Stop striving to impress skeptics. Just because scientists employ skepticism, does not mean therefore that skeptics represent science. In fact, they only serve to personify a straw man of science. They seek to foment conflict between the public and scientists – because that serves to impart power to them and their club.
Skeptics† have placed you under the spell of a little mind trick. They do not seek the truth of any particular matter, rather they seek only to leverage your sincerity, wonder and inquisitiveness towards a goal of power, humiliation and polarization. They wish you to infer that scientists regard your lines of inquiry, rights and notions – as woo. They wish to imply that science relies upon proof and that scientists have disproved you, and further regard you as anti-science (q.e.d. anti-them). Upon sensing this finger-point generated animus, scientists begin to perceive much of the public as a frothing, anti-science horde who cannot fathom what they do, and further must now be ignored in order to save the world. This is the actual lesson skeptics are teaching all concerned on both sides – “You must worship me as the smartest, cede unto me the power of punishment (of both the public and scientists) – as I now represent science.” It is a clever little social trick of identity bullying.
In this they ironically pose as a factor which promotes understanding of science on the part of the public.
Skeptics desperately need you – to add fuel to their superiority complex, polarizing message, power to humiliate, club member ranking, acclaim, and to tacitly reinforce their religious view of the world – however, you do not need them. You do not need to invite them to events to ‘provide a skeptical perspective’, as this is part of the game of misrepresentation which they play on everyone. Most researchers are already skeptical in their work; most scientists are skeptics by nature and training. This infusion of discipline is a natural part of living a sincere, hard working life. But this does not mean that self-identity skeptics do any research, nor that they are sincere, nor that they are scientists – nor especially that they represent science.
Through personifying a straw man of science, skeptics seek to foment conflict between the public and science
– a state wherein their club gains authority along with the power to punish;
because both science and the public now perceive each other as the denialist enemy.
An enemy which you must fear, mistrust and marginalize.
Do not fall for this game. You will know that you have won, when skeptics ignore you back.
The Ethical Skeptic, “Skeptics Need You – But You Don’t Need Them”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 4 Dec 2018; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/2018/12/04/skep-need-u/
I appreciate your main point. Your warning or admonishment is well taken and I like it.
Separately you have another well done comic analysis of the Road Runner cartoon.
How did you intend though to link the cartoon to the main point about us not being over-eager (my personal take-away) to engage skeptics?
It just seems like two separate points … each valid in their own domain … but the connection escapes me.
Good observation Thomas, I have thought about this too. Both the skeptic and the skeptic victim are either the coyote or the road runner role player at any given time. I tried to assign consistently one to the other and it did not work. The skeptic’s victim is the coyote when they regard that ‘catching the acceptance’ of skeptics is the obsessive goal – it becomes their downfall. You can ‘catch’ (neutralize) skeptics by simply not trying to catch their acceptance in the first place. OR The skeptic victim is the Road Runner. By ignoring the skeptic – who is… Read more »
Thanks for the lesson. Another historical lesson that might make the same point is the island hopping strategy employed by General Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific in World War II. He just skipped over fighting many Japanese held Islands and focused on a larger strategic goal. And I just thought of another lesson, this one from the Bible. Jesus encountered opposition from a religious group called the Pharisees. Jesus basically told the disciples to ignore them. He said something like “Leave them alone. If the blind lead the blind they both fall into the ditch.” In any case, the failures… Read more »
And wow, WordPress switched me to their new ‘block’ blog editing management right as I published this. I had to learn blocks in one sitting. Geez….