Michael Shermer, founder and editor of Skeptic magazine and executive director of the Skeptics Society, speaks 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5 in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University.
The presentation is part of the Shipka Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public.
Shermer earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University. He was a college professor for 20 years, teaching psychology, evolution, and the history of science at Occidental College, California State University Los Angeles and Glendale College.
His latest book, The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies – How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths, examines how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished. He also is the author of The Mind of the Market, on evolutionary economics; Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design; Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown, about how the mind works and how thinking goes wrong; The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share Care, and Follow the Golden Rule; In Darwin’s Shadow, about the life and science of the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace; The Borderlands of Science, about the fuzzy land between science and pseudoscience; Denying History, on Holocaust denial and other forms of pseudohistory; How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God, on the origins of religion and why people believe in God; and Why People Believe Weird Things on pseudoscience and superstitions.
Shermer is a blogger (Skeptic.com), a regular lecturer on campuses across the nation, and a guest on a variety of TV shows, including Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, Penn and Teller, Dennis Miller, Larry King Live, the Colbert Report, Dateline, 20/20, and Nightline.
In addition, he was a competitive long-distance bicyclist from 1979 to 1989 and co-founded the Race Across America, a 3,000-mile event in which he competed five times. He also produced a series of documentaries on cycling. A neck disorder common to long-distance bicyclists is named after him – Shermer’s Neck.