The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Denial and Pseudo-Skepticism are Not the Same Thing

Pseudo-skepticism is the form of cynicism wherein a power holding group tampers with methods and science, media and social pressure mechanisms inside a domain of large unknown – in order to craft and enforce on the public, a null hypothesis or conclusion narrative, that might at best be accidentally correct. This is completely distinct from the process of denial. Suspension in denial may be existentially incorrect, but it at least stems in its originality from proper method and does not enforce a particular small-unknown domain conclusion narrative. The distinguishing difference is this: An ethical scientist might be a denialist at times, but an ethical scientist can never be a pseudo-skeptic.

I recently had a discussion on Twitter with a gentleman (and separately a brief dispute with a posing pseudo-intellectual who seemed more focused on me than this topic) about the distinguishing earmarks which separate stances of denial from the methods of pseudo-skepticism. The contention is often made inside social skepticism, that the denial of Anthropogenic Global Warming, constitutes ‘pseudo-skepticism’. This because those who oppose AGW claim to be using skepticism to support their uncertainty over that consensus conclusion. The purpose of this charade in tampering with otherwise well fitted definitions of pseudo-skepticism and denial, is to provide a misdirection with respect to understanding the actions of social skeptics on other issues (true pseudo-skepticism). Social Skeptics enjoy enormously the opportunity to misinform the public through the ridicule that can be generated over highly contentious and visible issues just such as climate change. Denialists may even borrow some of the errant methods taught by social skeptics in their desperation to keep an issue open. But just as vigilantes and police might appear to at times share methods, they are not the same thing at all. (Please note that I am an AGW advocate, I just maintain questions surrounding some of the consensus alternatives which were, or were not, researched in our process of deduction therein. Nor do I extrapolate the science into contentions that evil working Americans or Republicans are therefore worthy of violent opposition and disdain)

Denial is simply dogmatic allegiance to a refusal to accept a consensus based conclusion of science or groups claiming to represent science (dogmatic dissent). And while denial does involve avoiding selection of an alternative or promotion of the null hypothesis as a Verdrängung Mechanism, it really has nothing to do with one being ‘open minded’ – and may indeed be based cruxially upon a closed mindset. It does not mean that one is using skepticism incorrectly necessarily – rather that their dissent has ossified into a condition of dogmatic cynicism – and not that any particular feature of their skepticism is necessarily wrong. There is never a condition of skepticism wherein one just throws up their hands at any kind of questioning, basking in the bliss of the ‘right answer’ – as attractive a surrender as this might appear to the political agenda laden, weary or snowflake heart.

Skepticism itself does not mean that I must accept specific answers, it simply means that I defend the methods of science, even in the face of popular votes – and withhold disposition until a critical nexus is reached. A skeptic can simply be contending that this nexus has not yet been reached – and even disagree with inadequately supported claims to consensus. One can do this however, and still ossify into the cynical specter of denial.  In contrast, and as exhibited in the chart above (click to expand), pseudo-skepticism is the form of cynicism wherein a power wielding group tampers with methods and science, associations, media and social pressure mechanisms in order to create and enforce on the public, a false null hypothesis or conclusion narrative. This is completely distinct from the process of denial. Denial may be existentially wrong – yet still have stemmed from proper science methods originally. Pseudo-skepticism is agenda laden methodical doubt – used to identify the bad guys who don’t accept the right answer – and is only existentially correct in its conclusion by accident. Denial does not enforce any particular conclusion, only pseudo-skepticism does this.

A chief tactic of social skepticism is to blur the distinct integrity of words which might be useful in describing and communicating the methods of masquerade they employ.

A Contrast: Example of Pseudo-Skepticism

Of course, enormous uncertainty surrounds the fate of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan during the terminal leg of their journey around the world. On the team’s fateful July 2nd 1937 trip, their radio signal was picked up by a number of surrounding radio stations (Oahu, Midway, Howland and Wake islands). Despite Noonan having been trained in what is called Dead Reckoning and Radio Direction Finding navigation, they were unable to utilize the bearing of the radio direction signal from the on-station Coast Guard Cutter Itasca, in order to develop a track from their DR (navigation slang for a ‘Dead Reckoning track’ – an assumed-correct course based upon speed, bearing and time – an inductive extrapolation used frequently in navigation – I have over 7,000 practice hours in this method of navigation). A track which would lead them to a visual confirmation of Howland Island, their destination. Itasca had detected Earhart and Noonan right on the correct bearing for termination of the DR phase of their navigation plot. Yet, despite having the Itasca’s axial measurement on their RDF radio, Earhart and Noonan never showed up for the scheduled landing. A very odd occurrence given that four of five navigational variables (Howland axis, distance, speed, time) had been solved for, and only one uncertain variable remained – axial distance to Howland Island.

