We enrolled our children in charter science and math schools based on their initial love for STEM subjects, and provided a home where curiosity and experiment were the central ethos of how we approached the unknown as a family. This was my mistake, introducing them to the real thing, when they were about to come face to face with the fake-ness. Who wants to undertake a career imbued with Dawkins-style intransigence or James Randi style doctrine and the other horrid social control behaviors exhibited by the Cabal pedagogy of Social Skepticism? Certainly not me. Apparently not the vast majority of American students either.
Want to increase the number of students and graduates who seek careers in STEM? Then take back this domain from the clutches of Social Skepticism and reestablish the Wonder Quotient.
I have established an endowment at my alma mater supporting scholarships for disadvantaged students who wish to enter STEM careers. Each year it funds the tuition, texts/access, and room for several disadvantaged students granted the scholarship. The very security and health of our nation rests on the ability and desire of our young people to excel in STEM careers, businesses and technologies. This issue is that important to me.
As a child, after observing my father being abused by oppressive corporations who viewed their employees as life-slaves, I vowed to never enter corporate America myself. In similar fashion, today’s youth are issuing a “No’ vote to the current manifestation of STEM career shepherds, namely, the Social Skepticism movement. I contend that this, paramount over any other single factor, is the chief impetus behind the 22 year significant declining trend in STEM enrollments.¹ And it is a shame. My children opted to not go into STEM programs, primarily because of the shrill and bad behavior of the high school teachers to whom they were exposed. They were clear about this to me. We even enrolled them into charter science and math schools based on their initial love for the subjects, and provided a home where curiosity and experiment were the central ethos of how we approached the unknown as a family. This was my mistake, introducing them to the real thing, when they were about to come face to face with the fake-ness.
By the time they hit high school, the desire for STEM interests evaporated in a hail of memorization, threats as to ‘this is how it is done in college so you just might as well get used to it now” and rote exam prep programs to make sure that the high school got the highest test scores in the state. Faculty products of a movement which has a blood-taste for the love of control, busy work, rules following, symbolic performances and institutional protocols; not for the subjects at hand. As you can see in the graphic to the right, I am not the only parent observing this dire multi decade reality.¹
But even more importantly, what I found sorely lacking as well in my childrens’ college prep instructors and programs, was the primary factor which influenced my own entry into a top STEM program and career(s) in the first place. The shortfall in this factor can be summed in one principle:
The Loss of Wonder
Social Skepticism is Unjustifiably Killing the Wonder Quotient
We as a nation have erred in allowing fringe groups with false ‘critical thinking’ skills to kill the wonder quotient in STEM subjects. We, publicly and through social channels of enforcement highly visible to our nation’s youth, establish a habit of attacking those who ask challenging or publicly broached questions, and establish the false pretense that we already have the significant questions of our realm and explanations as to its incumbent observations, all determined before hand. We pretense that every answer sought is simply a matter of applying the pre-cooked, conforming, conventional, Nihilist-approved, mandatory extrapolation, promulgated by the ruling authority, off of all that is already ‘proven’ scientifically. In this pretense we are making three big mistakes:
1. The primary contentions via force-to-convention are incorrect, they kill curiosity through enforcement by social pressure, and are passed off falsely as ‘science,’
2. The boast as to man’s reach of knowledge is false, and finally
3. We kill the incentive for smart young students to seek career/life paths with more meaning than simply money. In a world where I have no say, money gives me power.
Many students are smart and informed enough to know that they do not want to become a card carrying member of the SSkeptic Cabal as the requirement in order to hold a career path. By age 14 a young person has witnessed first hand the bad behavior of those who call themselves ‘skeptics’ over 100 times. They realize that only certain personalities join the SSkeptic Cabal; a personality type they find distasteful for display in themselves. Unfortunately these immature ‘skeptic’ personalities are increasingly beginning to dominate the discourse in and around science; and they are not “tough and talented,” rather simply nasty, noisy narcissistic and dogmatic. This parlays directly into the chief misjudgement the entire movement has made, one which students sense keenly. We still run our STEM universities as if they were religious institutions, wherein we simply changed the enforced religion. Instruction has given way to dogmatic rote indoctrination. Implicit catechism and condemnation of who the student is, and where they came from. Who wants to be part of that?
As Dr. David Blades contends here in Policy Matters, as is the parallel-to-US case with Canadian students and contrary to what Social Skeptics contend, it is not the lack of love for or exposure to science and math – it is the people who are pretending to rule these subjects, who are the problem. The students, contrary to what SSkeptics contend, are not growing more credulous and stupid, rather are becoming much much wiser.
But the chronically low involvement in STEM careers in Canada can be traced to a more systemic issue. Young children in the K-3 grades typically list science as one of their favourite subjects. But Canadian participation in international testing reveals that, at the secondary school level, most Canadian students dislike science. What changed? In most cases, it’s the way science is taught. In elementary school science is usually hands-on and experiential while in secondary school the majority of STEM instruction involves students taking notes from carefully prepared PowerPoint presentations. Science for these students is the memorization of reams of facts with little or no perceived relevance to their lives. Given this tedious pedagogy, it is a tribute to the resilience of our youth that some actually still choose science careers!
– Dr. David Blades, “Why Most Students Don’t Choose STEM Careers” ²
People have enough of their own beliefs and/or information sets they have assimilated, to know that they do not buy for one minute the Nihilist religion of SSkeptics. Creationism is not the problem; the vast majority of the population put aside the 6,000 year fairy tale long ago. Besides, we became the #1 STEM graduate nation DESPITE a preponderance of fundamentalist Creationism beliefs at one time. Angry Nihilsm, now is the problem. And no, those who reject that religion are neither stupid, ill informed nor lacking in critical thinking skills. Nobody wants to spend their education having a scripted set of beliefs pounded into their head in the name of ‘critical thinking’ and at the expense of the awe, investigation and personal meaning behind the wonder.
Nihilists, despite their pretenses to the contrary, suffer from the delusion that they have dispensed with the need for wonder
This is why selecting Mariette DiChristina to represent before Congress this week, the need for more advancement of STEM oriented careers, is indeed ironic. She promotes the very movement which has played a key role in the reasons as to why STEM career selection is in decline.³ Who wants to join a career where James Randi and Michael Shermer’s cult already had everything figured out in 1972? A nasty, negative and totalitarian religion which forces its tenets on outsiders, not just its adherents. A cult wherein if you have any ideas which run contrary to the doctrine, you will be subjected to horrid behaviors, public vilification, loss of career and be raked over the coals in social media? Certainly not me.
Who wants a career where these guys are foisted as role models? These are not my STEM role models. There are many people in STEM professions who very quietly agree with me. The SSkepticism movement is so repressive and negative, that this opinion cannot even be spoken of publicly. In my opinion, the fault for the decline in selection of STEM enrollments rests squarely on the shoulders of the Social Skepticism movement.
One would be wise to not sell this insight short. Social Skepticism’s negative repercussions are coming home to roost, with our children and our nation’s future becoming the ultimate victims. If you want to increase the interest of students in STEM careers, then
Stop Dictating Dismissal and Vilifying Researchers, Ideas, Observations and Public Sentiment
Allow the Right Question to be Asked
Reestablish the Wonder Quotient
¹ Infographic: The Decline of STEM Education in the U.S.; Ed Tech, Apr 3, 2012, http://gettingsmart.com/2012/04/infographic-the-decline-of-stem-education-in-the-u-s/
² Policy Matters Canada, http://www.policymatters.ca/opinion-pieces/why-most-students-dont-choose-stem-careers/
³ Scientific American Cozies Up to Social Skeptics, The Ethical Skeptic, July 12, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/07/12/scientific-american-cozies-up-to-social-skeptics/
Procedure is the script which allows the commonly intelligent man to pretend among the truly brilliant.
In the end, it is not the diabolical but brilliant Lex Luthor’s and Dr. Evil’s of cultural mythology whom we must fear. Rather we must fear the cabals of cheating B students who inhabit the executive suites of the oligopolies and the institutions which dominate us. These are the ones who can justify evil by institutionalizing it as an aspect of the rules of process. No manner of comic book super hero, gadget or super power can overcome this force which threatens us.
Some people think that knowledge of this, constitutes musical acumen and talent:
It does not.
Some people think that knowledge of this, constitutes academic acumen and adeptness:
It does not.
Some people think that knowledge of this, is indicative of one’s business acumen and prowess:
It is not.
Some people think that knowledge of this, is indicative of scientific acumen and rationality:
It is not.
