Schedule and Readings


22/1 Introduction (Powerpoint)
24/1 Context: The Big Picture (Powerpoint)
Optional Reading: “Fallacy of quoting out of context” (Wikipedia)
Optional Reading: “”[Best] Film Ever!!! How Do Movie Blurbs Work?” (Christopher Beam, Slate)
Optional Reading: “In Hobby Lobby We DON’T Trust” (Freedom From Religion Foundation)
Optional Reading: Talk Origins: The quote mine project
Optional Viewing: “TV Tricks of the Trade — Quotes and Cutaways” (Youtube, potholer54)
Optional Reading: “A History of Dishonest Fox Charts” (Media Matters)
Optional Reading: “‘Climategate’” (
Optional Reading: “Manila Crisis Survivor Yik Siu-ling Still Searching for Answers from Hospital” (South China Morning Post)
Optional Reading: “Cherry Picking: Fallacy of the Day” ((Pseudo-)Science Blog)
Optional Reading: “Obama’s Imperial ‘I’: spreading the meme” (Language Log)
Optional Reading: “Controversial Gay-Parenting Study Is Severely Flawed, Journal’s Audit Finds” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

29/1 CLASS CANCELED: Sick Instructor
31/1 NO CLASS: Lunar New Year

5/2 NO CLASS: Lunar New Year
7/2 Illusory Patterns (Powerpoint)
Optional Reading: “Pareidolia: Seeing Faces in Unusual Places” (LiveScience)
Optional Reading: “Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)” (The Skeptic’s Dictionary)
Optional Reading: “I’m Not the Troll, But I Think They Caught One In Their Sample” (Pharyngula)
Optional Reading: “Experience is not something we feel but something we do: a principled way of explaining sensory phenomenology, with Change Blindness and other empirical consequences” (J. Kevin O’Regan)
Optional Viewing: “Phonetic Translations” (Know Your Meme)
Optional Viewing: Bad Lip Reading (YouTube)
Optional Reading: “Clustering Illusion” (Wikipedia)
Optional Reading: “Correlation vs. Causation (A Mathographic)” (The Moz Blog)
Optional Reading “Regression to the Mean” (Rational Wiki)
Optional Reading: Timeline of Jeremy Lin’s Rise to Linsanity and Journey to Where He Is Today
Optional Reading: “Regression to the Mean and Owning Some Chumps” (The Psychology of Video Games)
Optional Reading: “The Doom Switch and Pseudo-Improvement with the Regression Fallacy” (Drag the Bar)

12/2 Thinking about Probabilities (Powerpoint)
14/2 Assignment 1 is here

19/2 Ancient Aliens (Powerpoint)
Required Viewing: Ancient Aliens: The Evidence
Optional Reading: “Fermi Paradox” (Wikipedia)
Optional Reading: “They walk among us: 1 in 5 believe in aliens?” (Reuters)
Optional Reading: “Ethics and Ancient Aliens” (Jason Colavito)
Optional Reading: “Flying the Saqqara Bird” (Martin Gregorie)
Optional Reading: “Pijao People” (Wikipedia)
Optional Viewing: Ancient Aliens Debunked
Optional Reading: Ancient Aliens Ate My Homework
21/2 Logical Fallacies 1

26/2 NO CLASS: Sports Day
28/2 Fallacies 2 (Powerpoint)

5/3 The Scientific Method (Powerpoint)
7/3 Placebos and Nocebos (Powerpoint)
Homework 2

12/3 Placebos and Nocebos (Powerpoint)
14/3 Experts and Authorities (Powerpoint)

19/3 Bad Journalism (Powerpoint)
21/3 Midterm Examination


26/3 Midterm Discussion (Powerpoint)
28/3 Logic Introduction (Powerpoint)

2/4 Truth-Tables (Powerpoint)
4/4 Truth Table Test for Validity (Powerpoint)
HW 3 (Due 11/4)
Optional Exercises: Random Truth-Tables
Optional Exercises: Random Truth-Tables
Optional Exercises: Random Truth-Tables
Optional Exercises: Truth-Table Exercises
Optional Solutions: Truth-Table Solver

9/4 Argument Analysis (Powerpoint)
11/4 Inductive Arguments (Powerpoint)
Explanation of Homework 3

16/4 Probability Theory (Powerpoint)
18/4 NO CLASS: Easter

23/4 More on Probability (Powerpoint)
Homework 4 assigned
25/4 Three Numbers (Powerpoint)

30/4 Leftovers (Powerpoint)
2/5 LAST DAY OF CLASS: Review (Powerpoint)