Skepticism

Via Skeptical Analysis: Natural selection tends to avoid incest. Incest — more properly, inbreeding — allows recessive genetic traits to accumulate, often to the detriment of affected individuals. If a child gets…


Writes David Niose on Psychology Today:

If you don’t believe in any gods, you are an atheist, right? This definition seems pretty basic, not the kind of material that requires an advanced degree in theology to understand.

But apparently it isn’t accurate. In fact, as I circulate in the secular movement on a daily basis, I frequently meet nonbelievers who are unwilling to identify as atheists.

Of course, there are other words that might describe those who don’t believe in deities — agnostic, humanist, skeptic, etc. — and quite a few nonbelievers prefer one of those terms as their primary means of religious identification, but many reject outright the atheist identity even as a secondary or incidental label. “Don’t call me an atheist!” one such nonbeliever recently told me. “I refuse to identify according to what I reject. I don’t believe in astrology or unicorns, but I don’t label myself according to that — so why should I identify according to my rejection of god-belief?”…



Via The Corbett Report :

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Skeptics are those who advocate taking a provisional approach to all claims and carefully evaluating all the evidence before coming to a conclusion. In other words, the very process that The Corbett Report is engaged in every week, right? Well, not according to the self-professed “skeptics,” many of whom are content to skewer others for their logical fallacies yet frequently deploy logical fallacies of their own when “debunking” the “conspiracy theorists” that seem to be popping up everywhere. Join us today on The Corbett Report as we note the hypocrisies of the supposed “skeptics” and embrace the term as our own.



For those who love a good bit of debunking, Ben Goldacre‘s Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks is going to be compelling reading. As Katherine Bouton notes in the New York Times,

Ben Goldacre is exasperated. He’s not exactly angry — that would be much less fun to read — except in certain circumstances. He is irked, vexed, bugged, ticked off at the sometimes inadvertent (because of stupidity) but more often deliberate deceptions perpetrated in the name of science. And he wants you, the reader, to share his feelings.

He explains to New Scientist some of his favorite peeves: