Thomas Kida – Dont Believe Everything You Think

July 14, 2006

Thomas Kida is a professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the author of many articles on decision-making. For the last 25 years he has been researching and teaching how we form our beliefs and make decisions. His new book, Don’t Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking, presents this research. The book is about the ways our beliefs and decision making skills can go wrong. Do we all fall prey to problems in thinking? Why do we make these mistakes? Why do we believe the unbelievable?

In the interview with DJ Grothe, Professor Kida highlights a few of the six mistakes of thinking discussed in the book, with real-world examples of how our thinking can go astray and what we can do about it.

Also in this episode, Paul Kurtz and DJ discuss details of CFI’s Student Leadership Conference celebrating 10 years of CFI’s campus outreach. The event has attracted students from nearly 50 North American colleges and universities, in addition to universities in the Netherlands and Russia, and is being held this weekend in Amherst, NY.

This is point of inquiry for Friday, July 14th, 2006. 

Welcome to Point of inquiry. I’m DJ Grothe key point of inquiry is the radio show and podcast of the Center for Inquiry, a think tank collaborating with the State University of New York at Buffalo on the new science and the public master’s degree. CFI also maintains branches in Manhattan, Tampa and Hollywood and also now in Washington, DC. In addition to 11 other cities around the world, every week on this show, we look at some of the central questions of our culture and focused mostly on three research areas. First, we examine pseudoscience and the paranormal. Second, we look into alternative medicine claims. Third, we’re interested in the intersection of religion and science in our society. And we look at these three areas by focusing on the Center for Inquiries relationship with the leading minds of the day, including Nobel Prize winning scientists, public intellectuals, social critics and thinkers and renowned entertainers. I’m pleased to be joined this week by author Thomas Kita. We’ll talk about the six errors in thinking that he says we all make. But first, I should let you know that today is the beginning of our 10th anniversary celebration of our campus outreach program, what we call Center for Inquiry on campus. And Paul is in the studio. We’re going to talk about this event that we’re putting on here this weekend with students from all over North America converging here in Amherst, New York. Paul, thanks for coming back on. 

Well, I’m delighted to be here. And this weekend is a thrilling weekend because actually it’s the 10th anniversary of the Center for Inquiry. It’s on campus movement. We have a student outreach. We believe that our message cultivates science reason and free inquiry in every area. And we’re expecting students from all over North America, indeed around the world. Yes, indeed. Students coming from Moscow State University. But aside from that, the students I see hear from University of Pittsburgh, University of Florida University, California, University of Toronto, from Harvard and Purdue and Marquette for Rice and Wesleyan from everywhere. So we expect students from over 50 campuses in North America to be here this weekend. We’re adjacent to the State University of New York at Buffalo in Amherst, New York. And it’ll be a great meeting. And many of the leaders of the various communities and centers and in North America will be here as well. 

So why exactly is our campus outreach program so important? Here you are, professor emeritus. You’ve been in the university all this time. Why would the Center for Inquiry prize so much campus outreach? 

Well, I love the university and I’ve taught at colleges and lectured at universities all over the world. And I think they’re special places because they unlike other institutions, they’re committed to inquiry. They’re committed to presenting the young minds with the best knowledge of the day, historical knowledge, artistic knowledge, scientific knowledge, but also with cultivating research that great secular centers of learning. So if they’re already doing that, why do we have a campus outreach? Well, you know, they’re always challenged in society. And today, especially our great secular universities and colleges under under attack. And some people don’t agree with its mission to cultivate learning and inquiry. Right. 

There are trends, sadly, in our society that seek to undermine the tradition of the university. There are not just evangelical Christian programs like Campus Crusade for Christ, their annual operating budget, something like 400 million dollars a year. They’re really evangelical and trying to convert people to Christianity, but they’re also anti science and that they attack the teaching of the theory of evolution. 

You know, there are many actually, when you come on campus at the beginning of the term, there are virtually dozens of religious organizations. You have Muslim and you have Roman Catholic and you have Jewish and Hindu and evangelicals from all over. But the very rare that you see a secular organization on campus. And so this organization wants to emphasize secularism and science as an alternative and to bring that to young minds. And I think that’s very important. 

So you’ve been involved with the university all this time and you’ve taught how many students would you say over the past? 