When you are a skeptic, who is misapplying skepticism and fail to realize that you don’t understand critical elements of dead reckoning navigation or how radio direction finding antennas work, you might assemble grand logical conjectures which are erroneous in attempting to provide a ‘simple’ explanation to this mystery (note: this is not an instance of Dunning-Kruger Error because neither celebrity skeptic communicator, Michael Shermer nor Brian Dunning are ‘peers’ to any dead reckoning navigators as a discipline group – this is simply an instance of failed skepticism, pseudo-skepticism – and great example at that). Moreover, if the club picks up your ‘rationality’ and hails it as a championing issue, then that error becomes dogmatic – ossifying, from methodical doubt in the handling of Ockham’s Razor sufficient alternatives, into the a priori bias of pseudo-skepticism. For example, in his June 22nd blog, Brian Dunning inexpertly applies apparent common sense to the issue – a grave mistake when used in lieu of actual investigative skepticism:

Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan had followed Itasca’s radio direction finding signal to get there. The water there is very deep, and it’s unlikely that much survives of the plane to ever be found. There’s never been any mystery surrounding her loss at sea.

For some reason, [TIGHAR’s] Gillespie thinks they flew instead to an island called Nikumaroro, a full ten degrees off the course they are known to have followed, and which their fuel onboard made it physically impossible to reach.1

The astute ethical skeptic will notice primarily that Dunning here is overconfident in his promotion of the single, popular, Occam’s (sic) Razor, conforming and simple Verdrängung Mechanism solution. The argument is over and no further research needs to be done as “There’s never been any mystery surrounding [their] loss at sea.” Well, as it turns out, this entire contention set is incorrect. It is pseudo-skepticism. It may make sense for the general public (the vulnerable of pseudo-skepticism) to consume the idea that a tenacious pilot and experienced navigator just flew mindlessly until they ran out of fuel, but it does not make sense to a seasoned investigator (skeptic).

Pseudo-skeptics package material for general consumption. Their goal is not truth; rather, influence.

First, Noonan followed Itasca’s radio direction AXIS, not bearing, and there is a difference which a skilled dead reckoning and RDF navigator knows, a skeptic might ascertain, but a pseudo-skeptic will never know (and more importantly, never get the feedback that their skeptical method was wrong). And there was no ‘there’ to be gotten to in the first place. The navigation plot was ending its DR phase (an inductive conjecture) and transitioning to a radio directed phase (a deductive measure). This transition occurs at only a theoretical ‘there’. This is why a fix (in yellow on the chart to the right) is symbolized by a full circle, and carries more confidence than does a DR (in tomato) which is symbolized by a half circle. These symbols imply confidence on the datum.

Would not such symbology help in matters of science, to distinguish conclusions of induction and abduction pushed by pseudo-skeptics, as distinct from conclusions of deduction on a Query Oriented Normalization schema? But, we learn in pseudo-skepticism that the duty of skeptics is to defend science and never question it. So…

Second, yes all the water was deep everywhere and no, it is not ‘unlikely’ – rather prohibitive, that any wreckage of the plane survives to this day, had they ditched in open ocean as he suggests.

Pseudo-skeptics rely upon how clever a phrase sounds, rather than its probative value.

Third, they did not follow a ‘known’ course as Dunning describes it, as Earhart and Noonan did not find the course confirming islands they had hoped for2 A DR is not a ‘known’ course and speed, it is rather just as in the case of ‘there’ above, an assumption. If the prevailing winds were 10 knots south rather than the 1937 era forecast 3 knots north, then that would impart a 50 nautical mile error into the ‘known & there’. This is called a ‘tail condition’ in arrival distribution science – a less common scenario, but all too possible and real. The purpose of navigation is to use discipline methods to mitigate the risk of this assumption.3

Pseduo-skeptics habitually fail to assess risk, tail variance and significance, as well as the impact of human behavior on social systems inside objective scenarios or their own construct analysis.

