Essay on Michael Shermer Writes For Septic Magazine

818 Words Mar 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Michael Shermer writes for Septic magazine, which investigates many different scientific and quasi-scientific controversies. He began the talk by demonstrating a device called ADE 651. The ADE 651 was sold to the Iraqi government for 40,000 dollars each. This device work by electrostatic, magnetic ion attraction. Shermer explains how that was simply a big bunch of crock. He discusses how dangerous pseudoscience are and people can be made to believe in any little thing, even a device.
Shermer’s thesis of the talk is “that belief is the natural state of things.” We make the decision to believe or not believe. As human beings, many people want to believe in something. Our beliefs may not all be the same, that explains why some people choose to believe that UFOs exist. We make differences between different things in order to justify our beliefs. For example, an old saying I used to hear as a child was “step on a crack break your mama’s back” or “if you break a mirror you will have seven years bad luck.” Those types of beliefs are superstition, which many people believe is true. Shermer referred to this process as “Patternicity.”
Shermer explained, Patternicity as “the tendency to find meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless noise.” However, Patternicity is a Type I error (false positive), which is believing a pattern is real even it isn’t. Type II error (false negative) is not believing something is real when it is. Shermer states that patternicities “will…

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