Chico Skeptics

Chico California's Skeptic Community


Welcome to the Chico Skeptics

We are a group of folks that like to think -and talk- about:

current scientific topics, 

our mutual disbelief in the paranormal/supernatural,

and living within a humanistic ethical system. 

If that is something that sounds like your style, visit us at a gathering in Chico (see Events) or sneak a peek at our discussions/members on the Facebook group

Previous Events and Topics of Discussion

August 18th 2015

Are you excessively trusting Science for all the answer? Probably not, but skeptical people do get labeled as believing in "Scientism" when they ask for evidence of wacky claims. We discussed the idea behind Scientism and why it is easy for detractors to fling it during a dispute.

Pareidolia! Faces, faces everywhere; on Mars and in a grilled cheese sandwich.  We disccused our funny human talent for imposing images on random noise.

Image: photo stock, a 3D rendering of the infamous Face on Mars 

July 16th 2015

PLUTO! the planetoid and its moon Charon.  First images from the flyby and general upbeat excitement for the human species exploration of the universe.


Water Fluoridation. Is it a government program for sterilization, sickening, and mind control of the populations....or a rather effective way to help minimize human suffering and costs to public health infrastructure? We say the it helps.

Image: photo stock 

June 17th 2015

Just a quick meetup of folks to discuss anything.

We did a little planning for the future too

image: photostock (not the actual Round Table pizza)

May 20th 2015
Are you a Straw-Vulcan? Probably not, but we talked about what one acts like and how it may be creepily close to we actually want to do. The balancing act of being rational yet approachable.

We discussed a section of Your Deceptive Mind by Dr Steven Novella on the flaws inherit in memory formation and recall.  The take away - Eyewitness testimony isn't great.


April 22nd 2015

Some of the what and how about Earth Day (a timely topic).

And the related topic of Geo-Engineering; changing the earth to fix our mistakes....or mind control!  We felt that the mind control idea may be a bit hyperbolic. We had some great suggestions from that night on how the Mind-Control crowd could test their hypotheses.

Image: stock photo

March 26th 2015

The (maybe...kinda) dangers of microwave ovens. We saw some interesting claims from the internet on non-heat related dangers, then looked at the science that doesn't support them.

On a lighter note that night, we discussed End of Life decisions (aka Physician Assisted Suicide) and compare/contrasted the implications. We had data from the state of Oregon's Compassionate Care program to help in the analysis.


February 16th 2015

We refreshed our group's tagline: "Humanistic Ethics, Secular Government, Evidence Based Decisions"

And talked about the roots of modern skepticism; from Pyrrho to Sagan.

On FEBRUARY 20th 2014 we discussed the many flaws in 12 step recovery programs, and how secular self help recovery is proving to be much more successful. 

Our guest speaker, Byron Kerr, is an executive board member of LifeRing, a secular based recovery program based in the Bay Area, and he will be helping us get one started here in Butte County. 

Chico Skeptics is spearheading this movement for the first time in Butte County, breaking through a huge wall of failing faith based programs that are prominent in the area. I hope you will join us in this important project and intriguing, controversial discussion. 

The venue is at Peking Chinese Restaurant in the banquet room. It's located at 234 W. 2nd downtown Chico between Golden One and Mom's. 7:30pm. There is great food and drinks available, including beer/wine. All ages welcome. This event is free! (RSVP to this event on the Chico Skeptics FaceBook page to receive an extra raffle ticket! Prizes include a gift certificate for two at Monks Wine Lounge and more!)

Think you might be a skeptic? Come on in! Grab some great food, a drink and a chair. Join us in some intellectual, intriguing conversation. Who knows? You may just learn something. And make a few friends. There is beer/wine available. All ages welcome.

Thursday Night Market
We had fun. Lets do it again next summer. :-) 
Chico Science Fair

Again this year Chico Skeptics we honored excellence in science and reason by sponsoring special awards at the Chico Science Fair. We gave cash awards for the science fair projects that show exceptional use of the scientific method. 
$50 Grades 0-5
$50 Grades 6-9
$50 Grades 10-12
$150 Best use of the scientific method to investigate a common belief or myth
(myth busting)

Dan Barker - Losing Faith in Faith


Dan Barker

Co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation,Dan Barker, tells his story from faithful to freethinker during an October 21st presentation given at California State University, Chico.

Author of: Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist

Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists

The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God

Presentation and Book Signing

End Times Analysis

Jolyon Johnson has written an excellent summary of the beliefs behind the latest end-times prophecy made by Family Radio cult's Harold Camping. What Family Radio Teaches.pdf

Rapid Climate Change Author Speaks to Skeptics

Scott McNall, Chico State professor and author of the book "Rapid Climate Change" explores the politicization of the topic, the polarization of opinion, and the reasons why, for some, science has become just another ideology to be contested. How do we humans assess risk? Why are we so bad at focusing on the future? How can we solve the problem of climate change? These are the questions Scott addresses in his book and at our April 7th, 2011 meeting.


Chico Skeptics Honor Science Fair Students

On March 31st, Chico Skeptics board members judged more than 400 Chico Science Fair projects critiquing students use of critical thinking, the scientific method and myth busting. We provided cash awards and certificates to three aspiring young scientists and are happy to announce the winners here.

 Olivia Blee

Andrea Merriman

 Aline Ingleson-Filpula

Evolutionary psychologist, Harold Baize and cognitive psychologist, Eddie Vela, examine the provocative results of the recent study by respected researcher,Daryl Bem which suggests the existence of precognition.

Local Skeptics on Christian Radio

 Evolution or Creation?

California State University Biology professor Dr. John Mahoney, represented the facts of evolution alongside statements from an area creationist on local Christian radio, KKXX, during the week of February 6th, 2011.

On Monday, host Jerry Olenyn spent a few minutes setting up the rest of the week.You can catch that show on their website at

Tuesday Dr. Mahoney presented evolution.


Wednesday,father Peter Hansen described Intelligent Design. You can catch that show on their website at

Thursday's show features the conversation between Dr. John Mahoney and Father Peter Hansen:


Friday's show features the continued conversation between Dr. John Mahoney and Father Peter Hansen:


Chico Skeptic president, Harold Baize, and vice-president, Brian Peterson, were recently invited to discuss skepticism on Christian radio KKXX. The half hour show was hosted by former KHSL news anchor, Jerry Olenyn. Here is the unedited audio from January 25th.

If there are future discussions, we'll announce them here and you can listen live at KKXX 930 AM, 104.5 FM or at

Eddie Vela's talk on Evolutionary Psychology

Dr. Eddie Vela, professor of cognitive psychology at Chico State University Chico,gives an introduction to Evolutionary Psychology, what it is, the structure of the theory, and basic evidence for it.


New Evidence for Evolution given at 10/7/10 meeting

John Mahoney, Professor of Biology at California State University, Chico, gave a presentation on the "New Evidence for Evolution," where he discussed the latest research and its implications for the theory. He also talked about how to understand this evidence and share it with others.



Exoplanets Discovered (and explained)

Couldn't make our July 1st, 2010 meeting? You may have missed him live, but you can check out our featured speaker Jolyon Johnson give his riveting talk on exoplanets here. 

Jo's book can be found here, and his journal articles here.




The images on this site not produced by the Chico Skeptics are not used for financial gain, with permission or credit given when applicable.