NZ Skeptics Conference – Is Science Just Mysticism in a Lab Coat?

Bernard Beckett is a High School Teacher and writer. In 2005 he spent a research year at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Evolution and Ecology.

During this time he wrote two books; Falling for Science, a study of the philosophy of science, and Genesis, a sci-fi novel which has since been translated into over twenty languages.

Scepticism is easily applied to some of the weirder arts. Those who claim to speak to the dead or treat their ailments with nothing more than water should be challenged of course, but if this is the only place our scepticism is applied we are in danger of becoming flat track bullies, focussing only on the hobbies of the feeble minded. What happens when instead we turn our scepticism to that which is often offered as an alternative to flakery, the scientific method itself? By understanding the nature of modern science’s uncommon power, we can also understand its limitations.

Bernard’s speech can be listened to below:

Part I


Part II