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Guerilla Skepticism and Wikipedia PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Susan Gerbic   

The single most powerful skeptical tool on the Internet today is Wikipedia. Only ten years old, this living, breathing encyclopedia has already changed the epistemology in every language.

On my blog Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia I urge the skeptical community to embrace Wikipedia as our most relevant tool, enabling us to shape the public into better critical thinkers. We already know that shouting and belittling believers does nothing but force them to circle the cognitive dissonance wagons, and shut down. Allowing them to do their own research and think things through independently, without pressure, is the only way to potentially change their minds.

Guerrilla Skepticism is the act of inserting well written, carefully cited skeptical references into Wikipedia pages where they are needed, while still following the guidelines and rules of everyone’s online encyclopedia. This grassroots method allows skeptics working at home to contribute to the skeptical movement without personally confronting people. Tim Farley and Daniel Loxton have been advocating editing Wikipedia with skeptical content for a couple of years; I began my blog in June, 2011 (before presenting this topic at TAM9) as a resource for beginners to learn “how-to” as well as “what-to-do” to get started.

I'm here today to plead my case, and ask for help.

The “We Got Your Wiki Back!” Project, a sub-set of the greater Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia undertaking, is important to our community’s reputation and mission. The main idea is to remember that we are not improving Wikipedia for skeptics; our audience is the general public. When one of our spokespeople is in the media, the audience members – knowing little to nothing about him/her – are going to try and find out more. As soon as they type the name into their favorite search engine they will get a link to that person’s Wikipedia page. What are they looking for, and what will they discover? They want to know if the person is credible, respected in his/her community, and knowledgeable. And they don't want to slosh through a lot of data to figure it out.

I've scoured Wikipedia and found very few well-written, up-to-date Wiki pages. Many are orphan sites that were created by well meaning editors and then abandoned when they lost interest or lacked the skills to finish. Others need updating with current information, as well as grammar and spell checking. Some are just badly written, and despite having all the necessary components will not hold the interest of the reader. And far too many are missing a profile picture.

How can we expect the public to respect our spokespeople, if we don't respect our spokespeople?

I have many examples of pages that need updating, as well as steps for basic edits throughout my blog. Here are some ideas of where to start.

You can find lists of noteworthy skeptics in the front pages of our journals, for example, in Skeptic Magazine I choose a random name from their Editorial Board: Gregory Forbes. His page is a stub, badly maintained, with hardly any information and clearly no picture. Shame on us. Is this the best impression we can give of Gregory Forbes? Nowhere on the page is there a hyperlink back to Skeptic Magazine, nor any mention of his involvement in the skeptical community. Another outspoken skeptic whose page is sadly neglected (it even lacks a picture) is Robynn McCarthy, better known as Swoopy, one of our most popular podcasters. Why have we allowed such neglect? She is one of our representatives. Is our opinion of our own community leaders so low?

I'm anticipating your next question: do people even visit these pages? JREF fellow Tim Farley believes they do, and cites numbers from stats.grok.se, a website which generates Wikipedia article traffic statistics. By using this simple tool, you too will be able to view the number of visits a given page receives. We can see that even these abandoned pages are generating hits; Swoopy had 181 views in July, 2011. That's 181 people who now think no one has her back…and they would be correct.

The numbers do show that the public are accessing these pages. After the ABC Nightline “Beyond Belief” show Banachek's Wiki page received a 800% increase in hits. See this blog for details.

Here are more examples of abandoned pages. Click through these and you will see that they are all missing profile pictures, and sorely need editing: Claude Allegre, Farrell Till, George Abell, Isidor Sauers, Robert Sheaffer, Stanislaw Burzynski, Andrew Weil, Stephen Barrett, Bart Bok, Chris French, Drauzio Varella. Eddie Tabash, James Oberg, Jerome Clark, Kendrick Frazier, Linda Howe, Michael Goudeau, Sanal Edamaruku, Sherwin Nuland, Phillp Klass, Dean Radin, Robert Priddy, Victor Stenger, Curtis Peebles, Donna Kossy, Gerald Glaskin, Terence Hines.