Fourth, Nikumaroro is EXACTLY ON, Noonan’s RDF search axis with Howland Island, a natural island to find once one has terminated their DR, and begun an uncertain axis search (again, something a pseudo-skeptic would never know).4

Pseudo-skeptics will tamper with terminology, using large footprint equivocal words, altering the meaning of probative terms in order to emasculate them, and switching critical words so as to reduce their expository value – like here, employing ‘bearing’ in lieu of ‘axis’. They are fully aware that 97% of the population, none of their cronies, nor scientists will catch the significance of the shell game.

Fifth, as you can see on the per hoc aditum scenario chart above, if Earhart and Noonan did not have the fuel to reach Nikumaroro, then they did not have the fuel to reach Howland Island, their destination either; unless the wind was just right (emphasis here). I seriously doubt that an experienced global pilot like Earhart would have taken off without enough fuel to cover for unexpected normal circumstance wind set and drift (such as 13 knots to the north or south).

This habit of crafting apparently solid debunkings, which rely upon clever sounding one-liners, in lieu of real understanding – this is a habit of pseudo-skepticism. Once you apply short cut one-liners in one discipline, you will do them in all (see Margold’s Law). The call here is to hold epoché, not craft appeal to authority solutions without real evidence.

Finally, their fuel would have run out EXACTLY about the time of spotting Nikumaroro island, based on the theoretical DR/RDF axis search, which is the standard practice of RDF/DR navigators. They had enough fuel to take the above track and even circle the island to see where they might land; as a reasonably conservative pilot will choose a deserted island beach over a chance of an open sea landing, any day, any time. If they are in trouble, they will land in a place where survival is enhanced and not chance a total loss in trying to find something better. Earhart did not have to be ‘ten degrees off course’ as Dunning inexpertly opines, because the “off course” variation he assumes is explained by the very RDF axis search Fred Noonan was trained to execute (in yellow in the image above).

A pseudo-skeptic will fail to see the non-linear dynamic outcomes of which a system is capable. Solutions are therefore easy, common sense founded upon induction – and become  prescriptive through Lindy Effect from that point onward – most fully unaware of the thin ice upon which their grand cosmologies stand.

Not to mention of course that the final radio direction finding fix of the aggregate of all the RDB reports from the surrounding islands (see on the chart above, the grey bearings reported by Itasca, Oahu, Midway, Howland and Wake islands – collectively support an aggregate fix at the position of the yellow star), much more solidly than does ‘simplest explanation’ skepticism, places Earhart and Noonan about 50 nautical miles north of a nearest proximity island, right on the Howland search axis …Nikumaroro.

What distinguishes fake skepticism, just like fake news, from the real thing – is not the facts you bring to bear; but rather the facts you choose to leave out.

Note as well, that if I use only the radio direction bearings of the two closest radio stations (Itasca and Midway), then I get a two-shot fix right on top of Nikumaroro island. This should have been one of the first places to examine. Never underestimate the impact of the human desire to survive and skilled pilot ingenuity on ‘simplest answer’ alternative hierarchies.

The problem with social skepticism is not that individuals abuse skepticism to prematurely arrive at a personal wrong conclusion. The problem does not reside in simply being wrong. With social skepticism the entire scientific and public community at large, intimidated by simple linear approved thought, arrive at and permanently affix these errant conclusions. We take Dead Reckoning style induction or abduction – and falsely regard it as proved science. Then we stack such conclusions upon each other into grand assemblies of Dead Reckoning tracks – ignorant of the error we have imparted and multiplied (see Contrasting Deontological Intelligence with Cultivated Ignorance).

It does not matter that these individuals are rational and can eventually at a later time, be brought to understand what really happened inside such mysteries. What matters is that they over-confidently estimate their ability to spot and define ‘likelihood’ – and failing to evaluate that risk, compound it by releasing such conclusions as ‘rational’, ‘factual’ and science-based – simply because they think they used skepticism.

