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The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

The Michael Shermer Show Michael Shermer

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    • 4,6 • 26 Bewertungen

The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

    Religion as Make-Believe: A Theory of Belief, Imagination, and Group Identity

    Religion as Make-Believe: A Theory of Belief, Imagination, and Group Identity

    We often assume that religious beliefs are no different in kind from ordinary factual beliefs—that believing in the existence of God or of supernatural entities that hear our prayers is akin to believing that May comes before June. Neuroscientist and philosopher Neil Van Leeuwen shows that, in fact, these two forms of belief are strikingly different. Our brains do not process religious beliefs like they do beliefs concerning mundane reality; instead, empirical findings show that religious beliefs function like the imaginings that guide make-believe play.
    Van Leeuwen argues that religious belief―which he terms religious “credence”―is best understood as a form of imagination that people use to define the identity of their group and express the values they hold sacred. When a person pretends, they navigate the world by consulting two maps: the first represents mundane reality, and the second superimposes the features of the imagined world atop the first. Drawing on psychological, linguistic, and anthropological evidence, Van Leeuwen posits that religious communities operate in much the same way, consulting a factual-belief map that represents ordinary objects and events and a religious-credence map that accords these objects and events imagined sacred and supernatural significance.
    It is hardly controversial to suggest that religion has a social function, but Religion as Make-Believe breaks new ground by theorizing the underlying cognitive mechanisms. Once we recognize that our minds process factual and religious beliefs in fundamentally different ways, we can gain deeper understanding of the complex individual and group psychology of religious faith.
    Neil Van Leeuwen is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Neuroscience at Georgia State University and a recipient of the European Commission’s Marie Curie Fellowship. His research has been featured in The New York Times and The Atlantic and on NPR. His new book is Religion as Make-Believe: A Theory of Belief, Imagination and Group Identity.
    Shermer and Van Leeuwen discuss: his own personal religious journey (or lack thereof) • “believe,” “make-believe,” and “pretend play” • “taking God seriously” • 4 Principles of Factual Belief • Tanya Luhrmann’s How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others • willing suspension of disbelief • group identity • sacred values • The Puzzle of Religious Rationality • that voice we all hear in our heads • “hearing the voice of God” • hallucinations and psychoses • sleep paralysis • angels and demons • sensed presences • witches and witchcraft.

    • 2 Std 3 Min.
    Vulnerable Minds: The Harm of Childhood Trauma and the Hope of Resilience

    Vulnerable Minds: The Harm of Childhood Trauma and the Hope of Resilience

    Each year at least a billion children around the world are victims of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that range from physical abuse and racial discrimination to neglect and food deprivation. The brain plasticity of our most vulnerable makes the adverse effects of trauma only that much more damaging to mental and physical development. Those dealt a hand of ACEs are more likely to drop out of school, have a shorter life, abuse substances, and suffer from myriad mental health and behavioral issues.
    The crucial question is: How do we intervene to offer these children a more hopeful future? Neurobiologist and educator Dr. Marc Hauser provides a novel, research-based framework to understand a child’s unique response to ACEs that goes beyond our current understanding and is centered around the five Ts—the timing during development when the trauma began, its type, tenure, toxicity, and how much turbulence it has caused in a child’s life. Using this lens, adults can start to help children build resilience and recover—and even benefit—from their adversity through targeted community and school interventions, emotional regulation tools, as well as a new frontier of therapies focused on direct brain stimulation, including neurofeedback and psychedelics.
    While human suffering experienced by children is the most devastating, it also presents the most promise for recovery; the plasticity of young people’s brains makes them vulnerable, but it also makes them apt to take back the joy, wonder, innocence, and curiosity of childhood when given the right support. Vulnerable Minds is a call to action for parents, policymakers, educators, and doctors to reclaim what’s been lost and commit ourselves to our collective responsibility to all children.
    Marc Hauser is an educator, neuroscientist, and the founder of Risk Eraser, a program that helps at-risk kids lead healthier lives. He is a former professor of evolutionary biology and psychology at Harvard University and the author of over three hundred papers. His books include Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think, Moral Minds: The Nature of Right and Wrong, Evilicious: Cruelty = Desire + Denial, and his new book Vulnerable Minds: The Harm of Childhood Trauma and the Hope of Resilience.
    Shermer and Hauser discuss: • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) • Hauser’s personal adversities • types of adversity • LeBron James story from childhood trauma to NBA triumph • The Dark Triad: psychopathy, machiavellianism, narcissism • Attachment Theory • Disorganized Attachment • Borderline Personality Disorder • sexual abuse and eating disorders • substance abuse, suicide, obesity, depression, liver disease, school dropout, lower life expectancy • timing, duration, severity, and predictability of ACEs.

