Scientific Skepticism: Perception vs. Reality

Perception v. Reality gets a reboot for the era of "fake news." We will look at how we think and analyze information to reach conclusions about what is true or real. Explore techniques used by those who wish to influence us to buy their products or ideas. Gain confidence evaluating information and coming to your own conclusions. Each week we will look at a new topic. For example: What is Fake News? Are GMOs harmful Frankenfood? Are ghosts real? How do psychics make their predictions? Do vaccines cause autism? Are crop circles created by aliens or pranksters? What about probiotics, ear candles, homeopathy or overpopulation? We will do demonstrations whenever possible and look for evidence for what to believe and what to discard as untrue. There will be a strong emphasis on psychological processes and the scientific method. Also look at how logical fallacies can lead us astray and what we can do to choose what to believe and what not to believe in a rational way. Of course, the final decision about what is real or true will always be left for each individual to decide for him/herself.

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