And now for some good news. Improvements are being made to several pages. Check out these excellent Wikipedia page makeovers and new releases for inspiration:

Brian Dunning (skeptic) BEFORE – Brian Dunning (skeptic) NOW
Sean Faircloth BEFORE – Sean Faircloth NOW
Jennifer McCreigh BEFORE – Jennifer McCreigh NOW
Ben Radford BEFORE – Ben Radford NOW
Mark Edward
Karen Stollznow
Monster Talk

Still looking for a page that needs improvement? Check out some of these categories. Close your eyes, click on a name, and that is your "date" for the next hour. Do what you can to clean-up, spiffy-up and show we care.

My friend John Rael from Skeptically Pwnd recently told me that we need to "take back the term skeptic and remind people how cool that word is." John, I agree; we don't need to be looking for a better word to describe ourselves, we just need to market ourselves better.

We need to focus on our big picture goal. When our skeptical heroes speak out for us in the "real world" they need the credibility of a well maintained and cited Wikipedia page backing them up. Face it, most people don't know who is who in the skeptical movement; Carl Sagan may be the exception, but stop ten people on the street and ask them who James "The Amazing" Randi is and most will sadly shrug their shoulders. That's almost unfathomable to us skeptics. My point is, we don't live in the real world, so to speak. When someone turns on CNN and Randi's talking about Sylvia Browne most people will say, "Who's that?" A quick search on Wikipedia is going to do a lot of educating, and shame on us if we don't have Randi's back.

Face it: we are a very small group of fish in this ocean. There are probably more bowling enthusiasts than skeptical activists. We have a lot of work to do to get the message out that skepticism is awesome and active.

We are not preaching to the choir. This is important work that must be done if we are to be taken seriously by the public. We know who these people are, we know what they are "famous" for, so we alone hold responsibility for supporting them and enlightening the public. They are our spokespeople; we are all on the same side. Whether or not you agree with these people, they are our representatives. We can't afford to sit around and hope someone else does our job for us; we need to pull out the dust rags and brooms.

Visit my blog. Then get to editing.

We Got Your Wiki Back!

 

Susan Gerbic is the co-founder of Monterey County Skeptics, and an active member of IIG West (www.iigwest.org, or check out the IIG on Wikipedia) She found the skeptical community in 2004 after her first TAM and is a self-professed skeptical junkie.

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To be or not to be, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Breaking the SkeptiGlass Ceiling
written by WendyH, August 23, 2011
Susan's project is notable in that it does change the paradigm of "preaching to the choir." I became aware of that paradigm when a skeptic friend of mine who'd been a long time feminist said she'd wearied of trying to convert the choir when speaking incessantly at women's demonstrations and conventions. She changed her audience by targeting the skepticism crowd, sympathetic but not the same faces. When Susan first told me about the We Got Your Wiki Back and Guerilla Skepticism projects, I was reminded of that very problem in the Skepticism community -- trying to find new ears for our message. This is excellent; the readers on Wikipedia won't even have to subscribe to a new magazine or buy a book. Well, not good for the publishers, but you know what I mean. smilies/wink.gif
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Please, for your own sakes, be cautious and circumspect
written by orangemike, August 23, 2011
Speaking as a (volunteer) admin for Wikipedia, this kind of call to arms makes us very nervous. It may not seem that way to you, of course, since you have The Truth on your side; but an outsider finds it difficult to distinguish this from a similar call to arms by Moral Majoritarians or Flat-Earthers or Birthers or Wahabbi fundamentalists or 9/11 Truthers.

Neutral Point of View, Verifiability, Reliable Sources: these are necessities at all times when you edit Wikipedia.

It's not that you're not as welcome as anybody else to edit; just beware of becoming obnoxious, crusading, agenda-driven revelators (or editing in such a manner as to be perceived as such).
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Killer Tree, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by babaganouch, August 23, 2011
Sorry about the grammar! English is not my first language smilies/shocked.gif
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written by Vic333, August 23, 2011
"while still following the guidelines and rules of everyone’s online encyclopedia."

Nobody's advocating any dishonest here. Neutral Point of View, Verifiability, and Reliable Sources are a Skeptic's best friends.
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written by Zoroaster, August 23, 2011
Susan, thanks for the call to arms but thanks also to Orangemike for the timely caution. No thanks at all for the ridiculous hyperscolding. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you were to present Wikiediting as something that is fun and rewarding to do with all of one's interests, and here are some pages on skeptics that could use updating by the way, I dare say you'd get more volunteers.

