Trust Me, I’m a Scientist

Great article in the latest Scientific American by Daniel T. Willingham. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of “Why Don’t Students Like School?”. His article discusses why so many people choose not to believe what scientists say, so is of direct interest to skeptics.

A friend of mine has long held that a vaccination his son received as an infant triggered his child’s autism. He clings to this belief despite a string of scientific studies that show no link between autism and vaccines. When the original paper on such a link was recently discredited as a fraud, my friend’s reaction was that it will now be more difficult to persuade people of the dangers of vaccination. He is not alone: nearly half of all Americans believe in the vaccine-autism link or are unsure about it.

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Real Skeptics vs fake skeptics

Today’s Uk Telegraph has what can be best described as a rant from James Delingpole. Just to give you an idea of what I’m on about, here are a few choice snippits from it …

The aspect of it which I have particularly enjoyed is the sanctimonious and hypocritical rage of a vociferous lobby group of self-styled “skeptics.” (See here, here and here.) Though mostly based in Britain, they spell themselves in the American style to distinguish themselves from “sceptics” like me. That’s because, unlike proper sceptics they – get this! – are card-carrying members of the Church of Climate Change.

Now least you wonder, buried in that rant among the Ad-Hominem is his delusional belief that a “true” skeptic is somebody who is a climate-change skeptic. Little things like reality and scientific fact don’t count. Note the use of the term “Church” in a vain attempt to label climate change as a religious belief.

If curious, and you are prepared to tolerate a considerable degree of utter stupidity, then you can read his full rant here.

His main theme is that these “fake” skeptics have committed the horrendous crime of not agreeing with him … gasp, what a shock.

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Snippits from the Skeptic Blogverse

Here, are a few quick snippits that I gathered from the Skeptic blogverse today. This is quite random, there are tons of fabulous skeptic blogs out there, so please don’t think of this as a definitive list of the best-of-the-best, because its not. The selection criteria is that its simply stuff that set off my … Read moreSnippits from the Skeptic Blogverse