***Inaugural METRO MONTHLY with Ray Hyman***
Presentation followed by potluck and drinks. Child care provided.
This is our regular monthly meeting at a central location to bring together our members from all over the Portland metro area, and anyone who wants to join us.We’ll have a speaker presentation, discussion or entertainment, followed by a shared potluck lunch.
The Oslo Lounge has a bar, so you can have beer, wine and cocktails with lunch. This is also an opportunity to connect with others in the community, get updated on our activism and what’s going on in the community, talk to Advisory Board members and give input.
Child care will be provided in the Norse Hall’s children’s room.
Please bring a dish suitable for a proper meal to share.
We'll likely have more food than necessary, so plan on joining us even if you are unable to bring food. If possible, label your utensils and serving dishes so the owner can be identified if things are left behind. If you don’t cook, consider a bagged salad with dressing, or a roast chicken from a grocery store.
Today’s speaker and presentation: Ray Hyman is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and a noted critic of parapsychology. Hyman along with James Randi, Martin Gardner and Paul Kurtz is one of the founders of the modern skeptical movement. He is the founder and leader of the Skeptic’s Toolbox. Hyman serves on the Executive Council for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
Today, Prof. Hyman will talk about "Keys to Critical Thinking.“
The talk will begin with a demonstration that shows why anecdotal data cannot be used to justify a claim. Such data are inherently incomplete, non-replicable and untrustworthy. The skeptic should not attempt to apply critical thinking to such claims. The best critical thinking cannot yield useful conclusions given anecdotal data. This is simply the principle of "Garbage In, Garbage Out."
What about claims that are supported by scientific data? The field of parapsychology bases its claims on just such "scientific" data. Critical thinking is also of no use to the skeptic in dealing with such claims. To evaluate such claims the critic needs experience and expertise in scientific method and statistics as well as a knowledge of the parapsychological literature. The skeptic has to rely upon the handful of critics who possess the particular set of skills to evaluate such claims.
To reinforce its lessons, the talk will discuss two examples used by Russell Targ in his book, "The Reality of ESP: A Physicist's Proof of Psychic Abilities." Both examples illustrate the alleged paranormal powers of the late psychic and remote viewer, Pat Price. One is based on anecdotal data and the other on a double-blind experimental test. Targ presents these cases as examples that should convince any rational person that ESP is real.
During our 2013 meetings, we’ll have two Sunday morning and two Friday evening meetings in order to determine which time works best for our members. After that, we’ll pick one consistent time.
11:00am Welcome and announcements
11:10am Presentation and Q&A
12:00am Children join the adults for a potluck lunch, discussion and socializing.
There is a parking lot next to the Norse Hall, where we have limited parking. Street parking is also available.
Note: This meeting also replaces our monthly Sunday brunches and our Nuts+Bolts+Beer meetings, because everything that happens at those meetings will take place at the monthly meeting.
Make it a complete SECULAR SUNDAY. Join us for our concert with Shelley Segal in the evening. Find out the details here.