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1000 Questions asks eight earth-shattering technology questions of today's most compelling personalities.

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Michael Shermer
Edited by Brian Dunning

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Skeptic MagazineIn any given debate on the merits of anything pseudoscientific, you're likely to find Dr. Michael Shermer on the side of fact and reason. Interestingly, even in the 21st century, fighting on the side of fact and reason turns out to be a full time job. Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at Caltech, and the co-host and producer of the 13-hour Fox Family television series, Exploring the Unknown.

He is the author of In Darwin's Shadow, about the life and science of the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace. He also wrote The Borderlands of Science, about the fuzzy land between science and pseudoscience, and Denying History, on Holocaust denial and other forms of historical distortion. His book How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God, presents his theory on the origins of religion and why people believe in God.

Why People Believe Weird ThingsHe is also the author of Why People Believe Weird Things, a book that was widely and positively reviewed and landed on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list as well as the New Sciences science books bestseller list in England. Dr. Shermer is also the author of Teach Your Child Science and co-authored Teach Your Child Math and Mathemagics.

Dr. Shermer now takes a crack at answering our 1000 Questions, with no divine assistance whatsoever:

0001. In all of history, what is your favorite invention?

The invention of inventing--the creative process as witnessed in science and technology, and the organized process of inventing as something humans can do to improve life.

0010. What do you hope will be invented next?

A process to eliminate errors in cell division (e.g., those that lead to cancer), and a process to eliminate the limits to cell division (that lead to aging).

0011. What do you hope will never be invented?

A machine that would replace sex.

0100. What would you un-invent if you could?

The televangelist.

0101. What popular invention do you consider the most ridiculous?

Motorized bicycles: what's the point? Either pedal under your own power and get some exercise, or just get a damn motorcycle and do it right.

Seven of Nine0110. If marooned on a desert island, what three technological devices would you bring with you?

1. Satellite phone
2. Water desalinizer
3. The borg robot from Star Trek Voyager, Seven of Nine

0111. If you had to revert and freeze the world's technology at a particular time in history, what year would you choose and why?

Today, because we live in the golden age of now.

1000. If you found yourself sitting at a Unix terminal as Earth's last hope while, outside, aliens were wiping out humanity, what would you type?

"We are a borg-like race of Homer Simpsons and when you kill us all off you become him."

Michael Shermer

Visit Michael Shermer's web page.

1000 More Questions:

Kari Byron
Mythbuster

Robert X. Cringely
Tech industry observer

Margaret Easley
Actress

Susan Egan
Broadway, Film, and TV star

Robert Goerman
Paranormal investigator

Grant Imahara
Mythbuster

Anne Kerry Ford
Singer and actress

Robert Llewellyn
Actor, Writer

Holly McPeak
Pro beach volleyball player

Ted Nugent
Rock legend

Neal Pollack
Author

James Randi
Pseudoscientific demystifier

Lisa Richard
Tech exec turned singer

Michael Shermer
Publisher, Skeptic Magazine