Santa Claus and UFOs may indeed have something in common. As Michael Shermer shared at TED2010, they are two things that engage the “belief engine” that is also known as our brains.
In his talk, “The pattern behind self-deception,” Shermer debunks superstitions and urban legends and shares why we are prone to believe in them — because of our brain’s hardwiring for survival. He explores what is behind our shared desire to believe, even when it means actively deceiving ourselves — and potentially others.
Today, TED Weekends on the Huffington Post features Shermer’s compelling talk. Below, find some of our favorite essays that accompany it, taking a look at deceptive tendencies.
As the publisher of Skeptic magazine I am often asked what I mean by skepticism, and if I’m skeptical of everything or if I actually believe anything. Skepticism…
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