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  • Hey, I am Michael Shermer, the director of the Skeptics Society,

    嗨!我是麥可‧薛莫,是懷疑論者協會理事長。

  • the publisher of "Skeptic" magazine.

    懷疑論者雜誌的發行人。

  • We investigate claims of the paranormal, pseudo-science,

    我們調查聲稱超自然偽科學的現象,

  • and fringe groups and cults and claims of all kinds between --

    邊緣科學、邪教和種種主張 -

  • science and pseudo-science and non-science and junk science,

    科學和偽科學和非科學和垃圾科學,

  • voodoo science, pathological science, bad science, non-science

    巫毒科學、病態科學、壞科學、非科學,

  • and plain old nonsense.

    以及無稽之談。

  • And unless you've been on Mars recently,

    除非你最近去過火星,

  • you know there's a lot of that out there.

    你知道世上有許多這些東西,

  • Some people call us debunkers, which is kind of a negative term.

    所以,人人稱我們為拆穿者 雖然這稱呼有點負面。

  • But let's face it -- there's a lot of bunk,

    但是,承認吧!確實有太多胡說八道了。

  • and we are like the bunko squads of the police departments out there, flushing out.

    我們就像是警察局的詐騙小組進行掃除工作,

  • Well, we're sort of like the Ralph Naders of bad ideas

    我們就像是偵辦壞主意的拉爾夫納德檢察官。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • -- trying to replace bad ideas with good ideas.

    嘗試將壞主意換成好的。

  • I'll show you an example of a bad idea.

    讓我給你們看看壞主意長什麼樣子

  • I brought this with me.

    我帶來了這個

  • This was given to us by NBC Dateline to test.

    NBC晨間節目把這個給我們做測試

  • It's the -- it's produced by the Quadro Corporation of West Virginia.

    由西維吉尼亞州的Quadro公司所製造,

  • It's called the Quadro 2000 Dowser Rod.

    稱為Quadro2000探測棒。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • This was being sold to high school administrators for 900 dollars a piece.

    賣給高中職員 一個900塊美金

  • It's a piece of plastic with a Radio Shack antenna attached to it.

    由一片塑膠連接RadioShack牌天線所組成。

  • You could dowse for all sorts of things, but this particular one

    你可以用它探測任何東西 但是這一款,是特別為

  • was built to dowse for marijuana in students' lockers.

    探測學生置物櫃裡的大麻所設計的。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So the way it works is, you go down the hallway and you see if

    使用方法是你走進走廊一路偵測,看天線是否

  • it tilts toward a particular locker, and then you open the locker.

    會指向某個置物櫃,然後,你就可以打開來檢查。

  • So it looks something like this.

    所以,看起來就像這樣。

  • I'll show you.

    我秀給你們看。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • No, it -- well, it has kind of a right-leaning bias.

    不,噢!它似乎會偏右邊。

  • So, I'll show -- well, this is science, so we'll do a controlled experiment.

    所以,嗯!這是科學,所以我們來做個核對實驗。

  • It'll go this way for sure.

    從這邊走應該就會朝向這邊了。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Sir, you want to empty your pockets. Please, sir?

    先生,可以請您掏出您的口袋嗎?先生。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So the question was, can it actually find marijuana in students' lockers?

    所以,問題是,這真的能找出學生置物櫃裡藏的大麻嗎?

  • And the answer is, if you open enough of them, yes.

    答案是,如果你開得夠多,就找得出來。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • But in science, we have to keep track of the misses, not just the hits.

    但是,在科學上我們必須記錄那些不準的,不能只記準的。

  • And that's probably the key lesson to my short talk here, is that

    這也許就是我這簡短演講的重點,那就是

  • this is how psychics work, astrologers, and tarot card readers and so on.

    這就是通靈者占星家、塔羅牌師等等的運作原理。

  • People remember the hits; they forget the misses.

    人們會記住準的,忘記不準的。

  • In science we have to keep the whole database,

    在科學上,我們必須保存完整的資料。

  • and look to see if the number of hits somehow stands out

    檢視準確的數據是否會明顯地

  • from the total number that you would expect by chance.

    從全部可預測的機率數字當中突顯出來。

  • In this case, we tested it.

    在這個例子中,我們測試了這儀器。

  • We had two opaque boxes:

    我們準備兩個不透光的箱子,

  • one with government-approved THC marijuana, and one with nothing.

