Mythbusters and the Importance of Variation

Mythbusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman

I love the Mythbusters.

I’ve watched their show since the first season, and unlike some other shows of a skeptical persuasion, it’s maintained it’s edge, humor and integrity. But, I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend (or at least a disappointing outcome that has now occurred more than once). You see, [...]

The Other “Skeptics”

Im not saying hes not necessarily a dick, but that doesnt mean hes wrong.

I'm not saying he's not necessarily a jerk, but that doesn't mean he's wrong.

Our self-professed title has been popping up in the news, have you seen it?  There are skeptics going against Brits and skeptics going against the USA.  There are skeptics all over the place!  And they’re going around… denying science.  Hmmm… Maybe these guys aren’t us?  You know, there was a time when the word “skeptic” was full of negative connotations.  Skeptics were doubters, people who just wouldn’t try things because they didn’t believe in them.  And then something happened.  Do you happen to know what that thing was?  Oh yeah, it was us.  We happened.  We’d tinkered with words like “rationalist” and “bright” and figured out that painting ourselves in a way that painted everyone who wasn’t us in a negative context was probably a bad idea.  So we claimed the word “skeptic.”  We doubt.  We admit that.  Without evidence, we don’t accept claims about the world that we can test.  And it’s probably to our credit that a group of folks who want to ignore the reality of anthropogenic global warming want to claim the moniker of “skeptic” as well, now that we’ve gussied the term up.  It’s flattering!  But it’s also incredibly annoying.  So called “climate skeptics” are not using the term in the same way that we do.  They are holding onto their claims against a theory no scientifically recognized organization on the planet is going against anymore.  They’re making our name look bad all over again. … continue reading this entry.

The 29 Dimensions of Bunk: Part 2 – A Skeptic was Rejected

Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony founder

Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony founder

Last Tuesday I posted Part 1 of this 2 part series. Here is the remainder of my study into online dating and the scientific validity of eHarmony’s 29   dimensions of compatibility.

To pick up where we left off, my investigation into the merits of online dating (including but not limited to my personal experience) led me to conclude that it isn’t an ill advised strategy to meet people. Many who have used it (and especially those who were willing and able to pay the monthly fees for the better online dating services) reported at the very least that the efforts resulted in a date. Meeting people online can be at least equally effective to the strategies employed by single people before the internet era. If anything, I might argue (although I lack tangible data to support) that online dating opens up possibilities for connections to some groups previously disenfranchised by the stereotypical dating scene of past decades, such as the very shy and/or the more socially uncomfortable. … continue reading this entry.

The 29 Dimensions of Bunk: Part 1 – A skeptic finds a date online

Lisa and Dan

Two skeptics, actually. But let me take things back a few steps first.

In the spring of 2006, I left a long term relationship.

In general, a lot of things were changing for me at the time; I started a new job, was nearing the end of my undergraduate education and was gearing up to begin my first graduate program. In addition, the break-up meant I also had to move. By the end of 2006, my life was virtually unrecognizable compared to where I was in just 12 months prior. … continue reading this entry.

Gotham Skeptic Reader Survey: Part 1 of 3 – Sex Differences

So, while men and women may differ greatly in pop cultural and general affinity for woo and the paranormal, when you isolate the skeptics from the rest of the population, much of those proverbial gaps appear to diminish. [...]

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