The Skepticamp talks are now online

The Monterey Skepticamp conference on January 2, 2021 where I gave a talk was enjoyable and informative, covering quite a range of topics. All the talks have been posted online. The full program is can be seen here.

The full video for the day’s program is 7 hours 27 minutes long. I give below the starting times for each talk which we were asked to limit to 20 minutes to allow for 10 minutes of Q/A . After the opening welcome remarks by organizer Susan Gerbic and a small quiz by Arlen Grossman, the rest of the talks were as follows:

35 minutes: András Gábor Pintér – Building Bridges – Why we need to organize to bring skepticism forward

1 hour 14 minutes: Janyce Boynton – Facilitated Communication – I Thought That Died in the 1990s!

1 hour 56 minutes: Stuart Vyse – Do Superstitions Work?

2 hours 27minutes: Kelly Burke – Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia

2 hours 54 minutes: Monica Ashly – Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia

4 hours 12 minutes: Richard Saunders (host of Skeptic Zone) –  So you want to do a Skeptical Podcast?

4 hours 53 minutes: Adrienne Hill – Tourette Syndrome: Stereotypes and CAM treatments

5 hours 29 minutes: Kyle Polich – Data Skeptic: “I don’t know anyone who has COVID-19”

5 hours 59 minutes: Mano Singham – The Copernican Myths

6 hours 30 minutes: Rob Palmer – Belief in Psychics: What’s the Harm and Who’s to Blame?


  1. consciousness razor says

    I haven’t listened to the other talks, but yours was good! I’m always just reading you here, and it was nice to actually hear you for once.

    I knew, as you said, that the center (Earth) was thought of as the worst/lowest part of the world. It’s kind of odd how “center of the universe” has come to mean almost the opposite, with most people today probably having no clue that the meaning had ever been flipped around.

    One might still think that our importance in the big scheme of things (not so much our moral worth or something like that) was downgraded somewhat. The thought is that we were put into that wretched condition purposefully, and we played a role in this big cosmic plan which involves bringing us out of it. If that’s not the case, then our literal place in the world is not special in that sense anymore. You could say we sort of got an upgrade in the sense that we’re not one step away from living hell, but on the other hand, all the hellish shit that happens here which made that seem like a reasonable idea does still happen, obviously, so it’s not relaly much of an improvement however you might look at it.

    And believers aren’t actually forced to change to their views, of course, but that sort of idea isn’t being reinforced anymore by something like the spatial/geometrical structure of the whole world. So it was dealt a very small blow I guess, but we shouldn’t blow it out of proportion. Besides, i always found it pretty doubtful that most ordinary people at the time would have put much weight on these kinds of arguments in the first place, which concern some very remote and topics that are so removed from everyday life. Theologians or astronomers might, because they have an interest in some part of the subject matter itself, but they’re obviously not most people. And as you said, astronomers in the scientific/philosophical community, rather than church officials, seem to have taken it more seriously in the end. So it may have had more of an effect on them, but if what we’re really talking about is Copernicus’ scientific influence rather than his influence on religion, then it doesn’t seem like you could say very much without giving lots of the credit to people like Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and so forth.

  2. Mano Singham says

    There is a theory that the revised story of the center being a desirable place to be was created later by those who wanted to discredit the Copernican theory when they realized that it had conflicts with the Bible.

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