The common notion about being a "skeptic” is that you hold a generally questioning attitude or have a dubious opinion on a certain topic. At the extreme, terms like “climate skeptic” or “truther” express distrust and denial of scientific conclusions. Scientific skepticism, however, is an approach that emphasizes evaluating claims based on evidence. The process of skepticism is of great value to society to lessen the potential of believing or investing in something that isn’t all it appears to be, which may have social, financial or even tragic consequences.
"I Doubt That: The Media Guide to Skepticism" is a live workshop presented at JREF's Hollywood headquarters by Sharon Hill of DoubtfulNews.com. This presentation will provide a look into organized skepticism – what it is, what it means to be a skeptic, what skepticism isn’t, and why it’s important for everyone to know how to apply it in a world overloaded with questionable information. Come visit with some friendly neighborhood skeptics who can help you sort through the nonsense and critically evaluate some extraordinary claims. Find out the difference between merely saying “I’m skeptical” and REALLY applying skepticism.
Please join us at the JREF's Hollywood headquarters for "I Doubt That" Sunday, June 2 at 1:00pm. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP on our Facebook event page. And for Google Maps directions to our headquarters, click here.
A few years ago I was involved in a project where my investigative team tested a local ghost-hunting group. We invited them to investigate a home we said we feared to be haunted, to see if they found something where there was nothing. After a few hours of trudging about the house with digital recorders and KII meters in hand they declared the place to be haunted. In fact, they gushed that the house was “worse than Amityville.” The full story can be heard here at the Token Skeptic.
A few weeks ago the opportunity arose for another similar project. Local skeptic “Charles” whose home security camera captured an image with an interesting anomaly approached me. He showed it to his colleagues at the hospital where he works but only two out of eleven people thought there was a natural explanation for the image. The rest believed the image showed either a demon or a spirit.
As a new feature of Randi.org, we're proud to announce James Randi Speaks: a weekly video commentary from Randi on YouTube produced at the new JREF video studio. This week's feature: Problems with Miscommunication - James Randi talks about the ways in which people communicate and how some times things get misinterpreted.
If you missed The Amaz!ng Meeting 2012, you can still catch great talks, panels, and workshops on science and skepticism given live at TAM 2012 on our YouTube page. Today, we are pleased to share one of those remarkable panels.
The Future of Skepticism
JREF president D.J. Grothe moderates this panel discussion with Jamy Ian Swiss, Barbara Drescher, Tim Farley, and Reed Esau about the future of skepticism as an approach to exploring claims and as a movement to advance that approach.