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Phact April 20 meeting on Critical Viewing Skills

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  • eric
    People, On April 20th at 2pm we will hear from Charles Stegeman on: Critical Viewing Skills Ear-training is a recognized subject, eye-training is not. It is
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2002
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      On April 20th at 2pm we will hear from Charles Stegeman on:
      Critical Viewing Skills


      Ear-training is a recognized subject, eye-training is not.  It is generally assumed that if nothing physically hinders vision, an individual can see perfectly well.  This is an unfortunate misconception. 

      What evidence suggests that untrained viewing represents a problem?  The medical literature notes serious concern regarding partial observations.  Perhaps the most telling is the case of six expert radiologists who, having viewed one hundred x-rays six times over a period of three years, each managed to miss all lesions present at least once.

      Then what is critical observation?  Observation is an acquired skill that is taught, for instance, in art schools and academies over a period of up to ten years.  The traditional method for learning critical viewing skills is by continuous repetition, or rote. 

      How could we teach viewing skills to a wider public, particularly the professions dependent on critical viewing skills?  If one logically analyzes the elements of the visual, teaching time could be drastically reduced.  In a well-known medical college, I was able to teach the least skilled students to enhance their observational skills over a period of just ten hours, not ten years.

      The presentation to PhACT aims to illustrate the parameters for the analysis of the visual vocabulary, the different techniques of observation, and how the visual vocabulary can lead to visual thinking, which can in turn lead to a visual logic.  The non-verbal nature of visual logic adds a challenging complement to the more familiar cognitive logic; their successful combination permits a perspective insight and clearer grasp of the physical world.


                                                                                                               Charles Stegeman

                                                                                            Professor Emeritus, Haverford College
      Concerning the city location, the following are public transit directions from Ed :

      -  3 blocks from the Spring Garden Station on the
         Broad Street subway.

      -  A bit more than a half mile from Suburban Station
         at 16th-17th and JFK. The route 2 bus runs north on
         16th and south on 17th every 20 minutes during the
         day (6 - 6) on Saturday.

      -  That same bus goes by the end station of the PATCO
         High Speed Line at 15th-16th and Locust. Or you can
         walk to the Broad Street line from either of the
         last 2 PATCO stops.


      Then on May 18th, back at our old location in Bensalem, we will have a visit from Robert Park, author of "Voodoo Science".

      A number of our more generous senior members have fine collections of skeptical (and related ) books that they are happy to loan out.  We will be getting together an official list of such books and their keepers for a "distributed PhACT lending library".  It would be kind of like the internet philosophy of distributed sources of information .  But, we were hoping to get a PhACT librarian to just be the keeper of a master list of the books, which could be available on the internet to just our members.  To check out a book, one would look on the list and email the keeper of the book and the librarian where upon the book could be just brought along to the next meeting.".    So if you have a list of your books which deserve more attention of if you are willing to be the central keeper of the list, please contact, eric@...
      For example,  BILL WISDOM'S  wawisdom@...   BOOKS FOR SKEPTICS TO BORROW OR KEEP

      ALLEN, STEVE.  Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and
      Morality.  Prometheus Books, 1990.

      ________.  More Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and
      Morality.  Prometheus Books, 1993.

      BAKER, ROBERT A. and JOE NICKELL.  Missing Pieces: How to
      Investigate Ghosts, UFOs, Psychics, and Other Mysteries.
      Prometheus Books, 1992,

      BERRY, ADRIAN (ed.).  The Book of Scientific Anecdotes.
      Prometheus Books, 1993.

      BRUNVAND, JAN HAROLD.  Too Good to Be True: The Colossal
      Book of Urban Legends.  W. W. Norton, 1999.

      ________.  The Truth Never Stands in the Way of a Good
      Story.  University of Illinois Press, 2000.

      BULGATZ, JOSEPH.  Ponzi Schemes, Invaders from Mars and More
      Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
      Harmony Books, 1992.

      BUTLER, KURT.  Lying for Fun and Profit: The Truth about the
      Media.  Health Wise Productions, 1999.

      CAREY, STEPHEN S.  A Beginner's Guide to Scientific Method.
      Wadsworth, 1994.

      FLEW, ANTONY (ed.).  Readings in the Philosophical Problems
      of Parapsychology.  Prometheus Books, 1987.

      FRAZIER, KENDRICK (ed.).  Encounters with the Paranormal:
      Science, Knowledge, and Belief.  Prometheus Books, 1998.

       ________.  The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the
      Paranormal: A Skeptical Inquirer Collection.  Prometheus
      Books, 1991.

      ________.  Paranormal Borderlands of Science.  Prometheus
      Books, 1981.

      ________.  Science Confronts the Paranormal.  Prometheus
      Books, 1986.

      FRIEDLANDER, MICHAEL W.  At the Fringes of Science.
      Westview Press, 1995.

      GARDNER, MARTIN.  Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.
       Dover, 1957.