Babaganouch, this forum is for discussing the articles in the Swift blog. There is a more general forum where you may introduce any topic you like and you will find many to discuss it. Find the button above that says "Discuss" click on that then go down to "Visit the Forum". Welcome.
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Hyperscolding?
written by sgf8, August 23, 2011
Zoroaster, Sorry that I sound cranky. But I am. This is something that I feel passionately about, and it comes across in my writing. I really feel that Wikipedia is a major asset to our group and educating the public about critical thinking, it has taken many many blogs released to get across to people that this is important work. I hear it from people all the time, "good job Susan" "keep up the good work Susan". I'm not asking for atta girl, I'm looking for help.

I strongly feel that there are Wikipedia pages that we as a community have abandoned, and thats just wrong. Well meaning editors trying to create pages as their first editing project, then when they discover how difficult it is they just abandon them. Thats not okay by me.

Maybe the greater skeptical community is okay with allowing it, but I do think that once people are made aware of the problem, and given the tools to help, I really believe they will help.

I'm not a nice person, asking people to take responsibility for their convictions is the way I roll.

As far as people being worried that I'm advocating some great log-jam of editors running over to Wikipedia to type "Sylvia Browne is a fraud" and backing each other up in giant editing war is just silly. Obviously anyone thinking that isn't reading my blogs.

I've been working on getting this project into the skeptical community for 6 months. I've spoken at TAM9, and two other skeptical functions, and other endeavors getting the message out, but I'm not seeing masses of people editing. I am seeing a hand-full of people who have made a few changes here and there. Sadly thats it. This blog has had more than 1,700 hits today. My blog has seen a influx of reads. But my watchlist on Wikipedia remains unchanged.

I'm sooooo willing to hand-hold people who are nervous about editing, I will screen share on Skype with them to allow them to watch how to edit. I will do whatever is needed to help them learn the basics. I have made this VERY clear on my blog, yet I'm still waiting.

My next few blogs will be on the basics and what the rules mean for editing. I'm going to try and be really clear about what I'm advocating.

Thank you for your feedback.

Susan
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written by allecher, August 23, 2011
This might be a good place to point out that the subject of a Wikipedia article is not allowed to edit his own page because he is not un-biased. If you are the subject of a wiki article and can provide additional sources that will make it easy for us to improve your page please contact Susan, me, or one of the other editors listed and we'll help you get the additional information added and correctly footnoted.
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"Niceness"
written by mike3, August 23, 2011
@sgf8: "I'm not a nice person, asking people to take responsibility for their convictions is the way I roll. "

To me however, in this context "nice" simply means refraining from insults and other forms of petty, worthless attacks -- e.g. garbage like "you're stupid!!!!" and much worse.

And what do you think of someone who just "wants to believe" but doesn't care about convincing anyone it is right, and/or doesn't claim the belief is based on science or empirical proof?
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written by sgf8, August 23, 2011
Not quite sure Mike3 what you are getting at?

"And what do you think of someone who just "wants to believe" but doesn't care about convincing anyone it is right, and/or doesn't claim the belief is based on science or empirical proof?"

Let them believe.

We are talking about editing Wikipedia. You can't just edit pages to say "I like bunnies because they are cute" and expect the edit to remain.

On Sylvia Browne's page in the discussion area I've written about some of the believers posting that the page isn't fairly balanced because there is no one saying how she "helps people" and is a "good person". The editors reply (remember this conversation is happening behind the normal page, click on the "discussion" tab on any page to see that the editors are talking about) that the moment that Sylvia Browne gets a positive hit in the media, showing that she found a missing person ect the editors will be the first to put that on her page. In the meantime they are just going to keep posting the misses as they are cited correctly.

If there is so much positive work Sylvia Browne is doing, then there surely must be something her followers can cite (noteworthy, not from one of her books) and post on her page.

Not sure if I answered your question Mike3? If someone wants to post their "feelings" and/or write about what they believe with no evidence to back that up, then the Internet is a big place. We can always use more blogs I'm sure.
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Read the article!
written by kdv, August 23, 2011
Orangemike, did you even read Susan's article before writing your comment?

Orangemike: Speaking as a (volunteer) admin for Wikipedia, this kind of call to arms makes us very nervous

Did you take a poll or something? Or do you mean "me", rather than "us". I would like to think that the majority of admins would a) take the trouble to read a post before commenting, and b) see nothing to make them nervous about a call to provide accurate and well-maintained information about well-known figures in the skeptical area.

