Griffith University Skeptics and Freethinkers

Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Next Talk 01/10/08

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2008 at 1:29 PM

 

Our next talk on 01/10/08 will be

Logical Fallacies and what they mean to Skeptics and Freethinkers!

A brief look at some all to common Logical Fallacies we face everyday and how they can influence our decisions.


Should be a really interesting night and I hope you can all make it and as always feel free to bring anyone who might be interested.

As always we meet at 6pm in room 1.14 of the G23 Multi-media Building and snacks will be provided again of course!

See you Wednesday,

Jayson D Cooke
GU Skeptics and Freethinkers.

BrainGym, How pseudoscience infiltrates school curriculum 24/09/08

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2008 at 10:54 PM

Our next talk on 24/09/08 will be

BrainGym, How pseudoscience infiltrate school curriculum.

BrainGym is a commercial training program that makes various claims about the benefits of certain exercises and postures in learning.

The Website for the Brain Gym Australia ( http://www.braingym.org.au/ ) states that:

For more than 30 years and in over 80 countries Brain Gym has been helping children, adults and seniors to:

  • Learn ANYTHING faster and more easily
  • Perform better at sports
  • Be more focused and organized
  • Start and finish projects with ease
  • Overcome learning challenges
  • Reach new levels of excellence

However the theoretical foundation for the program has been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community, who describe it as pseudoscience with even founder Paul Dennison, a Californian educator who created the programme, admitting that many claims in his teacher’s guide were based on his “hunches” and were not proper science.

While peer reviewed scientific studies into Brain Gym have found no significant improvement in general academic skills and claimed results have been put down to the placebo effect and the benefits of breaks and exercise, this program is becoming increasingly popular here in Australia.

Enter Margaret Kittson! With over 30 years experience as a teacher and librarian in a range of government and private schools, predominantly in Queensland, Margaret has had enough of people who think they know everything about education and teaching because they once went to school, people who believe that there are ‘magic bullet’ solutions to complex issues in educating children out there which just need to be imposed on to recalcitrant teachers.

Her presentation is inspired by a first hand experience with one such purported ‘magic bullet’ solution: Brain Gym. The question which needs to be asked is just how something so totally grounded in pseudo-science (Applied Kinesiology in this instance) gain so much traction in educational circles.

Should be a really interesting night and I hope you can all make it and as always feel free to bring anyone who might be interested.

As always we meet at 6pm in room 1.14 of the G23 Multi-media Building and snacks will be provided again of course!

See you Wednesday,


Jayson D Cooke
GU Skeptics and Freethinkers.

The Great Leap Forward: The Evolution of Human Creativity and Language.

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2008 at 10:57 PM

Having survived the doomsday that was the LHC going online, our next talk on 17/09/08 will be

The Great Leap Forward: The Evolution of Human Creativity and Language.

When did we first begin to become the creative, inventive, conscious species we now are and what triggered that event?

Where did culture as we know it come from and where is it going?

What ever happened to all those Neanderthals?

We will also be presenting a lecture given as part of the Caltech Distinguished Lecture Series presented by the Skeptic Society in the USA. Dr. Jared Diamond, physiologist at the UCLA Medical School and author of the best selling The Third Chimpanzee and Guns, Germs, and Steel, presents his controversial theory that it was language that triggered the “Great Leap Forward” about 35,000 years ago that led to human culture and set us apart from Neanderthals, who went extinct shortly thereafter.

This meeting we will feature the video first followed by discussion

Should be a really interesting night and I hope you can all make it and as always feel free to bring anyone who might be interested.

As always we meet at 6pm in room 1.14 of the G23 Multi-media Building and snacks will be provided again of course!

Also don’t forget anyone is welcome to contribute to our facebook page at

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6117798570

and meet our international supporters and our new meet-up page at http://skeptics.meetup.com/185/ which will hopefully open up our group to the broader community.

Hope to see you Wednesday,

Jayson D Cooke

GU Skeptics and Freethinkers.

The End of the World!!!

In GUSSF Events!, Uncategorized on September 3, 2008 at 11:32 PM


Our next topic for 10/09/08 will be:

The End of the World!!!

To celebrate the first attempt to circulate a beam through the C.E.R.N. Large Hadron Collider scheduled for 10 September, we will be asking exactly how nigh are the “end times”?

We will discuss at prophesies of doom throughout history and if the failure of these could potentially have created a “boy who cried wolf” type cultural mood, particularly in regards to climate change?

What are our greatest and most likely threats and is it possible to avoid them?

We will be looking at “The Last Days on Earth” a 20/20 science fiction special which aired on the ABC in August 2006 and has been aired on The History Channel.

Should be a really interesting night and I hope you can all make it and as always feel free to bring anyone who might be interested.

As always we meet at 6pm in room 1.14 of the G23 Multi-media Building and snacks will be provided again!

Also don’t forget anyone is welcome to contribute to our wordpress blog at https://gussf.wordpress.com/ and meet our international supporters and friends on the facebook site http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6117798570.

Plus last but not least we have our new meet-up page at http://skeptics.meetup.com/185/ which will hopefully open up our group to the broader community.

Hope to see you Wednesday,

Jayson D Cooke

GU Skeptics and Freethinkers.

https://gussf.wordpress.com/