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October 27, 2010

Who is (Prof) Michael Shermer?

Joshua Blakeney

More by this author...

Here is the latest YouTube installment depicting the unfolding saga implicating Michael Shermer, Claremont Graduate University and University of Lethbridge:

Michael Shermer delivered a lecture at the University of Lethbridge on September 23, 2010:

entitled "Why People Believe Weird Things," in which he attempted to discredit those who are skeptical about 9/11 by conflating such investigators with Holocaust Deniers and UFO spotters.

Stunned and perplexed by this substandard approach to 9/11 studies Professor Hall and I resolved to critically investigate Shermer, suspecting that he could not possibly be someone who has had to meet the rigorous standards of peer-review as is the case with authentic scholars.

When Professor Hall discovered that Michael Shermer was not on the list of Adjunct Professors of Economics on the website of Claremont Graduate University:

he contacted, Dr. Jean Schroedel, Dean of the School of Politics and Economics at Claremont.

Dean Schroedel replied that she has "absolutely no idea who this man [Shermer] is."

Professor Hall then contacted, Dr. Joseph C. Hough, the President of Claremont Graduate University who opined "I did not know anything about Professor Shermer until I received your email and did some quick research...He [Shermer] does not hold any term or permanent appointment in the University."

These testimonies from the people who would know who is and who isn't a professor at Claremont imply that Michael Shermer was mischaracterizing his institutional affiliations when he characterized himself on his website and elsewhere as Adjunct Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University.

Shermer has subsequently revised his various online biographies removing the epithet "of Economics" but retaining the description of himself as an "Adjunct Professor" at Claremont.

On his Facebook page Shermer still describes himself as Adjunct Professor of Economics.

If the University of Lethbridge for one reason or another advertised Shermer's credentials inaccurately they should make some kind of public statement correcting such misrepresentations and apologizing to those who attended the lecture thinking that they were going to see a scholarly, professorial performance.

One would assume that universities such as Claremont Graduate University and the University of Lethbridge would take the issue of accurately depicting academic credentials seriously. After all, how are students supposed to ascertain whether or not they are being taught by real or pretend professors if these institutions do not make unambiguous statements decrying Shermer's apparent mischaracterizations?

How do the genuine economics professors at Claremont, who have worked hard to attain their appellations, feel when they see Shermer's unscholarly approach to research and discourse being associated with their department?

Many universities and alternative institutions of learning such as TED have apparently been fooled by Shermer who has been legitimating his bizarre arguments by invoking the title of Adjunct Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University.

If he has been able to hoodwink so many institutions of higher learning regarding his credentials what else have such institutions been deceived about?

Has the truth about 9/11 also been suppressed in such a manner? This fiasco offers an insight into the degradation and failings of the academy in the post-9/11 Age of Mythology & Superstition.

When Michael Shermer responded to my interventions with him and his accomplice, Professor Zak, he contacted the administration at the University of Lethbridge where I am a graduate student studying 9/11 related topics.

Far from being intimidated by Shermer's actions, I was pleased to hear that the administration was being notified that I was attempting to uphold the name of the University of Lethbridge by investigating a potential fake-professor.

Shermer, out of nowhere, started making statements that he is "not an agent of disinformation for the U.S. government" during our email exchanges.

Neither Professor Hall nor I had raised this subject with Shermer. But, seeing as Shermer raises the subject, it might be worthwhile to locate the institutions and individuals who funnel money into Shermer's various projects such as Skeptic magazine which teach people to be unskeptical of those in power.

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On July 7, 2024 in Toronto, Canada, Dimitri Lascaris delivered a speech on the right to resist oppression.

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