Do They Really Understand? Or is Their Proficiency Simply an Act?
One of the essentials to successfully leading a corporation of any significant size, is the vital ability to discern people; an ability learned through many years of fighting in the trenches in a successful multi-faceted and multidisciplinary career. That discernment resides around understanding the difference between those who brilliantly wield their subject, and those who must follow procedure, quotes, others’ opinions, buzzwords, articles, word, cheats, social inertia, catch phrases and propaganda in order to get by. The truly skilled, act as thought leaders inside their respective disciplines. They re-invent their subject, sometimes single handedly. They perform in their discipline as does a virtuoso playing his instrument.
Social Skeptics on the other hand, are the method dependent B-students, the script followers, of the scientific realm. They know what a grand staff is, but have never written a song, they know what a Laplace Transform is, but have never reduced an actual systemic taper curve, they know the scientific method, yet have never generated even one original groundbreaking idea in their entire lives.
All through our academic lives, we are instructed as to the importance of process and procedure. Indeed, process and procedure are of utmost importance. The standards by which we develop our technology, our taxation and finance systems, our medical understanding and scientific knowledge are rightfully procedurally driven. Early in the learning process, one needs to follow rote protocol to aid in workplace safety, or to act as the foundation inside of which to understand a profession or trade skill. Setting this agreed reality aside for a moment, as with many things when pushed as panacea, scripts and guides can also become onerous, counterproductive influences and can serve as a tool employed to undertake misdeed. In our modern education, we are not instructed so much as to how to execute specific procedures, as much as we are taught the importance of following protocols and instructions to begin with. There is no doubt that our entire lives are imbued with the overarching lesson that we must follow the rules in order to be deemed acceptable.
But why is it important to be able to distinguish those who can grasp the essence of understanding, from those who are simply good at following instructions?
The Symbiotic Nature of Procedure and Cheating
But what if this strength of standards, also resides as our most abject vulnerability? There are very few procedures I was taught in 8 years of undergraduate and grad school, which I actually can recall and recite, save for the fact that two things were paramount, or I would face a grade of C, or worse – Follow the Instruction – Master the Procedure. If these two things were not dutifully pursued, one would fail the exam, paper, test, course.
As a result, my eight years of undergrad and grad school were the LEAST educational years of my life. Save for lessons in how to date, how to drink and how to compete academically with students who cheated, and how to handle TA’s or professors who abused their newfound taste for power over others. The contacts I made with those who would become friends and associates were probably more beneficial than were any of the academic principles.
The most difficult classes, the ones which everyone dreaded, those where the instructor challenged students to observe, think, theorize, solve and create, were my best classes. These instructors could care less about what you memorized the night before. They sought to ascertain your ability to truly comprehend, learn, and apply. Fraternity word, old test copies, instructor hacks, cellphone images from the previous morning’s exam, none of this would assist those who cheated, if the instructor were truly brilliant. The rote classes, fraught with mathematical reduction methods, course notes/textbook trivia bingo, memorization, principle regurgitation, or classes which were “word” driven – old copies of instructor exams passed around in libraries at fraternities and in some study clubs and hack websites, – these were my worst classes. The latter constituting a completely useless waste of everyone’s time. Serious students studying extra hours in order to compete with the grade inflation brought on by those who sat in class like lumps on logs, and obtained the requisite ‘B’ by cheating. In other words, they followed the procedure.
Grades would consistently break out thusly:
A – The procedurally diligent
B – Smart procedurally minded students who applied methods of cheating
C – Smart procedurally minded students who did not have access to methods of cheating
A/B/C – The truly brilliant, who could care less about things which waste their focus
Drop – Smart students, who did not care
By some estimates, and according to the Education Portal, as much as 75% or more of college students reside in the Cheating B-student category above. This indeed was what I experienced, particularly in undergraduate school. Of interest to note for me, was the fact that in my experience, instructors were less displeased about the B-students who cheated, than they were about the truly brilliant A/B/C students, who just did not care to waste time on frivolous busy work. There existed a tacit turn of the back to the deeds of the cheating student, contrasted by a seething disdain for those who refused to play the game. It was not the ethics of the grade after all, which they were instructing; rather conformance to the adoption of process. One could cheat, but you had to participate in the way directed. The lack of student compliance thereof is what angered instructors even more than cheating. A conformance to protocol, not the love or ethic of knowledge, was the lesson.
In other words, procedure and protocol are fertile ground for those who cheat. They are a way of feigning knowledge of the subject, allowing those who wish to manipulate processes to hold a script which enables them to pretend to their position. A malady of ignorance which provides opportunism for those who seek a loophole or control.
This reality of the procedurally minded cheating B-student, portends ill winds inside of society, commerce, media, government, business and finance. We have just suffered through The Greatest Theft of Wealth in History¹ during the 2007/8 collapse, wherein $1 trillion was stolen from US citizens and passed into Elite Oligarch hands and employed for bailouts.¹ This process was undertaken by persons who should have never been in the positions to which they ascended in the first place. A key example of the damage caused by venerating following the rules and playing the game, in lieu of the ethical application of true talent. These individuals were, contrary to the popular McLean and Elkind Enron scandal book moniker and premise, not “The Smartest Guys in the Room.” These thieves simply had the best grades.
Myth – People who flout the rules, constitute the majority of economic fraud.
Reality – The majority of economic fraud is perpetrated by cabals who know, observe and game the rules; enacted by those who only understand the compartmented process they are directed/taught to execute.
Compartmentalization and procedure are the modern version of the National Socialist Workers Party plea “I was only following orders.”
In similar fashion, Social Skeptics are the Cheating B-students, of science. They are the pawn rules gamers, speaking of it often; nonetheless the abusers of process. Not fully comprehending, but memorizing the right things to say, targeting ill gotten gains. Conducting a masquerade of self indulgence in celebrity, self aggrandizement and power, foisted in lieu of the love of the subject.
The Two Misuses of Procedure
1. As a means for scripting the cheat.
Our Tax Codes are procedurally driven. Procedures allow for cheating. The more detailed the procedure, the more iron clad is the cheat. It is estimated that $3.09 Billion has been lost through tax evasion which takes advantage of a cheater’s ability to follow the script, to avoid paying taxes.² I have been offered avenues of this nature numerous times in business, and I have refused to participate. I am not here to maximize a number. I am here to contribute what I can to the betterment of mankind and our common plight on this planet.
2. As a means of squelching undesired input or results.
The fact that there exists a list of a priori disposition on specific subjects, embargoed from being addressed or researched by science, is an indictment of the Social Skeptic agenda. I do not believe any of these subjects in particular, but my skeptic hackles are nonetheless raised, whenever someone pretends to be competent to dictate to me in advance of any research, what is considered to be ‘true,’ and ‘untrue.’³ This is epistemological fraud, and even if 99% correct, stems nonetheless from the procedural mind of those who exploit process; for the bedazzlement of others and cultivation of ignorance and personal power. It is process sleight-of-hand, taught and approved by the systems which encourage it.
¹ “The Greatest Heist in History,” Tilsen, Whitney; Business Insider, Jan 20, 2009; Business Insider, Inc., New York, NY.
² Tax Evasion: The Real Costs, April 11, 2011, Our Fiscal Security, US Government: (http://www.ourfiscalsecurity.org/taxes-matter/2011/4/15/tax-evasion-the-real-costs.html).
³ The Skeptic’s Dictionary (http://skepdic.com/).
One way or another, we must as a public when necessary, sidestep the all-too-familiar propaganda campaigns of fake science employed by the professional SSkeptics, and force corporate America to hear our message and effect change. We must be proactive, especially if it involves issues regarding our food, health or well being. Even if we have to encourage them to make change surreptitiously as H.J. Heinz Company has done with their ketchup, in order to not catch the attention of the oppressive SSkeptic Cabal.
A Thank You to the H.J. Heinz Company and Beanitos Inc. for Listening to Their Customers and not the SSkeptic Cabal Propaganda
I am sensitive to seven specific foods. There is no doubt in this as I have documented it through controlled variable testing and sound method for the last 12 years. I have had very little help from the scientific community in terms of offering clues as to which foods to look for, as their hands are tied through intimidation, rendering them unable to develop testing around this subject. My conclusions are based on direct, falsification oriented, well documented and repeated/repeatable experiments. If I consume these foods, rather large painful sores appear on my face 3 – 8 hours after consumption (along with other maladies), and take about two weeks to heal – provided I do not consume the offending foods again.
