As I mentioned recently, I’ve been following the news about Skepticon on Twitter. Yesterday, a link to a recap on Damion Reinhardt’s blog came up. So I read it. Then I laughed.
Then I tweeted, “TIL: A presentation on psych research on a cognitive bias stops being about skepticism when you mention social justice. Who knew?”
You see, the post isn’t a recap. It’s a rehash of the question that popped up, back when Skepticon started getting big enough to rival TAM, of whether it was entitled to use “skeptic” in its name. You’re excited by this question, right? We should get the Skeptics Council right on that?
It’s funnier than that, because there aren’t even broad operational definitions being applied here. So humanism–historically an outgrowth of the fading belief in an interventionist god–doesn’t count as atheism. A presentation on what free speech means and doesn’t mean historically doesn’t count as skepticism, presumably because only science makes appeals to reality over bias. (Those people fighting Holocaust denial? Not real skeptics.)
It was yet more hilarious to find my presentation on a common belief that warps our perceptions to the point that it’s often called a fallacy described as “other”. I mean really? Be better at this.
Or, apparently, not. [Read more…]