------
Orangemike: Neutral Point of View, Verifiability, Reliable Sources: these are necessities at all times when you edit Wikipedia.

Susan: Guerrilla Skepticism is the act of inserting well written, carefully cited skeptical references into Wikipedia pages where they are needed, while still following the guidelines and rules of everyone’s online encyclopedia.
------

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Orangemike: just beware of becoming obnoxious, crusading, agenda-driven revelators (or editing in such a manner as to be perceived as such)

Susan: We already know that shouting and belittling believers does nothing but force them to circle the cognitive dissonance wagons, and shut down. Allowing them to do their own research and think things through independently, without pressure, is the only way to potentially change their minds.
------

Orangemike: It may not seem that way to you, of course, since you have The Truth on your side; but an outsider finds it difficult to distinguish this from a similar call to arms by Moral Majoritarians or Flat-Earthers or Birthers or Wahabbi fundamentalists or 9/11 Truthers.

Before taking on this incredibly patronising tone, have you ever done any reading, anywhere, about the skeptical movement? I have, extensively. I have never once seen anybody, whether Randi, Shermer, Wiseman, or whoever, proclaiming "The Truth". The strongest statements I've seen have been in the order of "based on everything we know at this time, and the total lack of presented evidence, seems vanishingly unlikely." ( OK, perhaps not that politely, but never claiming some sort of absolute truth ). However, no matter how unlikely a particular claim is, Randi's prize is just one example of skeptics being happy to flush out the evidence if it exists. Skeptics advocate being truthful. That is a very different thing from knowing The Truth.

Orangemike: It's not that you're not as welcome as anybody else to edit

Good to have your permission.

Orangemike: just beware of becoming obnoxious, crusading, agenda-driven revelators (or editing in such a manner as to be perceived as such).

And that is perfectly reasonable. Except that Susan already said it.

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Is skepticism enough?
written by babaganouch, August 24, 2011
Skepticism is not enough to convince believers,
people want (rightly so) clear answers and understanding on existence. Seekers.
With observation and close up investigation of Nature, Darwin recognized the subtle changes in the same species that gave birth to his theory of species evolution/adaptation.
Darwin brought clear understanding to the evolution of all species including the hominids but not understanding on the true nature of Nature and Life itself.

That is the core that must be addressed, investigated and understood.
Then just as the church today pretty much accepts Darwin's theory of human evolution which debunks 'creation' as a fairy tale.

Once the true nature of Life is understood and revealed as being common and ordinary, the illusory concept of a personal God or deities that created and governs human kind will dissolve as well.

Nature holds the key. Physics, chemistry and biology point to self-organization. Just like we always see space as soon as we open our eyes, we also always overlook space all day long, and only focus our attention on the objects we recognize present into it. Space is always present but simply overlook. Natural intelligence is also present within all life. Natural intelligence is the intrinsic nature of Life itself.
A bacteria or virus will adapt/evolve to become resistant to an anti-bacterial or anti-virus drug. Self-preservation pushes adaptation in species in order to survive, that proves intelligence is present to be able to recognize a threat and cause a change, cause it to mutate and adapt to it. After all, we are all just the product of both natural intelligence and evolution. What else are we. That is the beauty of Life. Of course just like evolution is not unique to humans but present with all species, natural intelligence is not limited to humans as well. It is always there, self-shining. We simply overlook it.

If that can be recognized and understood, then the ignorance about our natural existence will dissipate and the super-natural collapse. That is the answer to all the riddles. What came first, the chicken or the egg, of course we now know that the egg was around way longer within the evolutionary chain from early fish to dinosaurs. The egg wins hands down.
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Good luck!
written by skepticnj, August 24, 2011
Read Shermer's The Believing Brain to get an understanding of why trying to convince someone to modify a belief based on facts and logic is so difficult Of course, we should keep at it: even a blind squirrel may find a nut once in a while.
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Nature inspired computing
written by babaganouch, August 24, 2011
http://www.worldofcomputing.ne...uting.html
Here is an article pointing to research on Natural Intelligence.
After all, man has been inspired to mimic Nature for its cleverness for a long time.
It is simply now discovered that there is an intrinsic presence of intelligence that simply was before overlooked or falsely credited to a super-natural presence but in fact, it is simply the nature of Nature. Self-assembling or self-organization is the proof. Of course it takes time for some people to change. As the saying goes:minds are like parachutes, they only work when they are open'
One twig at the time a bird builds his nest. What is the rush? It is unfolding naturally.

