Skeptics are losing the argument; losing the war for the American mind, and for good reason. Their actions appear to indicate confidence in the strategy of screaming louder, accusing everyone of being anti-science, conducting more personal attacks and pushing more idiot-but-celebrity personalities into the journalistic limelight; hoping that this approach will somehow rescue themselves in their plight.
However, in the end all this bray will prove to constitute is not a defense of science, rather simply the squeaking noise of their fingers desperately clutching at the metal surface, descending down the slide of irrelevance into posterity.
Virtually all skeptics believe that, in order to improve the quality of life experienced by those who inhabit this world, then the scientific literacy of our leadership and that of the general population must be enriched. I agree with this sentiment. This Kantian a priori reasoning is belied however, as skeptics are frustrated by an ever increasingly difficult or opposition-minded audience with regard to the conclusions they attempt to foist under such a guise – on both the American population, as well as their elected representatives.
Scientific American published a series of articles recently by Joe Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. The articles revolved around an original work criticizing the skeptic movement for focusing too much on soft/easy targets, and contending that ‘the skeptic movement needs shaking up’. Coupled with a complete change of landscape towards specific issues of social conscience since the Social Skepticism movement was launched to protect corporate/social/political client interests in 1972, specific mistakes are combining to change the dynamic of how the public conscience is swayed regarding critical issues of research and epistemology. Ways which were not anticipated by the smarter-than-thou leadership the skeptic community hails; indicating an ominous foreboding for Social Skepticism. For instance, celebrity skeptic PZ Meyers has decided he is done with the ‘asshole skeptic’ movement for good. Fake skeptics, science communicators, MSNBC, CNN are all being collectively filed in the circular file of the American public mind. Heck, even celeb-wanna-be and journeyman skeptic Sharon Hill has thrown in the towel over disgust with the intransigence and fecklessness of the ‘skeptic’ community:
I am not happy with the status quo in what is termed the “skeptical community” and have removed myself from group activities. My beef has been with the lack of effectiveness of promoting a skeptical worldview. The reason for this ineffectiveness has multiple factors. I’ll leave that longer discussion for some other time (or never, since I might as well talk to a wall for all the good it does). But here, in a nutshell, is what is going on in my head right now on the topic:
The fundamental shortcoming of the various organizations and the collective network is that it is missing a thoughtful mission with coherent goals.
I’d suggest such a mission would be simply to promote skeptical evaluation of questionable claims for the benefit of society.
This mission has nothing to do with secularism, humanism or atheism at all and it’s not simply cheerleading for science and reason. If anyone thinks that progress has been made by skeptical organizations to make society better, show me the metrics. I would be so happy to see them.‡
To her credit, Sharon gets that there exists a problem in the community, as exemplified no better than in her last two sentences; however she does not yet grasp the philosophical and scientific bad habits which have served to precipitate this problem.
- Skepticism, at least real skepticism, does not possess a ‘worldview’. Only noisy fake skeptics foist this idea.
- Skepticism does not ‘evaluate questionable claims’, science does.
‘Skepticism’ which attempts to foist a worldview and preempt and act on behalf of science – is known by another name. But delving into that is not the purpose of this blog post. In a nutshell, Ms. Hill is experiencing what is called Skeptive Dissonance. She is stepping into the realization that what is taught as popular skepticism stems simply from feckless ego. She is undertaking the Road Less Traveled By, and on to maturity out of anosognosia and concealed tantrum.
/philosophy : pseudoscience : ethical dissonance/ : the difficult to articulate or grasp, cognitive discomfort experienced upon one’s first perception of the disconnect between fake skepticism and real or effective science. The discomfort one experiences in overcoming a former fake skeptic anosognosia. Usually considered the first step in ethical skepticism.
