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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2009 :  10:37:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

I'll be going to see Michael Shermer do a talk in nearby Fremont on March 4.

Anyone have suggestions for what I might ask him, assuming I have the opportunity? (Other than about his Libertarianism, that is. I hope that doesn't even come up.)




Shermer seems to pride himself on understanding how the human mind has evolved to believe in such utter nonsense as the supernatural et. al.

So maybe something along those lines. I like Shermer and would probably throw him a softball like that.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2009 :  11:59:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by astropin

Originally posted by HalfMooner

I'll be going to see Michael Shermer do a talk in nearby Fremont on March 4.

Anyone have suggestions for what I might ask him, assuming I have the opportunity? (Other than about his Libertarianism, that is. I hope that doesn't even come up.)




Shermer seems to pride himself on understanding how the human mind has evolved to believe in such utter nonsense as the supernatural et. al.

So maybe something along those lines. I like Shermer and would probably throw him a softball like that.
Thanks! I'll try to figure how to phrase that.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  00:21:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just got back from Dr. Michael Shermer's lecture.

I liked it.

Shermer spend but a moment on Adam Smith, so that wasn't much of a drag. I'm a lot more hostile to religion than is Shermer, who stated that churches helped a lot with Hurricane Katrina relief, whereas not just the Bush Administration, but government in general is incompetent with emergency relief. It seems to me that Shermer thinks Adam Smith was as great a scientist as Darwin.

Generally, despite my personal differences with issues he spent little time upon, Shermer presented a strong lecture on general skepticism, focusing especially on how people use an instinctual capacity to create patterns even when there's nothing there to create various woo sightings in their heads. At the end of his presentation, Shermer took questions. When someone asked Shermer about how religion fit into the false patterns he had talked about, he hinted that he'd been asked not to get into matters of god, but answered anyway.

One guy insisted that evolutionists and ID Creationists could compromise. No, said Shermer, in this case, one side is simply right, the other one wrong. The overflow crowd in Ohlone College's Smith Center agreed with Shermer. A later questioned puckishly proposed that the Flat Earth and the Spherical Earth Theories should compromise and agree on some mid-way theory.

There was no need for me to ask astropin's question, as Shermer had explained that all woo springs from humanity's pattern-forming capacity.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 03/07/2009 00:27:17
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25803 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  00:49:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

...focusing especially on how people use an instinctual capacity to create patterns even when there's nothing there to create various woo sightings in their heads.
Like how Adam Smith was a great scientist?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  01:33:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by HalfMooner

...focusing especially on how people use an instinctual capacity to create patterns even when there's nothing there to create various woo sightings in their heads.
Like how Adam Smith was a great scientist?
He didn't go into that, nor actually say Smith was a scientist. But at one point he brought up Adam Smith and "The Wealth of Nations" in much the same manner as he brought up scientific studies. It was almost a though he felt compelled to promote his Libertarian ideas in a couple of sentences when otherwise giving a good talk against most kinds of woo.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25803 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  01:57:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

He didn't go into that, nor actually say Smith was a scientist. But at one point he brought up Adam Smith and "The Wealth of Nations" in much the same manner as he brought up scientific studies. It was almost a though he felt compelled to promote his Libertarian ideas in a couple of sentences when otherwise giving a good talk against most kinds of woo.
Yeah, that's what I was joking about: Shermer's "instinctual capacity to create patterns even when there's nothing there to create" regarding the allegedly free market.

Kil and I (and probably a few others) have noted that even extremely good skeptics seem to be blinkered about something. It seems like no matter how evidence-based a person is, if you trot out enough different subjects in front of them, eventually you'll find that one special thing which drives that person right off the rails into dogmatic oblivion. Libertarianism may be Shermer's Achilles' Heel in that regard.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  02:04:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, yeah, I can see how that could well be, even from my slight knowledge of Shermer.

