Our next educational SIG, Skepticism 101: How to Think Like a Scientist will be held on February 23rd.,10am at SHC, 1953 W Grant Rd.The two lectures presented by Professor Michael Shermer on a CD from The Teaching Company will be the following:
Science, History, and Pseudohistory #11The topic is on the subject of bad history. A skeptical outlook on bad history is as important as it is in countering the claims of pseudoscience.Bad history not only misinforms us about our past, but it can be used by people who have their own agendas to distort our understanding of the present.For that reason, history's findings, like those of science, must always be subjected to careful and ongoing analysis.
The Lure of Conspiracy Theories #12Lecture #11, we saw how alternative historians rewrite the past to suit their present beliefs. When asked why mainstream historians do not accept theiraccounts is that there is a vast conspiracy against them. Conspiracy theorists have accused various groups of assassinating President Kennedy, have claimedthat the Bush administration planned the 911 attacks, and most recently, have accused the Obama administration of executing the Sandy Hook ElementarySchool shootings as a pretense to abolish the Second Amendment. Such fantastical claims foment suspicion and could, under the right circumstances, causepolitical and social disruption. In this lecture, we will look at conspiracy theories, an area in dire need of skepticism.
As always we discuss the lectures in class and socialize about noon at a close by restaurant.Come join us. It is always a lively and stimulating conversation in class and over lunch.
Jerry Karches, moderator and someone who tries to restrain freethinking skeptics from getting too verbose.
This event is sponsored by FreeThought Arizona.