I am not trying to convince anyone.
If one investigates then it is self-evident. Researchers have recognize this intrinsic presence of intelligence. Nothing new under the Sun.

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skepticism or denial
written by babaganouch, August 24, 2011
To be skeptic of supernatural powers or spiritual faculties is legitimate. I support that 100%
To denial natural intelligence is plain stupid. Is stupidity camouflaged as skepticism?
I don't need to read books written by others to know what true consciousness or pure intelligence really is. It is not an intellectual knowledge that can be acquired from books but a simple recognition of the real nature of existence.
That is not something to be taught or learned but recognized present as Life itself.
I do not know anyone intelligent that can deny natural intelligence. Plenty of ignorant people will deny the most obvious simply because they are not very wise.

Who is the nut? Take look, investigate researches and then come up with something intelligent to say instead of hiding ignorance behind skeptical cliche...
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..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by sgf8, August 24, 2011
Skepticnj,

Another great read is "Mistakes Were Made, But Not by Me" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistakes_were_made_(but_not_by_me)

Almost all of us skeptics were believers at some point in our lives. We managed to change our minds, it happens all the time. My point is that people do it when they aren't forced to do so with someone yelling at them, but when they can "read up" on the subject, quietly. Wikipedia is the place that thinking process will happen. They can go from one link to the next as they feel they need more information about the subject.
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sgf8: Mistakes...
written by skepticnj, August 25, 2011
Thanks, Susan. I am an admirer of Carol Tavris (who isn't?). Mistakes... has been on my list since Shermer's review in Scientific American a few years ago.

I guess I was a believer at some point in my life, but it must have been a l-o-n-g time ago; I can't recall anything about my "conversion." (I do remember believing in flying saucers in the '50s.)
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oops...
written by skepticnj, August 25, 2011
Went a little crazy with the bold/italics there. Sorry.
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Learning from Wikipedia articles
written by sgf8, August 25, 2011
I think that Wikipedia helps more people to understand concepts and terms than we know. Because there is no comment section on a Wikipedia page it is treated just like a resource that just "exists". When people do "research" or they say they are "going to look into it" when challenged with their paranormal belief what do you think they do. Google it and start reading the articles that come up. If they really want to understand they won't go to a positive or negative page (at least not at first). Now if they are looking just for info that supports their current belief hoping that they won't have to change their mind, they will probably not go to Wikipedia first.

Wikipedia is just where people are going to end up (Like at Denny's at 2am after a party) Because the academic world has given Wikipedia this horrible (and unjustified IMO) reputation that it is inaccurate people don't want to admit that they gained their knowledge off of Wikipedia.

Truly maybe they didn't get all the knowledge from the page, but maybe followed links that are listed at the bottom, links they didn't even know existed.

Ignoring the resource of Wikipedia, yet asking "what can I do to help out" is just stupid. I hear it all the time. "What can I do?" "How can I help?" Very frustrating, when you advise them and then you hear crickets. At least in the religious world, people are motivated. The apathy in the skeptical world is disheartening.

No problem with the bolding.
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Intelligence verses skepticism
written by pollomarco, August 26, 2011
WOW, that guy is in fact right!
I did some research, so many fields of science have turned to intelligent designs and intelligent behaviors observed in Nature to create amazing new technologies and to solve countless complex problems. (See science.howstuffworks)
Awe-inspiring . There is indeed a supreme intelligence that has been creating marvelous designs (such as our human brain) and expressing through complex cognitive behaviors carefully observed by researchers in Nature like swarm intelligence and self-organization. No one can deny it, even researchers and scientists admit to a superb natural intelligence present in Nature, they are turning to it, observing it and mimicking it. We owe so much in our daily technologies we take for granted to it.
It is called ‘biomimetics’. (news.discovery web site)
We need more intelligent people to point us to have a smarter look at intelligence itself.
Not more skeptics guerillas that have only one agenda and only run around like a duck without a head and take money for a cause like any other cult or organization but intelligent researchers, clever biologists and scientists that recognize natural intelligence as the primary foundation of life. Thanks babaganouch for opening my eyes and make a ‘blind man see’.