Possibly 10000. The problem is that they keep getting younger. But as bright as ever. And that’s very encouraging. 

Do you agree with. Call them our cultural competitors when men like Tim LaHaye and David Noble, others say that the universities are secular humanist institutions that seek to indoctrinate students in this worldview. 

No, I don’t agree with that, of course. I mean, I think the universities are the great purveyors of culture and the great centers of research and learning, and that’s vital. And they have to be open to a wide range of pluralistic points of view. They do not indoctrinate. They open the mind for creative growth and understanding. 

And if that makes a mind more supple to the world view of secular humanism, you wouldn’t disagree with that. 

No, I agree that well, there with the secular centers, namely, they’re not determine in what they teach in terms of theological organizations and it’s separate from the state also, and that the areas in which you have academic freedom and academic learning under conditions of freedom and their humanistic, because a great tradition of civilization as humanistic, the cultivation of the arts and the sciences and all fields of human learning, the values of America are secular humanist values I. I think that you can argue that America basically was at its origin during the Enlightenment period and these were secularists and humanists in origin. And the great American Leonardos such as Jefferson and Madison and Washington and frankly and others appreciated that fact. 

And it’s the goal of our campus outreach program to only encourage that noble tradition of the university to encourage inquiry. 

And the young students not only in the specialties that they study, but an appreciation for the broader dimensions of understanding and to provide those who are not religious students. Some notion that there are alternatives to religion, science, ethics, philosophy, the arts. 

So if a listener is interested in getting involved with our campus outreach program, go to Campus Enquirer dot org. Maybe we’ll see you next year at the next convocation of Centers and Communities for Inquiry. Paul, thanks for joining me again. 

Thank you. It’ll be a great, wonderful weekend that we’re looking forward to the contributions of the young people from all over North America. 

Hi, I’m Barrie Carr, executive director of Psych up here at the Center for Inquiry. We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, making the world safe for science and skepticism and dealing with fringe science and paranormal claims. We published Work Think is an essential magazine. The Skeptical Inquirer. This is the magazine for Science and Reason. The July August issue is now on shelves at better bookstores and can be ordered online at w w w psych up dawg or by calling our toll free number one 800 six three four one six one zero. We are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 Eastern Time. Subscribing to the Skeptical Inquirer helps us continue to advance science and reason in our society. And so sure that you love this magazine that I want you to have a complementary issue to see what we’re all about, to get your sample copy. Just call one 800 six three four one six one zero. I mentioned the point of inquiry podcasts and ask us for your free copy. We’ll get it right out, too. And you can begin to join the Skeptical Inquirer. Thank you. 

Our guest this week on Point of Inquiry is Thomas Cheder, a professor in the Eisenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. For the last 25 years, he’s been researching how we form our beliefs and make our decisions. And during that time, he’s also been teaching doctoral level courses on the psychology of decision making. About five years ago, Professor Keita put together a course on how we think and how our thinking can go astray. And the course was extremely popular. He discovered that people really enjoy learning and talking about the mistakes that we make in thinking. His new book. Don’t Believe Everything You Think. The six basic mistakes we make in Thinking presents as research and what he’s learned while teaching this course. The books about the ways that our beliefs and decisions can go wrong. Do we all fall prey to problems in thinking? Why do we make these mistakes? Why do we believe the unbelievable? We’ll explore these questions and other questions today. Welcome to a point of inquiry, Professor Kita. 

Thank you very much for having me. Great to be on a program that emphasizes skeptical and critical thinking. 

Well, thank you again for being on the show. Professor Kita, I loved your book and I notice that it’s been getting excellent reviews. It’s the kind of book it’s the kind of book you should give to every high school graduate. You’ve conducted a lot of research and it comes out in this book. Research on the Psychology of judgment and decision making. Let me ask, is there a natural relationship between that kind of research and skeptical thinking or skeptical inquiry, skepticism, say skepticism of the paranormal or supernatural claims? 

Oh, definitely. 

In fact, one of the reasons I wrote the book is that for about the last 25 years, I’ve actually been doing research on something called Behavioral Decision Theory, which basically looks at how we make decisions and how our decisions can go wrong. And in addition, obviously, we have the whole difference between science and pseudo science and how we think like a scientist or think like a pseudo scientist. And the whole basis of science is critical thinking. And so what I found out there is that there were some books that would talk about the quote unquote we everybody and look at pseudo scientific way of thinking. And then there are other books that book that for Behavioral Decision-Making aspects, looking at all the various Ristic biases that we use in our decisions and how our decisions can go wrong because of the hubristic and what I wanted to do when this book is basically meld those two areas, because both of them basically lead us to form faulty beliefs to make erroneous decision. 

