Why Skeptical ?

A few years ago I was browsing through a charity bookshop looking for art books and as I walked past the popular science section I spotted a 2nd hand copy of Michael Shermer’s – “Why people believe weird things”. From the start I was fascinated. It’s not really a book of facts but rather a guide on how to look at things and use logic to make your own decisions.

I wanted to learn more and reading that Shermer played a big part in the Skeptics Society of America I Googled and found a whole subculture that exists around Skepticism and Science.

Why is it spelled with a k rather than a c ? What’s the difference between a climate sceptic and a skeptic ? How do you know who to believe ? What’s the difference between science and pseudo science ?

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. This is a weekly podcast in a panel format that keeps me entertained on my walks to work and which among other things introduced me to the various logical fallacies that exist.

Skeptoid website and podcast. Another weekly podcast but each one is based on particular topic.

“Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre is a very entertaining book. I was reading this when I was in hospital and my Neurosurgeon was doing his rounds and came to visit my ward. He spotted the book and told me that he had his copy at home ( I was very glad and like to think he took extra care when performing surgery on my brain because we had a similar taste in books ). Ben Goldacre’s very keen on Double-Blind Randomised Trials and you can understand why.

I find that the mysticism that surrounds pseudoscience has a lot of similarities with the bluffing that surrounds the art world. A lot of value seems to be placed on what other people think.

I love art and mythology and used to read The Fortean Times. These interests aren’t incompatible with logic and in fact learning about how to look at things in a skeptical way has helped me look at Art in more critical way. It’s taught me how to spot people who are bluffing and to make up my own mind on whether I not I actually like works of art.

This website is just somewhere to place my thoughts on Science, Skepticism and Art and anything interesting I come across.

 

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