People believe strange things (you may have noticed). Deep in the cobwebs of your own mind, some fairly odd dogmas may lurk and fester. How did they get there? Why do we form beliefs, why do they stubbornly persist, and how do we use them? When we talk of convictions, do our words correspond to the real machinery of cognition? In short, just what are beliefs, and how do they coalesce and dissolve?

Michael Caton has some ideas. Join us for a talk by a psychiatrist whose research into delusions led to interest in many kinds of distorted and false beliefs, social signaling, evolution, and the relationship of language and beliefs to truth and authority. (Wow!)

Mike grew up outside Philadelphia. After a career in the Bay Area biotech industry developing cardiac and cancer medications, Mike went to medical school at UC San Diego and did his residency in psychiatry here at UC Davis. His research interest is delusions and neuroimaging, and he sees patients in Santa Rosa. In addition to psychiatry, Mike enjoys trail running, blogging, linguistics, and travel. He has a wife and two-year-old daughter who keep him honest, and mostly non-delusional.

You may be a sharp, crystalline thinker with a whip-like mind of lightning-pure perspicacity, or more like your humble webmaster, an avocado-shaped middle-aged incel wedged behind a keyboard trolling teen cosplay blogs in a MAGA t-shirt dusted with Pringle crumbs. But (we say it with a straight face) you owe yourself to attend this talk.

Hosted by Kenneth E. Nahigian and Susan McL
From Sacramento Freethinkers, Atheists, & Nonbelievers (FAN)

Remember to bring a few bucks (if you can) to help pay for renting the room. If you can’t, come anyway. The important thing is for you to be there so you can meet your new friends. This is truly a wonderful group.

The Reason Center’s expenses (rent, electricity, maintenance, security, insurance) aren’t especially heartwarming, but they’re the infrastructure that makes SacFAN, AOF, Recovering from Religion, and others thrive.

The Reason Center is the ONLY venue in the region dedicated to freethought, non-theism, rationality, skepticism, atheism, agnosticism, Humanism, and other flavors of non-belief. It’s open for you and any friends you’d like to bring.

To continue the Reason Center’s success, donate as generously as you can. All donations are very much appreciated. The Reason Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by IRS regulations. Visit for more information.

Atheists and Other Freethinkers (AOF) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports, among other things, SacFAN’s Speaker Series, which is what you’ve enjoyed for most of the last 40+ months at the general meetings. We meet on the last Sunday of each month at the Reason Center.

AOF membership forms are at the Reason Center: $10/yr for low-income individuals, $20/yr for non-low-income individuals, $30/year for families, and the patron level is $50/year. This is what pays for these terrific speakers! Visit for more information about what we do.

Bring a snack or beverage to share if you can, and a buck or two for the Reason Center donation jug. Even SacFAN has to pay to use Reason Center, so, again, your help is appreciated.


Reason Center is committed to the promotion of critical thinking and secular values. In partnership with other secular groups and organizations, it hosts knowledgeable and engaging speakers discussing a wide range of related topics.

Get Free Email Updates!

Sign up now and receive an email once we publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.