What were some of these weird beliefs that most of us seemed to hold that you focused on? 

Well, they’re all over the place. And actually, one thing that I really want to emphasize here is that we all make the errors in judgment, not that we’re ignorant. 

Every person I’ve ever met in my life that I’ve met some pretty intelligent people fall prey to these kinds of problems of thinking because they’re really deeply ingrained in our cognitive thought processes. So what? Let’s take one example. What if you go to a hospital because you have some abdominal pain? You go to this hospital, a nurse puts you on a table and starts waving her hand slowly over your body? 

Yeah, it’s healing touch therapy, I guess. Right, right. 

Therapeutic. But they don’t actually touch you. But what the nurse believes is that she can discern some energy that’s coming out of your body, pick up on the negative energy and push it out of your system. Now, a lot of people may listen to that and say, well, that’s just you’re you know, who’s going to believe that? Well, it turns out that about 40000 nurses in this country. Trained in therapeutic touch at about 20000 actively practice it today. And over 100 colleges and universities worldwide, it’s used in 80 hospitals in the US alone. 

How can this seemingly untested and pseudoscientific practice be so promoted within the medical field? 

Well, one of the reasons is that while people learn about their specific discipline, we don’t really have courses on critical thinking. I mean, if you think about it, when we’re going through our educational system, we have courses in English history, the sciences, but we never have a course on critical thinking that really points up to those kinds of problems. Secondly, he gets a straight for something like this. It’s probably because of our overreliance on anecdotal information. Okay, well, you talked to a lot of these people who would believe in therapeutic culture, a lot of the other unfounded alternative medicine therapies. What’s the first thing that they’ll tell you? They’ll say, well, I don’t care about the statistics because I went to this person. They did this and I felt better afterwards. So it’s that personal account that personal testimonials that really means a lot to people. 

I want to talk about some of the basic mistakes that you say we all make in thinking. Let’s do that in a moment. First, I want to ask you about the skepticism. Your book seems to be kind of a rallying cry in defense of skepticism. And you argue that the term skeptic has been misunderstood. Exactly how has the term skeptic been misunderstood in our society? 

Yeah, the term skeptic has really gotten a bad rap in our in our society because most people equate skepticism with being a cynic, someone who’s just looking for the fault in everything. That’s not really what a skeptic is all about. A skeptic is just someone who wants to see and evaluate the evidence for something before they believe it. It’s, you know, the old cliche there from Missouri. The Show Me state would have one of my favorite quotes from Bertrand Russell and James Oberg also used. It is keeping an open mind is a virtue, but not so open that your brains fall out. And I think that’s what skepticism is really all about. 

You know, we want to keep that open mind, but we have to have a healthy dose of skepticism to realize that we just can’t believe every little thought that comes into our head. 

So skepticism is not rejecting out of hand a claim, but being agnostic about it until you get the evidence. 

That’s exactly it. As a matter of fact, in my book, I talk about this continuum of belief where right in the midpoint we’ve got three simple words. I don’t know. And then over on the right and go progressively to holding those strong beliefs over on the left, holding a strong disbelief. And the issue is we’re very credulous creatures we want to believe in so very often. As soon as we hear any little bit of information, we very quickly end up on the right into the scale with a strong belief in something. And what I argue in the book is that, well, actually what we first have to do is embrace the notion of, I don’t know, start at this point that belief continue. And then look at the evidence and the plausibility of the claim. And then as the evidence found, either for or against the belief we can move on that continue on to said either a stronger belief or stronger disbelief for a certain claim. 

So that doubt is the beginning, but it’s not the end for sure. 

For sure. I think it was Descartes that says, you know, to be a truly intelligent person, we have to. You have doubts as much as possible. 

Professor Cheder, the subtitle of your book is The Six Mistakes We Make in Thinking. So what are these six mistakes? 

