Monday, January 21, 2013

Arguing with non-skeptics (resources)



To help you discuss science and critical thinking with the both the true believers and the fence sitters, I have created this list of resources for you. These links will take you to podcasts, free pdf's, and videos discussing how to discuss and debate with non-skeptics. I hope you enjoy. 
  • John Cook's Debunking Handbook is an excellent resource for engaging believers. This is because it shows the science behind debunking and exposes some of the most egregious myths about trying to change someone's mind (link).
  • Sadie Crabtree's discussion at The Amazing Meeting about how to win hearts and minds for skepticism. Like Cook's booklet, this talk focuses on common misconceptions and debunking and offers lots of useful advice that actually works (link). 
  • My post about how to argue with non-skeptics without going crazy. These are just a few pointers to turn such discussions into a positive and fun learning experience for both the skeptic and the believer (link). 
  • The Science Talk podcast recorded a two part conference on how to discuss and debate with non-skeptics. The panel discussion was hosted by Julia Galef and featured George Hrab, DJ Grothe, James Randi, and Steve Mirsky (part 1, part 2).
  • Brian Dunning recorded an episode of Skeptoid about reasons why scientists should not publicly debate (on stage as opposed to one one one discussions) believers in creationism, intelligent design, and other forms of science denial (link).
  • Phil Plait's very famous talk (at least relative to skepticism) about why skeptics should avoid being dicks to people who believe weird things. This video needs to be watched carefully because it can easily be misunderstood (link). 
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson discusses some of the lessons he has learned about communicating science. One of the key points he makes is to stress how wonderful science is. This is key because new-skeptics  need to fill the void that nonsense leaves with something else (link).


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