5/7/07

The Basics Of Skeptism

Skepticism is the need for evidence for any claim that is made. It is the use of logic and reason to make a conclusion about the world around us. The use of Skeptism is usually contained to science but skeptics should, in my opinion, apply this way of thinking to all life. Skeptism is not just the thoughts it is the way of thinking. While some of the most influential skeptics in the world are Atheist this does not mean that all must be to be called a skeptic. There are many religious skeptics in the world. Skeptism for the most part, does not directly attack religious organizations unless it steps out of the bounds onto scientific, provable claims or it causes physical or mental distress such as in the case of cults there are many cults or pseudoscientific organizations that take money from people this is another time that Skeptism must act upon the organization to be sure that people are not being scammed out of their money. Now that I have explained the basics of Skeptism I will cover the most influential of the skeptical movement.

One of the most well known skeptics of the ages was Carl Sagan the creator of the show Cosmos, one of the more famous of scientific shows on TV, and the writer of many skeptical books such as “Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle In the Dark”, a must for any inspiring skeptic, Carl Sagan died over 10 years ago on dec.20th, 1996. He was one of the most influential skeptics of the generation. He was one of the pioneers of the skeptical movement and his death was and is a huge loss to skeptics around the globe. His death was remembered this year by many online publications and a special issue of Skeptic magazine.
The new skeptic of the age is James “the amazing” Randi he established the JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) in 1996 to further the education of the American populace and to debunk any sort of paranormal fraud. He has since made a James Randi Million-Dollar Physic Challenge where if any paranormal individual can prove his or her power they will win $1 million, the test is agreed upon by both the individual and the JREF’s representative, but to this date no one has even passed the preliminary test. Until recently the challenge has been open to any individual who claims paranormal powers but Randi has decided to focus his sights on people who have more of a media presence i.e. backing of a TV station. One of the more elusive of the physics is Sylvia Brown, who at the time of this writing, accepted Randi’s challenge 298 weeks ago. James Randi has a website at www.randi.org and you can find there DVD’s of TAM, 5 (The Amazing Meeting)`the yearly conference of skeptically minded people, and SWIFT Randi’s weekly electronic newsletter. These are the two most famous skeptics of the age.


In closing this blog will from now on focus on debunking pseudoscience and reporting skeptical and scientific news.
For two much better written blogs by two experienced skeptics would be: http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/ by Dr. Steven Novella of the New England Skeptical Society and host of the podcast The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. The Second would be http://www.skepchick.org/blog/ by Rebecca Watson, The Skepchick and panelist on the Skeptics Guide. Two Fantastic Skeptical podcast are the aforementioned Skeptics Guide and Quackcast a review of fraudulent medicine. Another humorous podcast is about critical thinking, LogicallyCritical.

If you disagree with anything on this blog, it’s fine, after all it’s the way of thinking not the thoughts that count. As long as you keep it in respectable bounds I will be happy to hear your thoughts or if you wish engage you in debate. To contact me for any disagreements or if you found any mistakes please email me at skepkid@yahoo.com

5 comments:

alice said...

What about paranormal? I.E. spontanious human combustion..

skepkid said...

of course, i cant belive i didnt mention that

Mike said...

Michael, this is incredibly well written and thought out. You never fail to amaze me, keep up the GREAT writting Michael, Im so proud of you!!

Kristi.. your aunt said...

You have to be the smartest person I know!!.. So now that I know you have things this well thought out and can write this well, I will send you over all my reports that I need written!! :)

Serg said...

Many people is skeptic, for example people who uses generic viagra will of course need prove of it result.
The other issue is the god part, many by faith prays at him, other look for evidence of him, I think we are close to a major revelation that will change our way of think for ever.