    一個藏有政府認證含有四氫大麻酚的大麻,另一個是空的,

  • And it got it 50 percent of the time --

    準確度是一半一半,

  • which is exactly what you'd expect with a coin flip model.

    跟你可預測的丟銅板的機率法則完全一樣。

  • So that's just a fun little example here of the sorts of things we do.

    所以,這只是個有趣的小例子告訴你我們,工作的性質。

  • "Skeptic" is the quarterly publication.

    懷疑論者雜誌是個季刊,

  • Each one has a particular theme, like this one is on the future of intelligence.

    每季都有個主題,例如這一個是關於未來智慧的,

  • Are people getting smarter or dumber?

    人是愈來愈聰明?還是愈來愈笨?

  • I have an opinion of this myself because of the business I'm in,

    因為工作的關係,我自己對這有個人的見解。

  • but, in fact, people, it turns out, are getting smarter.

    但事實上,結果顯示,人是愈來愈聰明的。

  • Three IQ points per 10 years, going up.

    每十年提升3個IQ數值。

  • Sort of an interesting thing.

    這點蠻有趣的。

  • With science, don't think of skepticism as a thing or even science as a thing.

    講科學不能把懷疑論或甚至是科學當作一樣東西。

  • Are science and religion compatible?

    像是在問科學和宗教可並立嗎?

  • It's like, are science and plumbing compatible?

    像是在問科學與水電並立嗎?

  • These -- they're just two different things.

    這些它們其實就是兩種不同的東西。

  • Science is not a thing. It's a verb.

    科學不是東西,而是動詞,

  • It's a way of thinking about things.

    是思考事物的方式。

  • It's a way of looking for natural explanations for all phenomena.

    是為所有現象尋找自然的解釋的方法。

  • I mean, what's more likely:

    我的意思是,

  • that extraterrestrial intelligences or multi-dimensional beings travel across

    外星生物和多重次元的生靈橫跨

  • the vast distances of interstellar space to leave a crop circle

    星際空間浩瀚的距離,留下麥田圈,

  • in Farmer Bob's field in Puckerbrush, Kansas to promote skeptic.com, our webpage?

    在堪薩斯州帕克布萊西的鮑伯農場上,宣傳我們的網站skeptic.com的可能性較大,

  • Or is it more likely that a reader of "Skeptic" did this with Photoshop?

    還是某懷疑論者雜誌的讀者利用Photoshop製作出來的可能性大呢?

  • And in all cases we have to ask

    在所有這些案例裡頭,我們都必須問,

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • -- what's the more likely explanation?

    最有可能的解釋是什麼?

  • And before we say something is out of this world,

    在我們說有些東西來自外世界之前,

  • we should first make sure that it's not in this world.

    我們首先應該查明它並不存在於這個世界。

  • What's more likely --

    哪個可能性較高,

  • that Arnold had a little extraterrestrial help in his run for the governorship?

    阿諾史瓦辛格有外星人幫忙競選州長呢?

  • Or that the "World Weekly News" makes stuff up?

    或是世界新聞周刊捏造的呢?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And part of that -- the same theme is expressed nicely

    其中同樣的主題,卻在辛尼海羅斯的卡通中,

  • here in this Sidney Harris cartoon.

    被詮釋得很不錯。

  • For those of you in the back, it says here: "Then a miracle occurs.

    給坐在後排的觀眾,這上面說,"然後奇蹟發生,

  • I think you need to be more explicit here in step two."

    我覺得你應該把第二步驟說得更詳細一點。"

  • This single slide completely dismantles the intelligent design arguments.

    這一張投影片完全拆散了智慧設計論證。

  • There's nothing more to it than that.

    再清楚也不過了。

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • You can say a miracle occurs.

    你可以說奇蹟發生。

  • It's just that it doesn't explain anything.

    只是這不能解釋任何事情。

  • It doesn't offer anything. There's nothing to test.

    不能提供什麼。沒有東西可以測試。

  • It's the end of the conversation for intelligent design creationists.

