Michael Shermer Sizzle Reel

broadcast March 2017

See clips from Dr. Michael Shermer’s most noted media appearances including: twice on the Colbert Report, Larry King Live with UFOlogists, CNN, and other news shows debating creationists and Intelligent Design advocates, and other highlights from his 25 year career as a public intellectual.

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4 reasons why people ignore facts and believe fake news

broadcast March 2017

This op-ed appeared on BusinessInsider.com on March 18, 2017.

The new year has brought us the apparently new phenomena of fake news and alternative facts, in which black is white, up is down, and reality is up for grabs.

The inauguration crowds were the largest ever. No, that was not a “falsehood,” proclaimed by Kellyanne Conway as she defended Sean Spicer’s inauguration attendance numbers: “our press secretary…gave alternative facts to that.”

George Orwell, in fact, was the first to identify this problem in his classic Politics and the English Language (1946). In the essay, Orwell explained that political language “is designed to make lies sound truthful” and consists largely of “euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.”

But if fake news and alternative facts is not a new phenomenon, and popular writers like Orwell identified the problem long ago, why do people still believe them? Well, there are several factors at work.

Continue reading at BusinessInsider.com.

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Michael Shermer in Reasons to Believe

broadcast February 2017

Reasons to Believe is a thought-provoking documentary by filmmaker Ben Fama Jr., that explores the psychology and science of belief and why we believe, sometimes falsely, in things that may not match up with reality. Facilitated by leaders in the fields of science, philosophy, neuroscience, moral reasoning, psychology, perception, memory formation, and indoctrination, these experts answer a variety of thought provoking questions and provide tangible structure to the definition and creation of belief in the human brain. Fama asks the question: Why do we believe?

Starring: Michael Shermer, Peter Boghossian, Jennifer Whitson, Caleb Lack and Chad Woodruff. Official website

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Michael Shermer and Dave Rubin: Skepticism & Conspiracy Theories

broadcast January 2016

Michael Shermer (author, skeptic) and Dave Rubin discuss skepticism, morality, conspiracy theories, political issues like gun control, abortion, libertarianism, and more.

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Michael Shermer on Reasonable Doubt at TEDxGhent

broadcast July 2015

Michael Shermer explains how a scientific way of thinking manages to improve the world in various kinds of ways. He describes how science and reason lead humanity toward truth, justice and freedom. “As democracy increases, violence decreases” is the theme of his talk. He discusses the death penalty, women and gay rights and so much more. He states that within these delicate issues, rationality and abstract thinking are the keys to increased awareness and democracy.

Learn more about Michael Shermer’s book, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom on the official website.

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