I used to identify as part of “the skeptic movement” but after a lot of consideration I stopped doing so after being unable to agree with the actions many took in the name of “skepticism” which, for me, has always been more of a methodology than anything else. I wrote about this a while ago here. Recently, Amy Bruni- who used to be on the US hit television show Ghost Hunters –made a post on her Facebook page that reprimands skeptics for their behaviour. It was (I believe) because the Guerilla Skeptics (GS) group recently made information public (here and here) about a number of undercover stings they did on Chip Coffey who claims to be psychic. Continue reading
I recently spoke with the president of the Spiritualists’ National Union (SNU), David Bruton, and he was quick to point out that what people like Sally Morgan, Derek Acorah and co. claim to do is not actually psychic ability but, in fact, mediumship. Continue reading
For years now I have submitted complaints to Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority about dodgy health claims I see people making to advertise their products.
I’d personally rather make sure that people and companies advertise their products or services in a way that complies with CAP codes (advertising codes). Even if it’s something a bit silly like Reiki, as long as they’re not making false claims in their adverts then I think that’s fine… but for some that just isn’t enough. There exists, it seems, a sort of mob mentality where “quacks” getting silenced is the ultimate goal for skeptic activists. A sort of ‘who can shut up the most woo-pedallers?’ contest, if you will. Continue reading
Over at the Huffington Post Rodney Schmaltz has written a great piece called ‘Battling Psychics and Ghosts: The Need for Scientific Skepticism‘ in which he discusses how society are constantly ‘bombarded with pseudo-science’ in various forms. He points out that ‘people who buy into these pseudo-scientific claims are neither gullible nor lacking in intelligence. Instead, they have often not been taught the skills to critically evaluate information.’
Scientific Skepticism is important, he explains. Schmaltz then writes how many organisations and people work to help people gain critical thinking skills so that they can avoid being suckered in by those who promote nonsense. He also includes a link to a resource that he created Scott Lilienfeld. Continue reading