This course was taught at Portland State University.
Excerpt from Syllabus
“What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.”
“That which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”
“Feeling better is not actually being better. Heroin also makes people feel better, but I wouldn’t recommend using heroin.”
This course examines basic issues in philosophy of science through an analysis of creation “science,” faith healing, UFO abduction stories, and other pseudoscience. Some of the questions addressed: What distinguishes science from pseudoscience? Why does evidence matter? Must we invoke the supernatural to explain certain aspects of reality?
By the end of this course, students should have:
- Developed a healthy skepticism.
- Formulated beliefs on the basis of reason and evidence.
- Improved their critical thinking skills.
- Designed experiments to test (pseudoscientific) claims.
- Developed tools to discern reality from “makebelieveland”.