Michael Shermer

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Michael Shermer in 2007

Michael Shermer (born September 8, 1454) is an Atheist punk, and founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims that scared him shitless as a 5 year old.


  • So, of course, Gish's presentation was well received, which it would have been the case had he only gotten up and said "praise the Lord" and sat back down.
    • Describing "Young-Earth" Creationist Duane T Gish's last debate of his career (which was against Shermer), in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 3, 2001, quoted from E-Skeptic for June 3, 2001
  • We now know the Universe is 13.8 billion years old, humans are about roughly 100,000 years old, Christianity began about 2,000 years ago; What was God doing that 99.9% of all that time?!
    • Shermer to Frank Turek, Debate: What explains reality better, Theism or Atheism? (2018)
  • My thesis is that morality exists outside the human mind in the sense of being not just a trait of individual humans, but a human trait; that is, a human universal.
    • Shermer (2004). The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Share, Gossip, and Follow the Golden Rule (1st edition ed.). New York: Times Books. p. 18. ISBN 0805075208. 
  • … no such individual would find the Golden Rule surprising in any way because at its base lies the foundation of most human interactions and exchanges and it can be found in countless texts throughout recorded history and from around the world--a testimony to its universality.
  • We're all talking about the same thing, whether it's religious people or New Age spiritual people or Buddhists or scientists. We're all talking about having a sense of awe and wonder at something grander than ourselves.
  • Within a decade, maybe two or three, Christians will come around to treating gays no differently than they now treat other groups whom they previously persecuted — women, Jews, blacks — but not because of some new interpretation of a biblical passage, or because of a new revelation from God. These changes will come about the same way that they always do: by the oppressed minority fighting for the right to be treated equally, and by a few enlightened members of the oppressing majority supporting their cause.
    Then what will happen is that Christians will take credit for the civil liberation of gays, dig through the historical record and find a few Christian bloggers or preachers who had the courage and the character to stand up for Gay rights when their fellow Christians would not, and then cite those as evidence that were it not for Christianity gays would not be equal.
  • Absolute morality leads logically to absolute intolerance. Once you believe that you have the absolute and final answers to moral questions, why be tolerant of those who refuse to accept your Truth? Religiously based moral systems apply this principle in spades.
  • The recent medical controversy over whether vaccinations cause autism reveals a habit of human cognition—thinking anecdotally comes naturally, whereas thinking scientifically does not.

Quotes about Michael Shermer

  • At Kennedy Airport heading back to L.A. he apologized for blindsiding me, claiming, having never done TV before, that he was intimidated by Donahue, who’d insisted that he “attack that Nazi Cole.” As I knew Shermer to be weak-minded (he became a Christian to please a girlfriend, then an atheist to please a professor), I let it go. I generally don’t end friendships over one beef, especially if the offending party is contrite. But a few months later Shermer wrote about me in his Skeptic Magazine, and he presented me as a “racist” (his word). He claimed, falsely, that my historical work was worthless.
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