Mental Immunity with Andy Norman

This conversation is with Dr. Andy Norman of Carnegie Mellon University―also the author of the recently published book "Mental Immunity". Here we discuss, his vision for improving the cognitive immunology of every human being, how science and evidence-based reasoning relate to faith and religion, and what practical steps individuals can take to boost their mental immune systems.

Find more about Andy's work:

Andy directs the Humanism Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University and is the founder of CIRCE, the Cognitive Immunology Research Collaborative.

Find more about it:

Timeline of the session:

00:00 Introduction

01:00 A philosopher's interest in immunity

02:45 Can there be a global reasoning?

05:17 Why belief is not part of the reasoning?

07:41 What are beliefs?

10:34 What is confirmation bias?

12:20 Motivated reasoning?

14:43 Wilful unreason and wilful belief?

18:06 Importance of scientific method for reasoning

21:07 Debate between Bil Nye and Ken Ham

27:27 Reasoning and morality

28:37 Why religion is successful?

33:02 Does religion really gives happiness?

36:38 What is collaborative inquiry?

39:17 Bond together for reasoning

40:09 Ancestors of humans as critical thinkers

44:18 What are mind parasites?

47:03 What is mental immune systems?

48:37 How does bad ideas invade the immune system?

51:05 Properties of ideas. what are bad ideas?

53:30 Timeless impact of reasoning

58:12 Morality without brains

59:20 Mental vaccine for the immunity

1:02:29 What does scientific method lack in reasoning?

1:05:24 What gives you comfort?

1:06:42 Future of science and reasoning

1:09:00 More to read

1:10:13 Thank you!