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A Personal History of Skepticism

This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on the Woo Fighters website in 2010.

In what is now considered “the golden days” of skepticism, I experienced first-hand the power of grass roots activism. I will never know if or how my view of the world would differ if I had never taken that psychology class in

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On Skepticism: Its Definitions and Scope


Several people have asked me if I plan to respond to PZ Myers, considering the “beating” he gave me and others in a post last week.

No, I don’t. I may if I see a good reason, but the truth is that responding to him is a bit like debating a creationist. Sometimes one should, but this is not one

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Why Skeptics Pick On Jenny McCarthy and Bill Maher


Why do skeptics criticize Jenny McCarthy and Bill Maher?

Because they publicly trash mainstream science despite lacking the expertise to properly analyze methodology and draw different conclusions (how scientists do it).

Science uses peer review (not just “review”) to weed out bad studies, test the robustness of findings, and discuss appropriate conclusions. Peers are people who work in the same

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The Must-See of TAM2012 & Some Thoughts on Good Neighbors

The highlight of TAM2012 was an easy pick. That does not mean that the talks were bad by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, despite what some felt was a scarcity of “big draw” speakers (e.g., high-profile science communicators like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye or high-profile atheists such as Richard Dawkins), the talks were as excellent

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Mission Drift, Conflation, and Food For Thought

In my last post, I took issue with the a number of problems with a particular straw man complaint that organized skepticism is too narrow. As part of that post, I wrote:

…skepticism, secularism, and atheism are different things. Among them, secularism has the closest ties with liberal ideology, but even secularism is not liberalism.

Shane Brady left a

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