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Skeptics Supper Central - Scientific Disagreements
This month, let's discuss what happens when reasonable scientists disagree. This isn't like our previous discussion, where "scientists" who support creationism make things up in order to "disagree" with secular scientists, this topic is centered on how scientists professionally disagree. Kicking it off was an article Randall sent me about competing theories regarding the mass extinction of dinosaurs around 66 million years ago. Was it an asteroid impact which decimated the dinosaurs? Or was the extinction underway before that event? See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/09/dinosaur-extinction-debate/565769/ What about Lynn Margulis and the argument that eukaryotic cells evolved from the symbiosis of more than one living entity? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiogenesis When scientists disagree, what biases come into play? Note that in the two examples above, both proponents of challenging hypotheses/theories were female. What role did gender play in the greater resistance to those ideas? We often state that science changes its mind with new evidence, but this is no absolute or immediate shift in support. What causes scientific revolutions to finally snowball into acceptance of better ideas and how does the gender/race of those arguing those new ideas come into play? Let's discuss the making of new scientific ideas into accepted theories and all the ways in which science balances evidence-based shifts with resistance to sudden change.

Super Buffet

5471 Fruitville Rd · Sarasota, FL

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What we're about

The Suncoast Skeptics is a group which values critical thinking and rational, evidence-based decision-making. We are passionate about a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, science, epistemology, social issues, morality, and, obviously, pragmatic skepticism.

Are you someone who has a thick skin and enjoys having your beliefs and biases challenged? Do you have a rational mind and a thirst for learning new things? Do you believe that doubt is valuable, that not knowing all the answers is something which drives us to explore the world? Are you willing to accept convincing evidence over wild speculation? Do you possess a curiosity which keeps you expanding your understanding of yourself and reality? If so, this is the group for you.

Our group members come from many backgrounds and hold a diversity of beliefs on many issues. Most are atheists or non-religious, and we do tend to be liberal / progressive on many issues. Most of us are humanists and wish to reduce the harm we see in the world. But those are not universal or required traits. So long as you bring to the table patience, polite debate, and challenging ideas, you might enjoy joining us!

We meet regularly for Sunday morning brunches, Wednesday dinners, and trivia nights. Many of our meetings are discussions where attendees talk about important issues of the day. Some of the topics we've covered over the years include choosing authorities and sources, gun control, alternative medical treatments, organic crops, space exploration, public education, and the economics of Star Trek, just to name a few.

Through 2017, the Suncoast Skeptics have largely been a social discussion group, but things are in motion to build a new platform within the group. We're adopting explicit Humanistic values and will be looking for ways in which the group can provide service to our Sarasota and Manatee communities through charity works, volunteerism, and educational outreach. If this sounds like something you would like to see move forward, please let us know!

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