Gravesend Skeptics in the Pub

Currently there are no live talks at Gravesend but there are online Skeptic in the Pub talks, usually on Thursday at 7pm via the link: http://twitch.tv/SitP  (Select the link, right click and choose the Open option you prefer).

The events are listed below but as the organisation is being undertaken centrally things might change and not be immediately updated here.  Please keep an eye on the twitch.tv/sitp link for the most up-to-date information.

You don't need a Twitch account to take part and, as with all Skeptic talks, there's no charge but there is a donation option.

When normal service is resumed for Gravesend Skeptics in the Pub an email will be sent to all subscribers and this page will be updated.

Professor Maryanne Fisher

When?
Thursday, March 4 2021 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Professor Maryanne Fisher

What's the talk about?

Watch live at: https://twitch.tv/sitp

Evolutionary perspectives of mothering create a dilemma. One side suggests that women invest so heavily in their children that there may be an ‘instinct’ that drives their maternal behavior. The other side supports viewing women as strategists who constantly must maximize opportunities to find quality mates and have healthy children, even at the cost of current children. Mothers behave in ways that clearly discount the notion of a maternal instinct, including their harmful (even deadly) behaviors toward their children, and the amount of practice needed to nurse an infant. In contrast, maternal love is more accurate, and shows variation among mothers according to many situational factors, such as whether she has resources and social networks to support herself and children. However, despite advances in our understanding of parenting, the overwhelming majority of students continue to believe in a maternal instinct. Mothers, via a “maternal instinct” are presumed to automatically know how to meet their infants’ needs, be able to protect their infant at any cost, and be able to show others how to provide care effectively. The continued belief of a maternal instinct is harmful; it devalues parents and undervalues requests for help. We discuss these ramifications and emphasize the need to explore variation in maternal love, rather than thinking there is a default “maternal instinct.”

Dr. Maryanne Fisher is an evolutionary psychologist at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, and an Affiliate Faculty member at the Kinsey Institute. She has studied mating and dating for years, and especially the competition between women for access to those they desire. After more than two decades of research, writing a few books, and many, many late nights analysing data, she has arrived at the conclusion that women are very strategic. More recently, she has been studying mothering, which she gains insight into while chasing her toddlers.

Dr Keith Kahn-Harris

When?
Thursday, March 11 2021 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Dr Keith Kahn-Harris

What's the talk about?

Watch live at: https://twitch.tv/sitp

For years scientists and scholars have been warning us of the danger of 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. It might seem that 2020 saw an unprecedented upsurge in denialism, with denials of the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and denials of Trump’s election loss, becoming mainstream in some quarters. Yet in this talk, Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth, will argue that we are now seeing both the triumph of denialism and its end. Dr Kahn-Harris argues that denialism emerges when one’s deepest desires are ‘unspeakable’. Increasingly though, we are seeing denialism superseded by the open acknowledgement of desire. So in thinking about denialism, we also have to consider whether a world without it might not be a truth-filled utopia, but something even worse.

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

Deborah Hyde

When?
Thursday, March 18 2021 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Deborah Hyde

What's the talk about?

Watch live at: https://twitch.tv/sitp

In 1875, a flame-eyed creature picked at the lead in a window pane to let himself in to a remote farmhouse in Cumberland. Thus started a campaign of menace against a young woman: a campaign which only stopped when her brothers tracked the creature down to its resting place in a local crypt. The Beast of Croglin Grange has entered our folklore as one of England’s very few homegrown vampires. So let’s take a look at the story see if we can work out what really happened.

Deborah Hyde wants to know why people believe in weird stuff. She attributes her fascination with the supernatural to having spent her childhood with mad aunties. She approaches the subject using the perspectives of psychology and history. During the day, she’s a film/TV industry coordinator/production manager who has worked in makeup effects and scenery. She also gets on the wrong side of the camera from time to time as in Terry Gilliam’s Brother’s Grimm.

Deborah edited The Skeptic Magazine, until she handed over the reins to Merseyside Skeptics in 2020. She was also the co-convenor of Westminster Skeptics and Speaker Liaison of Soho Skeptics. In February 2018, she was very honoured to have been elected a fellow of The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

PS Deborah has one sane auntie too.

Behind the scenes at the British Board of Film Classification

Jim Cliff

When?
Thursday, March 25 2021 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Jim Cliff

What's the talk about?

Watch live at: https://twitch.tv/sitp

For over a hundred years, a small, secretive group of people in Soho have decided what you can see in UK cinemas and, more recently, on video and DVD. Who are they, how do they make their decisions, and why was Monty Python’s Life of Brian banned in Torquay until 2008? Jim Cliff explains the origins and methods of the Board, and offers insights into his time as an examiner, the shift from censorship to classification, and how a cut he requested in ‘Lilo & Stitch’ led to an offshoot of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory almost 20 years later.

Jim Cliff was a BBFC Examiner from 2001 to 2009, during which time he classified over 7000 films, videos and video games. He is now a freelance video producer and host of the Fallacious Trump podcast.