Science
Monday December 11, 2017

 

 

 

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The Daily Show was heavy on science last night! Stewart launched his comic tirade with the event that rocked the science world back in 2009… Climategate. Did you know a Koch Brothers funded climate skeptic just revealed that climate change is, in fact, real? Probably not since, as Stewart points out, the media isn’t covering the finding as insanely as the initial climate “scandal”… and when I say “isn’t covering the finding as insanely” I mean virtual main stream media blackout. Good job, MSM!
 
Stewart wrapped up his exploration of science in an interview with physicist and author, Lisa Randall, about her new book, Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World, where the two chat about the implications of scientific research in the modern world, why some people are unwilling to accept scientific findings and other topics.
 
I’ve saved the best for last. The comedic moment of the night came between these two bits. Aasif Mandvi's piece on Science was absolutely hilarious. If you’re a scientist or skeptically minded, you may laugh so hard a tear comes to your eye. Mandvi’s piece, Science – What’s It Up To?, contrasts the ridiculous anti-science beliefs of one Fox New's contributor to the real world of science and the result is nothing but spectacular.

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Founding Publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Michael Shermer, recently made an appearance on The Colbert Report to promote his newest Book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies: How we construct beliefs and reinforce them as Truths.

The interview was laden with the irreverent comedy we have all come to expect from Stephen Colbert. At one point, Shermer points out that "there are so many prophets, and they conflict with each other."  To witch Colbert responds "But most of them are false, the Christian ones are true" along with "Jesus misses you."

Humor aside, The Believing Brain promises to be a fascinating look into how our beliefs are formed, how we develop biases and we filter information that reinforces these biases.

Barnes & Noble offers a pretty concise synopsis of what one can expect when opening a copy of Shermer's book.

The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. From sensory data flowing in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning. Our brains connect the dots of our world into meaningful patterns that explain why things happen, and these patterns become beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop of belief confirmation. Shermer outlines the numerous cognitive tools our brains engage to reinforce our beliefs as truths.

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