      ________.  The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher.
      Prometheus, 1991.

      ________.  The Night is Large: Collected Essays 1938-1995.
      St. Martin's, 1996.

      ________.  On the Wild Side.  Prometheus Books, 1992.

      ________.  Order and Surprise.  Prometheus Books, 1983.

      ________.  Science: Good, Bad and Bogus.  Prometheus Books, 1981.

      ________.  Weird Water and Fuzzy Logic: More Notes of a
      Fringe Watcher.  Prometheus Books, 1996.

      ________.  From the Wandering Jew to William F. Buckley Jr.:
      On Science, Literature, and Religion.  Prometheus Books, 2000.

      GRAY, WILLIAM D.  Thinking Critically about New Age Ideas.
      Wadsworth, 1991.

      GRIM, PATRICK (ed.).  Philosophy of Science and the Occult
      (2nd ed.).  SUNY Press, 1990.

      HANSEN, GEORGE P.  The Trickster and the Paranormal.
      Xlibris, 2001.

      HOGGART, SIMON and MIKE HUTCHINSON.  Bizarre Beliefs.
      Richard Cohen Books, 1995.

      HUSTON, PETER.  Scams from the Great Beyond: How to Make
      Easy Money Off of ESP, Astrology, UFOs, Crop Circles, Cattle
      Mutilations, Alien Abductions, Atlantis, Channeling, and
      Other New Age Nonsense.  Paladin Press, 1997.

      JACOBS, DAVID M.  Secret Life: Firsthand Documented Accounts
      of UFO Abductions.  Simon & Schuster, 1992.

      ________.  The Threat: The Secret Alien Agenda.  Simon &
      Schuster, 1998.

      KITCHER, PHILIP.  Abusing Science: The Case Against
      Creationism.  The MIT Press, 1982.

      KURTZ, PAUL (ed.).  A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology.
      Prometheus Books, 1985.

      Life--How Did It Get Here?  By Evolution or by Creation?
      Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985

      LUDWIG, JAN (ed.).  Philosophy and Parapsychology.
      Prometheus Books, 1978.

      LYNCH, AARON.  Thought Contagion: How Belief Spreads Through
      Society.  BasicBooks,1996.

      MACKAY, CHARLES.  Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the
      Madness of Crowds.  Harmony Books, 1980 (orig. publ. 1841).

      MONTAGU, ASHLEY (ed.).  Science and Creationism.  Oxford
      University Press, 1984,

      MORRIS, HENRY M.  The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth.
      Creation-Life Publishers, 1972.

      NICKELL, JOE.  Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics,
      Stigmata, Visions and Healing Cures.  Prometheus Books, 1998.

      NICKELL, JOE, BARRY KARR and TOM GENONI.  The Outer Edge:
      Classic Investigations of the Paranormal.  CSICOP, 1996.

      NUMBERS, RONALD L.  The Creationists: The Evolution of
      Scientific Creationism.  University of California Press, 1992.

      O'NEILL, TERRY.  Paranormal Phenomena: Opposing Viewpoints.
      Greenhaven Press, 1991.

      PARK, ROBERT.  Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to
      Fraud.  Oxford University Press, 2000.

      PENDERGRAST, MARK.  Victims of Memory: Sex Abuse Accusations
      and Shattered Lives.  Upper Access, 1996.

      PICKOVER, CLARENCE A.  The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits.
      Prometheus Books, 2000.

      RADFORD, BENJAMIN (ed.).  Bizarre Cases: From the Files of
      the Skeptical Inquirer.  CSICOP, 2000.

      RADNER, DAISIE and MICHAEL RADNER.  Science and Unreason.
      Wadsworth, 1982.

      RANDI, JAMES.  An Encyclopedia or Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes
      of the Occult and Supernatural: Decidedly Skeptical
      Definitions of Alternative Realities.  St. Martin's, 1995.

      ________.  Flim-Flam: Psychics, ESP, Unicorns and Other
      Delusions.  Prometheus Books, 1982.

      RUSE, MICHAEL (ed.).  But Is It Science?  The Philosophical
      Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy.  Prometheus
      Books, 1988.

      SAGAN, CARL.  The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle
      in the Dark.  Random House, 1995.

      SCHICK, THEODORE, JR. and LEWIS VAUGHN.  How to Think about
      Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age.  Mayfield, 1995.

      SHATTUCK, ROGER.  Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to
      Pornography.  St. Martin's, 1996.

      SHERMER, MICHAEL.  The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense
      Meets Nonsense.  Oxford U. P., 2001.

      ________.  Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience,
      Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time.  W. H.
      Freeman, 1997.

      ________.  How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of
      Science.  W. H. Freeman, 2000.

      STEIN, GORDON and MARIE J. MacNEE.  Hoaxes!  Dupes, Dodges
      and Other Dastardly Deceptions.  Visible Ink Press, 1995.

      WILSON, DAVID B.  Did the Devil Make Darwin Do It?  Modern
      Perspectives on the Creation-Evolution Controversy.  The
      Iowa State University Press, 1983.

      WISEMAN, RICHARD and ROBERT L. MORRIS.  Guidelines for
      Testing Psychic Claimants.  University of Hertfordshire
      Press, 1995.

      WYNN, CHARLES M. and ARTHUR W. WIGGINS.  Quantum Leaps in
      the Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Ends...and
      Pseudoscience Begins.  Joseph Henry Press, 2001.
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