Well, these are like general themes that I used. I can talk about many different errors in the book, but there’s six general themes because I don’t know about you. But at this stage of my life, if I read a book I’m lucky to remember a few were the main points after I put it down. So I wanted to, you know, come up with six general themes that after someone puts down the book, they can say hard. Now I remember that stuff. And basically, we’ve got we prefer stories to statistics. We like to confirm. We rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in our lives. We can misperceive our world. We often oversimplify our thinking and we have faulty memory. Even when we think our memory is Iraq. 

So let’s get into some of those more deeply. First, I’d like to remind our listeners that you can purchase a discounted copy of Professor Keita’s book. Don’t believe everything you. Think through our website point of inquiry dot org. So, Professor Keating, give me an example of how we like stories over statistics and how this can let people believe the unbelievable. Or maybe let them make bad decisions. 

Well, let’s take a case that happened in the 90s. 

Let’s say on silicone breast implants. I don’t know if you remember, but back in the late 80s and early 90s, women were going on many talk shows to talk about how when they had their silicone breast implants, they developed all kinds of problems like rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, different types of autoimmune disorder. And they would go on to talk show. We report these things and then the talk shows would actually bring on doctors once again, very intelligent people. And the doctors would support the women’s claims that silicone breast implants cause these kinds of auto immune disorders. How do they know it? Because when the women got the breast implants, they got sick. And then after they had them removed, they got well, again, that was the rethink. So we had these personal accounts, OK? We had those thoughts. So what happened based upon those stories is 1992, the FDA banned silicone breast implants. Women were bringing the makers of the implants because they were getting 25 million dollar lawsuit payments. In 1994, there was the largest product liability settlement to date. I believe it was around 4.5 billion and it forced Dow Corning, who was the primary manufacturer of the implants, into bankruptcy. So we had some very severe consequences of this. So the question is, do silicone breast implants actually cause these kinds of disorders? Well, once the study started to be conducted, I believe the Mayo Clinic did the first study where they compared 700 women with the implants. Fourteen hundred without. And lo and behold, they found no difference in connective tissue diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, the auto immune disorders that were the basis for many of these losses. And, of course, in science, any one study can’t be relied on totally because it has to be replicated, especially for such a important issue. This and so many other studies were conducted. Turns out in the final analysis, there was no association between the implants and these kinds of disorders. And that led Marcia Àngel, who was then the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, to say that basically all these errors were caused because people really were relying on initial anecdotal data. 

You say that in general, people don’t fully appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in their lives. Can you give me an example of how this leads us to make bad decisions? 

Sure. Well, let’s take a look at the stock market, for example. What if you open up The Wall Street Journal and there was an ad for a new mutual fund that’s been out for a few years and it’s got a picture of the fund manager. And in big print, it says this mutual fund has outperformed all other funds over the last five years. Now, how do most people react to that? They look at it and they go, well, this guy must have some inside track to the stock market because he’s doing better than all the other funds out there. Over a five year period. That sounds very impressive. OK. But what we have to do is first ask ourselves, could this performance be due to chance? We usually don’t like to think in terms of chance. We’d like to think that we have some control over our environment. And if there a large chance component, then obviously we have very little control over that. So we’re more pattern seeking or causal seeking creature. So we like to think that, oh, with that fund manager actually can interpret stock and pick good. But once again, what you have to do is ask yourself, is that better than chance? Well, if you flip a coin five times in a row, it could come up head five times in a row, about three percent of the time. So really, what you have to do is say are there are mutual funds out there that beat that kind of average over the long haul? Well, it turns out that literally there are tons of empirical studies being done in finance and investment that indicate that mutual funds over the long haul just can’t be. Overall market return like a like a standard and poor 500 index. That’s not actively managed. OK. In fact, in any given year, 50 to 80 percent of the mutual funds can’t beat the index. And if they do it this year, they usually can’t do it in the long run. In fact, The Wall Street Journal has had this contest. They just started it recently, but for a number of years where they had stock analysts picture stocks and then they just threw darts against the stock listing and took a look at which one gave better returns. And it turns out that their respective with no difference between just throwing darts and having an expert pick the stocks. 

So your critical thinking investment advice is to invest in index funds, not in all the hyped up mutual funds. One point you make in the book is that our views about the world, well, they’re influenced by what we want to be true about the world, not necessarily by what is true about the world. What do you mean by that? Let’s get into that. 

