Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What Would Be The Correct Term?

EoR feels rather proud to have been lumped in with Orac, Abel Pharmboy, P Z Myers, and The Amazing Randi et al at a post by Random John.

Well, we’re all sick, so what better to do than peruse the slums of the skeptical internet and point out all the bad arguments pseudoskeptics make in the name of "debunking" pseudoscience. I had taken this up as a hobby a little over a year ago, but, because it’s really too painful to read some of the garbage that people are willing to say in the name of debunking what other people say (whether they are debunking garbage or not). They debunk things that are both pretty out there and things that are actually true. (And things that are both.) Unfortunately, their "arguments" do little to separate the truth from the chaff.

But how do you tell the "truth from the chaff" then?

Second Sight offers some pithy responses about NOT but not much else. I guess, also, he doesn’t like psychics and seems to have the sinking, suspicious feeling that someone, somewhere, might choose alternative medicine over conventional.

Actually, EoR loves psychics. They provide some of his best material (Simon Turnbull, ex Psychic of the Year, was on television this week predicting Malcolm Turnbull will become leader of the Liberal Party this year - just like he predicted in 2004; oh, and a dirty bomb will be exploded in a US city this year. You have been warned).

Apparently, we're all pseudoskeptics. Some of the telltale signs are:

The tendency to deny, rather than doubt
Double standards in the application of criticism
The making of judgements without full inquiry
Tendency to discredit, rather than investigate
Use of ridicule or ad hominem attacks
Presenting insufficient evidence or proof
Pejorative labelling of proponents as 'promoters', 'pseudoscientists' or practitioners of 'pathological science.'
Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof
Making unsubstantiated counter-claims
Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence
Suggesting that unconvincing evidence is grounds for dismissing it
Tendency to dismiss all evidence

Rather than be accused further of some malicious pseudoskepticism, EoR will simply leave it to his readers to decide how many of those points Random John qualifies under.

Now, if only Random John had provided reasons why NOT, psychics and alternative medicine should be considered differently...

And so to EoR's dilemma. What do you call a person who is pseudoskeptical about pseudoskeptics? A pseudoskeptic pseudoskeptic? A pseudopseudoskepticskeptic? A pseudoskeptic2?

PS: EoR is offended by the description of his corner of the blogosphere as a "slum". "Boggy", yes. But not a slum.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.