Found 11 Result(s)

A Conversation with James Randi

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In a “fireside chat” with Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier, James Randi recalls how he had been approached as a possible leader of a group that would later become CSI and CFI. The 88-year old mentalist also shares his thoughts on Isaac Asimov, Johnny Carson, Carl Sagan, and other influential figures in the skeptic movement. …

Why We Believe – Long After We Shouldn’t

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Carol Tavris explains how all of us—even skeptics—can easily fall prey to bias in order to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of dissonance when we are confronted with ideas which contradict what we believe—or need—to be true. Carol Tavris is a social psychologist, writer, and lecturer who has sought to use the contributions of psychological …

Believe It or Not

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Dr. James Alcock discussed how humans have evolved to make associations between things that have no relationship. Consider for example how prayer gets associated with events in the real world. Critical thinking is actually one of the last intellectual skills human children develop. Dr. James Alcock is Professor of Psychology at York University in Toronto, …

Investigating vs. Debunking

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Although “debunking” is a popular term among skeptics, Joe Nickell argues that focusing on debunking is actually antithetical to the purpose of skepticism. Nickell instead implores skeptics to focus their efforts on something much more akin to the scientific method—investigating. Joe Nickell, is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). He is …

God’s Own Medicine

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Paul Offit tackles the timely topic of the opioid epidemic in the United States by first detailing the rich history of opium usage, which dates back thousands of years. While opioid addiction has long been a concern, Offit goes on to argue that our current crisis stems from the modern-day medical profession’s over-willingness to prescribe …

Applied Metaphysics

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Lawrence Krauss explains—in a manner accessible to non-physicists—how the Universe came into being, and shows how much of the evidence from experimental physics supports that which is posited by theoretical physicists. Lawrence Krauss is director of the Origins Project at ASU and Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Physics …

Why Skepticism?

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Ron Lindsay asks, “Why are we here?” That is, why do skeptics and skeptic organizations have conferences, publish magazines, and focus their efforts on “soft targets” like bigfoot and homeopathy? Lindsay pushes back against the cynics and makes the case for the importance of skepticism in bridging the gap between the scientific community and the …

Surviving the Misinformation Age

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We all know the internet is ripe with misinformation, but David Helfhand argues the problem is more serious than we realize. Helfhand explains the damaging effect internet misinformation has on our thinking and on our beliefs, and warns that even skeptics aren’t immune from believing falsehoods they read online. David J. Helfand, a CSI Fellow, …

Functional Medicine

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Harriet Hall delves into the world of “functional medicine,” a form of alternative medical care with no clear definition and unimpressive results. While practitioners make excuses for the lack of evidence behind functional medicine, Hall has one word to explain it: bullshit. Harriet Hall, MD, is a retired family physician and Air Force flight surgeon …

Confidence Games

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Maria Konnikova is a journalist and author, currently a contributing writer for The New Yorker. In her presentation she discusses the sinister methods of con artists and the vulnerabilities they take exploit in their victims, which is the topic of her most recent book, The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time. Konnikova says …

A Conversation with Richard Dawkins

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In a special live presentation at CSICon 2016 in Las Vegas, Richard Dawkins is joined by magician Jamy Ian Swiss for an unscripted and spirited conversation covering a wide range of topics, including skepticism’s history in stage magic, what it means to be a skeptic versus other identifying labels, finding the beauty in science, and …