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Spirit and Nature of Science

Dr Michael Shermer & Dr Jeffrey Schwartz | 1:25:52


Thank you very much. It's great to be here. And I've been looking forward to this discussion. This is the Veritas Forum. And as you know, the word stands for truth. It's Latin for truth. The first standard in the WASC accreditation handbook, that's the group that accredits UCLA and all the schools in this area, is that the function of the university is to find and disseminate truth. Well, what is truth? Truth is where what you are thinking of is, as you think it is. It's a rather simple concept. Children master it easily. On the other hand, many truths are not simple, and they're not easy. And so as we come to discuss the issues before us this evening, we're going to have to try to listen to reason, in order to find out truth as best we can.

We're calling it a debate. But it's helpful to think of this in terms of joint exploration. And perhaps one of the ways we can most profit is if we will identify the person we think is wrong and try to listen to them most carefully to see what reasons they have. Our first round is a discussion between Jeffery Schwartz and Michael Shermer.

And Jeffrey Swartz is faculty on this campus. He is a research professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine. He's written many books, the one I'm most familiar with is "The Mind and the Brain". And he has, especially in relation to obsessive-compulsive disorders, really shaken the area of research he's in by discovering empirically how the focusing of attention actually leads to modification of the brain.

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