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September 2019

Why does fiction trump truth?

September 18, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay Street, Subiaco, 226 Hay Street
Subiaco, WA 6008 Australia
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We humans know more truths than any species on earth. Yet we also believe the most falsehoods. What is the relationship between truth, fiction and power in human societies? Why do people often feel drawn to stories that are not based in truth? We'll go on an exploration of this topic, based on an article by historian Yuval Noah Harari, amongst other sources. Free parking on street or behind the hotel. Order food and drink downstairs; food will be brought…

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October 2019

Water ‘divining’ – what’s it all about?

October 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay Street, Subiaco, 226 Hay Street
Subiaco, WA 6008 Australia
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Some time ago the Australian Skeptics made a video on water divining (aka 'dowsing'); we'll view some of this content (selected parts) and have a discussion about how it appears to work and why people want to believe it does. The DVD consists of 4 parts, one of which is the historic 1980 James Randi test, which is worth watching as the event that sparked the Skeptics movement in Australia. 1. 2003 An Introduction to Water Divining 25 minutes 2.…

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November 2019

Memory and truth

November 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay Street, Subiaco, 226 Hay Street
Subiaco, WA 6008 Australia
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As the arbiter of truth, memory carries enormous weight: but is it reliable? This is a very big question for skeptics, who often encounter some fairly extraordinary claims by people who insist they remember unlikely events. Neuroscientist Prof Alan Harvey will give us a guided tour of how our memories work, the physiology of our brains and exactly why your memory can’t be trusted. Free parking on street and behind the hotel. Order food and drink downstairs - food will…

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December 2019

End of year get together

December 18, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay Street, Subiaco, 226 Hay Street
Subiaco, WA 6008 Australia
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We'll get together for an informal 'skeptics-in-the-pub' meeting to celebrate the end of the year. I'll probably give a short summary of the Skepticon highlights. Bring a funny anecdote, cartoon, YouTube clip or other item to amuse your fellow skeptics (optional). Let me know if you'll need the A/V equipment. Please bring $2 cash for the contribution tin.

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January 2020

Planning for 2020

January 15 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay Street, Subiaco, 226 Hay Street
Subiaco, WA 6008 Australia
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At the first meeting of the year we'll talk about how we might be more active in combating 'truthiness' and other BS in 2020, as well as discussing possible meeting topics for the rest of the year. Put your thinking hats on! We meet upstairs in the Conference Room, on RHS of the building as seen from the street. Order food & drink downstairs. Remember to bring $2 coin for the tin.

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February 2020

The TGA – how does it work & is it any use?

February 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay Street, Subiaco, 226 Hay Street
Subiaco, WA 6008 Australia
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Skeptics member Neil Raine will talk to us about Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – how it works & whether it's any use in keeping non-evidence-based products out of the marketplace. We meet upstairs in the conference room. Order food & drink downstairs.

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March 2020

“Psychics” involvement in criminal cases

March 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
43 Below Bar & Restaurant, 43 Barrack Street
Perth, WA 6000 Australia
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We'll take a look at 'psychics’ and their involvement in criminal cases, with a particular focus on the Claremont serial killer case. Speaker will be Bret Christian, editor and publisher of "The Post" newspaper. Bret is also the author of "Presumed Guilty: When cops get it wrong and courts seal the deal" He has had a long association with this case and is a long-term skeptic. Bret's talk will form the basis for us to discuss how psychics frequently manipulate…

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May 2020

Cryptozoology: online presentation

May 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

We will examine the many and varied facets of cryptozoology (hidden animals) with a real live zoologist (and skeptic): Kit Prendergast! Discovery of new vertebrate species, or species thought to be extinct, is a rare, yet not uncommon occurrence. However, the claims made by cryptozoologists do not stand up to scrutiny. Kit will critically evaluate the claims for various cryptozoological creatures and answer questions you've always wanted to ask about what may be lurking out there. To help a struggling…

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June 2020

Fads in psychology

June 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Skeptics members Kate and Toni will talk us through various fads in psychology over the past century, with a focus on which are the most scientific verifiable and useful. So if you've ever done a Myers-Briggs assessment and come away going 'Huh?', this might help you understand why. This may or may not be an online event. We'll let you know once we've checked with our usual venue. Image: Yeshi Kangrang (via Unsplash)

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July 2020

Epistemology: how we know what we know

July 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Skeptics member Chris will take us on a tour of how we know what we know... The talk will look at perspectives on ontology (i.e. what is truth, what is reality) and how these views inform research in the sciences and social sciences. Chris will map out common research methods and different types of evidence that can be collated. In the context of these, he will give some examples of how methods and types of evidence can be misused. This…

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