But I cannot tell anyone this. Heaven forbid that my personal observations run afoul of the corporations and SSkeptics who mount major campaigns to push oligopoly foods onto our plate. I first found my children to be sensitive to these foods, after observing ill impacts to their health which greatly disturbed me. Then, working with my doctors, both my holistic medicine and general practitioners, I methodically figured out which foods were the culprits. My and my family’s health is so much the better for this discovery today.
My family’s faces were red and puffy (edema), and their health was suffering with mental fog, endocrine malfunction, autoimmune issues, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight gain. Grades were suffering and medical bills were rising. My holistic doctor looked at me and my 4 year old’s faces and said “We have to find out what is causing this.” The culprits ended up being: Wheat, Dairy, Corn, Canola Oil, Soy, Cottonseed Oil and Alfalfa. Eliminating these food constituents was VERY difficult to accomplish because almost every processed food employs them, …but it did the trick nonetheless. A success such as this renders people like me, immune to the tripe from SSkeptics.
It is time to study this with science. But the SSkeptics won’t allow this to be studied by science because they already have ‘truth’ on their side. Sound familiar?
I am an activist with my food providers, as I should be. I let them know when they produce foods which harm my or my family’s health. I also indicate to them my encouragement and approval when they take action to correct the introduction of these harmful foods into the American Public’s diet. Products such as Beanitos, who do not use corn, wheat, soy, canola or cottonseed oil in their chip products; over concerns consumers like me have raised after observing the negative effects of these food constituents on their health. I applaud these companies with a conscience. Well done Heinz and Beanitos!
When science is dragooned by corrupt SSkeptics, sometimes the public must force change despite what science says, and despite being called ‘stupid’ by this same oppressive SSkeptic Cabal.
It is alright to have some foods which you must avoid, but when 90% of them employ ingredients which are harmful to your family’s health, it is time to take action. These food exec’s have families they care about too. Eventually we will change our food supply to remove these foods. The snide objections of the SSkeptic community will fade away into a forgotten whisper, as they always do.
Recent examples of fake food science propaganda from the SSkeptic Cabal:
- Food skeptics are the same as climate skeptics: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/09/are_gmo_foods_safe_opponents_are_skewing_the_science_to_scare_people_.html
- Food concerns are only a political movement: http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/02/17/gmos-and-the-skeptics-will-truth-win-out/#.U557iyiiWH8
- GM Foods are safe, we don’t need science when so many people declared it to be so, long ago: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2215/is-genetically-modified-food-safe-to-consume
- Food sensitivities are a fad for the gullible: http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=9782
I Can Finally Have Ketchup and Chips Again! Yay!
I am not a big fan of sugar in general for overall health. But sugar does not make me foggy headed, overweight, edemic, and depressed; nor does it impart large red welts to my and my family’s face, as do corn oils, starches, syrups and corn products of all types. Someone at H.J. Heinz Company has been petitioned on this and as a result, they have quietly offered back onto the market (see above) a ketchup product which has ‘simply’ replaced the corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup with sugar.¹ I doubt this new product idea was prompted by the current manifestation of oppressed science. Probably more likely by one of the spouses of the executives in H.J. Heinz Company.
One can push fake science only so far. When people see negative impacts on their health, they are ultimately going to call baloney on the so-called science. It does not matter how many foundations were intimidated into regurgitating the party line.
I missed the testing for this list of newly (since 1995) genetically accelerated foods; testing where they asked the rats if they had fatigue, IBS, foggy headedness, edema or sores on their faces? Perhaps they had little rat survey forms for the critters to fill out? But gosh, this is science after all, no room for skepticism here.
The body knows what to do with sugar, as long as you consume it in moderation. It does not know what to do with high fructose corn syrup apparently, as this food constituent causes myriad problems in my and my family’s health.
You have seen the campaign propaganda commercials where the two women are talking and one objects to the use of high fructose corn syrup. The other woman asks why, and the proponent cannot tender an answer. That is because the science has been blocked. Blocked by this same group of obfuscating professionals who are employed to block other specific forms of forbidden science. No one can possibly provide an answer to a scientific question, when the science has not been done in the first place. Well alright, one cannot unless of course you are a SSkeptic, I forgot about that. Once the science is undertaken on health impacts imparted by our new forms of corn, wheat, soy, canola oil and other damaging foods on Americans, the proponent in the high fructose push commercial (why it has to be pushed since it has been incorporated into 85% of the sweets we consume now, is beyond me) will have PLENTY to speak about.
In the meantime, you will be raked over the coals for contending that you have observed deleterious impacts from these foods on your family’s health. Remember, fake scientists do not allow observations, and especially never observations from the public at large, no matter how pervasive. If you let this be known to someone brainwashed by the SSkeptic Cabal, they will call you a liar, uninformed, lacking in critical thinking skills, anti-GMO, anti-science, backward, credulous, gullible and stupid. Pay no attention to them. They are dealing a deck of cards for a game in which they cannot play; at best, employing placeholder science. Your health, well being and the food which is force fed to all of us, is more important than are their intimidation and control tactics. The SSkeptics, after all this is over, will be long forgotten. The lessons we learn about the tactics and damage imparted through fake SSkepticism protecting inadequate science should not be, but sadly we always forget them.
We are winning this, and will win this. With real science. There is a limit after all apparently, as to how much bullshit you can shove down the throat of the public in the name of science.
1. H.J. Heinz Company Product Gallery and Nutrition (http://www.heinzketchup.com/Products.aspx).
Social Skeptics regularly celebrate recent psychology studies which contend that eyewitness testimony constitutes a generally unreliable form evidence. Through the equivocation of regarding all observations as one single concept under the moniker of ‘eyewitness testimony’ SSkeptics can manipulate the process of science to their liking. But not all types of eyewitness testimony are created equal. There exists a difference between circumstantial and descriptive observations, and those observations of immediate schematic essence. Through this one-liner misapplication of science and law, SSkeptics actively seek to block entire domains of observational data from the body of science.
The dismissal of data a priori for any reason of conjecture is pseudoscience. Moreover, not all types of eyewitness testimony are easily dismissible, despite the facade of authority spun through context-less snippets phrase-lifted from cool sounding psychology studies. The dismissal of Essential Eyewitness Testimony through psychological conjecture constitutes scientific fraud in the manipulation of observations which otherwise could establish analytical bases or necessity under the scientific method.
There are several types of evidence regarded as material to an issue of fact, varying in reliability depending on the source, medium, mode and form. The Laws of Evidence govern the use of testimony, which is typically delivered in the form of direct evidence exhibits (e.g., biological, DNA, fingerprint, or other physical media), documentary material (e.g., account activity, phone calls, travel, physical media), or other demonstrative evidence, which is material to an issue of fact. An additional rule of evidence pertains generally to Scots law, the rule of corroboration used in criminal law, which requires that two or more pieces of evidence, stand as first basis to establish an essential fact. Contrary to what amateurs contend, Scots law thresholds do not constitute ‘proof’ of an issue of fact; however such an attainment stands as senior evidence, until stronger evidence supplants the Scots’ basis.
One of the material evidences regarded as valid under Scots law, is Eyewitness Testimony. There are five types of Eyewitness Testimony (listed below in order of increasing material relevance regarding a specific issue of fact), which may or may not qualify as material to a case of dispute:
The Six Types of Eyewitness Testimony
- Essential Schemata
(The woman in the photo to the right is witnessing Essential Schemata. She may forget how much money she had in her wallet at the time, or she may forget what she had for lunch that day or what objects were in the backseat of the car. She will not forget however, that there was a car collision, nor that the car was on fire and passengers were in the car; no matter how much time elapses, nor how many people tell her otherwise. As well, her recall of anything relevant inside the schema of the whole event, will be crystal clear)
Social Skeptics, equivocate between types 3. Circumstantial and 4. Descriptive eyewitness testimony, which can be unreliable in certain circumstances, and apply this doubt to matters of 6. Essential Schema (see Yuille Study¹ below) testimony. This is an invalid application of psychology and legal principle.
Recent Psychology Study Shows Essential Eyewitness Testimony as Being Highly Reliable
One recent psychology study showed that immediate witnesses of a real life incident maintain remarkably accurate memories of a stressful first hand event.¹ Eyewitness recall of essential elements of data which form a schema of memory, the essence of context concerning what occurred in a stressful event, whether individual or in a group, was shown by the study to be extraordinarily accurate. In the study itself, police interviewed witnesses, all of whom were re-interviewed five months later. The group recall was found to be schematically accurate, even after a long period of time had elapsed, and despite the introduction of two misleading questions inserted by the research team in the follow up questioning.¹
Matters of eyewitness testimony establishing essential schema are typically very reliable. Opinions may differ as to the eye color of the assailant or even at times his identity; but the fact that a man came in and robbed a store, is typically indisputable.
By regarding, through a priori conjecture and misapplied psychology, the whole incident of a store robbery to constitute fiction through unreliable testimony, SSkeptics commit the pseudo-scientific fraud of observational data dismissal.
Essential Schema – an organized structure of thought and perception that interleaves information frameworks by the relationships among key data. A mental framework of epistemological or preconceived ideas, representing some aspect of the world, concept of learning, system or event. It can be utilized as a system of organizing, perceiving and retaining new information. Schemata influence attention and the efficacy of absorption/retention of new knowledge. People are more likely to notice and retain data which fit into their schema. Essential Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information and the passage of time.
A Misapplied Study
Much ado is made of a series of studies from 1978 through 1989 in which Elizabeth Loftus cited the unreliability of eyewitness memories in situations where time has elapsed or bias inducing information has been introduced to the witness in the meantime. In the study which stemmed from a 1978 previous basis, a danger of what is called a Misinformation Effect on the part of eyewitnesses was delineated.² Participants in the original study were shown a series of slides, only one of which featured a car stopping in front of a yield sign (see right).² ³ After viewing the slides, participants were then given to read an outside opinion description of what they saw in one of the slides. Some of the participants were given descriptions that contained misinformation about the one slide with the car and yield sign, which stated that the car stopped instead at a stop sign. Now remember that this type of testimony is not based on memory of 6. Essential Schemata. It is based upon 3. Circumstantial and 4. Descriptive memory. As well, it positions the memory, not only outside a framework of a retention schema, but inside a reality of being disassociated trivia. These are the pertinent factors regarding this memory effect cited in the study, not the fact that the Essential Schemata was remembered incorrectly. “Following the slides and the reading of the description, participants were tested on what they saw. The results revealed that participants who were exposed to such misinformation were more likely to report seeing a stop sign than participants who were not misinformed.“³
The problem with this study is that it is measuring the accuracy of the long term, bias influenced mind on trivial matters, with no supportive memory schema, relating to
evidence bases. These are memory bases which can easily be altered by the passage of time or the influence of outside contrasting testimony which can impart a memory bias. The study shows this, but more importantly, it also shows that matters of memory in terms of 6. Essential Schemata, are very accurate.³
The witnesses, 100% recalled that a car was stopped at a sign. This is Essential Schemata, and it was demonstrated to be 100% accurate.
In other words, the witnesses may have doubt introduced in their mind as to whether a car in one slide in many, was stopped at a yield sign or a stop sign, but they did not have any doubt about the essential schema of a car stopped at a sign. A Social Skeptic would contend here that there was no such thing as a car stopped at a sign, or a collision and a car fire (in the further above example). It is a contrivance and manipulation to apply these study principles in this fashion.
Social Skeptics employ this twist of equivocation, a misapplication of this study and others like it, to principal memories of Essential Schema. Structures which retain Essential Schemata which otherwise could act as an evidential basis supporting an ethical employment of the scientific method. In this fashion, they obfuscate targeted sets of research and analysis from becoming the observational base for necessity made available to science.
This activity is fraud, and pseudoscience.
¹Yuille, J.C., & Cutshall, J.L. (1986). A case study of eyewitness memory of a crime. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 291-301.
²Elizabeth F. Loftus, Hunter G. Hoffman, University of Washington; “Misinformation and Memory: The Creation of New Memories;” Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1989, Vol. 118, No. 1, pp. 100- 104.
³Lee, Kerry (2004). “Age, Neuropsychological, and Social Cognitive Measures as Predictors of Individual Differences in Susceptibility to the Misinformation Effect”. Applied Cognitive Psychology 18 (8): 997–1019. Quote and diagram 3 via Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misinformation_effect#cite_note-Lee-5 ; captured 29 April 2014).
I doubt, therefore I am (superior)
The taxonomy of the Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy, as with many informal fallacies, pertains to relevance of argument framing, rather than deductive veracity of data or material structure of the argument itself. There are four taxonomy clads comprised by The Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy, below. The first pertains to relevancy of simple identity as a claim of merit, the second to the relevant argument position of doubt, the third pertains to flaws relating to deceptive ontology and the fourth pertains to ethic of argument method. The last, the Truzzi Fallacy of Argument is a quasi-formal fallacy, named in honor of Marcello Truzzi, related to the cited quote.
Most of the time, an Appeal to Skepticism is employed when no real data is possessed and no real research has been conducted on the part of the challenging claimant; instances where the integrity of a prima facia counter-claim could be called into question (e.g. attempting to deny an observation made by a third party, without direct evidence). It is in its essence, simultaneously an intellectually lazy boast as well as an implicit disparagement of a targeted party. It is employed as a method to circumvent the conventions of evidence, block the methods of science and to attempt to establish immediate unjustified credibility on the part of an arguer who must win at all costs.
The Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy
Ergo Sum Veritas Fallacy (of Irrelevance)
1a. The contention, implication or inference that one’s own ideas or the ideas of others hold authoritative veracity simply because their proponent has declared themselves to be a ‘skeptic.’
1b. The assumption, implication or inference that an organization bearing a form of title regarding skepticism, immediately holds higher factual or ideological credibility than any other entity having conducted an equivalent level of research into a matter at hand.
1c. The assumption, implication or inference that an organization or individual bearing a form of title regarding skepticism, adheres to a higher level of professionalism, ethics or morality than does the general population.
Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy (of Irrelevance)
2a. The declaration, assumption or implication that a consensus skeptical position on a topic is congruent with the consensus opinion of scientists on that topic.
2b. The argument assumption or implication that an opinion possesses authoritative veracity or a proponent possesses intellectual high ground simply through allegiance to a consensus skeptical position on a topic.
3. The presumption or contention that taking a denial based or default dubious stance on a set of evidence or topic is somehow indicative of application of the scientific method on one’s part, or constitutes a position of superior intellect, or represents a superior critical or rational position on a topic at hand.
Inverse Negation Fallacy (of Presumption)
4. The strategy of undermining any study, proponent, media byte, article, construct, data, observation, effort or idea which does not fit one’s favored model, in a surreptitious effort to promote that favored model, along with its implicit but not acknowledged underpinning claims, without tendering the appearance of doing so; nor undertaking the risk of exposing that favored model or claims set to the scientific method or to risky critical scrutiny.
Truzzi Fallacy (of Argument)
5. The presumption that a position of skepticism or plausible conformance on a specific issue affords the skeptical apologist tacit exemption from having to provide authoritative outsider recitation or evidence to support a contended claim or counter-claim.
“Pseudo-Skeptics: Critics who assert negative claims, but who mistakenly call themselves ‘skeptics,’ often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all. A result of this is that many critics seem to feel it is only necessary to present a case for their counter-claims based upon plausibility rather than empirical evidence.” – Marcello Truzzi (Founding Co-chairman of CSICOP)
Explanation of Two General Forms
An Appeal to Skepticism is an Irrelevant Appeal which in one of three ways, cedes control of an argument high ground artificially to the person attempting leverage by deception or means other than the evidentiary base. Negations and Denials are control mechanisms, and in their truest sense, can be used to control the direction of science; however, when this control is ceded into individuals, it can be abused. The Appeal to Skepticism is the implicit or explicit boast by the claimant that simply through the act of doubting, I have assumed a superior argument position, all things being equal. This allows for a claim of default victory in undetermined pluralistic arguments, where there legitimately is no suitable basis of authority from which to declare such. The focus by the claimant is typically on winning arguments, not in deriving clarity or value. There are two general forms of this Fallacy of Relevancy.
Declaring Myself As A Skeptic Defaults Me Unearned and Unassailable Credibility
Whether I use my self-awarded moniker as ‘skeptic’ to attempt to drive home a political goal, or squelch a subject I dislike, or improve my standing and notoriety, self developed claims to skepticism are designed to serve exactly that: self. Most commonly, self appointed skeptics are only skeptical about the set of data and ideas they do NOT believe, and tender their favorite subjects a coddling and shallow appearance of scientific veracity. In similar fashion to the Texas Barn Logic Fallacy, where one shoots at the barn wall and then draws the target bullseye around the bullet holes, the faker skeptic will challenge every subject EXCEPT those which they surreptitiously are promoting. So rather than taking the ethical pathway of developing hypothesis and methodical testing of their favored claims, the faker skeptic shoots at everything except their favored claim. The only thing left standing, is that which they wished to promote in the first place. This is called the Inverse Negation Fallacy approach to agenda sponsorship, and is a method of deception; and when used in this context by SSkeptics, is Deskeption.
(1) Astronomer Phil Plait is a skeptic, by his own admission.
(2) Astronomer Phil Plait should be published as an authority on a variety of subjects aside from Astronomy, such as issues of health practices, gun control, and bigfoot.
Assuming A Position of Doubt Affords Me Immediate Rational Gravitas
It is a damaging and deceptive tactic to create un-level argument playing fields simply for the benefit of personal victory and ego. It is fallacious to presume that taking a denial based or default dubious stance on a set of evidence or topic is somehow indicative of application of the scientific method on one’s part. Yes science uses doubt as a lever. But science also understands when data has produced a sufficient threshold of plurality. SSkeptics do not grasp this, as understanding was not the goal in the first place. Inside the notorious Climate Change denial antics, those who defended Climate Change data – were quick to disallow “Deniers” the high ground of being called ‘skeptics’, as they knew the deceptiveness wound up in this moniker tactic well. Taking a position of denial or cynicism does not guarantee one a position of superior intellectual approach, nor does it represent a superior rational position on a topic at hand. As with most arguments, the mere presence of plurality, the fact that science has not yet definitively answered or addressed the question, means that ‘doubt’ can unethically be used as a battering ram, just as easily as it can be used to enforce an ethical falsification hierarchy under the scientific method.
(1) Evidence has been purportedly gathered that ulcers are caused by a bacterium, helicopter pylori. I am in an association which represents antacid manufacturer interests.
(2) Denial of this claim as false, implies that there is a current understanding of what causes ulcers, which has evidence, and will tender our stalling the appearance of being a legitimate facet of ethical science.
This argument is fallacious because it only serves to aggrandize the person making the appeal to skepticism, and tenders the false appearance of science. It suffers from the diminishing gains failure problem in that:
When the one making the Appeal to Skepticism is incorrect: Damage is done through obfuscation OUTCOME = LOSS
This is why, on average, skepticism should be used as a technique which aids in good science. But to take on the identity of being a skeptic, to chest-pound, dominate discourse and to begin to wield such self declaration as a political or argument position basis, causes no net benefit to mankind and science; only loss.
Neither the Developmental Scientific Method, nor the Experimental Method are wrong necessarily. But what those two subsets of the scientific method fail to address are several vital steps of Discovery Science Methodology. Our regard of the scientific method as simply being a big lab experiment constitutes a logical fallacy; one which blinds and binds our professionals and emasculates our ability as a culture to address the key questions which face humanity today.
Search for the scientific method in Google and you will find an enormous amount of misinformation and conflation of the scientific method with the experimental method. This confusion is an example of well meaning but of sophomoric guild individuals or cabals attempting to explain incorrectly, what is indeed science. I suppose that this is how these same people might describe the method of making love:
Making Love Method:
- Obtain a Naked Person
- Examine Various Body Parts
- Rub Genitals Together
- Ask if It Was Acceptable
- Exchange Phone Numbers
This is not making love. There is so much that is missing what is happening here, such as to render this process invalid, despite its apparent correctness. This is a method which is touted by someone who has never made love.
In the same way, science is not an experiment, rather it is the process and body of knowledge development. And as such, its applied acumen resides to the greater degree outside the lab, not in it. Anyone who has managed a scientific research organization knows this. A team can refine an experimental insight only so many times, but if they have not asked the right question or obtained the right resources and data, then this is simply lots of activity executed by technicians masquerading as scientists. Regarding the scientific method as simply an extended experiment, can leave it open to ineffectiveness at best, or even worse manipulation by ill-meaning forces who seek to direct the body of predictive knowledge in certain directions (see Promotification below). Science demands that its participants be circumspect and prepared, before they pretend to be competent at testing its first questions.
Wikipedia, in similar form, defines the “Scientific Method” as below (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method). I have called it by its more accurate name here in red:
Scientific Method: (Developmental Scientific Methodology)
- Define a question
- Gather information and resources (observe)
- Form an explanatory hypothesis
- Test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data in a reproducible manner
- Analyze the data
- Interpret the data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
- Publish results
- Retest (frequently done by other scientists)
While this step series is generally correct and close, this actually represents really only an expansive form of the Experimental Method and focuses on Developmental Science only. In other words, what Wikipedia and its academic authors have defined here is what one does to improve our knowledge of existing and established paradigms, in highly controlled environments, and in cases where we already know what question to ask in the above Step 1. Define a Question. This is simply a method of refining existing knowledge focused on essentially technology development. And that is indeed a valid approach, since what are we going to do if we cannot turn our science into beneficial application? Certainly a large part of science necessarily centers around this diligent technical incrementalism and existing paradigm development process.
But this is NOT the scientific method. It is a PART of the scientific method, more focused and centered on specific procedure from what the authors learned in school, that of the Experimental Method (below, mostly courtesy of Colby College (http://www.colby.edu/biology/BI17x/expt_method.html). To be fair, Wikipedia does address this issue in part of their excellent writeup on Experimental Methodology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiment) and its ethical employment and limitations.
Experimental Method: (Look Familiar?)
- Ask a Question
- Form a Hypothesis
- Define a Test/Variables
- Perform an Experiment
- Analyze the Results
- Draw a Conclusion
- Report Results
But what if we do not have the necessary set of observations which could educate us to even know what question to ask in the first place? What if by asking the question as the first step, we bias the participants or the outcome, or blind ourselves to the true experimental domain entailed? What if we were able to conduct a series of initial falsification tests in the early data sets, which would preclude an entire series of predictive tests in the classic developmental methodology later? Moreover, what if we did not know because we collected the wrong data, all because we asked the wrong questions to begin with, or failed to learn from past mistakes made by competitors on the subject. These confusing challenges are common to every lab in a variety of industry verticals.
But Science is About Discovery, not Simply Incremental Development of Current Paradigms
In some of my labs, in the past, when we have made major breakthroughs, or turned an eight month research program into a 3 week discovery process, we did not employ the above process as expressed by academia and Wikipedia. We took a step back and asked three important circumspect questions which differentiate scientists from lab technicians, which occur commensurate with Discovery Scientific Methodology, Step 3 – Aggregation of Data:
Three Critical Questions Scientists Ask When They Really Want an Answer:
- What is it that we do not know, that we do not know?
- What should we test and/or statistically aggregate and analyze before we boast that we can competently ask the question?
- What missteps have we or our competitors made to date?
The Wikipedia Developmental Science Methodology presumes that there is only a small set (s) of the unknown, and our task is simply to fill in that (s) blank. In discovery science this presumption of the small unknown is incorrect, as it embodies a version of the Penultimate Set Fallacy. In Discovery Science Methodology, the key is that we do not necessarily have all the information we need, and even more importantly we might not even be aware that we are not equipped to boast that we can suitably ask the right question. Proceeding in such a disadvantageous state under the Developmental Science process would be akin to one searching for Jimmy Hoffa by starting in one’s living room. The researcher has not even asked the right question, simply started acting all busy. Well yes, you can search your living room, and certainly perform developmental investigation there, but you are really only performing those activities to which you are accustomed. You will see many a SSkeptic performing this type of ‘scientific inquiry.’ They have not asked the right question to begin with, sometimes purposefully; rather desiring only to tender the appearance of doing science. Getting themselves photographed naked, and pretending that they were in the process of making love.
Knowing how to ask the right question, if approached properly, can turn years of potentially misleading predictive study (Promotification) into a much shorter timeframe and more productive falsification based conclusions. This process is neither deliberated nor executed in the lab. Much of what is considered “pseudoscience” as a subject, suffers from this sleight-of-hand shortfall through targeting by fake SSkeptics. By not knowing how to ask the right question, one can fall susceptible to a pseudoscience called Promotification:
Promotification – One or a series of predictive experiments touted as scientific, yet employed in such a fashion as to mislead, obfuscate or delay. Deception or incompetence wherein only predictive testing methodology was undertaken in a hypothesis reduction hierarchy when more effective falsification pathways or current evidence were readily available, but were ignored.
Through asking the wrong question, power is sublimed from the hands of science and into the hands of those who do not desire an answer.
When one or more of the below steps is skipped or placed in the wrong order, in a discovery science context, then this can be an indication that SSkeptical Tradecraft is underway. It behooves the discovery science researcher to be fully cognizant and circumspect for the influences of SSkepticism in the answers he is handed. One does not even have to manage a lab, and might be simply addressing a tough question. If one is actually being held accountable by an external body of oversight, such as a board of directors who want results, not status-quo and protocol, then often necessity drives this as the true scientific method:
DISCOVERY SCIENCE METHODOLOGY:
3. INTELLIGENCE/AGGREGATION OF DATA (The Three Key Questions)
4. CONSTRUCT FORMULATION
5. SPONSORSHIP/PEER INPUT (Ockham’s Razor)
6. HYPOTHESIS DEVELOPMENT
7. PREDICTIVE TESTING
8. COMPETITIVE HYPOTHESES FRAMING (ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION)
9. FALSIFICATION TESTING
10. HYPOTHESIS MODIFICATION
11. FALSIFICATION TESTING/REPEATABILITY
12. THEORY FORMULATION/REFINEMENT
13. PEER REVIEW (Community Vetting)
Just as corruption produces human suffering, in similar fashion, Tradecraft SSkepticism produces cultivated ignorance
How do I know that SSkeptics fully acknowledge this process as constituting the full scientific method? Because they skillfully and adeptly know how to manipulate the steps of this process such that specific desired outcomes and conclusions are produced. It is a method of corruption, not unlike that which the ministers of a country might employ, through the gaming of laws, policies and bureaucracy such that they and their cronies are enriched in the process of legislation. Just as corruption produces human suffering, in similar, Tradecraft SSkepticism produces cultivated ignorance.
The icon on the right will act as my post signature icon, tagging the entire series of posts on Tradecraft SSkepticcism. This tag will apply when the post is specifically depicting ways in which Social Skepticism manipulates through Tradecraft, academia, media, science, scientists and their Cabal faithful; spinning a false representation of the reality which encompasses the nature of man and our realm. This icon will be affixed on the top right hand side of such posts. :)
SSkeptics are fully aware at how to obviate, block access to, or eliminate any or all of the above steps, as means to a specific end. They intimidate researchers in specific embargoed subjects involved in or considering seriously any activity under Steps 1 – 7. Further then, SSkeptics pretend that they are the only ones sufficiently equipped to ask the question framed in Step 8; which constitutes an extraordinary boast. By skipping Steps 1 – 7, SSkeptics are able to socially circumvent sound science and posit the wrong question as the first step. Amateurs researchers rarely catch this sleight-of-hand which has been foisted on them, while the public just nods in wide eyed resignation. Scientists who understand this know that they are to keep quiet. This asking of the wrong question ensures a flawed execution of the scientific method such that Steps 9 – 15 never have a realistic set of hypotheses which to test. So, SSkeptics DO understand this, the full scientific method. All too well.
What is Pseudoscience? And why we live in a banana republic age of scientific consensus, ruled by SSkeptics.
SSkeptics, in their regular homily contained in the September 2011 Scientific American editorial, tender an incompetent and self-justifying version of the definition of Pseudoscience. A definition which is crafted to lend legitimacy to the unethical act of classifying subjects into forbidden domains; involving power which appropriates and corrupts the use of peer review and research, making them no longer tools on the part of true experts in a field of study, rather the pretentious actions of controlling social figures and campaigns. A definition which seeks instead to promote science as a form of democratic popularity contest adjudicated by all those appointed the right to vote by the very power wielding SSkeptics themselves. A contest of politics wherein it is the number of people in a social club who have an opinion, and not the data, research and work of the true investigators (see Discovery Science), which determines the tenets of what is considered an acceptable conclusion of science.
All this passed off under the pretense of socially responsible jargon, that somehow this broad non-expert opinion survey constitutes “egalitarian rather than elitist” principles and is “bottom up rather than top down.” In other words “We cannot rely upon people conducting observations and doing research to guide us, we need the vote of our social order, trained through filtered channel propaganda.”
“Let science consumers in the marketplace of ideas determine (vote) what constitutes good science, starting with the scientists themselves and filtering through the editors, educators, and readers. As for potential consumers of pseudoscience (that means everyone), that’s what skeptics are for…” (Michael Shermer, “What is Pseudoscience?”, Scientific American; Vol 305, No. 3; p. 92)
Michael Shermer is wrong here. He has not only crafted an non-viable definition of the term pseudoscience, but has assumed a position of power on the part of he and his Cabal, which they do not merit. What is actually practiced is nothing akin to an egalitarian consensus, rather is a Social Technology (a forthcoming blog on why it does not take a conspiracy theory in order for good persons to produce evil outcomes) crafted by those who seek power. SSkeptics develop an iniquitous and incompetent framing of the processes which lead to the presumption of what is and is not pseudoscience. Below I will outline why Pseudoscience, in Ethical Skepticism is an action and a pretense on the part of those claiming to represent science, and not a disposition of a topic by controlling interests. There are five principal fatal problems inherent in defining pseudoscience as a disposition of a topic, tendered by today’s version of democratic science.
Why Pseudoscience is an ACTION and a PRETENSE, and cannot ethically be a research subject, topic, belief or faith
Ethical Problem 1: The Marketplace is informed of the vote results by SSkeptics
If you have ever been to a party, where a scientist will quietly speak his mind on one of the Forbidden 121 topics but mentions that he would never be able to speak in public about such things, nor heaven forbid, actually conduct observations inside the subject, much less do any science – then you know first hand the all-too-common witch hunt mentality which exists inside science today. This witch hunt is not a conspiracy theory, rather a real and damaging zeitgeist crafted by, and painted by the SSkeptic Cabal. The problem with Michael Shermer’s version of the Marketplace of Science , is that the results of the vote, or if you will what is the new fashion rage for this spring, or the results of this year’s Academy Awards of Authorized Science, are informed and presented to the democratic body, by the very SSkeptics themselves. This is a stark conflict of interest. People with a singular religious view, informing people as to what to believe, is not science. “As for potential consumers of pseudoscience (everyone), that’s what skeptics are for…” In other words, we live in a banana republic, where one party informs the voters of the tally of the vote.
And is this party honest? No. In the coming millennium this will not even be in question. As our minds continue to expand and be informed, today’s SSkeptic movement will be replaced by true scientific method and ethics (see Deskeption: The Art of the Elegant Lie).
Ethical Problem 2: The Science ‘Marketplace’ includes a majority of non-expert voters, who are an easy sell for SSkeptics, and who are inappropriately called the ‘scientists themselves’
Ahh, I see. So science is a popularity contest inside a club of non-experts, non-researchers, non-interested persons who simply hold a status and title (“the scientists themselves”). A democracy of popular vote among a constituency of persons who win the right to vote by simply being in the club; and not by having actually conducted real research into the idea in question. Since I have a title, I am deemed able to make pronouncements on any subject I desire, and be counted in the vote. SSkeptics ignore the fact that, in regard to those subjects deemed “pseudosciences” – very few of scientists are actually experts in the subject in question at all.
Corollary 2a. There are far fewer true experts than there are opinionated non-expert voters
There at least 200 sciences comprised by Natural, Social, Medical, Engineering, and Mathematical discipline groupings. This is a very successful focus and career advancement structure. But the weakness therein is that any participant in the body of science intrinsically only holds expertise on .5% to 4% of the given knowledge base. I have spent 30 years pursuing my career subject, replete with 8 years of undergrad and graduate work. I am considered one of the top 3 persons in my field. This as a result of working 6 days a week and 12 to 16 hours a day on the cutting edge of my field. I still do not have an adequate grasp of my field after all this time. It is still not enough for me to begin to dictate what is right inside of sister disciplines. At most I have a 4% grasp on industry as a whole. I am a non-expert on much of my broad science grouping. Understanding this is a key tenet of Ethical Skepticism.
When I observe scientists or SSkeptics pretending to be experts on a broad array of subjects, I KNOW it is a load of baloney. They have not had enough time to gain this insight. It is a pretense and a masquerade.
