Originally posted by necati
No matter if you agree with him or not, you might enjoy this video:
I don't think Shermer is the best representative of skeptics we could ask for.
But you have to like how he starts out the video "Why should I believe what you skeptics think?" and his answer? Well, you shouldn't!!!!!
I think we will never get any better advice than that.
I have come to the sad realization that probably 99% of the people on earth are delusional about at least one belief or another, and that's probably
including myself, though I'm trying to find out which beliefs I'm delusional about and use facts and evidence to correct my incorrect beliefs.
I can't think of any better way to arrive at the truth than to assume that everything that everybody tells you, whether scientists, skeptics,
believers, or whoever, is wrong, and the only way to find out what's really true is to gather evidence for yourself.
I have to agree with the poster who objected to the way Shermer threw newage, ufology and spoon bending all in the same bucket as part of his
explanation for tool #2, and in fact I think tool #2 is kind of a weak tool he'd be better off without.
As for the other points, some of them are good, but showing this video in the UFO section of ATS is a bit like going into a Catholic church and
preaching about Islam, the audience has already made up its mind that Islam must be wrong or science must be wrong so they tune out before they hear
the first word.
Like #7, Is the claimant playing by the rules of science? Too many on this board absolutely loathe science and wouldn't even consider that a valid
possibility to consider.
One thing I liked at the end was when he said we all like and trust science, when we go to a doctor or fly on an airplane, if we really thought
scientists were such morons would we trust our lives to science like that? So people only choose to disregard selective parts of science, it's an
interesting form of cognitive distortion.
FWIW I wrote out the 10 tools, I'll post them here for reference:
1. How reliable is the source of the claim? (some errors can creep into data, so if they are random it's ok, but if they are all biased, that's
2. Does the source make similar claims? Is the UFO reported by a new age believer who believes in crystal power and other non-proven claims? Need to
keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out
3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else? Example, cold fusion, people had problems replicating the experiment
4. Does this fit with the way the world works? example: E-mail from a foreign country offering a pile of money for doing nothing
5. Has anyone tried to disprove this claim? What else could explain this? What would your critics say?
6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point? Yes there may be 1 or 2 things inconsistent about the theory of evolution, but what about the other
10,000 things supporting evolution?
7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science? SETI community versus UFO proponents, one uses science and the other doesn't
8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence? For their theory, or just denying evidence for an opposing theory? A government document with things
blacked out doesn't prove ETs exist
9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory? It's one thing to call a bunch of existing theories wrong, but if your
alternative theory doesn't explain everything better, it won't gain acceptance
10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim? Even if you're pro business you have to put your personal beliefs aside when looking at global warming
[edit on 19-7-2009 by Arbitrageur]