Let’s Talk About The Vagina, Goop, and The Patriarchy | Jen Gunter

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It is 2018 and yet many people (both women and men) don’t know that IUDs are not abortifacients, eating sugar doesn’t cause a yeast infection, and all vaginas are not one wet bathing suit away from full catastrophe. We are here for many reasons including our collective inability to talk frankly and openly about the …

Conspiracy Theories are for Losers | Joseph Uscinski

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Americans have believed in conspiracy theories since before the United States united. A ceaseless array of conspiracy accusations have demonized witches, Freemasons, foreigners, red coats, black helicopters, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, fifth columns, the government, and more recently, Vladimir Putin. The common assumption is that conspiracy theories are nothing more than the delusions of paranoid minds …

Why We’re All Susceptible To Pseudoscience | Craig Foster

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Does pseudoscience appeal to a certain kind of person, or do social contexts draw regular people into pseudoscience? We examined this issue by conducting survey research at the Texas Bigfoot Conference. The obtained results supported the social perspective. Exposure to pro-Bigfoot arguments and interpreting information in a confirmatory manner likely work together to create certainty …

The Variety of Scientisms & the Limits of Science | Massimo Pigliucci

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Science is by far the most powerful approach to the investigation of the natural world ever devised. Still, it has limits, and there are many areas and questions where the scientific approach is ill suited, or at best provides only pertinent information rather than full answers. The denial of this modest attitude about science is …

Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theories | Mick West

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Millions of people believe that the World Trade Center was demolished with explosives as part of a vast government conspiracy. One of the core pieces of evidence for this belief is the presence of millions of microscopic iron spheres in the WTC dust. It is falsely claimed these microspheres could only have come from the …

Taking On Fake News About Climate Change | John Cook

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There’s overwhelming scientific evidence and consensus that global warming is happening and humans are the cause. However, there’s also a deluge of misinformation designed to confuse the public and generate doubt about climate change. How should we respond to the firehose of falsehoods? One way to neutralize the influence of misinformation is through inoculation. This …

A Science Mom’s Path From Reason, to Oz, and Back Again | Kavin Senapathy

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If skeptics are diametrically opposed to one thing, it’s woo. That’s why Kavin Senapathy took on her new Woo Watch column for Skeptical Inquirer, which explores the alternative health, clean food, and spurious parenting worlds, examines what drives these movements, and, of course, cites the evidence that condemns them. But even though she relishes wielding …

How To Watch For Fact, Folly, or Propaganda | Jim Alcock

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Never in history has so much information been instantly available to so many with so little effort. Anyone with a smart phone and an Internet connection can in a moment access vast amounts of data on just about any subject. However, although it may significantly influence our beliefs, most of this information is unfiltered and …

Battling Bias in Scientific Communication | Troy Campbell

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What are the underlying forces that drive biases around science and how can we fight against them? This talk will explore: Why We Actually Change – :10 Limits of Rhetoric – 3:20 Tools for Change – 3:59 Solution Aversion – 7:00 Implication Management – 11:15 Flight From Facts – 13:05 Power of Social Comparison – …

The Powers, Perversions, And Potential Of Heredity | Carl Zimmer

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In this talk, New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer explores the history of heredity, a concept that has come to define us and yet defies our intuitions. Today, millions of people are getting their DNA sequenced to understand how their ancestry made them who they are, but making sense of these tests demands that we escape mistaken …

Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins in Conversation

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Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins, two of the most respected minds in their respective fields, sit together on the CSICon stage to discuss science, religion, politics, and more. Stephen Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director and all round national treasure. Stephen’s new book, Mythos, his unique retelling …

Tying up Creationism in the Classroom | Bertha Vazquez

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The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES) is a project of the Center for Inquiry. After decades of legal and legislative wins for evolution education, it is still difficult for many teachers to teach the unifying theme of biology without pushback from students and parents. As science standards across the country improve to include middle …

Steven Pinker On Enlightenment Now: Is The World Getting Better Or Worse?

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If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred, and irrationality. But this is an illusion: a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trend lines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, richer, happier, and more peaceful—not just …

Secrets of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Genius Mind | Massimo Polidoro

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How did the genius mind of Leonardo Da Vinci think? What were the secrets that went into his amazing abilities? What went into his mind when he was faced with a problem, an enigma or a mystery? How can we use his habits and ways of reasoning to become better thinkers? Massimo Polidoro dives into …

Sex, Evolution, And How The Patriarchy Gets It Wrong | Abby Hafer

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Do you ever wonder about the history of evolution and sex? Abby Hafer guides you through some common misunderstandings about sex, including misconceptions about the gender binary. Using examples from the animal kingdom, Abby debunks ideas about what is “natural” or “unnatural” regarding both sex and gender roles and discusses the problems of a morality …