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Shermer Gives Speaker Series Finale

April 1, 2008 - In closing out Collin College's 2007-08 Distinguished Speaker Series, author Dr. Michael Shermer attempts to answer this : "Why People Believe Weird Things."

That's the title to Dr. Shermer's lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 15 lecture at the college's Spring Creek Campus Conference Center, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano.

Dr. Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the executive director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology.

He is the co-host and producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, "Exploring the Unknown." Dr. Shermer is the author of Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design, Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown, The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share Care, and Follow the Golden Rule and others. He has appeared on such shows as 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live, Tom Snyder, Oprah and others including documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, The Science Channel and The Learning Channel.

"Why People Believe Weird Things" delves into the reasoning behind the belief in UFO abductions, mind reading, reincarnation, urban legends and "scientific creationism." Based on his bestselling book, the presentation focuses on "pseudoscience" and how it relates to the series' theme, "knowledge."

A Conversation with Dr. Michael Shermer will be held from 10-10:50 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 16 in the conference center.

Both events are free and open to the public. The Conversation has limited seating.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored by the Collin College Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement.

For more information about the Distinguished Speaker Series, contact Regina Hughes, director, at or call 972.881.5900. Or visit the series webpage at

Collin County Community College District (Collin College) serves about 44,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.