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Educational SIG - Skepticism 101: How to Think Like a Scientist

The last in the series of Skepticism 101: How to Think Like a Scientist by Professor Michael Shermer will be at 10:00 am at SHC, 1953 W Grant Rd.

The first lecture is Life, Death, and the Afterlife #17

Is there life after death? This is one of life's compelling questions.

All cultures thought history and around the world have had some form of an afterlife built into their beliefs and religions, and most people believe that when we die, this is not the end of life. This lecture reviews four of the major forms of afterlife belief, along with the phenomenon of near death experience, which provides the best scientific evidence available to us for the possibility of life surviving death. We will learn that evidence does not convince most scientists and what humanity's quest for immortality tells us about how the mind works.

The second lecture is Your Skeptical Toolkit #18

In this course we have covered a broad range of topics related to science and pseudoscience and learned many new skills for thinking like scientists in our personal and professional lives. For each particular claim, we have reviewed how scientists think about it and where our  own thinking often goes wrong. This final lecture outlines some general principles that we can apply to what the great astronomer and skeptic Carl Sagan called " the fine art of baloney detection." The ideas, principles, aphorisms in this lecture constitute what we will call a skeptics' toolkit.

This has been a fun and thought provoking series and has generated much discussion. Many have continued discussions and overall socializing with lunch.

The Educational SIG will not meet again until early fall. Enjoy the summer. I have enjoyed the sessions and look forward to another exciting topic.

We had 27 attendees on May 4th.

Jerry Karches, Host and moderator.

This event is sponsored by FreeThought Arizona.

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  • Don L.

    Great ending to a great program.

    June 1, 2014

  • Jim N.

    For those who missed this one, they missed a good one. The discussions were excellent.

    June 1, 2014

  • Jim N.

    'near death experience, which provides the best scientific evidence available to us for the possibility of life surviving death.' It will be interesting to hear what kind of scientific evidence Shermer provides for this. Having been resuscitated 3 times, 2 of which I had 'out of body' experiences I didn't experience anything that would have led me to believe in an afterlife. Just a lot of neurons starting to 'misfire' causing strange visuals.

    May 6, 2014

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