Ghost Hunters vs. Paranormal Investigators

Confirmation bias, according to its Wikipedia entry, is ‘the tendency to search for, interpret, or recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses’ and we’re all prone to this bias even when we think we’re not. In fact I think it’s fair to say that we’re really good at thinking we’re not biased when we actually are. This is why scientists introduce controls to their studies and get their peers to review and replicate their research to ensure that their results are not biased or flawed. Continue reading Ghost Hunters vs. Paranormal Investigators

Herding cats & Golden ducks

Trying to organise skeptics is like herding cats – it’s an analogy I’ve heard many times. Often the only thing those who identify as skeptics have in common is their skepticism about certain subjects. People who identify as skeptics disagree about many things and, of course, those who are skeptics can be irrational about a number of things too…

Since becoming an active skeptic in 2007/2008 I have seen a number of attitudes that suggest skepticism should be done in one way or another, and that so many people are doing skepticism wrong, or for the wrong reasons. I absorbed those ideas and saw people doing skepticism wrong all around me, and I disproved of what so many did and said in the name of skepticism. I blamed others for making me feel as though I could no longer identify as a skeptic, or didn’t belong in a skeptical community. It was all very ridiculous of me because my aims, goals, and morals aren’t the same as other peoples, and I’ve no right to expect them to live up to my self set standards – just as others have no right to expect me to live up to theirs. Continue reading Herding cats & Golden ducks