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Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Philosophy, Science, Skepticism | 4 comments

We have the extraordinary evidence!

Over at Talking Philosophy I have published a version of my TAM 2013 talk in two hopefully manageable parts. The talk was entitled: “We have the extraordinary evidence! Science, skepticism, and denialism.”TAM talk 1

Since I never simply read a speech – even if I have a script, I always cut out stuff, reword things, add material extempore – what appears there is a reconstruction. However, my memory is pretty good, and I think it is pretty close to what you’ll hear when the talk becomes available on YouTube, courtesy of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), which is, by the way, a wonderful organisation that merits your support.

Damion Reinhardt has commented briefly on my talk in this post, in which he reflects briefly on his experience at TAM. He says: “Watch Russell Blackford’s talk when it comes out on video. The modern view of the world as free of invisible ineffable minds (souls, spirits, ancestors, gods, etc.) and other magical properties is not intuitive for most people and cultures, it was hard fought and hard won.”

My thanks, once again, to JREF, and to Jerry Coyne for the photograph on the left – and to other friends who’ve provided great photographs of the occasion. The whole convention was a highlight of my life and career; and my friends who attended, friends old and new, certainly helped make it so.

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    most of you will not survive Armageddon!topic/alt.prophecies.nostradamus/Czf7l8637ow

  • Pingback: Taking a Vacation from Unreason: the TAM 2013 wrap-up | Great Plains Skeptic()

  • Africa

    What arguments do I use to convince someone that science is superior knowledge to indigenous creation stories?

  • RussellBlackford

    It would be nice if there was a magic bullet. Unfortunately, there isn’t. It can be hard to know where to start when you are confronted with people who are not well educated in how scientific findings were incrementally established, building cumulatively. What we really need is better education in these things, because arguing with people who are ignorant can often be harder than people who have the basic education that is required.

    You can get someone to read a book like Why Evolution is True or The Greatest Show on Earth, if the issue is evolutionary theory. Those books set out the arguments in a powerful and commonsensical way. But if you are faced with a true, dyed-in-the-wool epistemic relativist you may be wasting your time.

  • opsarchangel22

    did he get the paper towel right?

    we’ve hijacked TAM 2013 tags on ytube…. these liars need full exposure