Skepticism is a philosophical disciplining of the mind undertaken by the person who intends to conduct science. Ironically, the role of skepticism is to protect from ‘worldview holders’, the prejudicial status of ‘questionable claims’ and challenge the assuredness of their favored provisional ones. The role of skepticism is to protect us all from social justice warriors and their ‘worldview’ taking over science in the first place. Ms. Hill does not get this at all. Never has. Only science can evaluate questionable claims, and science does not possess a ‘worldview’ – other than the gnosis-body of what it has found. These bad practices of skepticism promoted by Ms. Hill, are exactly why the community is disintegrating through dissonance. They are falling apart because of bad instruction as to what skepticism even is. Bad skepticism.
So, perhaps this failure in mission on the part of Social Skepticism (not real skepticism) is indeed not indicative so much of a decline in the rational/scientific mindset of the general population, as it is reflective of a specific set of mistakes being wrought inside the skepticism movement itself. Perhaps, the public is a lot smarter than social skeptics give them credit. They can sense chicanery but find it hard to articulate their discomfort around it. Fake skeptics exploit this, along with errant descriptives of science and skepticism to enforce their agendas. ‘Worldview’ in their jargon has increasingly come to be associated with a specific political party, a specific paranormally-obsessed religion, specific medical diagnoses/obfuscation and specific view on failed economics; all compressed inside the circumspection and experience-lacking footprint of arrogant cubicle-constrained and celebrity infatuated academia. Americans get this.
Our feckless, low value/soft target fake skeptics do not get this. As a skeptic, if you are worried about tin-foil hats, bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, brainwashing children and how stupid everyone is, you are going to lose credibility, period. Americans are smarter than this, and they demand more than rhetosophy dressed up as science.
Skeptics are Losing the Battle for the American Mind and Here are Ten Reasons Why
Why do leading periodicals such as National Geographic today decry the “War on Science?” Perhaps this conclusion is not so much an outcome of diligent epistemology, as it is a push propaganda message on the part of social skepticism’s effort to dominate the media. An effort we have observed to be riddled with critical and harm-enabling mistakes. Through our research conducted over the past decades across a wide range of social topics, we have drawn this conclusion: Cognitive biases cause skeptics to habitually skip past critical research, fail to understand the actual scientific method, focus too much on correctness and control, instruct others as if they are idiots, try too hard to fit in with each other (ironically as if a ‘community’), chronically seek celebrity status and depend too much on experts in a single sub-field to provide a basis for opinion on broad venues of life and social discourse. All serious mistakes of non-science and Popper/Wittgenstein Error. In this article we discuss how these deeply ingrained skeptic foibles interfere with their message—through ten specific weaknesses in message and practice which have manifested over the last 20 years.
Skyrocketing Medical Debt and an Increasingly Sick Young US Demographic
Aside from the argument surrounding the latest “1 in 45” autism parental survey, an entire list of new diseases has not only sprung up, but have become the top ten most prescribed-for maladies; and only in the United States for the most part, and within the last 20 years.(1) (2) In their report “U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health (See more at: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2013/US-Health-in-International-Perspective-Shorter-Lives-Poorer-Health.aspx#sthash.BMz0Py3C.dpuf) the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine cites the condition wherein Americans are watching our selves and our children grow increasingly sick as a nation. And as we watch our loved ones suffer and die from a new class of diseases which did not exist 80 years ago, and as our family medical budgets rise by an average of $3,185 per year† and destroy our lifestyles (not to mention economy), the arrogant screams of the self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ at Science Based Medicine begin to ring hollow and appear more and more malevolent to the average American. With autism skyrocketing in our children, IBS skyrocketing, alimentary canal cancers growing, diabetes skyrocketing much faster than calories, sugar and lethargy can explain, and our loved one’s beginning to die earlier, people are beginning to doubt what oppressive groups claiming to represent medical science in the media have to say. This is not a Baby Boomer phenomena, as these diseases are now regularly striking victims in high school and college. Being a skeptic is one thing, and most of us will afford you the leeway to play your virtue signalling game into bounds of intellectual arrogance, so long as it does not affect our families. But now it is personal, deadly and despair inducing. People are no longer tolerating the arrogance of voices of denial and correctness when it pertains to national health moving in the wrong direction.