They would have circled and landed, only minutes after these transmission bearing measurements, as a precautionary measure. Observe the graphic I assembled above which reflects these final RDF bearings, and note where their weighted three-shot fix resides.5 A very compelling theory – and this is how science actually works. Why did Brian Dunning not do this same research? Because he was applying pseudo-skepticism (see Steven Novella’s definition). He selected for one imperious and likely correct answer, to be enforced by bad method – upon us all. My citing that his biased selection of one answer, constitutes wrong method, does not serve to make me therefore a ‘denier’ – even if 97% of his cohorts support the single answer.

Pseudo-skeptics employ derision or humor, not just to motivate deniers to accede to scientific gravitas, they mostly employ humor to block critical alternatives and prohibit deductive science, because of its distinct probative & epistemic value. They do not care what is truth – they care what you believe is truth. Often the developers of pseudo-skeptic propaganda (like the above fake science tweet from a paid hashtag stuffer – someone employed to squelch disdained ideas) are hired and compensated to play such a role. Deniers typically, not always, but typically rely upon conscience.

Knee-jerk dismissing this compelling theory as a viable and testable alternative, in favor of ceasing science and adopting a simple or socially preferred/conforming explanation, ‘they crashed into the sea’ – this is pseudo-skepticism. You will see it play over and over inside society – it is not the same as denialism.

Denialism is probably being wrong; pseudo-skepticism is being not even wrong.

Dismissal of a very compelling alternative theory – one which is supported to a great degree by the intelligence, one which is rational, one which is highly plausible by expert method, one which bears mechanism and can be tested (not that an ethical skeptic assumes it as a priori correct); dismissing this in advance of sufficient knowledge horizon development or testing is …pseudo-skepticism. It is pseudo-science. More specifically, what have Shermer and Dunning done here? In specific regard to pseudo-skepticism their contentions feature a degree of Methodical Pathology combined with a knee-jerk compulsion to enforce conformity. That is, they have ossified from dissent to cynicism. Specifically many pseudo-skeptics practice the following:

Hints that one might be a pseudo-skeptic (wrong methods and only accidentally correct)

  • A pseudo-skeptic rarely understands an opposing alternative, they socially – just don’t care about soundness or logical calculus
  • Has bought into one single answer
  • Promotes conjecture and conformance inside a subject with a large horizon of unknown
  • Chooses a ceremonial issue
  • Focuses on issues which bear no productive achievement potential with respect to love, an increase in usable knowledge, or the alleviation of suffering
  • Uses non-expert skeptics, as communicators – instead of investigative reporters
  • Decides the likelihood of ideas before the preponderance of compelling theory has been researched
  • Targets groups or legitimate researchers bearing ideas they do not like, as the bad guys (TIGHAR in this case) – polarizing and corrupting the issue a priori
  • Employs hearsay, common and ‘friendly sounding’ information as the principal elements to communicate
  • Enforces a popular standing belief as the ‘simplest explanation’
  • Chooses an issue which will incite their faithful with interest
  • Selects a position which can be perceived as being the ‘rational’ approach
  • Selects a position or issue which will tender them attention
  • Chooses a topic which contains enough unknown such that bias is hard to discern or be held to account for
  • Selects an issue where Nickell Plating (doing sciencey-looking things to appear skepticky) is practicable
  • Chooses an issue where to conform to the standing explanation can be used to show why those who oppose you are ‘irrational’
  • Stands in a position to block the investigation of compelling alternatives or intelligence
  • Assigns a null hypothesis which has been assigned without merit (See The Five Types of Null Hypothesis Error)
  • Never held epoché to begin with
  • Accepts entire bundles of scientific ideas based upon what political side they appear to reinforce
  • Employs false methods of science (often with real true facts) in order to petition for cessation of further investigative activity
  • A pseudo-skeptic considers violence or legal action as a possibility at hand in the enforcement of their conclusions
  • Can never be an ethical scientist
  • Employs false science method – pseudoscience

A Contrast: Example of Denial

AGW opponents, contrary to the shtick of social skeptics who promote anthropogenic global warming social agendas, might actually use skepticism.  They might be wrong, they might reside in a state of dogged denial – but those existential circumstances do not serve to relegate their skepticism to status as pseudo-skepticism, simply because they disagree. A denialist just simply might not be willing to accept the consensus alternative. An ethical scientist might be a denialist, but an ethical scientist can never be a psuedo-skeptic. More specifically for this example, a denialist ‘denies’ that the null below has been correctly assigned; and denies further that all of the alternatives below have been falsified through ample research and processes of deductive consilience:

