In this week’s eSkeptic:
- MonsterTalk: A Tiger by the Tale
- Feature: Gimme That New-Time Religion!
- Distinguished Science Lecture: Dr. Carol Tavris — Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
- The Amazing Meeting 2014: July 10–13, South Point Casino, Las Vegas
- Our Next Geology Tour: Grand Canyon, Zion & Bryce (Jun. 13–20, 2014)
MonsterTalk # 81
A Tiger by the Tale
Are mysterious large cats killing livestock and stalking the wilds of Australia? Dr. David Waldron returns to MonsterTalk to discuss his research on alien big cats down under: Snarls from the Tea-Tree: Big Cat Folklore, co-written with Simon Townsend.
David Waldron and Simon Townsend describe the history and evidence for strange misplaced large cats reported in Australia. Farm animals are being killed — but what is the culprit? Zoo escapees? Unknown native cats? Giant feral cats? From folklore to fact, Snarls from the Tea Tree gives a meticulous historical timeline of reports of these animals. In cryptozoology, these kinds of reports are often called “Alien Big Cats” or “ABCs.” Waldron was previously on MonsterTalk to discuss black dog legends of England.
About this week’s eSkeptic
In this week’s eSkeptic, Donald Prothero reviews Karen Stollznow’s book, God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States (Pitchstone Publishing, 2013, ISBN: 978-1939578006).
Dr. Donald R. Prothero was Professor of Geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He earned M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in geological sciences from Columbia University in 1982, and a B.A. in geology and biology (highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of California, Riverside. He is currently the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 32 books and over 250 scientific papers, including five leading geology textbooks. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, and the Linnaean Society of London, and has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Check out Donald Prothero’s page at Shop Skeptic.
DISTINGUISHED SCIENCE LECTURE
Dr. Carol Tavris — Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Renowned social psychologist Dr. Carol Tavris takes a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right — a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong.
Dr. Tavris is a social psychologist and author of Anger and The Mismeasure of Woman. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Scientific American, and many other publications. This lecture is based on her book, co-authored with Dr. Elliot Aronson.
You play a vital part in our commitment to promote science and reason. If you enjoyed this Distinguished Science Lecture, please show your support by making a donation.