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I have provided links below to some of the presentations that I have given at in-service meetings, or as an invited speaker at professional society meetings and seminars. Please feel free to view and borrow from these presentations if you wish. I would like to ask that you please not republish or distribute them without my consent.


A Memetic Perspective on Knowledge, Learning, Rational Thinking and Our Role in Education 

A meme is a unit of information - analogous to a gene - by which cultural knowledge is transmitted from mind to mind. Just as research has demonstrated that we are vassals of our genes to a great degree, so too are we manipulated by our memes. An understanding of knowledge, learning, and culture from this perspective may help us maximize the advantageous aspects of this “second replicator” while simultaneously avoiding the deleterious consequences that arise from it.  Through this paradigm, “critical thinking” becomes an exercise in introspection, fault detection, and comparative analysis. Among other outcomes this perspective offers is a more integrative model of the roles of the humanities and the sciences in shaping and directing the higher mind.

 

The Danger of Scientific Illiteracy in a Changing World

We live in a world that is influenced more than ever before by science and technology. We also face a number of problems which have the potential for global impact – including anthropogenic climate change. These potential threats require a critical analysis by scientific methods to evaluate their seriousness and to carefully consider potential remedies. Unfortunately, at this same moment in history, members of the public and policy makers alike appear inadequately prepared or unwilling to weigh evidence and evaluate findings scientifically.  Scientific illiteracy opens the door to confusion and controversy that is both unnecessary and counterproductive in seeking solutions to the problems at hand. In the absence of a science-based approach, or pitted against it, come arguments rooted in emotion, ideology, politics, and pseudoscience. This presentation will explore why people are susceptible to nonscientific thinking and how this has contributed to the climate of controversy that swirls around so many important issues facing our nation and the world.