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neuroscience

Steven Hassan — Combating Cult Mind Control, Freedom of Mind, and The Cult of Trump

Shermer and Hassan discuss: types of cults, their characteristics • cult leader profiles • the influence continuum • mind control • brainwashing • Project MK-ULTRA • Scientology • NXIVM • strip search hoax • social media mind control • neuroscience of mind control • authoritarian mindset • Trump’s mind-control techniques • breaking free of cults.

Cracking History: Chiropractic’s Secret Origin

Illustration by Ástor Alexander

The origin of chiropractic medicine has long been under dispute, with most modern chiropractors denying that its purported founder, D.D. Palmer, copied osteopathy. Yet, the two schools of thought were nearly identical at their beginnings, and just a few hours apart by railway. Further, chiropractic was “discovered” the same year—1895—that the first class of the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) was graduated. Chiropractors dismiss the sudden emergence of chiropractic so near in time and space to the ASO as a one-in-a-million coincidence. This article shows why one-in-a-million is not a coincidence.

Dacher Keltner — Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life

Shermer and Keltner discuss: the death of his brother and how this led to his study of awe • an operational definition of awe • the reliability (or unreliability) of self-report data in social science • how to quantify and measure the experience of awe • What are emotions and how can they be measured? • How has the scientific understanding of emotions changed? • predictors of awe: nature, music, art, dance, movement/exercise, love & friendships • awe in moral beauty • how to train yourself to experience awe • how awe helps heal traumas, grief, and loneliness • mystical experiences, spirituality, and awe restorative justice and awe.

Ogi Ogas — Journey of the Mind: How Thinking Emerged from Chaos

Michael Shermer speaks with computational neuroscientist, Ogi Ogas, about his unified account of the mind that explains how consciousness, language, self-awareness, and civilization arose incrementally out of chaos, and how leading cities and nation-states are developing “superminds,” and perhaps planting the seeds for even higher forms of consciousness.

eSkeptic for April 2, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with computational neuroscientist, Ogi Ogas, about his unified account of the mind that explains how consciousness, language, self-awareness, and civilization arose incrementally out of chaos, and how leading cities and nation-states are developing “superminds,” and perhaps planting the seeds for even higher forms of consciousness.

Imagining the Future with Reality Game Designer and Futurist Jane McGonigal

Shermer speaks with world-renowned future forecaster and game designer, Jane McGonigal, about her book Imaginable in which she draws on the latest scientific research in psychology and neuroscience to show us how to train our minds to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable by inviting us to play with provocative thought experiments and future simulations.

eSkeptic for March 22, 2022

Shermer speaks with world-renowned future forecaster and game designer, Jane McGonigal, about her book Imaginable in which she draws on the latest scientific research in psychology and neuroscience to show us how to train our minds to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable by inviting us to play with provocative thought experiments and future simulations.

Jonathan Gottschall — The Story Paradox: How Our Love of Storytelling Builds Societies and Tears Them Down

“How can we save the world from stories?” Michael Shermer speaks with Jonathan Gottschall about The Story Paradox: How Our Love of Storytelling Builds Societies and Tears Them Down. Gottschall reveals why our biggest asset has become our greatest threat, and what, if anything, can be done.

eSkeptic for January 18, 2022

“How can we save the world from stories?” Michael Shermer speaks with Jonathan Gottschall about The Story Paradox: How Our Love of Storytelling Builds Societies and Tears Them Down. Gottschall reveals why our biggest asset has become our greatest threat, and what, if anything, can be done.

Leonard Mlodinow — Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking

Extraordinary advances in psychology and neuroscience have proven that emotions are as critical to our well-being as thinking. In this conversation, Michael Shermer speaks with Leonard Mlodinow about his new book Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking.

eSkeptic for January 11, 2022

Extraordinary advances in psychology and neuroscience have proven that emotions are as critical to our well-being as thinking. In this conversation, Michael Shermer speaks with Leonard Mlodinow about his new book Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking.

Amishi Jha on the Neuroscience of Attention

In episode 232, Michael Shermer speaks with neuroscientist and professor of psychology, Amishi Jha, about how to achieve Peak Mind, based on her book Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day.

eSkeptic for Dec 4, 2021

In episode 232, Michael Shermer speaks with neuroscientist and professor of psychology, Amishi Jha, about how to achieve Peak Mind, based on her book Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day.

eSkeptic for May 1, 2021

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante. PLUS: From now through May 3, 2021 all print and digital back issues of Skeptic magazine are on sale for only 99 cents each! Now is the time to complete your collection!

Angus Fletcher — 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

In episode 177 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, he speaks with neuroscientist and literature professor Dr. Angus Fletcher about 25 of the most powerful developments in the history of literature, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante.

Jeff Hawkins — A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence

For all of neuroscience’s advances, we’ve made little progress on its biggest question: How do simple cells in the brain create intelligence? Jeff Hawkins and his team discovered that the brain uses maplike structures to build a model of the world — not just one model, but hundreds of thousands of models of everything we know. This discovery allows Hawkins to answer important questions about how we perceive the world.

eSkeptic for April 3, 2021

In The Michael Shermer Show # 169, Michael Shermer speaks with Jeff Hawkins, cofounder of Numenta: a neuroscience research company, about his new book A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence. PLUS: Raymond Barglow and Margret Schaefer discuss the anti-vaccination movement in the age of COVID-19.

Philip Goff — Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness

Shermer and Goff discuss: the problem Galileo’s approach to science solved • dualism, monism, panpsychism • idealism • hard problem of consciousness • ultimate nature of reality • model dependent realism • Arthur Stanley Eddington and Bertrand Russell build panpsychism back into science • philosophical zombies • free will, determinism, compatibilism • objective moral values • fine tuning and the multiverse.

eSkeptic for November 9, 2020

In Science Salon # 142 Michael Shermer speaks with Philip Goff about his new book Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness. PLUS, we celebrate Carl Sagan’s birthday; he would have been 86 years old today.

eSkeptic for August 25, 2020

In Science Salon # 130, Michael Shermer speaks with Debra Soh — a neuroscientist who specializes in gender, sex, and sexual orientation — about her new book: The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths About Sex and Identity in Our Society.

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