In his TEDTalk, Michael Shermer debunks all types of myths, superstitions and urban legends, and along the way explains why we believe them.
Michael Shermer, founder and publisher of Skeptic Magazine, “has exposed fallacies behind intelligent design, 9/11 conspiracies, the low-carb craze, alien sightings and other popular beliefs and paranoias.” But for Shermer it’s not just about debunking “for debunking’s sake,” it’s about “matching good theory with good science” so that we can all better understand the world we live in.
In the absence of sound science, incomplete information can powerfully combine with the power of suggestion (helping us hear Satanic lyrics when “Stairway to Heaven” plays backwards, for example). In fact, a common thread that runs through beliefs of all sorts, is our tendency to convince ourselves: We overvalue the shreds of evidence that support our preferred outcome, and ignore the facts we aren’t looking for …
Science is not a thing. It’s a verb. It’s a way of thinking about things. It’s a way of looking for natural explanations for all phenomena.