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Hey, I am Michael Shermer, the director of the Skeptics Society, the publisher of Skeptic magazine. We investigate claims of the paranormal, pseudo-science, and fringe groups and cults and claims of all kinds between - science and pseudo-science and non-science and junk science, voodoo science, pathological science, bad science, non-science and plain old nonsense. And unless you've benn on Mars recently, you know there's a lot of that out there. Some people call us debunkers, which is kind of a negative term. But let's face it - there's a lot of bunk, and we are like the bunko squads of the police departments out there, flushing out. Well, we're sort of like Ralph Naders of bad ideas - trying to replace bad ideas with good ideas. I'll show you an example of a bad idea. Ibrought this with me. This given to us by NBC Dateline to test. It's the - it's produced by the Quadro Corporation of West Virginia. It's called the Quadro 2000 Dowser Rod. This was being sold to high school administrators for 900 dollars a piece. It's a piece of plastic with Radio Shack antenna attached to it. You could dowse for all sorts of things, but this particular one was built to dowse for marijuana in students' lockers. So the way it works is, you go down the hallway and you see if it tilts toward a particular locker, and then you open the locker. So it looks something like this. I'll show you. No, it - well, it has kind of a right-leaning bias. So, I'll show - well, this is science, so we'll do a controlled experiment. It'll go this way for sure. Sir you want to empty your pockets. Please, sir? So the question was, can it actually find marijuana in students' lockers? And the answer is, if you open enough of them - yes. But in science, we have to keep track of the misses, not just the hits. And that's probably the key lesson to my short talk here , is that this is how psychics work, astrologers, and tarot card readers and so on. People remember the hits; they forget the misses. In science we have to keep the whole database, and look to see if the number of hits is somehow stands out from the total number that you would expect by chance. In this case, we tested it. We had two opaque boxes, one with government-approved THC marijuanan, and one with nothing. And it got it 50 percent of the time - which is exactly what you'd expect with a coin flip model. So that's just a fun little example here of the sorts of things we do. Skeptic is the quarterly publication. Each one has a particular theme, like this one is on the future of intelligence. Are people getting smarter or dumber? I have an opinion on myself because the business I'm in. But, in fact, people, it turns out, are getting smarter. Three IQ points per 10 years, going up. With science, don't think of skepticism as a thing or even science as a thing. Are science and religion compatible? It's like, are science and plumbing compatible? These - the're just two different things. Science is not a thing. it's a verb. It's a way of thinking about things. It's a way of looking for natural explanations for all phenomena. I mean, what's more likely - that extraterrestrial or multi - dimensional beings travel across the vast distances of interstellar space to leave a crop circle in Farmer Bob's field in Puckerbrush, Kansas to promote skeptic.com, our webpage? Or is it more likely that a reader of Skeptic did this with Photoshop? And in all cases we have to ask - what's the more likely explanation?