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Posts Tagged ‘superstition’

Carl Sagan explains the common roots of the science of Astronomy and the art of Astrology–and why astrology remains within the realm of pseudo-science and superstition.

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In one of his last public addresses, astronomer Carl Sagan discusses how his wonder about the universe was awakened by the stars and the sun. He continues on issues regarding Science, superstition, religion, faith, education, skepticism, and Humanism.

Sagan describes how science rewards those who disprove ideas, which is the ideological opposite in politics, religion and other social constructs: which reward those who reassure or reinforce existing ideas–which is the fundamental reason why science has progressed so much, while other social constructs have stagnated.

He speaks of the internal corrective mechanism in science: that all scientists acknowledge fallibility of ideas. He says: “be willing to surrender your ideas” meaning criticism and critical thinking is at the core of science.

He also talks about the dangers of pseudo-science, which has a tendency to crowd out genuine science in the popular imagination.

Further parts follow: (more…)

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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 can combine with the power of suggestion (helping us hear those Satanic lyrics in Led Zeppelin). In fact, he says, humans tend to convince ourselves to believe: We overvalue the “hits” that support our beliefs, and discount the more numerous “misses.”

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In a previous documentary, Richard Dawkins examined organized faiths such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, their roots, and their congregations.

In a second instalament, Dawkins turns his critical eye on organized superstitions such as astrology, psychics, new age, and sprituality.

These ideas greatly influence modern society and sway people against rational thought.

Check out Dawkins’ further journey here.

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