Some time ago I heard a series of Skepticality episodes (original episode and a later response to the original episode where they talked about an article written by Daniel Loxton, titled “Where Do We Go From here? Has classic skepticism run its course?“. For a while I had wanted to comment on this episode, but had not gotten around to it, until today…
The essential points that he makes (at least as far as I read it) are:
- There is a feeling that skepticism has “won” (maybe not a complete victory, but if somebody wants to know the truth of just about any pseudo-science, the evidence is available)
- The top skeptics of the movement (James Randi, Paul Kurtz, etc) are aging, and many in the movement are tired of fighting the same old battles year after year
- Skepticism and the focus of skeptics seems to be shifting away from the old paranormal foes
- We need to get back to our roots and not only fight them again, but with renewed vigor
- There are two proper areas of focus for skeptics.
One is the promotion of science literacy and critical
thinking (often using the paranormal as a pedagogical
tool); the other is consumer protection in fringe science
areas — in particular, as regards paranormal claims
- That the skeptical community are the ones best equip to fight against the scams, shams, and charlatans who are using fraudulent methods to bilk people of their money, and in some cases their lives
- And finally that skepticism should under no circumstances become entwined with and religious (or lack of religious) or political beliefs
While I know that many of my readers are perhaps to used to my long winded posts, I also understandthat no everybody wil lwant to read the full 9 page pdf of this, but I would suggest checking out the two Skepticality episodes (most particularly the first) to hear in his own words, how Daniel Loxton believes we should move forward, by going back ot what got us here in the first place…
We will always need people who still want their chance to slay the dragon.
Let’s go to work.