THe Australian Skeptic’s Guide to Cold Reading

30 November, 2015

This article first appeared as a Vic Skeptics discussion pamphlet, and was previously posted on this site in 2010.
The full range of our discussion pamphlets can be downloaded here: http://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/educational/
or by clicking on the “Useful Info” link at the top of this page.

Have you ever bought something that you didn’t really want, because the salesperson was so nice, so persuasive, so helpful? Chances are that the salesperson (whether they knew it or not) was using some of the techniques of a skilled Cold Reader.

“Cold Reading” is a term invented by stage magicians. It refers to psychological techniques used by certain people to influence the beliefs and behaviour of other people. Read the rest of this entry »


For the Classroom

31 July, 2015

Untitled Capture-03Vic Skeptics produces original classroom material, which we make available free.
It’s mainly aimed at Science teaching and learning, but it serves a wide range of topics and age groups.

We invite you to look over and sample our down-loadable .pdfs, which include:

  • A Skeptics Guide to ……  discussion sheets
  • Crosswords (blackline masters)
  • Wordsearches and quizzes (blackline masters)
  • Cryptograms (blackline masters)
  • The Darwin Day Suite of classroom exercises

Go HERE or click on the USEFUL INFO tab at the top of the page


A Skeptic’s Guide to Life in the Universe

10 December, 2010

This article first appeared as a Vic Skeptics discussion pamphlet.
The full range of our discussion pamphlets can be downloaded here: http://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/educational/

or by clicking on the “Useful Info” link at the top of this page.

 by Peter Barrett, (Canberra Skeptics)

It’s one of the great questions: is there life elsewhere in the universe, apart from the Earth? Skeptics would say, “Almost certainly, but at the moment we don’t know how likely it might be.”

Life thrives on Earth, particularly in the tropical and temperate latitudes. Life exists even in the harsh desert and polar regions. But most importantly, life has been found to exist in places previously thought inhospitable, such as inside rocks in the dry valleys of Antarctica or around geothermal vents, where the water is boiling hot. The fact that life can survive in such unlikely places dramatically increases the range of potential habitats for life elsewhere. So are there places where life could exist elsewhere in our own Solar System?

Read the rest of this entry »