Welcome to Gravesend Skeptics in the Pub - the pub skeptics who meet at No.84 - the tea room, coffee shop and events venue at 84 Parrock Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1QF - on the third Wednesday of every month.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. when drinks and cakes will be available.  Talks start at 7:45 p.m.

Everyone is welcome. Usually there's no need to book but check individual events as occasionally booking is necessary.  Talks are generally suitable for an audience aged 16 and over.

Skeptics in the Pub events are run on a completely voluntary basis and speakers generously donate their time and ask only for expenses.  Those attending are asked to make a donation to cover these expenses - the suggested amount is £3.

William Hunter

When?
Wednesday, July 17 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

84 Parrock Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1QF

Who?
William Hunter

What's the talk about?

Transylvania is a byword for vampires and gypsy magic – but there is so much more strangeness that makes Dracula look pretty tame.

Lore is passed on through fireside tales of demons, underworlds and wicked spirits that exist alongside humans, of a creator God who has long abandoned his world.

Transylvania has long been a place of conflict, of cultural clashes and invasion. Within this unique European pressure cooker of faith and war, supernatural beliefs took hold in everyday life. The magical practices of actual Transylvanians from the beginning of the last century up to the present day were about giving reason to a violent world, a way of gaining some agency in the chaos.

William Hunter talks about why magic is needed, on what basis it is done, and some of the techniques he has seen performed.

He was raised in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania and spent most of his childhood with monks, fortune tellers and very tall trees. SInce then he has travelled throughout Europe exploring surviving or reimagined native beliefs, partaking in Fire festivals and fertility rites from Scotland to Albania.

What's The Alternative?

Keith Kahn-Harris

When?
Wednesday, August 21 2019 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

84 Parrock Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1QF

Who?
Keith Kahn-Harris

What's the talk about?

One of the most challenging and frustrating questions for scientists is how to combat denialism: Holocaust denial, global warming denial, anti-vaxxers, 911 conspiracism, creationism and more. Debunking denialist claims is essential - yet also rarely effective. We are now living in a world where even the most apparently basic truths are routinely contested.

In this talk, Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth, argues that to really understand denialism, we have to face up to what he calls 'the deniers alternative'. Denialism emerges when this alternative is so 'unspeakable' that denialism becomes a preferable option. In thinking about how to combat denialism, we also have to consider whether a world without it might not be a truth-filled utopia, but something even worse.

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Dr Keith Kahn-Harris is a sociologist and writer. Denial: The Unspeakable Truth is his fifth book. His badly-designed website can be found at http://www.kahn-harris.org/ and he tweets irregularly at @KeithKahnHarris