The Atheist Academic

The Introspection Illusion

We’re great at spotting biases in others, but absolutely incompetent at finding them in ourselves. Even if we know exactly what to look for and we’ve got a ton of intellectual humility, noticing the effects of our own biases on our own thoughts is like looking for colored glasses while …

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Higher EducationPublishingScience

Gender Studies “Hoax” Shockingly Reveals Scammy Vanity Journals Will Publish Nonsense

When Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay published their recent hoax article “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” in the journal Cogent Social Sciences, they clearly thought they had just majorly dunked on those Foucault-fellating nerds over in the Gender Studies department. “Ha-ha,” they no doubt said, in sing-song Nelson style, while …

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Feminism

Category Error

Let’s look at some skeptical topics. Of course, every topic can be a skeptical topic because every topic can be critically examined, but I’ve got some specifics I need to address. I don’t believe in sacred cows, but there are certainly some beliefs that are better grounded in evidence. Vaccine …

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Education

Justifying Social Justice in the Classroom

In the Sunday Papers session at TAM 2014, Michelle L. Knaier presented a short talk about teaching social justice through science education. She began by defining social justice as “treating all people with fairness, respect, dignity, and generosity” and later gave some specific examples of racist, sexist, and homophobic stereotypes …

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Meta

Why Aren’t You Reading This?

Not you in particular, nor this post specifically, but speaking more broadly, I do wonder why skeptics in general aren’t as interested in teaching as I would have expected them to be, based on what we tend to value. Looking at the traffic on this and other “skepticism in education” …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2 Continued from Part 1.   Quentis: Sure, but science doesn’t know everything. There’s a lot of things that western science doesn’t understand. Being able to fly if you jump three times is one of those things. Scientists don’t even know how bees …

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Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1   Quentis: Okay, if you jump three times, you can fly. Firmatio: That sounds dubious to me. Quentis: No, really. My grandmother told me about it, and her grandmother told her. It’s a family tradition that goes back thousands of years. Firmatio: …

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Pedagogy

A Quick Guide to Due Diligence

I want to be a good skeptic and a good teacher, but I have a thousand tasks to do both in and out of the classroom and things like “fact-checking” get relegated to the procrastination pile. In a perfect world, I would make sure I’m not unintentionally passing on any …

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Critical ThinkingPrimary Education

About those viral Common Core problems

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably seen one of those viral posts on social media presenting a (seemingly) ridiculous common core math problem, and possibly even a frustrated parent responding with some kind of exasperated takedown. Like this one. (Also pictured) It is super tempting, especially for those of …

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Image of a odorous house ant
Critical ThinkingPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Gut vs Mind – What’s your woo?

My house is currently overrun with ants, tapinoma sessile to be exact.  (As I type one just ran across my desk.) My husband and I have been battling these arthropods every year since we have moved into our current home.  Every spring the ants emerge and we deploy our arsenal.  …

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