Intelligence is indeed found everywhere in Nature, he is definitely right. Science uses it to find complex solutions.
Intelligence rules and skepticism sucks. Darwin also looked at Nature to find answers.
That is in fact now self-evident. Something beautiful is happening. Just like a French monk came up with the ‘big bang theory’ now widely accepted as being correct through testing different models.

We are coming to realize that science and religions have been looking at the exact same presence of natural intelligence all along. We call it Nature, they call it God. One presence given different names. That is the most rational answer for all kind of life’s riddles and scientific research to look at the true master, ‘how life itself does it all?’
It is now evident to researchers around the globe that ‘life knows what to do, without any outside help’. All by itself. So amazing. Like with the ‘big bang theory’ eventually, science and religions may all come to merge in agreement. Now that we have been pointed to have a better look at it, we surely cannot deny it. Observing Natural intelligence and mimicking it, is replacing our ignorance with deeper understanding of life or a greater intelligence that is also with us. We are now experiencing a natural evolution of the human brain gained by using technologies inspired by the cleverness of mother Nature itself.
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written by LuigiNovi, August 26, 2011
Kudos, Susan for this piece. I've been wanting to say this for some time.

For my part, I've been editing Wikipedia since 2005, and include articles related to scientific skepticism and pseudoscience among my activities. I created the Wikipedia articles on the U.S. version of Skeptic magazine and Skeptical Inquirer, and have have done quite a bit of editing on the articles on James Randi, The Skeptics Society, Junior Skeptic, extra-sensory perception, Allison DuBois, Rupert Sheldrake, MythBusters, AIDS denialism, Eliza Jane Scovill‎, 9/11 conspiracy theories, zombie and tetrodotoxin.

I've also added to articles my own photographs of people who promote science, skeptical or critical thinking, such as Oliver Sacks, John Stossel, Michael Shermer and Richard Dawkins, though as of this writing, the only one of these articles that still sports one of my pics is the Stossel one, since the others have far superior pics in them.

Kudos also to orangemike for pointing out the site's policies and guidelines. As a Wikipedia administrator myself since 2007, I run into such policy violations every day, and do my best to educate new editors as to these policies, often linking them in messages I leave on the editors' talk pages, not always to receptive ears. One new editor who created what appeared to be a vanity article on a reality television show cast member completely ignored me when I tried to point out to him the site's guidelines on notability, proper sourcing, writing, etc, and I ended up having to block him. I wish Wikipedia would make more of an effort to get the word out about this point that orangemike makes, and worked to restrict people who refuse to acknowledge it.
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written by sgf8, August 26, 2011
Thanks LuigiNovi,

I would love to "talk" to you off comments. Can you contact me? One of the pages you edit at will be one the next places I edit. Just looking at my watchlist today I can see you cleaned up a couple of pages, thank you, that was very helpful and makes me a better editor.

As I am causing stir in the skeptical community to edit, just in case one or two people actually take me up on this "call to edit" I do take responsibility to make sure they are editing with care. I'm in the process of writing a couple blogs with all the cautions that I'm hearing from you all, and would love some input.

Again the gangs of raving skeptical editors are not showing up. I have seen only a few edits done by people who already edit. I don't think the admins at Wikipedia have anything to worry about.
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Black hole awareness, Lowly rated comment [Show]
No one wise is a skeptic. , Lowly rated comment [Show]
New blog on simple editing
written by sgf8, August 26, 2011
I hope this next blog helps people understand the very basics of editing Wikipedia.

http://guerrillaskepticismonwi...o-for.html
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Monarch migration, science cannot explain
written by marcopollo, August 27, 2011
The intrinsic knowing of the monarch butterfly cannot be explained by science.
Natural intelligence is the mystery that science cannot objectify, we see it present everywhere in Nature. Some are too blind to see it, others recognize it with ease.
The monarch migration is the undeniable expression and proof of that pure 'knowing'.
Yeap, that is right, the butterfly intrinsically 'knows' where to find the tree of his great, great, great-grandfather inside Mexico without being told by is mother or father where it is located, ask a skeptic to explain that to you. These fools have no clue.
Hurray!!!
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written by LuigiNovi, August 28, 2011
sgf8: I would love to "talk" to you off comments. Can you contact me?
Luigi Novi: The contact area of your Blogspot page directed me to the IIG site. I sent an email to the contact info there. Is this okay?

