The Believing Brain

From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies - How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths


Saturday
Nov. 10, 2012
20:00

Byens Lys
Christiania

Michael Shermer

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, an Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University, and the author of The Believing Brain.

Michael Rexen

Artist and musician, educated from the Kuba music school in India. One of the two main actors of the music collective a Key is a Key. Rexen has a solo project Magnetic Whitedog since 2007. Creator of the music project The Magnetic Eagle.

If you do not know who Michael Shermer is you are definitely missing out. Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic Magazine and writer for Scientific American besides being professor and author. This is the first time he is coming to Denmark.


Synthesizing thirty years of research, Michael Shermer upends traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first, and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. Using sensory data that flow in through the senses, the brain naturally looks for and finds patterns - and then infuses those patterns with meaning, forming beliefs. Once beliefs are formed, our brains subconsciously seek out for confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, accelerating the process of reinforcing them.


Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. And ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not our beliefs match reality.


If your brain has not made you believe in the extremely good quality of the cocktails, the music project created by Michael Rexen will. The Magnetic Eagle is a collective of musicians playing experimental and improvisational music and creating soundscapes as well as unique atmospheres using electronics and various instruments from around the world.



Entrance to the event is free. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:45. Organised by the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen.






The talk:







The music: