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23 November 2005

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coturnix

Well, some true believers call themselves 'skeptics', as in "global warming skeptics" or "evolution skeptics", thus giving the skepticism a bad name.

And of course, "You never know" is not how serious skeptics think. What B.Russell said is much closer - distinguishing wheat from teh chaff and going with the wheat until better evidence forces you to change your mind.

BTW, I am hosting the "Skeptic's Circle" next week, so send an entry if you are in a mood for such a topic - look through the archives for examples of some excellent skepticism and for inspiration.

drakvl

Do you remember the TV show Sightings? It was full of all sorts of things people would consider a bit crazy, with a particular fondness for UFO and ghost sightings. I remember one episode where they discussed synaesthesia, something which I later learned was a legitimate, well-documented medical condition. This sort of thing is why I don't like completely dismissing things. Granted, I'm a math student, and not studying the sciences, so I don't really have to worry about Occam's razor.

coturnix

I've been very interested in synaesthesia for quite a while now. But he point is, I guess, to learn what sources to trust - certainly not the TV!

Larry Ayers

My attitudes are very similar to yours, though I've never explicated them as thoroughly as you have here. I also am fond of the scientific method, reproducible results, etc., but do withhold judgement on certain inexplicable experiences I have had.

I'm also well aware of just how easily one can fool oneself, that powerful human urge to believe the improbable!

drakvl

Actually, my point was that even bad sources can luck onto sound science every now and again.

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