skeptickiller1: Astrophysicists have discovered a massive black hole at the center of the milky way. They claim that this massive black hole size is intimately related to the amount of stars gravitating around it, they claim that they seem to know of one another, an awareness of each other.
Luigi Novi: No one doing real science has made any such claim.

skeptickiller1: Skepticism is just another name for ignorance. No wisdom can come of it. Skepticism is only for people that have a stick up their ass and complain about everything, they do not provide any intelligent answers about anything.
Luigi Novi: Comments like this show that you have no idea what skepticism actually is. Skepticism is simply a provisional approach to claims, one which requires evidence and testing for examination of them. To say that requiring evidence for an empirical claim is "ignorance" or constitutes "taking things too seriously" is simply an indication that you have no idea what you're talking about.

skeptickiller1: Many know that spiritual practices are just for entertainment and therapy, it is their money and it makes them happy. Life is short. Enjoy it while it last.
Luigi Novi: And many others do not. Many people end up spending their entire savings on such things, and many people seeking treatment from "spiritual" healers or other charlatans, instead of evidence-based medicine end up losing their lives.

manpublic: Scientists and Researchers are not skeptics but the complete opposite.
Luigi Novi: If they're doing science correctly, then they are indeed skeptics, since skepticism is an integral part of the Scientific Method.

As for the rest of your hate-filled rant (which curiously seems very similar to skeptickiller1's style of writing, even using the same turns of phrase), it's too incoherent to even merit a response.
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written by skeptickiller1, August 28, 2011
We all know that science cannot explain consciousness.
Reference: Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind | LiveScience
In fact with human beings, science cannot even explain the lose of consciousness either.
So are dreams in humans and animal remaining a mystery, unless you are a Freudian crook that considers dream some deeply hidden suppressed desires and all that psycho-nonsense. Freud science and understanding of the human mind and subconscious mind is today widely rejected.
Other aspects of consciousness is the natural intelligence found self-shining everywhere in Nature as natural instinct or intuition, both observed in the animal kingdom and the cognitive intelligence shown present with plants and trees.

Acacia trees in Africa are the perfect example of cognitive intelligence or consciousness present, and of course communication, adaptation and self-preservation . As with all living organisms, the tree eats, drinks, breathes, reproduces and is aware of what is going on. Acacia is o dummy. Awareness present or simply ‘knowing’ what is going on, is itself the presence of cognitive intelligence or consciousness. No one wise can deny that.
We also know today that science does not have all the answers. (it can’t even explain yawning). They may come up with some kind of B.S. answer or theory to explain something mysterious like ‘yawning’, but that is not a real answer to the many, many questions sciences cannot reconcile about our own existence and consciousness.

Consciousness cannot be objectified, the more science tries to put consciousness into a mathematical formula, the more obstacle and difficult barriers scientists face. That is the fun part about it. They cannot figure it out. It is impossible to put it into a mathematical equation.

Consciousness. We can only be it, life and consciousness are the same presence, like water and ice. We all experience this consciousness shining naturally as wakefulness every single day, but we cannot grasp it as some ‘thing’. We are the experience itself. Aren’t you conscious right now? Of course you are! How else could you read or perceive these words? Consciousness is self-awareness, perceiving, understanding, knowing and thinking. We all do and abide as that naturally all day long.
Dead people do not thing or perceive or feel or know anything. Consciousness is no longer present. No life.

Neo-Darwinists do not realize that Darwin theory of evolution is in fact incomplete.
Charles Darwin wrote in 1860 that “there seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows.” Darwin did not want to support natural intelligence and therefore another cause behind complex intrinsic designs observed in Nature. That would conflict with his theory of natural selection and chance or ‘wind blowing’ theory. Today we know that evolution and natural selection cannot be the sole source of all the complex living patterns that we observe present in Nature.

Darwin set the standard for evolution but does not take into account the complexity of a living organism.
Does the complexity that exists at the molecular level simply be credited to ‘natural selection’ or ‘chance’ only?
What makes a snowflake grow into a perfect symmetry without following a blue print or DNA pattern? Is it gravity? Does the natural laws of Nature and element of chance alone really create our world and Universe? Skeptics surely want others listening to them to hope so.

