnist in the Scientific American magazine. In addition, Shermer is the editor of Skeptic magazine, a publication that focuses on scientific investigation of events that are claimed to be associated with the paranormal, as well as claims that are based on questionable scientific approaches. Here is some background on the life and work of Michael Shermer.

Born on 8 September 1954, Michael Brant Shermer graduated from Pepperdine University in 1976, earning a degree in Psychology and Biology. Two years later, Shermer earned a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. A Ph.D in the History of Science was granted to Shermer by Claremont Graduate University in 1991.

During the years of his pursuit of higher learning, Michael Shermer dabbled in a number of practices, theologies, and philosophies as part of his desire to acquire more knowledge. Among the pursuits that he alternately embraced and then discarded were Rolfing, pyramid power, fundamentalist expressions of Christianity, and massage therapy. According to statements made by Shermer, he officially became a skeptic on 6 August 1983, after spending several months under the tutelage of a nutritionist that ultimately was revealed to not possess an accredited degree. Many of his experiences planted the seeds for his 1997 book, Why People Believe Weird Things.


While Michael Shermer is sometimes referred to as an atheist, he prefers to refer to himself as a nontheist, and tends to embrace the basics of humanist understandings. Shermer’s drive to seek out truth has influenced the type of books he writes, as well as the other projects that he chooses to pursue. Many of the titles that Shermer chooses for his books speak directly to the subject matter. Currently available Michael Shermer titles include Denying History: Who Says The Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?, The Science of Good and Evil, and Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design.


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Post 1

It's odd that a professed skeptic would fall wholeheartedly and enthusiastically for the CIA's lies regarding the Kennedy assassination. So much for informed skepticism. In Shermer's world, only conspiracy theorists lie and the government is to be taken at its word *cough *cough.

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