Competitions are regularly run in the printed magazine but some competitions are also run here. If you wish to propose a competition or would like to donate a prize, please contact digest [at]

The Skeptic Magazine (UK), in partnership with The Amaz!ng Meeting London 2010, would like to offer you the opportunity to win a press pass for TAM London, and the chance to write a review for this magazine. The event, twice as big as last year, is being covered by national newspapers, TV and radio, as well as popular podcasts TAM London 2010 bannerand blogs, and The Skeptic would like you to represent it as a writer.

To enter, write an original 200-word article reviewing a recent sceptical, science, or free-thinking event, or lecture, in the style you would write yourTAM London review. Or, use your imagination and review something unexpected (but relevant!).

The deadline for entries is Friday, September 20th. All entries will be anonymised and shortlisted, and a judging panel from The Skeptic will choose the winner. You can submit your entry and view the terms and conditions at

Update: We are pleased to announce the winner of the competition and the press pass to TAM London is Nathalie Nahai. Further details and Nathalie’s winning entry will follow.

The Skeptic has two tickets (worth £60 total) to Questival, a freethinking event organised by The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies and Leeds Atheist Society, and sponsored by theBritish Humanist Association.

To win the tickets, email with your answer to the following:

What activity, event or product would you like sceptical groups to hold or develop within the UK?

The tickets will be given to the individual who submits the idea judged to be the best, by staff from The Skeptic and by any other nominated judge(s). Responses should be concise and feasible. The competition will close at midnight (GMT) on Saturday 07/08/2010. By submitting ideas, you agree they may be used or developed at a future point.

Tickets can alternatively be purchased through the BHA, though do so quickly as they are selling well.

Read more….

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This essay tied for third place in the Mary Evans Picture Library competition. It appears here unedited.

For the purpose this essay, religion is defined as belief that the natural world is controlled by supernatural forces, which may be influenced by humans. Mary Evans and many other people, including myself, are of the opinion that religion is absurd and irrational, and that truly religious people are deluded.

This is not to say that everyone who claims allegiance to a religion is deluded. There are many reasons, other than genuine belief, for declaring such allegiance. Children commonly believe what they are told by people they trust, and will recite religious doctrines and stories without understanding their significance. Some adults just carry on reciting what they learned as children without thinking about the beliefs. Others join in religious groups without believing, because they suppose a religious group has beneficial practical effects, or for other social and expedient reasons, and these include some who would lose their livelihoods if they admitted to their unbelief.

Read more: Essay Competition: Religion and Delusion by Donald Rooum

This essay tied for third place in the Mary Evans Picture Library competition. It appears here unedited.

In December 2007 Terry Pratchett, author of the best-selling Discworld novels, was diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease[1].  He characteristically described his situation as ‘an embuggerance’ and wished to maintain an optimistic attitude.  In one interview he said, ‘We should be aware that it’s an illness, it’s not some visitation from heaven. This is something that can’t be repeated often enough…It’s not something to be ashamed of.  It’s not because you’ve done something wrong.’[2] In an interesting twist, he later reported what some may describe as a religious experience.

Read more: Essay Competition: If God Is A Delusion – Why Bother? by Michael J. Rush