So, because a group of astronomers, physicists, psychologists, nuclear technologists and mathematicians do not like the idea of a North American Primate, then the subject is given the final fatal disposition of a ‘pseudoscience’ – despite none of the ‘scientists themselves’ (or voters, in this context) in question actually having done ANY research at all into the subject. Couple this with the fact that those who actually DO research, are declared to be not-scientists, or are relegated to and less than SSkeptics’ subjectively convenient “dismissible margin,” and one has witnessed the establishment a social construct. There is a problem, there is a flaw in the system which creates a social order and not a science, when the following state exists in the voting input. This state exists for much of what is deemed “Pseudoscience” by the Social Skeptics:
Sum of Expert Input < Dismissible Margin
Corollary 2b. PhD level or other technicians are often counted in the vote as ‘scientists’
A definitive weakness in the ‘count everyone’s vote’ egalitarian method of science is that we allow the definition of the term ‘scientist’ to include degreed field and research technicians, when indeed these individuals are simply there to follow the guidance, follow the rules, and make sure that everything works. A technician, a PhD level engineer, graduate IT developer, or degreed lab tech, may be called a scientist in slang, but are not really considered expert researchers. They may even hold several advanced degrees. Technicians in most disciplines include psychologists, sociologists, information technologists, human factors engineers, electrical chemical or mechanical engineers, project and program managers, finance managers, lab techs, research aides, statistical analysts, methods analysts, or non-tenured research associates. While I have immense respect for these areas of research and development, they should not typically comprise a part of the base which qualifies as ‘the scientists themselves’ – but you will find people with really 8 years in program management, or 7 years in PhD engineering project roles being called ‘scientists’ – when in fact they are not
Many so called ‘scientists’ really only occupy technician or teaching roles
Technicians beef up the non-expert vote count
Technicians distinguish themselves by being good at following the instructions
You will find more SSkeptics in the Information Technology, Psychology and Engineering realms than you will find in true Science
In reality, technicians make their merit, distinguish themselves in their careers by how well they follow the rules. If you think outside the box, you are not going to do well in an engineering curriculum typically. Laplacian Transformations, Golden Section Algorithms, Reactor Core Design theory development academic proficiencies are all typically programs which demand rigorous rule following, and are not typically designed to encourage the participant to develop new ‘out of context ideas” Having hired and worked with over 400 engineers over the years in profit-based and demanding professional businesses, as well as cutting edge research environs, I have observed this to be very common. Technicians follow the rules. They will spout the dogma. As they move into management they rarely promote maverick thinking, and are rather irritated by it. They will cast their vote the way they are told to vote. That is how they made the cut to begin with.
Ethical Problem 3: The Club voting membership is educated, regulated and qualified solely by those who have an investment in the outcome of the vote
The “editors, educators…and skeptics” role is to filter data and acceptance of voters, so that the outcome they desire is ensured in the popular vote. We have stacked the jury and ensured that we have an OJ Simpson verdict on subjects in which we have conducted NO research whatsoever – simply because we do not like the subject. We have dismissed an idea by popular prejudice, method, education and media propaganda, and not by evidential merit.
I have several excellent scientists working for me. They all maintain pre-concluded presumptions as to the validity and veracity of alternative medicine, human neolithic history, UFO’s and various forms of paranormal data collection. They have been trained to hold these beliefs. They are NOT experts on the subjects, they cannot cite falsification Test 1 on any topic. But SSkeptics would have us all believe that they are fully accepted and qualified members of the voting “scientists themselves.”
Ethical Problem 4: Status declarations imply successful falsifications by science which indeed have never actually been tested for, nor achieved
SSkeptics, often feel that the end game of their duty is to simply provide a Plausible Deniability scenario, when confronted with a challenging piece of evidence or data. This is fake skepticism (see Pseudo-Skeptics: Marcello Truzzi, Founding Co-chairman of CSICOP). While the simplest explanation is certainly an appropriate lead construct in a pluralistic argument, it by no means demarcates the end state of our duty, and it by no means indicates that falsification of all other compelling constructs has been achieved.
Corollary 4a. Seeking anecdotal evidence supporting Plausible Deniability scenarios is NOT science, it is Promotification
I watched a famed SSkeptic stand in as the ‘skeptic’ in a paranormal program the other night. Good job on that for the courageous skeptic, but I guess it is their job to deflect this stuff from the consideration of disdainful academics. The SSkeptic, as a representative of rational SSkepticism, only set up testing protocols to provide evidence of support for a Plausible Deniability scenario he had in mind. This is NOT falsification, does not add value and does not offer clarity in the process. It is not science. Simply establishing that a Plausible Deniability scenario is possible, does not add value to the argument. We need falsification, not propaganda fuel. The SSkeptic will simply find what he is looking for and take that back to reassure his arrogant 15 year olds that all is well. There are no ghosts.
Corollary 4b. Declaring ‘falsifiability’ is not the same thing as being falsified, and only scientific study can prove falsification
But at times SSkeptics break from the Plausible Deniability approach and range back into Falsification Testing. Well, not actually testing. That would require that we actually DO science. SSkeptic semantics shift back to falsification as a demarcating precept. But they typically only choose to focus on “falsifiability” and not the actual status of being “falsified.” A pseudoscience need only possess falsifiability and plausible deniability in order to be condemned by the SSkeptic Cabal on behalf of science. Indeed however, it is the flippant declaration of falsifiability, the swagger of plausible alternatives, and not the actual act of falsification itself which is the tool used by SSkeptics to declare a subject a pseudoscience. Only science can falsify, but science is forbidden access to falsify these topics (see What Constitutes a Religion?).
SSkeptics correctly cite “falsifiability” to be the ultimate criterion of demarcation of a science and non-science. Well, all of these subjects are falsifiable, so why do we forbid their testing by scientists? SSkeptics would dictate that falsification tests need not be conducted, since the ‘scientists themselves’ have already made a conclusion. Because I CAN falsify this, I do not need to. Scientists keep out of this and let the SSkeptics handle it.
This is pseudoscience.
Ethical Problem 5: Once a SUBJECT is deemed (by popular non-expert vote) as a “Pseudoscience,” it can never again be seriously considered despite the existence or introduction of Ockham’s Razor plurality evidence
Deniers!, Pseudoscientist! Pseudoscience! Simplest Explanation!, Woo!, Bunk!, Nonsense!, Witchcraft!, Magic! These are a part of the inventory of Weapon Words which are core to the filtering process which SSkeptics employ. These bear the hallmark employments of thought control and social order establishment. They are the means of control inside a large body of pretend experts on all subjects. They are the bricks of the Kristallnacht of Science. Please refer to the list of the 121 Forbidden Subjects.
The Principle of “filtering“ data “through editors, educators…and skeptics” is an irresponsible configuration of activities which are not science methods, but rather a method of developing propaganda, exclusion and definition of acceptable thought. Agenda sponsors, and those who have control of the media channels imbue their prejudices into the ideas which are then fed through the sole channels available (schools, press, media, publishing, policy, governance, enforcement) to the proletariat membership. This is socialistic in its construction, and is nothing akin to science. Science is not a popular vote, it is not appropriately based on agenda campaigns, nor is it a social order of entitlement, as SSkeptics would have it.
The final declaration of an IDEA as pseudoscience, rather than a set of actions, means that we can never recover from a mistake in the popular vote, contrived by those with less-than-honorable intent. We become the victims of the surreptitious among us.
NONE of this is Science. It is the DRiP Method and is Deskeption.
In fact, Pseudoscience can NEVER be a subject, by the tenets of logic alone. A subject cannot be declared false by a set of outsiders. Those who condemn a subject to be a pseudoscience, are guilty of unethical, non-scientific practices – and being eventually proved correct does not exonerate the practitioner of such deception. It is merely a technicality.
Indeed, what follows is therefore for the Ethical Skeptic, the only viable definition of pseudoscience:
Ethical Skepticism Definition of Pseudoscience: Pseudoscience is an action, not a subject
Pseudoscience – Declaration of ideas as true or false by merit of subject matter alone, in absence of employment of the scientific method. The deceptive or deluded act of claiming to use or represent the scientific method or science in attaining conclusions, when in fact such contentions are false. Pseudoscience is not a set of beliefs nor an undesirable topic of credulity, contrary to what false skeptics claim; rather, is an action constituted by errant methodology and pretense.
The employment of Social Technology control tactics, seeking to dictate singular thought, is Pseudoscience. This is what Michael is proposing in his editorial.
A Scientist is someone actively engaged in research in a given subject, and NOT someone holding a degree or engaged in research in another subject. These contributors add no more value or clarity than outside non-expert opinions; their inclusion can only be used for control. And remember, the goals of the Ethical Skeptic, are value and clarity; not the control of ideas.