BTW there was a "guest star" sitting just in front of me. Shermer recognized him in the audience, came off the stage, vigorously shook the guy's hand, and chatted with him before the talk. Then Shermer introduced him to the crowd at the beginning of his speech to great applause. (WTF???) It was Yau-Man Chan, of "Survivor: Micronesia."


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 03/07/2009 02:09:13
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25803 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  07:17:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

BTW there was a "guest star" sitting just in front of me. Shermer recognized him in the audience, came off the stage, vigorously shook the guy's hand, and chatted with him before the talk. Then Shermer introduced him to the crowd at the beginning of his speech to great applause. (WTF???) It was Yau-Man Chan, of "Survivor: Micronesia."
You should have looked him up on Wikipedia. He's more famous for being on Survivor: Figi, but probably the real reason he got lots of applause at the Shermer gig was this:
In April, 2008, Yau-Man will be working on a pilot for a skeptical reality show called The Skeptologists. The pilot is being developed by Brian Dunning (of the Skeptoid podcast) and producer Ryan Johnson (American Dragster).

The show will be a reality TV series that investigates the paranormal and fringe science from a skeptical scientific point of view.

Another Skeptologists cast member, Dr. Steven Novella, heads the podcast Skeptics Guide to the Universe, on which Yau-Man is interviewed in the April 12, 2008 episode.
Or, maybe it's because he's also a ping-pong champion.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  10:01:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wonder why do they need a "reality"-show Robinson Crusoe in a skeptical show?

By definition, reality show pretend to be something they are not: real representation of events, while in reality they are bits and pieces stitched together into a coherent narrative, just as efficiently as if they were scripted.
Reality shows, to me, seem deceptive and hence, anti-skeptical...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  11:25:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by HalfMooner

BTW there was a "guest star" sitting just in front of me. Shermer recognized him in the audience, came off the stage, vigorously shook the guy's hand, and chatted with him before the talk. Then Shermer introduced him to the crowd at the beginning of his speech to great applause. (WTF???) It was Yau-Man Chan, of "Survivor: Micronesia."
You should have looked him up on Wikipedia. He's more famous for being on Survivor: Figi, but probably the real reason he got lots of applause at the Shermer gig was this:
In April, 2008, Yau-Man will be working on a pilot for a skeptical reality show called The Skeptologists. The pilot is being developed by Brian Dunning (of the Skeptoid podcast) and producer Ryan Johnson (American Dragster).

The show will be a reality TV series that investigates the paranormal and fringe science from a skeptical scientific point of view.

Another Skeptologists cast member, Dr. Steven Novella, heads the podcast Skeptics Guide to the Universe, on which Yau-Man is interviewed in the April 12, 2008 episode.
Or, maybe it's because he's also a ping-pong champion.
Well, that explains it. Cool.

I don't recall Shermer mentioning any of that about a new show, though he did mention to the audience how Yau-Man opened that supplies box after the burly guys failed.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 03/07/2009 11:33:02
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25803 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  12:22:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

I don't recall Shermer mentioning any of that about a new show...
Well, it was nearly a year ago that the pilot was being filmed.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2009 :  12:31:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by HalfMooner

I don't recall Shermer mentioning any of that about a new show...
Well, it was nearly a year ago that the pilot was being filmed.
Ah, I see. So Shermer assumed he was talking to a crowd of people who were all aware of recent events on earth. And he was nearly right.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  22:45:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2009 :  10:09:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner




Snort

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2009 :  10:33:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Kil and I (and probably a few others) have noted that even extremely good skeptics seem to be blinkered about something. It seems like no matter how evidence-based a person is, if you trot out enough different subjects in front of them, eventually you'll find that one special thing which drives that person right off the rails into dogmatic oblivion. Libertarianism may be Shermer's Achilles' Heel in that regard.


Yes I have noted that as well.

I think mine might be falling for Drexler's & Kurzweil's (et. al.) utopian future with self replicating nonobots and hyper intelligent AI....all within my lifetime. Call it wishful thinking. (Or possibly my worst nightmare....depending on how it goes.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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