Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why to be skeptical of skeptics societies


There is a discussion of something of a rift within the skeptics community on the philosophy blog Rationally Speaking over what is and what is not to be included under the umbrella of the skeptic movement, which includes a critical identification of pseudoscience.

The science promoted by those opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming could be called "pseudoscience". But so could the economic theory that is the basis of Republican economic policy, what Paul Krugman compares to "the phlogiston theory of fire". Both "pseudoscience"s could end up hurting people, in fact the latter more immediately than the former. If the meetings of the skeptics societies were to become a safe place for Republicans by avoiding critical assessment of the theory behind Republican economic policies, something is wrong.