Michael Shermer (born in Glendale, California) is a science writer,
historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor
of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating
pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. Shermer also produces
and co-hosts the 13-hour Fox Family television series, "Exploring
the Unknown," and is a monthly columnist for Scientific American
magazine. Shermer was once a fundamentalist Christian, but according
to his book The Science of Good and Evil, is now an agnostic and
an advocate for humanist philosophy.
Shermer received his bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University
in 1976 in Psychology/Biology, his master's degree from California
State University, Fullerton in Experimental Psychology two years
later, and his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in History
of Science in 1991 (with a dissertation entitled "Heretic-Scientist:
Alfred Russel Wallace and the Evolution of Man: A Study on the
Nature of Historical Change").
is the author of several books that attempt to explain the ubiquity
of what in his opinion are irrational or unsubstantiated beliefs.
Why People Believe Weird Things, treats a variey of "weird"
ideas and groups (including cults), in the tradition of the skeptical
writings of Martin Gardner. He has devoted entire books to Holocaust
denial (Denying History, coauthored with Alex Grobman), and to
belief in God (How We Believe).
2004, he appeared in a second season episode of Showtime's popular
series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! called The Bible: Fact
or Fiction?, which sought to debunk the notion that the Bible
is an empirically reliable historical record. Opposing him was
Dr. Paul Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan
is also a cycling enthusiast and was once a marathon bicycle racer;
he helped found the Race Across America and competed several times.
He has produced over a half dozen documentaries on cycling.