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Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things -- from alien abductions to dowsing rods -- boils down to two of the brain's most basic, hard-wired survival skills. He explains what they are, and how they get us into trouble.


Michael Shermer. Anything that asks you to deny demonstrable fact, to force yourself into ignorance, to accept a lie in place of truth, is not a smart move. No wonder violence, crime, neglect, and abuse are so often correlated with religious fervor. The very basis of religious indoctrination, of faith, is forcing a person to deny what is natural, truthful, and human.


Self-Deceptive Patterns : Michael Shermer

5 Why do people see the Virgin Mary on cheese sandwiches or hear demonic lyrics in "Stairway to Heaven"? Using video, images and music, professional skeptic Michael Shermer explores these and other phenomena, including UFOs and alien sightings. He offers cognitive context: In the absence of sound science, incomplete information...


Michael Shermer: Why people believe weird things | Talk Video | - Why do people see the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich or hear demonic lyrics in "Stairway to Heaven"? Using video and music, skeptic Michael Shermer shows how we convince ourselves to believe — and overlook the facts.

from Brain Pickings

The Baloney Detection Kit: A 10-Point Checklist for Science Literacy

The Baloney Detection Kit from Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science via