Official Promulgators of Pre-concluded Propaganda are Partners with Pretend Skeptics
Astrobiologist Richard B. Hoover spent more than forty six years working at NASA as a scientist who authored 33 volumes and 250 papers on astrobiology, extremophiles, diatoms, solar physics, X-ray/EUV optics and meteorites. He holds 11 U.S. patents and was 1992 NASA Inventor of the Year. Now he is an absolutely crack-pot and credential-less liar, completely unfamiliar with science and the scientific method. That is what the Associated Press and their SSkeptic Cabal partners would have the easy prey gullible market believe. Real scientists do not believe this, but a second purpose of this type of article (cited below) is to threaten real scientists with a similar punishment to what has been dealt Richard Hoover. Richard Hoover no longer cares, the Cabal cannot hurt him in the normal way, he is free to act in a line of integrity consistent with his professional conscience. This article is exemplary of an active and common method of pseudoscience in action. SSkeptics do not act on integrity or conscience, they take action based on agendas and party doctrine. A choice example of a very competent work of propaganda, cited below, was published March 7, 2011 by the Associated Press (http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/4187965-418/scientists-skeptical-of-meteorite-alien-life-claim.html).
Richard Hoover analyzed two meteorites of recent introduction to Earth (one in the 1960’s and one in the 1860’s) and found that they had fossilized microbial life contained in them. The null hypothesis being that these acknowledged fossilized life forms simply came from earth after the 1860 and 1960 impacts. More importantly, he cited the evidence for this ancient, off Earth origin of the fossilized life, as being
1. An absence of expressive nitrogen, which all life ‘out-gasses’ (actually a form of sputtering to be more accurate) consistently for millions of years post mortem (the meteors only hit Earth very recently) up and to the point of fossilization start, and
2. An absence of 2 of the 5 DNA/RNA nucleic acids, for all life on Earth, in the electron microscopy assays, contrasting with all fossilizing/deceased life on earth expressing all 5 nucleic acids consistently because of the incumbent 1:1 chemical bond relationship bolstered by the histone re-enforced 5′ – 3′ spline. One either indicates either all 5, or none typically, not simply 3 of the nucleic series, and
3. The scientifically baseless and unprecedented idea that a fossilization process could fully execute the observed calcified substitution in just 40 or 140 years, post impact.
Why would the article below, or for that matter, commenting scientists and NASA, not address these claims at face value? This is standard Organic Chemistry and Microbiology 3033 undergraduate level science. Yawn.
Now these are evidence based claims, but ethically I cannot yet accept them because the scientific method has not yet been completed. The next step in the scientific method is to Replicate the Results/Study. The problem is, that the scientific method in this case, never will be completed. Instead, the press has taken on this threatening subject via a key partnership with the SSkeptic Cabal, both in pretense of representing the prevailing opinion of scientists and in execution of the scientific method. They have published push-propaganda hack job articles through standardized media channels to ensure that the next step in the scientific method is never undertaken. The purpose of this article below is to tender the correct answer and intimidate any scientist who dares suggest or initiate the next step in the scientific method – Warning: No one should take it upon himself, at risk of reputation, to attempt to comment or Reproduce the Study/Results.
The purpose of articles such as these is not to relate an air of scientific competency. Any reasonably well trained technician can see that this is simpleton dilettante propaganda. More importantly they understand that the real purpose involved in such articles is to demonstrate the damaging and unethical lengths to which the Cabal will and can stoop, in order to punish members who step out of line.
Notice as well that the article employs the fake version of Ockham’s Razor, Occam’s Razor and the ‘simplest explanation’ here. They even wheel out some hapless scientist tendering one-liners who has fallen for this ‘simplest explanation’ fallacy, who never encountered William of Ockham and his Theory of Knowledge in his doctrinal studies apparently (not sure how one does that, but I guess some schools will give anyone a PhD for anything).
This is typical SSkeptic pseudo-science in its partnership with mainstream media. It is dishonesty and tyranny in action. It is one of the most insidious evils which exists on this planet today, much worse than organized religions, who at least possess the integrity to admit to constituting a set of religious beliefs, and no longer promulgate mandatory beliefs, as now does the SSkeptic Cabal.
Anatomy of a Media Hack Job – The Push Propaganda Partnership in Action
A great promo of false skepticism presented at this year’s The Amazing Meeting 2014 in Las Vegas
Whoops, apologies, this next immediate slide is altered as a spoof, viewed through the rational and sskeptic-experienced glasses of The Ethical Skeptic, but once you look below at the rhetoric, you will understand why this slide is a more accurate depiction of reality than is the pretend one that follows it:
The Ethical Skeptic learned a long time ago: BE WARY OF SSKEPTICS… they are not your friend, …and are not good persons …they do not care about the data, they care about doctrine. They only TALK about science. A lot. They are out to glorify themselves and their ‘answer.’ You are simply a stool they can walk upon to win this goal. They use science as a leather bound, gilt edged Bible of sorts, which they have never actually read, but scream about continually, and carry it symbolically high over their heads, to justify the horrid actions they promote at destroying other viewpoints, whole verticals of research and those in “the opposition.”
Science does not have an opposition, save for those people who claim to speak on its behalf.
They put on the pretense of not promoting any answer, but if you take their recommendation of ‘triangulating the truth,’ you will observe that they indeed do enforce one specific answer. See “Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy: Inverse Negation Fallacy“
The actual slide :) :
Actually this slide is somewhat correct as regards true skepticism (the points are purposely addressing the wrong question – but remember, a SSkeptic will never allow a question to surface which could potential put them at a disadvantage – winning at all costs to enforce the a single viewpoint, is the goal). However, what is depicted on this latter slide is not what is in fact taught at TAM, nor is it what is practiced by the majority of the attendees. People who would gladly kill off evidence and the opposition, in favor of enforcing the ‘correct answer.’ One would be taken aback by the amount of ridicule, seething hate, giggle-factor and condemnation which is emanating from the TAM2014 participant tweets. It is somewhat akin to religions which talk a LOT about forgiveness and love, yet are the first in line to declare wars and hate others who are different. Typical hypocracy and deception, wherein the slogans are used only to convince the adherents that they are in the right.
Do not pay attention to what they SAY
Rather watch what they DO
The discussion of objective science habitually evaporates once you get past the slogans, and the usual hate and diatribes again surface
Sorry TAM, not everyone who is a skeptic promotes tyranny and nihilism. Some of us have a conscience and do not discount observations of our fellow man as a way to protect our masters, dictate the one correct answer, and promote your religion and yourselves.
Tally Samping from just 2 hours worth of the Tyranny Tweets of Hate and Obsessive Control
#TAM2014 Seems the GOP are violating the Constitution, don’t vote for them please
He’s essentially saying creationism is un-American I’m no US exceptionalist, but I like that argument.
Shermer mentions David Buss’ book The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind Is Designed to Kill
Can’t wait for “What You Can Do to Fight the Woo”
Everyone fantasizes about killing people they dislike.
Sorry all! Church today is once more cancelled.
Dr. Oz was in front of congress. It was fun to see a proponent of raw food get grilled.
come see me & ________&_________ at our “Rhetoric & Argumentation for the Skeptic” workshop
It has always included two groups of people – skeptics/scientists and also those we oppose.
We’ll be unloading the cannons of rhetoric on you nerdz at
I won’t buy from Hobby Lobby
Seeking revenge against people who harm our group members
starting the celebration off! American Atheists party
Odds against Jesus raising from dead 10000:1? Should we take that to a bookie?
oh how all this makes my blood boil
Evidence makes no difference to creationists or climate change deniers
We should try to help people to be better at believing true things rather than false things
I’m featured on frontpage of local newspaper talking about upcoming secular invocation
Skeptics need humility; smugness is a sign beliefs have ossified (at least some admit it)
Difference btwn ignorance & stupidity? Ignorance is curable.
Here’s the hotel spoon James Randi magically bent for me for
@SciAm profile (still stuck in 1972 magazines)
Dick Cheney has been on the news criticizing Obama. You remember Cheney? He was President after Bush was elected.
Heck I don’t even side with the views of their victims, yet I still know this is abysmal behavior. Where is the professional discourse on the studies? Why did you not bring the science? Again… what Social Skepticism is really about:
- Hating and ridiculing specific religions and their beliefs and practices
- Seething anger about there even existing any opposing thought
- Promoting a specific political agenda and party
- Denying patients’ and human health rights
- Promoting one religion and a specific set of beliefs themselves
- Regarding all dissent as “ignorance”
- Rationalizing slogans justifying actions
- Putting down people who disagree as unpatriotic
- Pet names of ridicule for all competing thought
- Attacking and recommending putting those out of business who do not comply with our religion
- Assailing the idea that humans have “rights” and “will”
- Categorizing things they do not believe, as “lies”
- Tweets which acknowledge the horrid behaviour of social skeptics in the past, behaviour not exhibited by “those we oppose”
Yeah, we all got your message TAM2014. ;)