    • 1 Std. 47 Min.
    How to Achieve Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    How to Achieve Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    Dr. Einat Wilf is a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of foreign policy, economics, education, Israel, and the Jewish people. She was a member of the Israeli Parliament from 2010-2013 on behalf of the Labor and Independence parties. Dr. Wilf has a BA in Government and Fine Arts from Harvard University, an MBA from INSEAD in France (Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires), and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. Born and raised in Israel, Dr. Wilf served as an Intelligence Officer in the Israel Defense Forces. Dr. Wilf is also the author of six books including: My Israel, Our Generation, Back to Basics: How to Save Israeli Education (At No Additional Cost), It’s NOT the Electoral System, Stupid, Winning the War of Words, Telling Our Story (a collection of Wilf’s essays on Israel, Zionism and the path to peace,) and The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace.
    Shermer and Wilf discuss: Why Israel? Why the Jews? Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism • Karim Khan • accusations of genocide, induced famine, and war crimes against Netanyahu • who will recognize a Palestinian state? • why, after 7 months of fighting, the IDF has been unable to defeat Hamas • AP story outlining 4 options for Gaza: full scale military occupation; lighter occupation; grand bargain; a deal with Hamas • Zionism, Judaism, and Israel • Palestine, Palestinians, and the Gaza strip • Hamas, Hezbollah, and terrorism in the Middle East • Why students & student groups are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel • The Abraham Accords • The Two-State Solution.

    • 1 Std. 39 Min.
    How Likely Is War Over Taiwan?

    How Likely Is War Over Taiwan?

    So much of what we hear about China and Russia today likens the relationship between these two autocracies and the West to a “rivalry” or a “great-power competition.” Some might consider it alarmist to say we are in the midst of a second Cold War, but that may be the only responsible way to describe today’s state of affairs.
    What’s more, we have come a long way from Mao Zedong’s infamous observation that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Now we live in an age more aptly described by Vladimir Putin’s cryptic prophecy that “artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia, but of all mankind, and whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become ruler of the world.”
    George S. Takach’s incisive and meticulously researched new volume, Cold War 2.0, is the book we need to thoroughly understand these frightening and perilous times. In the geopolitical sphere, there are no more pressing issues than the appalling mechanizations of a surveillance state in China, Russia’s brazen attempt to assert its autocratic model in Ukraine, and China’s increasingly likely plans to do the same in Taiwan.
    But the key here, Takach argues, is that our new Cold War is not only ideological but technological: the side that prevails in Cold War 2.0 will be the one that bests the other in mastering the greatest innovations of our time. Artificial intelligence sits in our pockets every day—but what about AI that coordinates military operations and missile defense systems? Or the highly sophisticated semiconductor chips and quantum computers that power those missiles and a host of other weapons? And, where recently we have seen remarkable feats of bio-engineering to produce vaccines at record speed, shouldn’t we be concerned how catastrophic it would be if bio-engineering were co-opted for nefarious purposes?
    Takach thoroughly examines how each of these innovations will shape the tension between democracy and autocracy, and how each will play a central role in this second Cold War. Finally, he crafts a precise blueprint for how Western democracies should handle these innovations to respond to the looming threat of autocracy—and ultimately prevail over it.
    George S. Takach holds a bachelor’s degree in history, political economy, and philosophy from the University of Toronto; a graduate degree from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University; and a law degree from the University of Toronto. For forty years, he practiced technology law at McCarthy Tétrault, Canada’s premier law firm. He has written three books on technology law/tech commercial subjects. Cold War 2.0: Artificial Intelligence in the New Battle between China, Russia, and America is his first book for a general audience.
    Shermer and Takach discuss: Vladimir Putin: “artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia, but of all mankind, and whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become ruler of the world.” • what AI will be able to do in the coming decades • China’s surveillance state • Russia and Ukraine • Cold War 1.0: Autocracy, Democracy and Technology • Cold War 2.0: AI and Autocracy and Democracy • semiconductor chip supremacy • biotechnology • how China’s invasion of Taiwan is likely to unfold, and what the U.S. can do about it.

