A genuine skeptic is one who inquires with an open mind, using critical thinking and paying attention to the evidence. Unfortunately, some people who call themselves skeptics are in fact pseudoskeptics. They believe they know the truth already and dismiss any evidence as irrelevant. They are committed to the belief that minds are nothing but the activity of brains and are confined to the insides of heads. Hence psi phenomena are impossible. Minds cannot influence other minds at a distance, as in telepathy, or know the future, as in precognition, or sense when a person is being stared at from behind. Therefore all the supposed evidence for psychic phenomena can be denied or dismissed.
Skeptical About Skeptics shines a light on these actors with articles by top scientists and thinkers, revealing their faulty critiques and the underhanded methods they employ. We highlight controversies in specific fields of research and examine prominent pseudoskeptics and skeptical organizations.
By Mitch Horowitz
Originally published on Boing Boing, Oct 26, 2020
Several years ago I was preparing a talk on the life of occult journeyer Madame H.P. Blavatsky (1831–1891) for the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Someone on Facebook asked sardonically: "Will James Randi be there?" My interlocutor was referencing the man known worldwide as a debunker of psychical and paranormal claims. (That my online critic was outspoken about his own religious beliefs posed no apparent irony for him.)
Last week marked the death at age 92 of James "The Amazing" Randi, a stage magician who became internationally famous as a skeptic — indeed Randi rebooted the term "skepticism" as a response to the boom in psychical claims and research in the post-Woodstock era. Today, thousands of journalists, bloggers and the occasional scientist call themselves skeptics in the mold set by Randi. Over the past decade, the investigator himself was heroized in documentaries, profiles, and, now, obituaries. A Guardian columnist eulogized him as the "prince of reason."Continue Reading
Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, June 19, 2020
© Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD
Perhaps the greatest farce in the modern history of technology is the perception of Wikipedia as a legitimate encyclopedia. It has none of the qualifications as such but has all of the characteristics of a compromised propaganda machine disguised as an encyclopedia.
An authentic encyclopedia is transparent. Users can review the qualifications and expertise of its contributors. There is no personal animus or bias. If anything, these are people who are acutely conscious of the facts regarding any given subject. There is no whitewashing, no recasting or repurposing of negative content into positive opinions or vice versa. If an error is detected, it can be quickly corrected.Continue Reading
Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, October 31, 2019 © Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD
Alongside Traditional Chinese Medicine, Indian Ayurveda is one of the world's oldest medical systems still widely accepted and practiced today. It has managed to thrive and flourish for at least three millennia and has built up an enormous body of diagnostic methods and treatments for a wide variety of mild to life-threatening illnesses and diseases. Evidence-based medicine has yet to fully explore its riches. Unlike modern conventional medicine that dominates our healthcare, Ayurveda is a "whole" medical system that goes beyond standard disease management, but also incorporates sophisticated ways sustain health, prevent physical disorders as well as balance the body and mind to promote wellness.Continue Reading
Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, December 23, 2019 © Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD
It is that time of year for seasonal acts of compassion, kindness and giving. Again Wikipedia's co-founder Jimmy Wales has reached out to tens of millions of Wikipedia users to solicit donations to keep the Wikimedia Foundation's small empire of information domination alive on the internet. It is rather outrageous that Wales, a professed atheist and a deep admirer of Richard Dawkins, a leading atheist guru and throwback to the 19th century mentality behind today's modern Skepticism, would be motivated to disingenuously take advantage of Christmas tidings to further feed the encyclopedia's billions of dollars in value.Continue Reading