In my opinion, one of the leading pseudo skeptics of our times is Michael Shermer, who is presented in the following (flattering) terms by Wikipedia, (the same portal that goes out of its way to lead with the opposite rhetoric when it comes to individuals like Handcock).
"Michael Brant Shermer (born September 8, 1954) is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. The Skeptics Society currently has over 55,000 members. Shermer engages in debates on topics pertaining to pseudoscience and religion in which he emphasizes scientific skepticism. Shermer is producer and co-host of the 13-hour Fox Family television series Exploring the Unknown which was broadcast in 1999. From April 2001 to January 2019, he was a monthly contributor to Scientific American magazine with his Skeptic column. He is also a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)."
You would surely think that such an individual is at least competent, but this is simply not the case. If you go to the 1:24 part of this Rogan interview, you will see the part where Jason Colavito offers up this summary of how poorly Shermer carried himself. This portion lasts for about five minutes, is very revealing, and is worth listening to more than once. [www.youtube.com]
"Shermer lets himself look the fool because he lacks the expert’s understanding of the material, falling back instead on generalizations about argumentation. Shermer’s lack of knowledge about the anthropological and archaeological literature of the past 20 years leaves him—to my shock—defending the Clovis-first paradigm![/b] Even an exasperated Graham Hancock can’t believe what he’s hearing and has to school Shermer on the fact that even Hancock concedes that mainstream archaeologists no longer believe in Clovis-first. “I’m not going to put a label on it,” Shermer said when asked point blank whether he believes in Clovis-first (after the following exchange took place).
The gist of what occurred is this. In Magicians, Graham placed strong emphasis on emerging archaeology which suggests or demonstrates that the Asia-to-North American migration precedes the Clovis era, ca 12000 bc, give or take a few millennia. Shermer, in his ignorance, tried to attack Graham on those grounds. Graham then produced an article summary by the Smithsonian, which clearly states that the timeline is now pre-Clovis, dating as far back as 24,000 BC. It's all right there in the interview. Apparently this is now settled archaeology, and Shermer didn't have a clue.
Shermer is often accused of having a shallow understanding of the subjects he comments on. When exposed, he falls back on cliches, like a broken record. He comes across like a total airhead when he does this. Review this exchange, and you will see what I mean.
Predictably then, once exposed, Shermer tried to downplay the Smithsonian summary, by saying that every now and then a researcher comes along trying to challenge the Clovis timeline, and invariably their research is shown to be inadequate.
This is nothing more than empty rhetoric, given what Hancock had presented - that this is apparently settled archaeology and as the Smithsonian summary is the byproduct of not one scientist, but many. When pressed further, Shermer said he got his own idea from some guy he consulted just prior to the interview, some person that Hancock regarded as a dubious source, whose generalization - if correctly attributed - plainly reveals that he didn't know what he was talking about either.
This is text-book pseudo skepticism and, therefore, Ray, Colavito's summary was spot on, in my opinion. One doesn't need an Ivy League diploma or access to a library near Cal Tech to know this. And this is where the pseudo skeptic is so easily Here's what Graham had to say in the aftermath.
Graham - [www.facebook.com]
For those interested in the background it was Michael Shermer, editor of the Skeptic, who repeatedly demanded this debate and pressured Joe Rogan to bring us all together. Less than 24 hours before the show, Shermer asked for Defant to join him as a call in. I then Googled Defant and found his article which, I repeat, has now been taken offline on Michael Shermer's orders. I asked Shermer to have Defant reinstate the article, with its exact original wording, as a matter of public record, but he was unwilling to do so.
Meanwhile I can only conclude that Shermer felt in advance that he would "win" the debate and that nothing he would learn about me or my work during the debate would change his mind in the least. Otherwise how am I to understand the fact that Shermer contributed the following linked article (https://www.scientificamerican.com/…/no-there-wasnt-an-adv…/) for Scientific American which was written some weeks ago and published on the same day that we appeared together for our debate on the JRE? It would have been better science -- and better journalism! -- if Michael had published his Scientific American article AFTER we had me
My only final comment, Graham is probably correct.