    這是智慧設計創意工作者的談話終點。

  • Whereas -- and it's true, scientists sometimes throw terms out as

    反之,確實科學家有時會丟出一些名詞當作

  • linguistic place fillers -- dark energy or dark matter or something like that --

    語言學的填空詞--黑暗能量或黑暗物質或其他類似的等等。

  • until we figure out what it is, we'll just call it this --

    直到我們明白這是什麼之前,我們就暫時稱它為這個,

  • it's the beginning of the causal chain for science.

    對科學而言這是因果連結鏈的開始。

  • For intelligent design creationists, it's the end of the chain.

    對智慧設計創意工作者而言,則是因果連結鏈的末端。

  • So again, we can ask this: what's more likely?

    我們可以再次詢問,哪個可能性較高,

  • Are UFOs alien spaceships or perceptual cognitive mistakes -- or even fakes?

    幽浮比較可能是外星人的太空船或是感官認知的錯誤或甚至是假的。

  • This is a UFO shot from my house in Altadena, California,

    這是我從加州猶它旦市家中拍到的幽浮照片,

  • looking down over Pasadena.

    向下俯瞰帕薩迪納市。

  • And if it looks a lot like a Buick hubcap, it's because it is.

    如果這看起來像別克汽車的輪蓋,那是因為它根本就是。

  • You don't even need Photoshop; you don't need high-tech equipment;

    你甚至不需要Photoshop,不需要高科技器材,

  • you don't need computers.

    你不需要電腦,

  • This was shot with a throwaway Kodak Instamatic camera.

    這是用柯達Instamatic拋棄型相機拍的。

  • You just have somebody off on the side with a hubcap ready to go.

    你只需要有人在旁邊準備擲出輪蓋就可以了。

  • Camera's ready -- that's it.

    相機準備好--就這麼簡單。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So, although it's possible that most of these things are fake

    雖然,大部份這些東西都有可能是假的,

  • or illusions or so on and that some of them are real,

    或是幻象等等,但有些是真的。

  • it's more likely that all of them are fake, like the crop circles.

    更有可能全部都是假的,就像麥田圈一樣。

  • On a more serious note, in all of science we're looking for a balance

    說正經的,在所有科學裡,我們都在尋找一種平衡,

  • between data and theory.

    介於數據與理論之間。

  • In the case of Galileo, he had two problems

    以伽利略來說,他有兩個困難,

  • when he turned his telescope to Saturn.

    當他用望遠鏡觀察土星時,

  • First of all, there was no theory of planetary rings.

    首先,那時沒有行星環的理論,

  • And second of all, his data was grainy and fuzzy,

    第二,他的數據是粗糙模糊的,

  • and he couldn't quite make out what it was he was looking at.

    而且,他並不太了解自己正在看的是什麼,

  • So he wrote that he had seen --

    所以他就寫下他看到了。

  • "I have observed that the furthest planet has three bodies."

    "我觀察到最遠的星球有三個形體"。

  • And this is what he ended up concluding that he saw.

    而這是他最後對自己的觀察所做的結論。

  • So without a theory of planetary rings and with only grainy data,

    沒有行星環的理論且憑靠粗糙的資料,

  • you can't have a good theory.

    你不可能建構很好的理論。

  • And it wasn't solved until 1655.

    一直到1655年才得到解答,

  • This is Christiaan Huygens's book in which he cataloged all the mistakes

    惠更斯的書中記載了所有人在嘗試了解,

  • that people made in trying to figure out what was going on with Saturn.

    土星時所犯的錯誤。

  • It wasn't till -- Huygens had two things.

    但是一直到惠更斯有了兩樣東西,

  • He had a good theory of planetary rings and how the solar system operated.

    好的行星環理論和了解太陽系如何運轉。

  • And then, he had better telescopic, more fine-grain data

    而且,當時他有更好的望遠鏡及更細微的數據,

  • in which he could figure out that as the Earth is going around faster --

    從中他了解到當地球轉得比土星更快速,

  • according to Kepler's Laws -- than Saturn, then we catch up with it.

    根據克卜勒三大定律,然後我們會追上它。

  • And we see the angles of the rings at different angles, there.

    我們從不同的角度,看見行星環不同的角度。

  • And that, in fact, turns out to be true.

    而事實上,結果真是如此。

  • The problems with having a theory

    有理論的問題是,

  • is that your theory may be loaded with cognitive biases.

    你的理論可能會充滿認知偏見。

  • So one of the problems of explaining why people believe weird things

    所以,要解釋人為何會相信奇異現象的困難之一,

  • is that we have things on a simple level.

