Thursday, October 13, 2016

Shadow of a Doubt - October 2016

 The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics
  • October 8 - "1177BC: The year civilization collapsed", presented by Prof. Eric Cline
  • October 20 - I Aint Afraid of No Ghost Tour!
  • November 12 Lecture
  • Robert Todd Carroll
  • Torn from today's headlines
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Drinking Skeptically on hiatus
  • Member renewals
NCAS Public Lecture Series

1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
Eric Cline, Ph.D.
Professor of Classics and Anthropology
The George Washington University

Saturday, October 8, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Bethesda Regional Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD
(Bethesda Metro station)

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

From about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world's first recorded Dark Ages. It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today.  Professor Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University will explore why the Bronze Age came to an end and whether the collapse of those ancient civilizations might hold some warnings for our current society.

Considered for a Pulitzer Prize for his recent book 1177 BC, Dr. Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics and Anthropology and the current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. He is a National Geographic Explorer, a Fulbright scholar, an NEH Public Scholar, and an award-winning teacher and author. He has degrees in archaeology and ancient history from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania; in May 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree (honoris causa) from Muhlenberg College.  Dr. Cline is an active field archaeologist with 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience.

Dr. Cline will have a limited number of copies of his book 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed for sale ($15, cash only).

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.


October 20: The "I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost!" Tour

The scary season is nearly upon us! (We're talking about the Halloween season, not the election.)  It'll be an eerie night when we gather on Capitol Hill and make our way past sites of (alleged) supernatural import, sharing spooky claims and the skeptical truth.  This 90-minute walking SkepTour will take us along the National Mall and end at Old Ebbitt Grill, where we'll stop for refreshments before heading home. Thursday, October 20 at 7 PM.  (Rain date, October 21.)  Meet on First Street SE at the Neptune Fountain, in front of the Library of Congress.

November NCAS Lecture

Biophysicist Quinn Spadola, PhD, of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office,  will present her lecture, "Debunking the Nanobot."  Saturday, November 12 at 1:30 PM at National Science Foundation.

Robert Todd Carroll (1945-2016)

Robert Todd Carroll, author of The Skeptic's Dictionary (published online, 1994; as a book, 2003; and in a children's online and book version, 2011) died on August 25.  See NCAS board member Sharon Hill's comments at

Torn From Today's Headlines

By Scott Snell

Nothing torn this month.  But check out Sharon Hill's skeptically-themed news site, Doubtful News (, as well as the blog ( for her book reviews and other writings.

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!

When shopping at, you'll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that a portion of the purchase price (0.5%) goes to NCAS! It's simple and automatic, and it doesn't cost you anything!

AmazonSmile's disbursements to NCAS in the first half of 2016 came to $31.26, meaning that over $6000 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's more than enough to cover one hour of a Montgomery County library lecture room rental: $20).

Thanks again to our members who have chosen to support NCAS!

For more information:


Shadow Light

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Drinking Skeptically

NCAS Drinking Skeptically is on indefinite hiatus at our Maryland and Virginia locations.

Time to Renew?

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