Again Darwinism is also a theory based on Darwin observation of a few finches and some four-winged fruit fly.
Yes indeed animals will adapt to their environement in order to survive, life will find a way. Could Darwin overlooked that life is itself self-designing and self-creating? Most people do not realize that simple fact about life itself. Life knows what to do. We call that livingness, consciousness.
There is room for additional elements not yet recognized by science, today we are still searching for the illusive Higgs bosons, so far nothing has been found in Switzerland to support the theory that it even exists. The media sensationalized it by calling it the God particle.

Wikipedia will claim there is scientific explanation for some of the mystery of life, like natural instinct. But that is not true. Knowing about something and behaving accordingly without prior knowledge or being taught how. That is what natural instinct simply is. Consciousness is also knowing. Non-conceptual activity of knowing.
Don’t believe everything that is found written inside wikipedia to be concrete proof, take it all with a grain of salt.

Until someone can claim they can explain the science behind consciousness.
Do your own investigation and come up to your own conclusion. Don’t be a blind sheep.
Unless you are a skeptic of course or part of James Randi foundation, then wikipedia has become your bible.
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written by Willy K, August 28, 2011
@ skeptickiller1 AKA manpublic AKA marcopollo AKA pollomarco

If your writing style accurately reflects your thought processes, then I must conclude that you have a serious brain abnormality, very likely some variation of schizophrenia. You are apparently obsessed with phrases using the word "natural." You treat the word "science" as if it some of of sentient being, it is not. You anthropomorphize Wikipedia by saying "Wikipedia will claim..." Assertions such a "We all know that science cannot explain consciousness" is an example of extreme ego-centrism, you don't seem to realize that "we" are not part of your thought process! You must be seriously delusional if you believe that having three or more screen-names is actually fooling anyone but yourself. Maybe you have a touch of multiple personality disorder as well?

These are not insults, there are observations. I sincerely hope you are under observation by a competent psychiatrist. Once your thought processes are orderly, you might make some valuable contributions to Humanity.

Have a nice evening. smilies/wink.gif

PS. I find that Wikipedia is a great starting point for casual research. 'Nuff said.
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Wikipedia article
written by miketowards, August 29, 2011
Absolutely agree with @allecher "Wikipedia article is not allowed to edit his own page because he is not un-biased." smilies/cool.gif
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Skeptiscism is for the brain dead, they are called the zombies
written by skeptickiller1, August 29, 2011
http://www.cosmicfingerprints....a-shapiro/
More and more scientists are questioning the incomplete Darwin's theory of evolution.
Intelligence is coming more into the foreground or in the picture as the missing link. The 'chance' factor does not hold water in bio-molecular researches. We are all intelligent sentient beings after all,that is indeed a reflection of our true nature. Intelligence. Why would anyone ever deny that we are not intelligence in action? Evolution and intelligence are complimentary to each other. We are the product of both, that you can take it to the bank. A new 'evolution' revolution is emerging, skepticism is dying, intelligence is rising. We call it consciousness. Hinduism claims that all life contains consciousness. It will come a time when religion and science share the exact same understanding. Of course it will. No one can deny that they are alive, sentient and therefore conscious. smilies/wink.gif
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written by pollomarco, August 30, 2011
http://www.obsessionwithbutter...terfly/Owl Butterfly2.jpg
How do skeptics or neo-Darwinist explain owl eyes on a butterfly, the butterfly does not even know it is a freaking butterfly. Could it really be by random chance?
A octopus is a lot smarter than we thought, even mimicking predators and solving puzzles. Intelligence is naturally present in Nature, that is a fact. The natural design of owl wings are so quiet that humans are being inspired by their amazing designs to create new quiet airplanes. We can go on and on. Yes, Darwin overlook intelligence present in his 'theory'. The more we understand Nature the more we realize that intelligence is everywhere present. After all, it takes an intelligence present first to create A.I. or artificial intelligence. It cannot create itself. Biology shows us 'choices' are made at the cellular level and communication is taking place. Information is knowledge or intelligence. It is the fundamental of Nature and the foundation of all Life. Energy is not intelligence.
It just transports it from A to B.
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written by Tergerson, August 30, 2011
@manpublic and anyone else who thinks skeptics are boring people. -A skeptic logging in here to show you a slice of my life outside of trolling forums on the internets:
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written by Tergerson, August 30, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZS50GNVZxA
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