© Professor John L. Cotton, Professor Justin Fisher, Professor Randall J. Scalise, Professor Scott Norris, and Professor Stephen Sekula
This course will provide you with an understanding of the scientific method sufficient to detect pseudoscience in its many guises: paranormal phenomena, free-energy devices, alternative medicine, intelligent design creationism, denial of human-induced climate change, propaganda, science-based-medicine denialism, misuse of data and statistics, and many others. You will learn to think critically and to question outlandish claims, hype, and outright BS.
Your writing will improve. You will be able to distinguish credible sources of information from nonsense; you will become an intelligent consumer of information. Expect to do a lot of reading, writing, and, most of all, thinking.
Learn more by reading about the course Goals/Objectives/Learning Outcomes
The book reviews and research papers must be turned in electronically. We will not accept paper copies. Use the uploader or email your assignment to ... or turn in a thumb drive, CD, floppy disk, etc. Accepted digital formats: ASCII (plain) text, PDF, RTF, or MS Word format (.doc or .docx): double-spaced, 12-point type, Times New Roman (nonbold) font, 1-inch margins. We can not read WordPerfect or Macintosh files.
Syllabus -- Includes lecture notes and assignments
Suggested Auxiliary Reading
Grading, Extra Credit, Incompletes
Attendance Policy, Classroom Environment
Grade Summary - All the individual student grades arranged
by four-digit code number
A Note on PLAGIARISM -- Very important!
Notes on Writing Research Papers
Suggested Research Paper Topics
Excellent Past Student Research Papers (password protected)
Criteria for a Successful Experiment
The Baloney Detection Collection
Complete list of subjects available
Problems of Fuzzy Thinking
Guide to Library Usage
Relevant Web Sites
Other Resources -- Video, periodicals, etc.
Previous Incarnations of this Course -- with lecture notes
Seminars and Presentations
Students with disabilities, medically excused absences, absences in general
Things you should already know, but...
Official University Calendars