Dr Sandy Boucher: “Humans are not always rational, but at least we could make it to the moon!”

Seventy-six people tested their mental mettle at The Wicklow Hotel last Wednesday night at Armidale’s monthly Skeptics In The Pub.

Guest speaker was Dr Sandy Boucher, Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy of Science at UNE who spoke about fallacies and cognitive biases in human reasoning.

He posed a series of tricky brain-twisters to an avid audience, most of whom, predictably, fell right into the logic trap he had set.

One hilarious example was the Fallacy of Equivocation: It is not true that “nothing is a goat”; if “nothing is a goat” is not true, then the opposite must be true; therefore “everything is a goat”!

Skeptics In The Pub attracted a wide audience, including a team of Sydney bowlers who finished competing at the Armidale tournament the day before but decided to stay an extra night so they could attend the event.

Armidale Mayor Sam Coupland and several councillors also called in, after their usual Wednesday meeting finished early.

Convenor of the event, Amelia Willmer, said: “This was only the second meeting of the newly-formed Skeptics In The Pub. With 73 people at the first and 76 at the second, it shows that having a drink and think is going down well in Armidale.

“Our next meeting on Tuesday June 25 is going to be a cracker. Guest speaker will be the eloquent and razor-sharp Rachael Parsons, Director of NERAM.

“Racheal will make us take a good, hard look at Cancel Culture, not just in the arts, but as a powerful form of social ostracism either on-line or in the real world.

“As skeptics, what tools of reasoning to do we need to recognise when Cancel Culture is justified censorship or when it is just cruel, Group-Think bullying?”

Skeptics In The Pub is a fun, friendly and free event, open to everyone, and there is no need to book, although you can reserve a table by ringing The Wicklow.

People arrive at 6pm at the ground floor of The Wicklow, order and pay for their dinners and drinks, then settle into hear the speaker, followed by a discussion session.

For further information contact Amelia Willmer, Convenor Skeptics In The Pub, on 0407 765 669