DiscoverConversations with Peter BoghossianUFOs (and more): Examining the Evidence | Skeptic Michael Shermer & Peter Boghossian
UFOs (and more): Examining the Evidence | Skeptic Michael Shermer & Peter Boghossian

UFOs (and more): Examining the Evidence | Skeptic Michael Shermer & Peter Boghossian

Update: 2023-07-18
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The world’s leading skeptic, author Michael Shermer, explains what it would take for him to believe claims of extraterrestrial visitation. Michael follows Pierre-Simon Laplace’s principle, popularized by Carl Sagan: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Michael has bet $1,000 that irrefutable evidence of human contact with aliens will not materialize by the end of next year. So far, he has no takers.

Peter and Michael discuss the brain as “an engine of belief” and how the human desire for transcendence and moralization leads people to extend their confidence beyond the warrant of the evidence. Education is one antidote to this cognitive malady, and Michael promotes teaching children statistics, probability, and how to “think like scientists”. 

Peter and Michael also discuss organizational splintering (including in the skeptic and atheist movement), fashionable beliefs, why believers in alien visitations aren’t interested in SETI, Bayesian reasoning, the deep state, true conspiracies, Dr. Paul Hotez vs. RFK Jr., childhood gender transition, and Michael’s forthcoming book, Truth

Dr. Michael Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the host of The Michael Shermer Show, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. Michael wrote a monthly column for Scientific American for 18 years. He is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things and The Believing Brain. His latest book is Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational.  

Twitter: @michaelshermer

You can watch this conversation on YouTube!

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UFOs (and more): Examining the Evidence | Skeptic Michael Shermer & Peter Boghossian

UFOs (and more): Examining the Evidence | Skeptic Michael Shermer & Peter Boghossian

Peter Boghossian, Michael Shermer