Part 3 of 3: Skepticism = atheism? [once more with feeling]

There has been discussion in recent months about the similarities and dissimilarities of atheism and skepticism [1, 2, 3]. Some argued that skepticism and atheism are the same thing, others that they are two very different philosophies. This article in no way claims to be a conclusion to that discussion, but aims, perhaps, to explore a different aspect of it. Ultimately, disagreement as to whether it is fair to conclude that skepticism and atheism are the same thing is an argument in semantics; to agree that they are or that they are not depends entirely upon the definitions the individual maintains of either idea. If one defines both atheism and skepticism in ways that their overlap far exceeds their differences, then one could conclude that they are synonymous. … continue reading this entry.

Gotham Skeptic Survey Results, Part 2 of 3: Bias in Testing

skepticism chartInstead of continuing my thorough examination of the data from Gotham Skeptic’s first survey, I’d like to respond to comments the instrument has received. In  particular, concerning the likert type item “Skepticism is the same as Atheism” When the survey was first published to the blog, a few comments emerged stating that the instrument was a biased one. Then, upon publication of the first of these 3 parts reporting the results, additional comments were made  regarding this item in particular, once more equating the phrasing of this item to instrument bias. If I might quote one comment directly “The questions on  atheism led me to think that this was a survey which was already biased towards assuming that skepticism = atheism and I wasn’t keen on contributing to a  study that seemed to assume I was an atheist.” I’m quite glad these comments (and others like them) were made, as it has given me an opportunity to segue into the topic of bias in testing (a subject that this part of the curriculum I teach in within statistical measurement and experimental psychology). … 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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What do skeptics believe, anyway? Take our survey!

Many skeptics I have known have their own ideas about what skepticism is, and what being a skeptic is all about. In an effort to better understand the skeptical community, I’ve designed this questionnaire to get a sense of some of the attitudes and beliefs amongst skeptics. Please take a moment to complete this questionnaire; the [...]

What Character from Seinfeld are you: Lessons in Instrument Design on Facebook.

seinfeld quizI, like many, am addicted to Facebook. More so, I love Facebook quizzes and supposed personality tests. Yes, yes, I know. I’m a skeptic, as well as a student and teacher of psychological science; I shouldn’t spend my valuable time on something I know to be utter nonsense. But, truthfully, recently it’s all about examining the thinking behind it, and what their popularity reveals about human nature.

About a month ago I was taking one of the more interesting quizzes: “What Character from Seinfeld Are You?” (see above). I thought about the question, “If you were a diary product, you’d be…” A) Cheese B) Yogurt C) Sour Cream or D) Milk. Of course I immediately thought, “I’m totally yogurt”, but then spent a considerable amount of time asking myself why I thought I was yogurt, and more so, why whoever designed this test asked this question and how it would ultimately result in my personality being like Jerry Seinfeld’s (which was my result). … continue reading this entry.

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