Category Archives: Lectures

March 2017

Photo of Kenny Biddle

Orbs or Dust: Demystifying Alleged Paranormal Photography

Kenny Biddle

Wednesday, March 15, 7:00 PM, at the Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY,

About the talk
This presentation goes into the most popular forms of “ghost & spirits” that are allegedly caught on camera & video. We’ll take a look at examples from ghost hunting groups and famous ghost photos, and compare them to recreations. We’ll break down how the camera—both still and video—capture these anomalies and ghost hunters misinterpret the images.

About the presenter
Kenny Biddle is a science enthusiast and skeptical investigator of paranormal claims. He applies his knowledge, experience, and critical thinking skills to analyzing alleged paranormal photographs. His work has been featured in Skeptical Briefs (newsletter of Skeptical Inquirer magazine), books by Ben Radford, and several skeptical magazines overseas. He is a photography consultant for MUFON, and does a video series that tackles paranormal topics from a skeptical point of view.

January 2017

Cover of the book Creepy Corners by Carolyn Dougherty

A Ghost Hunter turned Skeptic: One Paranormal Investigator’s Story

Carolyn Dougherty

Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 PM, at the Dewitt Community Library

About the talk
From an early age Carolyn Dougherty was interested in the paranormal. As an adult she has spent much of her life exploring ghost stories and claims of haunting. In her presentation for CNY Skeptics she will talk about her journey from believing to applying critical thinking to investigations.
About the presenter
Carolyn Dougherty was a writer and assistant editor for MyPara Paranormal Magazine, a writer for The Bent Spoon Magazine, and is the author of the book Creepy Corners: Searching for Truth in Paranormal Claims. She is the writer of Carolyn’s Creepy Corner, a blog promoting critical thinking in paranormal research. Dougherty earned a BA in music and English from The University of the Pacific and taught language arts for many years.

November 2016

CANCELLED!

We are sorry to have to cancel this month’s meeting. The speaker is unable to join us at this time.

“Black Holes and Gravitational Waves”

Damian Gregory Allis, Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 16, 6:00 PM at NOPL-Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero, NY

About the talk
Just over 400 years ago, Galileo’s first astronomical telescope gave us our first measured look at the Nighttime Sky. Generations on, astronomers use everything from tabletop radio telescopes to the Hubble Space Telescope to see more and farther into space. With last October’s confirmation of a final prediction from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, astronomers now have the ability to “hear” events in the universe that, in some cases, simply cannot be seen. This new astronomical “second sense” marks the beginning of a revolution in the study of the universe, from confirming the existence of black holes to eventually providing us our earliest measurements from just after the Big Bang.

About the speaker
Damian G. Allis Ph.D. is a Research Professor of Chemistry, Research Fellow with the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, bioinformaticist with Aptamatrix, Inc., and High Performance Computing Evangelist, all at Syracuse University. A crazy/overly-optimistic local amateur astronomer, he is a NASA Solar System Ambassador, long-time member of many CNY amateur astronomy clubs, and a founding member and webmaster of CNY Observers. When/because it’s cloudy, he’s also the drummer for a half-dozen local bands. He is always happy to talk shop and can be found and contacted at www.somewhereville.com.

September 2016

Bryce Hand at Bald Mt. Tower in 2006

A Geologist Looks at the Great Flood . . . or, Noah? No-ah Way!

Bryce Hand, Ph.D.

Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 PM at the Dewitt Community Library

Long-time CNY Skeptics member Bryce Hand will give us a look at Noah’s Flood from a geologist’s perspective. Bryce is professor emeritus at Syracuse University.

May 2016

Photo of Jason Wiles

“Trust Me, I’m a ‘Doctor’”

Professor Reverend Dr(s) Jason R. Wiles, Ph.D., D.Div(x3), D.B.E., D.F.S., FRSB

Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 7:00 PM, Onondaga Free Library, 4840 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse

This event is free and open to the public.

About the talk
Chances are, when an author or speaker prominently displays the title Dr. on the front covers of their books or in promotional materials, they are relying on the honorific to convey some sense of expertise in a particular area, or, in some cases, a general sense of authority. However, most serious academics rarely if ever include their degrees in their bylines. Good skeptics ought to beware prominent displays of credentials, as they are often “earned” in dubious fashion. This talk will highlight unaccredited and spurious “doctorates” offered by diploma mills and profiteering scam schools often operating under curious loopholes in state regulations on religious and other organizations offering honorary “degrees.”

About the presenter
Jason Wiles is a professor in the Biology Department at Syracuse University with additional appointments in the Departments of Earth Sciences and Science Teaching. He does hold earned degrees in biology, geosciences, and science education, but he has also amassed a stack of questionable honorary degrees, which were shockingly easy to obtain. He is usually willing to talk to people who want to learn about evolution, creationism, science policy and pedagogy, and now he offers advice on how in 20 minutes or less, for $30 or less, you too can lay claim to the authority of the title “doctor” without having to learn a single thing!