And while parents and their children suffer, as if the ‘movement’ was rubbing salt and taunt into the public’s wounds, they insist on using their holier-than-thou science minds and superior knowledge of scientific reduction to what? …waste copious amounts of time debunking the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, for the 400,000th time. People get the malicious insult, perhaps even more than do the social skeptics themselves. This fakery and misplaced priority set may serve to do more damage to the ‘community’ than any other single issue.
The Social Pressure Crucible They Created Around Fringe Subjects Has Been Shattered
The internet and social media is serving to shatter the social pressure crucible that has traditionally bound us from speaking of our paranormal experiences.(3) Ghost hunting, ancient mystery and bigfoot hunting shows are the rage. Despite the fact that every single social media site which even remotely discusses fringe topics, is assigned a team of 3 to 6 token skeptics to patrol the site and ensure that secular nihilism is taught as if it were true science, people are not buying this. They are rejecting the message along with the arrogant meatpuppet patrols who act as their prison keepers. They are buying the evidence instead. Society no longer regards the 768 subjects condemned by the Skeptic’s Dictionary (with very little real research), as all invalid. I have had four close friends, friends who have died – dead – on the operating table, all of whom have come to me (because they trust my ability to be objective and not call them crazy) and shared privately the extraordinary experiences they had. Experiences during, and only during the time in which they were dead. Four incredible, honest and information verifiable experiences. Were this thirty years ago during the golden age of methodical cynicism, they would never have come forward to anyone. How do I dismiss their observations (they are not ‘claims’)? As a skeptic I do not dismiss them. I ponder, catalog and watch for further information. These four persons are no longer afraid to come forward, much to the chagrin of the fake skeptic crowd of thugs seeking to enforce their religious choice, Secular Nihilism. Most everyone is understanding that two things now are invalid responses to such challenging observations: Knee-jerk denial, and Noelle-Neumann’s Spiral of Silence-styled oppression. Those days, along with those fake skeptics are all a thing of the past.
Statistics Show that People are Not Buying ‘Big-A’ Atheism
Despite the fact that a recent Pew Research study elucidates that a full 50 million Americans have departed or declined traditional religion(4), fewer than 12% of those in this newly apostate population even privately profess atheism when queried. Given the enormous amount of vitriol spewed by the group claiming scientific knowledge as to the basis of their belief validity concerning religion and gods, why then the refusal by even the most open minded of the general population to accept what this group has to say? The simple fact is that ‘Big-A’ Atheism (as it is commonly called – the A standing for a variety of terms) is shallow, arrogant and every bit as dogmatic and religious as is fundamentalism.(5) It is a fundamentalist religion after all. ‘Big-A’ Atheism (Secular Nihilism) is a religion; but quietly, rational people regard ignostic atheism as not constituting a religion, rather simply a thinking disposition regarding gods only. This allows them to ponder something besides the false dilemma of Atheism and Theism. Something more intellectually challenging and stimulating; something which does not boast of knowledge one cannot possibly hold.
Science is Being Abused to Enslave Not Free Us
The University of California Berkeley cites in its guidance on science, that “Science doesn’t tell you how to use scientific knowledge” and “Science doesn’t draw conclusions about supernatural explanations.”(6) Despite this, science under the SSkeptics’ watch since 1972, is not being employed to free us and our minds; rather is being abused to support specific oligarch businesses, an oppressive religion and to harm/economically enslave families.(7) The Social Skepticism movement manifests its goals through support of several specific special interest groups. These are interests of allegiance without exception inside the ‘community’, in which Social Skepticism seems to have an irrationally high focus, were it solely comprising an unstructured movement of individual ethic and science alone. Key among these partner special interests are the very familiar laundry list of control groups which manage our economically inflating agriculture, healthcare, health insurance, education, asset insurance, pharmaceuticals and universities. Science in the hands of, and under the watch of Social Skepticism, has played a key role in precipitating economic predation inside these seven hyper-inflating verticals, damaging Americans, their families, their nation. Most people are beginning to see this manifestly.
