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Point of Inquiry podcast - RD Extra: Deceived Into ThinkingIndre Viskontas - The Miracle Detective


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This episode features the lecture "Deceived Into Thinking: Teaching Students to Think Critically Through The Study of Deception" presented by Jeremy Beahan to CFI Michigan on May 11th, 2011Description:After trying (unsuccessfully) to get young students excited about learning informal logic, Jeremy Beahan began flirting with a different strategy. Perhaps a better way to convey the value of fair-minded/ critical thinking would be through the study of its intellectual opposite

Host: Karen Stollznow

Indre Viskontas is a neuroscientist, a soprano, and a skeptic. She is a host of the television show The Miracle Detectives that recently aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Indre appeared as the scientific investigator pitted against "believer" Randall Sullivan, author of the book The Miracle Detective. The show investigates claims of "miracles"; from supposedly miraculous dirt believed to cure cancer, through to a beam of light in a hospital alleged to be an angel of mercy.

In this interview with host Karen Stollznow, Indre talks about her experiences on the show. She tells us which skeptical messages were communicated to the public, and which ended up on the cutting room floor. She discusses how the audience responded to the show; the fact she has influenced viewers in a positive way, but that people are still very reluctant to relinquish their beliefs. Indre also ponders the dangers of these beliefs.

Lastly, Indre explains how to convince people to think more critically, and how to capture a large audience without sacrificing skeptical principles.

Indre Viskontas will be speaking at this year's CSICon in New Orleans, October 27-30. 



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