    就是我們會簡化事物。

  • And then I'll go to more serious ones.

    然後,我之後會再說比較多的例子。

  • Like, we have a tendency to see faces.

    例如,我們會傾向看見臉孔,

  • This is the face on Mars, which was --

    這些是在火星上的臉,

  • in 1976, where there was a whole movement to get NASA

    1976年有很多運動要求美國太空總署

  • to photograph that area because people thought

    為這些地區拍攝照片,因為人們認為

  • this was monumental architecture made by Martians.

    這些是火星人蓋的紀念建築。

  • Well, it turns out -- here's the close-up of it from 2001.

    後來發現這是2001年所拍攝的近照。

  • If you squint, you can still see the face.

    如果你斜視仍可以看見臉,

  • And when you're squinting, what you're doing is

    當你斜視時,你就是在

  • you're turning that from fine-grain to coarse-grain.

    將影像從微粒變成粗粒的。

  • And so, you're reducing the quality of your data.

    也就是說你在降低資料的品質。

  • And if I didn't tell you what to look for, you'd still see the face,

    如果我不告訴你,該看什麼,你還是會看見臉孔,

  • because we're programmed by evolution to see faces.

    因為進化將我們設計成,會看見臉孔的生物。

  • Faces are important for us socially.

    在社交上,臉孔對我們很重要,

  • And, of course, happy faces.

    當然還有笑臉,

  • Faces of all kinds are easy to see.

    各種臉孔都很容易被看見。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • You can see the happy face on Mars, there.

    你可以看見火星上的笑臉在上面。

  • If astronomers were frogs perhaps they'd see Kermit the Frog.

    如果天文學家是青蛙的話,那麼他們可能就會看見芝麻街的青蛙柯密特。

  • Do you see him there?

    看見了嗎?

  • Little froggy legs.

    小小的青蛙腳。

  • Or if geologists were elephants?

    或是如果考古學家是大象呢?

  • Religious iconography.

    宗教肖像。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Discovered by a Tennessee baker in 1996.

    1996年由田納西的一位麵包師傅所發現,

  • He charged five bucks a head to come see the nun bun

    他收一個人頭五塊錢來讓人看這塊修女麵包,

  • till he got a cease-and-desist from Mother Teresa's lawyer.

    直到他收到特瑞莎修女的律師寄來的禁止通知函為止。

  • Here's Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Watsonville, just down the street,

    這是在下一條街的瓜達露珮聖母和華森維爾聖母。

  • or is it up the street from here?

    或是從這裡過去的上一條街?

  • Tree bark is particularly good because it's nice and grainy, branchy,

    樹皮的效果特別好,因為粗糙且枝繁,

  • black-and-white splotchy and you can get the pattern-seeking --

    黑白有汙點,然後你就可以尋找圖樣,

  • humans are pattern-seeking animals.

    人類是圖樣找尋的動物。

  • Here's the Virgin Mary on the side of a glass window in Sao Paulo.

    這是在聖保羅一個玻璃窗邊上的聖母瑪利亞。

  • Now, here's the Virgin Mary made her appearance on a cheese sandwich --

    而這是聖母瑪利亞顯靈在起司三明治上,

  • which I got to actually hold in a Las Vegas casino,

    實際上我在拉斯維加斯賭場親手拿過。

  • of course, this being America.

    當然因為這裡是美國。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • This casino paid 28,500 dollars on eBay for the cheese sandwich.

    這間賭場在eBay上花了28500美金買下這起司三明治。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • But who does it really look like, the Virgin Mary?

    但是這到底看起來像誰呢?聖母瑪利亞嗎?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • It has that sort of puckered lips, 1940s-era look.

    有那種40年代噘嘴的樣子,

  • Virgin Mary in Clearwater, Florida.

    聖母瑪利亞在佛羅里達州的清水市。

  • I actually went to see this one.

    我實際去看過這個。

  • There was a lot of people there -- the faithful come to be in their --

    那裡聚集了許多人--虔誠的信徒來到這裡,

  • wheelchairs and crutches, and so on.

    有坐輪椅的、有撐拐的等等,

  • And we went down, investigated.

    我們到那裡去做了調查。

  • Just to give you a size -- that's Dawkins, me and The Amazing Randi,

    順便讓你知道,我們的人力,那是道金斯、我和令人驚奇的瑞迪。

  • next to this two, two and a half story size image.