That’s actually probably one of the main reasons we believe things, is because we want to, not because of the evidence. It could be parental influences, sibling or peer influences. We were early on in years or whatever, or maybe it’s just this belief makes us feel good. 

Jim Underdown does that suggest then that the reasons we want to believe them are good enough reasons to believe those beliefs? Let me say it another way. I mean, if if you believe in this outlandish claim or this untested paranormal claim, but it makes you feel good. Is isn’t that good enough? 

Well, I would definitely argue not. As a matter of fact, a lot of people when I when I talk about this, they say, well, you know, what harm does it do if we if we believe these things? 

You know, if you’re not hurting in one? Well, it turns out that in many cases there are a lot of dysfunctional consequences for these kinds of beliefs. Let me give you an example on facilitated communication. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this. There are institutes in this country and in other countries that maintain that we can communicate with severely autistic children by just basically holding their arm or hand to a computer keyboard and that they would type out very intelligent thought. 

And the medical community obviously was very skeptic about this. But we have literally thousands upon thousands of therapists that have been trained in facilitated communication. Now, what’s happened is that when we look at the anecdotal evidence, it turns out that it looks very impressive because if you aid an autistic child and by falling it to the keyboard, they can type up some very intelligent thought. In fact, many of these autistic children have been advancing through school, taking exams and doing quite well. So the evidence is very compelling. But the fact of the matter is, when you do more control tests, it’s shown to be worthless. For example, in one test, headphones were put on the autistic child and headphones were put on the therapist when they were asked the same question. The correct answer was typed out. But when the therapist actually received a different question from what the child heard, it turned out that the answer that was pipe was what the therapist heard. 

So just a very simple scientific study demonstrated that basically what’s happening here is that the therapist is guiding the child’s hand, I’m sure, unknowingly. You know, the therapist wants to help the child, but it’s you know, it’s almost like a Ouija board effect where where that little thing just moves around the board. Well, that can happen with facilitated communication. Some people may say yes. But, you know, at least the parents feel like they can communicate with the child. OK, so that makes it feel good. So why not continue the sham, basically? Well, if you start to believe and things like that, then obviously you believe that is the child communicating. There have been instances where during facilitated communication, the child started to say that the parents were sexually molesting the child. People were actually being brought into court under these kinds of charges. So you can see that know there are many potential dysfunctional consequences for holding many people. 

There are negative real world consequences for holding these untested beliefs. It’s not just a matter of believing for one’s personal comfort. You spend some time in your book discussing memory. Question are our. Trees are more like literal snapshots of what happened in the past, or are they best guesses? Can they change? Let’s talk about memory. 

Sure. Well, obviously, just about everybody I’ve ever met said, oh, I’ve got a bad memory. 

I’ve got a bad name. I say it all the time. Right. But usually when we say we have bad memories, what we’re referring to with, oh, we just can’t retrieve something that’s up there. OK. We just can’t bring it to mind right now. But if we thought about it a little longer, we get it. We get it. Maybe we wake up at three o’clock in the morning and a thought would pop into our head. OK. In fact, a while ago, a couple of psychologists did a study and they found that 75 percent of the people thought that just about everything we learned is permanently stored in memory. Sometimes we can’t get at it. But if we use some sort of special techniques like hypnosis, then we would be able to get at Jim Underdown. 

Right, to recover memories that are bottled up inside that are repressed or something. 

That’s right. But it actually turns out that that’s not how our memory works at all. Our memory is constantly changing. It can change based upon our current beliefs. Even suggestive questioning can change our beliefs. A while ago, a couple of psych professors did a study where they taped a meeting held at the Cambridge Psychological Association. And then two weeks later, they went to the members of the meeting and they said, hey, what happened in this discussion? Well, about 90 percent of the items that were discussed were not even recalled. All those that were recalled about half a block were substantially incorrect. And the respondent remembered hearing comments that were never actually made. And, you know, sometimes we say, well, what about things like flashbulb memory, those experiences that really stand out like a car accident or a tragedy or something like that? That’s that’s right. I mean, obviously, something like 9/11 or when, you know, Challenger exploded. When we talk to people, we can get exactly what they were doing when they heard of that. Right. We all feel that way. Right. I feel like I have an image in my head as to just what was going on, how I heard it, how I felt on and on. Well, even for those very vivid memories that we have, they could be really in error. For example, one psychology professors did a study after the challenger exploded and the day after he went into his class, I think he had about 44 students in there and he had them write down exactly how they heard of the Challenger explosion. OK. Well, he tracked down all of these students two and a half years later and he asked them, how did you hear of the Challenger explosion? Well, it turns out that none of the students had entirely accurate memory. It’s back with one third of the memories were very inaccurate. And then when the psychology professor showed to the students what they wrote two and half years earlier, a day after the explosion, they said that some of them argue, no, that’s not how it happened. My memory now was the correct memory. Now, what I said two and a half years ago. So you can see that even if we have a very strong belief in our memory as being accurate. It turns out that oftentimes we’re wrong. 

