"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it's a way of thinking."
--Carl Sagan (in his last interview)

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
--Carl Sagan
  • Lecturers' background information
  • Explanation of code names
  • Survey of beliefs
  • Need for a course debunking pseudoscience
    • 28% of Americans surveyed believe in astrology; 18% aren't sure
    • 60% believe in ESP
    • 30% believe in visits by extraterrestrials
    • 25-50% believe in ghosts, faith healing, communication with the dead, and lucky numbers
    • Peter Duesberg, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, denies that HIV causes AIDS. Christine Maggiore, founder of Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, and HIV+ follower of Duesberg did not take antiretroviral drugs and breast fed her two children. Her daughter, age 3, died of AIDS related pneumonia in May 2005. Pseudoscience kills. Reference:
    • South African President Thabo Mbeki, follower of Duesberg, doubts the link between HIV and AIDS. The country's health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, terms the FREE anti-retroviral drugs provided by the West "poisons" and urges instead a natural remedy of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, beet root, and spinach. "While the AIDS epidemic sweeps through Africa, the Vatican has decreed that the provision of condoms in the area would be a sin." (Global Village Idiot by John O'Farrell) President George W. Bush has an "abstinence first" policy that limits the distribution of prophylactics which are proven to prevent the spread of HIV. Pseudoscience kills.
    • Chiropractic manipulation of the neck caused fatal strokes in 45-year-old Lana Dale Lewis in 1996, and 21-year-old Laurie Jean Mathiason in 1998. Pseudoscience kills.
      Reference: Skeptical Inquirer Vol. 28, No. 3, May/June 2004.
    • 10-year-old Candace Newmaker died while being smothered with pillows and a flannel sheet during "attachment therapy" in 2001. Pseudoscience kills.
    • 5-yr old Abubakar Tariq Nadama died while receiving chelation therapy August 2005. He was autistic. He was being treated for heavy metal (lead, mercury, etc.) poisoning. Lead and mercury DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM. Pseudoscience kills. Reference:
    • John Stoll from Bakersfield, California, served 20 years in prison for sexually molesting children as part of Satanic ritual abuse before his conviction was overturned. He and 45 others were the victims of a modern witch hunt. Reference:
    • This country spends billions of your tax dollars removing asbestos from schools and other public buildings. ENVIRONMENTAL ASBESTOS DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER and if the goal is to reduce the number of fibers in the air, then it is far better to leave it in place than to remove it.
  • Course information and requirements
  • Plagiarism warning
  • Astrology information collected for an individualized horoscope reading
  • Explanation of code numbers
  • Attendance Quiz #1