The Killer Bias: How Confirmation Bias Makes Us, Breaks Us, and Takes Us to the Edge of Extinction (And What You Can Do About It.)
No one prides themselves on being close minded – yet all of us are. Indeed, the tendency to eschew ideas that challenge our core beliefs is quite literally built into our DNA. In ancient times this trait promoted tribalism – a shared sense of identity within an isolated group of people – which served to foster cooperation within these tribes. Communities that worked together tended to out-compete those that didn’t, and this fact propagated confirmation bias down through the generations. Back then, the Truth of the world didn’t matter as much as beating out the competition for limited resources. But all of that has changed. Modern science and technology have created a new world; one in which the Truth matters very much. In this talk, we'll trace the evolutionary origins of confirmation bias and explore its potentially catastrophic consequences in modern times. We'll also examine ways to identify the bias in ourselves, and how to manage its effects on our beliefs and decisions. Finally, we’ll talk about how people who understand confirmation bias can help make the world a bit more rational for the benefit of us all.
About the Speaker:
Shawn Carlson is a physicist, a nationally known science writer and skeptic, and an award-winning educator who works to inspire people of all ages to take part in scientific adventures of all kinds. He is the author of five books, founder of the LabRats Science Education Program, a former columnist for Scientific American magazine, and a MacArthur Fellow.
The suggested donation for lecture attendance is $5. Your tax-deductible donations help support the San Diego Skeptic Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to critical and scientific thinking. If you're a frequent attendee, see the welcome desk for joining the membership.
About SD Skeptics:The San Diego Skeptic Society (formerly SDARI) is a community resource that hosts lectures on various topics (science, history, etc) and sponsors prizes in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair every spring.
Lectures start promptly at 7pm. You are welcome to join us for a social hour prior to the event at 6pm. If this is your first event, please come early and introduce yourself!
Please note: The entrance to Joyce Beers Community Center is between two restaurants, Aladdin’s and Panera Bread. The address 3900 Vermont Street should be the most accurate for GPS directions. There is free parking available in the underground lot across the street (behind and under Ralphs / Trader Joes). Parking in the above ground lot is limited to 2 hours and cars have been ticketed / towed for infractions.