So our reliance on our memory is another way that we make bad decisions and can believe false things. 

Oh, for sure. 

Because, I mean, if you think about it, both of the decisions that you’re making, you’re pulling data from your memory in order to face it, to make this new decision. And if that memory is in error, obviously your decision could be in error. 

I’d like to remind our listeners that you can get a copy of Professor Keita’s book. Don’t Believe Everything You Think at a discount on our Web site. Point of inquiry dot org. Professor Kita, you state that one of the reasons we hold many of the faulty beliefs that we have is that we’re just what by nature, credulous creatures we want to believe things may be we need to believe them. We talked about that a little earlier. We believe these things, even if there’s no good reason to do so. As a result, we quickly believe things without even examining what we believe or why we believe it. If the listeners persuaded by what you’re saying in this discussion, what something that they could begin doing to day to form more reasoned beliefs. 

The first thing you’ve got to realize is that many of the beliefs are really ingrained in our cognitive makeup. Some of them are. They are because of evolutionary considerations. Things like referring stories, because over the beyond that, we’ve been. Our information has been passed on from one to another in the form of a story. It’s only been recently that we’ve actually written things down and stored our information in external sources. So in many ways, you should feel bad if you find yourself falling for these kinds of problems. 

But obviously, the first step in making better decisions and forming more accurate beliefs is realizing that we have created. And that’s basically what I try to do when the book is talk about how our thinking naturally occurs, the bias that can result from that natural occurring. And then just by realizing some of these things, if this should help us. Correct. For example, one other thing that we often use is a confirming bias. We naturally gravitate toward data that supports our initial beliefs or our initial expectations. OK. And that’s in fact, another way that it just bolsters what we believe, because if we prefer with preferentially attend to data that supports what we currently believe and discount evidence that doesn’t support it, well, then we just start to believe that there’s a lot of evidence out there in support of our beliefs, and it just leads to a stronger belief. 

So if you’re a nurse and you believe that healing touch therapy works, then you’ll only look at the things that you’ll only look at the kinds of evidence that seems to support that belief. Not at all. The evidence contrary to it. 

That’s exactly it. 

There is a wealth of information over in the psychological literature on confirmatory bias where we preferentially attend to confirming evidence and we either ignore disconfirming evidence or we find a way to discount it. OK. 

We may not ignore it. We may pay attention to it. But then we may say, oh, well, that particular bit of evidence is wrong because of X, Y. Maybe, maybe the study that gave us disconfirming evidence here, we start to believe wasn’t conducted in the appropriate manner and therefore we discount the relevance of that data. In effect, this is a very common thing that we all do. We remember the hits, that we forget the myths. And what I try to do in the book is point up a number of strategies to get people to realize that this is how we naturally make decisions and that really to make better decisions we’ve got to watch out for because sometimes they can really lead us history. 

Professor Quito’s, thank you very much for being on point of inquiry. 

Thanks for having me. 

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Point of inquiry is produced by Thomas Donnelly and recorded here at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York. Executive producer is Paul Kurtz. Point of Inquiry’s music is written and composed for us by Emmy Award winning Michael Quailing. Contributors to today’s show include Paul Kurtz, Thomas Donnelly, Sarah Jordan, Lauren Becker and Debbie Goddard. I’m your host DJ Grothe. 

DJ Grothe

D.J. Grothe is on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Science and Human Values, and is a speaker on various topics that touch on the intersection of education, science and belief. He was once the president of the James Randi Educational Foundation and was former Director of Outreach Programs for the Center for Inquiry and associate editor of Free Inquiry magazine. He previously hosted the weekly radio show and podcast Point of Inquiry, exploring the implications of the scientific outlook with leading thinkers.