Michael Shermer: The Believing Brain

From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

The EWU President’s Forum for Critical Thought is a lecture series presented by the Daniel and Margaret Carper Foundation.

Michael Shermer
The Believing Brain book cover

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017

7 p.m., Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, Spokane

Michael Brant Shermer is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. The Skeptics Society currently has over 55,000 members. Shermer also engages in debates on topics pertaining to pseudoscience and religion in which he emphasizes scientific skepticism.

The Believing Brain is New York Times bestselling author Michael Shermer's comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed and extinguished.

Synthesizing 30 years of research, Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs. The brain, he argues, is a belief engine that naturally looks for and finds patterns that explain why things happen and these patterns become beliefs. Shermer provides real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal to demonstrate why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether a belief matches reality.

Shermer is also the producer and co-host of the 13-hour Fox Family television series Exploring the Unknown. Since April 2001, he has been a monthly columnist for Scientific American magazine with his Skeptic column. He is also a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

People needing accommodation should contact 509.624.1200 (Spokane) or 509.359.6081 (Cheney).

For more information, contact Laura Thayer at 509.359.6901 or lthayer3@ewu.edu.

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