Skeptics Tend to Scream Conclusions and Not Conduct Research of Ideas
As ‘fringe’ and ‘paranormal’ researchers bring a continuous flow of higher and higher quality evidence, skeptics do absolutely nothing but scream louder and continually demonstrate that they do not possess the grasp of science nor scientific method of which they all-too-frequently boast.(8) Increasingly, the Baloney Detection Kit produced by Carl Sagan in 1995, is simply being employed to enact the squelching of thought, observations, research and ideas. Ideas which social skeptics do not favor, and seek to have blocked from access to science. Proof gaming (demand to see final proof before research ever starts) and squelching of Sponsors and Discovery Science Methodology are the chief tactics of fake skeptic. Americans get this hypocrisy intuitively, and sense a reason to distrust this group. This is one reason why skeptics are not well liked people – and not because they represent science. People grow in their insistence regarding observations under a paranormal moniker, and grow increasingly tired of being called delusional, stupid or liars by those in the arrogant Social Skeptic community. Besides the role models are often horrible persons, ones whom most Americans find shallow, attention seeking and mean.(9) Celebrities, blogs, defamation and social exclusions are no longer enough weaponry in the Social Skeptics’ arsenal, wholly now insufficient to keep the population in line. The community is viewed as a cabal of spoiled screaming children. Sorry Social Skeptics, it’s just not working anymore.
Employment of Trolling Punks Obsessing Over Persons & Politics and Not Science
Social Skeptics coordinate through specific social media sites such as Reddit and patrol a variety of popular fringe topic forums. According to Google Ad Planner the median Reddit user is male (59%), 18–29 years of age, and is connecting from the United States (68%). Pew Research has stated that 6% of all American adult Internet users have used Reddit and males were twice as likely to be Reddit users as females.(10) Reddit is a notorious hangout for the arrogant, inexperienced, shallow and criminally defamatory. These are persons who suffer Fanaticist’s Error. Skeptic ranks increasingly comprise inexperienced, thug minded, Reddit-styled-gang mentality, ignorant, hot-headed, overconfident punks. Most Americans either sense or see this, fully cognizant of meaning behind the Shakespearean quote “Methinks he doth protest too much.” When the number one circulated presentation at TAM2014 involved instructing Social Skeptics how to “Not be A Dick,” you know that there is a high-visibility problem in the Cabal with this.(11) Social Skeptics mistakenly think that this negativity will constitute a strategy of success. They routinely underestimate the ethical quality of Americans, presuming us all to be exactly like themselves. This approach will not succeed with Americans. The last few years have seen our first serious lawsuits requiring Social Skeptics to establish legal defense funds because of tortious interference and business tampering litigation regarding persons and businesses. People of science, like me, have already seen the political motivation, and the puppet show of fake science. We are not buying the poser posture.
The People Impacted are the New Peer Review
The availability of information and scientific studies is allowing diligent common persons to conduct in-depth research on their own. Contentions can be readily presented and refuted. Mom’s in particular are the primary observers of their childrens’ health for example, in contrast to ‘Science Based Medicine,’ who is not. They are disagreeing and are speaking up. Fake skeptics will tell you that skepticism is about the ‘simplest explanation’ (see the fake Occam’s Razor) and then turn around and tell smart mom’s that they are too dumb to understand the science, so shut up. Let’s be ethically clear here: if you are the victim, impacted by a new action of science – then by default – you ARE the peer. These stakeholder peers are questioning when government regulators take Vice President and higher jobs inside the corporations for which they just crafted legislation. They are elucidating the malfeasance, financing and a priori influences on authors involved in studies touted as being ‘unbiased’. They are not intimidated by extraordinary claims that others represent science, and that mom’s are stupid or delusional. Again, it is just not working. Moms are the scientists now, they are making the first hand observations and doing the testing – mostly because they have to. Social Skepticism has abandoned them, for the Potter’s Gold of celebrity and career promotion. In comparison, the fakers are simply talented at making 80 year out-of-date noise. Activist organizations such as Thinking Moms’ Revolution are making a big splash – a manifest of the increasing health and financial pressure on us which has resulted from the abuse of science by Social Skepticism since the 1970’s.