    在兩個兩個半層樓高的影像旁邊,

  • All these candles, so many thousands of candles people had lit in tribute to this.

    所有的蠟燭人們,點燃成千上萬的蠟燭來讚頌這景象。

  • So we walked around the backside, just to see what was going on here,

    所以我們就繞到背後去看看,這到底是怎麼回事。

  • where -- it turns out wherever there's a sprinkler head and a palm tree,

    結果發現只要有灑水噴頭和棕櫚樹的地方,

  • you get the effect.

    你就會看到這樣的效果。

  • Here's the Virgin Mary on the backside, which they started to wipe off.

    這就是在後面,他們已經開始在擦拭的聖母瑪利亞。

  • I guess you can only have one miracle per building.

    我想一棟建築物頂多只能有一個奇蹟吧!

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So is it really a miracle of Mary, or is it a miracle of Marge?

    這到底是聖母瑪利亞的奇蹟?還是瑪姬的奇蹟?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And then I'm going to finish up with another example of this

    接下來我想要以另一個類似的例子來作為結束,

  • with audio -- auditory illusions.

    用聽--聽覺幻象。

  • There is this film, "White Noise,"

    有部電影叫鬼訊號,

  • with Michael Keaton about the dead talking back to us.

    由麥可基頓主演,關於亡者回應我們的話。

  • By the way, this whole business of talking to the dead, it's not that big a deal.

    順便說一下,跟亡者說話並沒有什麼了不起,

  • Anybody can do it, turns out.

    結論是任何人都做得到。

  • It's getting the dead to talk back that's the really hard part.

    叫亡者回應我們的話,才是真正難的地方。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • In this case, supposedly, these messages are hidden in electronic phenomena.

    這個例子,在電子現象當中藏有一些訊息,

  • There's a ReverseSpeech.com web page from which I downloaded this stuff.

    我從ReverseSpeech.com的網站上下載了這個,

  • Here is the forward -- this is the most famous one of all of these.

    這是向前轉的,也是最有名的一段。

  • Here's the forward version of the very famous song. (Music)

    這是這首非常有名的歌曲的正常版本。

  • Boy, couldn't you just listen to that all day?

    天啊!這音樂可以讓人聽一整天。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • All right, here it is backwards,

    好的,接下來是倒轉的版本。

  • and see if you can hear the hidden messages that are supposedly in there. (Music)

    看看你是否聽得出裡面應該藏有的訊息。

  • What did you get?

    你聽到了什麼?

  • Audience: "Satan."

    (聽眾:撒旦)

  • Michael Shermer: "Satan?" OK, well, at least we got "Satan."

    麥可‧薛莫:撒旦,好,至少我們聽出了撒旦。

  • Now, I'll prime your auditory part of your brain

    現在我將先替你頭腦的聽力部分做準備,

  • to tell you what you're supposed to hear, and then hear it again. (Music)

    告訴你,應該聽見的內容然後再聽一遍。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • You can't miss it when I tell you what's there.

    我告訴你那裡有什麼之後,你就不可能會錯過。

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • All right, I'm going to just end with a positive, nice, little story

    好,最後我將以一個正面溫馨的小故事做為結束。

  • about -- the Skeptics is a nonprofit educational organization.

    關於懷疑論者協會是非營利的教育組織。

  • We're always looking for little, good things that people do.

    我們總是在尋找人們所做的小小的好事。

  • And in England, there's a pop singer.

    在英國有個流行歌手,

  • Very -- one of the top popular singers in England today, Katie Melua.

    是當下英國最頂尖的流行歌手凱特瑪露。

  • And she wrote a beautiful song.

    她寫了一首很美的歌。

  • It was in the top five in 2005, called, "Nine Million Bicycles in Beijing."

    2005年排名前五名歌名,叫做"北京有九百萬輛腳踏車"。

  • It's a love story -- she's sort of the Norah Jones of the U.K. --

    描寫一個愛情故事--她就像是英國的諾拉瓊絲。

  • about how she much loves her guy,

    關於她有多愛她的男人,

  • and compared to nine million bicycles, and so forth.

    與九百萬輛腳踏車做比較等等。

  • And she has this one passage here.

    其中有一段歌詞