    • 1 Std. 26 Min.
    Neuroscientist Explains Selective Memory (Charan Ranganath)

    Neuroscientist Explains Selective Memory (Charan Ranganath)

    A new understanding of memory is emerging from the latest scientific research. In Why We Remember, pioneering neuroscientist and psychologist Charan Ranganath radically reframes the way we think about the everyday act of remembering. Combining accessible language with cutting-edge research, he reveals the surprising ways our brains record the past and how we use that information to understand who we are in the present, and to imagine and plan for the future.
    Memory, Dr. Ranganath shows, is a highly transformative force that shapes how we experience the world in often invisible and sometimes destructive ways. Knowing this can help us with daily remembering tasks, like finding our keys, and with the challenge of memory loss as we age. What’s more, when we work with the brain’s ability to learn and reinterpret past events, we can heal trauma, shed our biases, learn faster, and grow in self-awareness.
    Including fascinating studies and examples from pop culture, and drawing on Ranganath’s life as a scientist, father, and child of immigrants, Why We Remember is a captivating read that unveils the hidden role memory plays throughout our lives. When we understand its power—and its quirks—we can cut through the clutter and remember the things we want to remember. We can make freer choices and plan a happier future.
    Charan Ranganath is a Professor at the Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology and director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California at Davis. For over 25 years, Dr. Ranganath has studied the mechanisms in the brain that allow us to remember past events, using brain imaging techniques, computational modeling and studies of patients with memory disorders. He has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship. He lives in Davis, California. Outside of neuroscience, Dr. Ranganath is also a songwriter and guitarist with a number of recording credits, including a song on a feature film soundtrack.
    Shermer and Ranganath discuss: how memories are stored by neurons • forgetting — memory in there somewhere or lost forever? • episodic, semantic, working, flashbulb, long-term, and short-term memory • recovered memories vs. false memories + confabulation, conflation • Alzheimer’s, dementia, senility • PTSD and bad memories • déjá vu • memory triggers • learning as a form of memory • social memories (extended self) • MEMself vs. POVself • uploading memories into the cloud • improving memory: what works, what doesn’t.

    • 1 Std. 38 Min.
    Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives

    Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives

    In recent years, condemnations of racism in America have echoed from the streets to corporate boardrooms. At the same time, politicians and commentators fiercely debate racism’s very existence. And so, our conversations about racial inequalities remain muddled. In Metaracism, Brown University Professor of Africana Studies Tricia Rose cuts through the noise with a bracing and invaluable new account of what systemic racism actually is, how it works, and how we can fight back. She reveals how—from housing to education to criminal justice—an array of policies and practices connect and interact to produce an even more devastating “metaracism” far worse than the sum of its parts. While these systemic connections can be difficult to see—and are often portrayed as “color-blind”—again and again they function to disproportionately contain, exploit, and punish Black people. By helping us to comprehend systemic racism’s inner workings and destructive impact, Rose shows how to create a more just America for us all.
    Tricia Rose is Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and the director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She has received fellowships from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and her research has been funded by the Mellon and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations. She co-hosts with Cornel West the podcast The Tight Rope. She is the author of Longing to Tell: Black Women’s Stories of Sexuality and Intimacy, The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When we Talk About Hip Hop—and Why it Matters, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, and her new book Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives—and How We Break Free.
    Shermer and Rose discuss: the policies, practices, laws, and beliefs that are racist in 2024 America and what can be done about them • racism, structural racism, systemic racism, metaracism • Rose’s working-class background growing up in 1960s Harlem • deep-root cause-ism •being “caught up in the system” • Trayvon Martin, Kelley Williams-Bolar, and Michael Brown • Rose’s response to Black conservative authors like Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell • why she believes Coleman Hughes is wrong about color-blindness • Obama, George Floyd and race relations today • reparations.

    • 1 Std. 31 Min.


4,6 von 5
26 Bewertungen

26 Bewertungen

gauchinho ,

Great interviewer

I like how Michael interacts with his guests. His questions are not leading, he listens carefully and responds with appropriate follow-up questions. Yes, he does not hide his own opinion, but he does not try to influence or debate his interviewees.

RobbyWilson87 ,

Miserable show host

The host is incapable of conducting a good conversation and definitely a miserable interviewer. Instead of asking interesting questions, he rambles on and comes across as unserious and silly.

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