Scientists Quietly No Longer Support Social Skepticism
Scientists do not think as does the Cabal of Social Skeptics and studies make this clear.(9) (12) Scientists after all are people. Their kids get sick, their food damages their health and they have paranormal experiences too. A recent Edge Survey of science journalists and real scientists reveal an enormous schism developing between these two groups as to what constitutes good science, and the chief concerns of scientific endeavor.(12) In fact, the number one regarded issue among real scientists expressed inside that study was concern over ‘Screening of Information/Control of What is Regarded as Acceptable Science’. This contrasts dramatically with science communicator top two concerns focusing on ‘pseudoscience/religion promotion’ and ‘conspiracy theory/anti-big institution activism’. At a certain point to the ethical mind, tenets of philosophy must yield to sound evidence. The evidence is around us every day – we are being media manipulated by social skeptics. Scientists have strange occurrences in their houses, some have seen Sasquatch and UFO’s or have children who have had vaccine injuries or an entire neighborhood with allergies, cancer and diabetes. Does this make them immediately credulous on such issues? Does this mean they are making a claim to proof? No, of course not. They simply may desire some of the 768 forbidden subjects of skepticism be in fact, …I dunno, maybe researched? An inverse negation fallacy in contrast is a condition wherein you decry the de rigueur 768 topics, and the set left standing after all this rancor, just happens to overlap 100% with the religion you adopted at age 14. This fakery is tantamount to making a pseudoscientific claim – and dressing up as a scientist in an attempt to belie that reality. It cannot be defended by masquerading an Omega Hypothesis through a ‘Oh it’s the null hypothesis’ baloney – real scientists get this. All this does serve to give them pause, and opens the question: “Are our arrogant voices of conclusive certainty, maybe premature?” The resounding answer to the ethical scientific mind, is Yes.
People Now Think Outside the Box and are No Longer Intimidated by a Claim to Represent Science
Media is discovering that not only are people interested in the strange; moreover, and even more importantly, they possess an increasing thirst to know more about the world around them. They are not afraid of out of the box thinking or tough questions; a fear socially enforced through Bernaysian Engineering 150 to 50 years ago. This public sentiment makes Social Skeptics scoffing and furious – the 1972 handbook on fake science skepticism is not working! Don’t they know who we are? Why does the public not come to them, the smartest people in the room, for such information? Obviously the public is a bunch of idiots. The growth in paranormal oriented media, has not only detracted from the stream of violent soap-opera-fiction big network and fake news fare, but has spawned a whole new generation of channels dedicated solely to paranormal, science fiction and the strange.(13) The public grows ever more suspicious of people who make the extraordinary claim to represent science, yet at the same time refuse to examine the evidence on a variety of challenging issues. An interesting dichotomy in character.
The American Public is Weary of Being Called “Anti-Science”
The American public is simply and justifiably tired of this; and they are calling out people like Steven Novella for making such grandiose and unfounded claims: “Not only do people reject the science specific to their issue, they reject science itself.”(14) So claims Steven Novella (and yes, this is a claim and not an observation, under the scientific method). National Geographic recently produced a rather shallow and associative condemnation laden article on everyone who disagrees with five litmus scientific ideas, as all being one tin-foil-hat-wearing ‘War on Science‘ crowd. Social Skeptics everywhere giggled with joy. The simple fact is that the Anti-Science accusation crowd acts more like unto a political party and oligarchy movement, and nothing else. People sense this, and science is damaged in the process of its being used as ruse and football for these, less than scrupulous persons.(15) When one issues a MiHoDeAL Claim – people are no longer seeing such a claim as being based upon science. Religion, it is not just about a bearded grandfather in the sky anymore. We are not stupid, delusional, irrational, unscientific, anecdotal-conclusion vulnerable, not as susceptible to hoaxes nor are we liars as your ‘community’ implies. This continual insult of the American public, is nothing more than an attempt to remove constitutional rights, import votes from foreign countries and increase your client billing revenues. It is simply the squeaking noise skeptic fingers make as they desperately cling to the metal and skid down the slide of irrelevance into posterity.
