Quantcast

«

»

Sep 23 2010

How skeptics and the credulous differ

Youtube user C0nc0rdance discusses skepticism, “psi of the gaps”, and the difference in thought processes behind the scientifically minded and credulous “woo-believers”, specifically when confronted with anomalies in the data. You’ll find a lot of overlap between creationism, astrology, ghost-hunters, psychics, et cetera. This kind of thinking is what I, as a skeptic, have made it my business to fight.

All tied up in a neat little package. People believe strange things for a number of reasons, most of them to do with selection bias and some sort of emotional investment in having their chosen hypothesis turn out to be true. Any time you’re dealing with someone that believes in something very strongly, but has no evidence to back it up, you’ll get these creeping failures to analyze evidence in their proper context. You’ll get cherry-picking, or manipulation of the data, or even manipulation of the data-collecting methodologies. You’ll get the kind of knock-down, drag-out fight we get around these parts now and then, like the astrology dust-up. You’ll also specifically get the kinds of arguments about studies that Robert Currey attempted to make, about what studies showed what, and what studies were worth keeping, almost entirely on the basis of what proved and disproved what he was trying to say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>