Category Archives: Uncategorized

Student choices of topics: Area 51 and the JFK assassination (November 18-22)

The top student choices for our topics this week are Area 51 and the Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy Theories. Classics of our genre! I like these because I’ve done geological fieldwork near Area 51, and I actually remember the Kennedy Assassination … Continue reading

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Pseudoscience and health (November 11-15)

This week we use our skeptical tool kits to examine the pseudoscience and nonsense afflicting our health and medical systems. First up will be that venerable field of homeopathy, a billions-of-dollars industry that literally sells potions with no active ingredients. … Continue reading

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Advising and Research Projects (November 4-8)

This week is devoted to advising in preparation for next week’s epic course registration. Make sure you know where you are on our Advising Week schedule. Linked here is a useful Wooster video to give you a refresher on using … Continue reading

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Holocaust Denial (continued) and GMO controversies (October 28 – November 1)

We intentionally kept this week unscheduled so we could catch up on any topics we need more time for. We also wanted to wait until we see the full range of research and conspiracy topics you chose to study. Watch … Continue reading

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Dangerous denials (October 21-25)

This is going to be a disturbing week. Our topic covers various “denial” movements and their arguments. Our most prominent subject will be Holocaust Denial and its advocates. To understand it, we must have basic knowledge about the Holocaust and … Continue reading

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Fake news! (October 14-18)

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the term “fake news” now has its own Wikipedia page. At first it meant hoaxed news items, but in the Age of Trump it has taken on the role of a pejorative to throw … Continue reading

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Anti-evolution and Intelligent Design (September 30 – October 4)

The United States has a long tradition of anti-evolution activism, almost all of it based in fundamentalist Christianity. Welcome to my world. I’ve been teaching and studying evolution all my professional life and from Day One I’ve had to deal … Continue reading

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Time management and research guidelines (September 23-27)

This is a building week because I’m gone until Wednesday evening. I will be in Phoenix at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America giving this presentation. Here’s our schedule for the week — MONDAY: Met in our … Continue reading

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Psychics and ESP (September 16-20)

Our topic this week is a popular one: psychic phenomena. Let’s start with a review of the whole psychic thing with a Wikipedia summary. Note that the concept is very broad, from self-proclaimed prophets to spurious spoon-benders. When examining psychic … Continue reading

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Conspiracy theories! (September 9-13)

We will start our week with the last half of the Behind the Curve documentary, finish our discussions of the framework for distinguishing science from pseudoscience, and then launch into conspiracy theories. For a grim reminder of the social, civic … Continue reading

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