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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer






Thursday, August 16, 2007

 

-- Pseudoskeptics Unite!! --


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Many many years ago I belonged to the skeptics' organization, "Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal" (CSICOP), but after several years dropped membership once it appeared to me that, rather than objectively, open-mindedly studying their selected subjects, they were often specifically entering investigations solely with a goal of "debunking" --- in short, they had already decided what their general findings would be before initiating a study.
As in the Ivory-bill debate, often the 'debunking' simply meant finding an alternative explanation for an observed phenomenon and then assuming the alternative explanation was correct based, not on any actual evidence, but solely on perceived probabilities. Moreover, I don't recall them ever going after the indiscretions or weak science of more "establishment" parts of the medical and science community (but I haven't kept up with them over the years, so maybe they have). Though I still like a lot of the work they do I've never rejoined them.

Anyway, I was reminded of all this by a Wikipedia article sent to me from a reader (thanks) that all the "pseudo-skeptics" out there, and others, can read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoskepticism

....a number of interesting points made in the piece, including this list of "characteristics" of pseudoskeptics:

Link
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