Guys. You are losing the battle. Your horrid behaviors, darkened hearts, and control freak minds are sticking out like dead tree stumps in a forest. Those of us highly involved in science and the questions on the mind of the American population, are going to make sure that you do lose. Our society cannot afford your fakery any longer. In the end, Social Skepticism will prove simply to be a cautionary tale parents tell the children of the future.
epoché vanguards gnosis
1. “Endocrine-Immune Disruption and the Exorbitant Cost of Social Skepticism Induced Bliss,” The Ethical Skeptic, Aug 2, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/08/02/the-exorbitant-cost-of-sskepticism-induced-ignorance/.
2. “The Urgent Need to Reform the Cartel Science Around Glyphosate,” The Ethical Skeptic, Nov 19, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/11/19/pseudoscience-in-action-the-urgent-need-to-reform-the-science-around-glyphosate/.
3. “Obedience, Social Pressure, and their Fatality,” Anti Essays, extracted Nov 15, 2015; http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Social-Pressure-425975.html.
4. “If the New Religiously Unaffiliated are Not Atheists, Then Just Who are They?,” The Ethical Skeptic, May 15, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/05/15/if-the-new-religiously-unafiliated-are-not-atheists-then-just-who-are-they/.
5. “No You are Not an Atheist, You are a Nihilist,” The Ethical Skeptic, Jan 7, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/01/07/no-you-are-not-an-atheist-you-are-a-nihilist/.
6. UC Berkeley, “Understanding Science: How science really works,” extracted Nov 15, 2015; http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/whatisscience_12.
7. “The Corrupt Oligarchy of Social Skepticism,” The Ethical Skeptic, Apr 18, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/04/18/the-oligarchical-goals-of-social-skepticism/.
8. “Survey Shows Rise in Paranormal Beliefs,” Center for Inquiry, Dec 12, 2009; http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/survey_shows_rise_in_paranormal_beliefs_blending_of_christian_new_age_easte/.
9. “U.K. paranormal survey shows rise in belief,” Doubtful News, Sep 16, 2013; http://doubtflnews/2013/09/uk-paranormal-survey-shows-rise-in-belief/.
10. Duggan, Maeve, Smith, Aaron, “6% of Online Adults are Reddit Users,” Pew Research Internet Project.
11. Phil Plait, “Don’t Be a Dick,” Discover: Bad Astronomy, Aug 17, 2010; http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/17/dont-be-a-dick-part-1-the-video/#.VkjIrOJOqZM.
12. “Real Scientists Disagree with SSkeptics About World’s Top Concerns for the Future,” The Ethical Skeptic, Apr 3, 2013; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2013/04/03/real-scientists-are-not-concerned-about-the-same-things-as-are-sskeptics/.
13. “Paranormal Media: Audiences, Spirits and Magic in Popular Culture,” Oxford Journals, vol 53, issue 4; http://screen.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/4/495.extract.
14. “The Rising Age of the Cartel: Your Freedoms Were Simply an Experiment,” The Ethical Skeptic, Jul 7, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/07/07/the-rising-age-of-the-cartel-your-freedoms-were-simply-an-experiment/.
15. “The Anti-Science Party,” MSNBC, May 15, 2014; http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-anti-science-party.
† Bob Bryan, “Americans’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing”, Business Insider, Sep 14, 2016; http://www.businessinsider.com/out-of-pocket-healthcare-payments-skyrocketing-2016-9 – 10% annual rise on individual average US cost (as identified by the Commonwealth Fund annual report) of $7,960 in 2011, for a family of four.
‡ Sharon Hill, “Teaching the kids critical thinking looks like the BEST place to focus efforts”; I Doubt It, May 24 2017; extracted same; http://sharonahill.com/teaching-the-kids-critical-thinking-looks-like-the-best-place-to-focus-efforts/.