Skepticism 101

I’d like to start by sharing a  portion of the definition for “skeptic” that is included in each  issue of Skeptic Magazine:

“What is a Skeptic? Some people believe that skepticism is rejection of new ideas, or worse, they confuse ‘skeptic’ with ‘cynic’ and think that skeptics are a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons unwilling to accept any claim that challenges the status quo. This is wrong.  Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas- no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position……when we say we are ‘skeptical’, we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe. Skeptics are from Missouri- the *show me* state. When we hear a fantastic claim we say,  ‘That’s nice, prove it.’ …….The key to skepticism is to continuously and vigorously apply the methods of science to navigate the treacherous straits between ‘know nothing’ skepticism and ‘anything goes’ credulity.”

I really like that last sentence- and that’s the trick, isn’t?  Discerning the differences between valuable information and misinformation is not always clear-cut. As Junior Skeptic editor and author Daniel Loxton puts it, Our internal equalizer bars of gullible and shrewd,  foolish and wise, willful and humble are in constant flux. We all try our best. We all get the balance wrong”.

Yes, we’re  all prone to human error from time to time. It’s really inescapable.

So here are a couple of  links to help us out in this endeavor:

Also, here’s a great video that emphasizes the importance of getting to the truth, rather than just winning an argument. And truth is the ultimate objective, right??

Last but not least, I’d like to share a video of a “UFO” spotted in Toronto, Canada earlier this month. What do you guys think it is? Let me know in the comments.

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