Null – Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, introduced by human activity and increasing from from 280 parts per million in the 19th century to more than 400 today, much more than any other greenhouse gas or factor, is the primary contributor to climate change since 18506

Alternatives –

1.  Cyclical changes in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), on increase since 1850, is the major contributor

2.  A cyclical shift in Solar Spectral Index (SSI), towards more release of water-vapor-absorptive infrared irradiance by the sun, has occurred since 1850 and is the major contributor

3.  Primary Earth orbital dynamics (obliquity, eccentricity and axis precession), as recorded in the Milankovitch Cycles, are at least partial and not fully understood contributors

4.  Cyclical changes to the Earth’s core/mantle dynamics (as observed historically in the Schumann Resonance/Earth temperature record) have served to heat the oceans from the bottom up in the Pacific Rim of Fire and equatorial thermal regions (El Niño and La Niña), and consequently the pole ice and atmosphere since 18507

5.  Deforestation and/or loss of reflectiveness/ocean/ice absorption has been the primary contributor to climate change since 1850

6.  Natural processes of water vapor, carbon and methane atmospheric release, in combination with and as precipitated resulting from the Null, or 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 5 or any combination thereof, explain the majority of temp increases since 1850

7.  Carbon, methane and water vapor are all released as a natural sympathetic outcome of climate change, and are not primarily contributed by man – nor the principal cause, rather only a correlation with some other causal condition

Note of Clarity – A denialist denies that the Null has been chosen by valid rational or empirical processes nor that it should be rationally selected for consensus. A pseudo-skeptic denies that the alternatives are even science, or insists that they should never have been seriously investigated to begin with, or merit zero investigation now.

For me personally, I hold the Precautionary Principle as one contributor to the reason I favor taking action based upon the Null Hypothesis in the matter of climate change – and complimentarily because I have read all the material I could find on alternatives 1 – 7, and found nothing compelling enough to be considered as a falsification of the Null. Finally, greenhouse gasses, and carbon dioxide in particular, are not simply a ‘correlation’ with global warming, rather a fingerprint signal. A distinction point which not only denialists, but fake skeptics as well tend to misunderstand. I maintain skepticism around the issue and bear some concern that we have not fully investigated the contribution from all alternatives 1 – 7. But like most scientists, hold the need for precaution and the current inductive data – as bearing more concerning gravitas. Should I encounter data which develops a compelling case for Alternative 4 and 6 for instance – that does not immediately serve to make me a pseudo-skeptic.  Do you see the game they are playing with our language (see Wittgenstein Error and Its Faithful Participants)?

These are the kind of games for which an ethical skeptic must be ever vigilant.

Take a hint folks, fake skeptics do not hold the reasoned position I just outlined above. They are correct – but only by accident. Moreover, they employ such correctness to enact goals which have nothing really to do with the science – rather someone they hate. I respect a researching denier much more, for this simple reason. But Let’s be clear here too folks – each of these alternatives listed above are actual scientific alternatives and their investigation is done with actual science methods. In contrast, pseudo-skepticism relies upon false methods. This makes it not science. The rightness or wrongness of the conclusion has nothing to do with it. A denialist, in contrast may practice the following:

Hints that one might be a denialist (right original methods yet may be doggedly incorrect)

  • A denialist understands the alternative they are denying, as well or better than do its proponents – they disagree on its soundness
  • Has not bought into one single answer
  • Withholds conjecture and consent inside an issue of a small horizon unknown
  • Does not choose an issue, but may have it thrust upon them
  • Focuses on issues of productive achievement potential with respect to love, an increase in usable knowledge, or the alleviation of suffering
  • Uses experts who focus on the salient evidence, eschewing ‘communicators’
  • Resists a priori definitions of likelihood
  • Doesn’t target anyone – just simply disagree with either soundness or logical calculus
  • Sometimes employs hearsay, common and ‘friendly sounding’ information as the principal elements of support only
  • Does not choose a ‘simplest explanation’ – cognizant that things may be more complex than we understand
  • Does not have a faithful following
  • Does not conflate rationality with conformance
  • Does not seek attention
  • Cites and alerts the community to bias – not a specific conclusion
  • Never pretends to be or represent science, just simply skepticism
  • Does not argue ‘rationality’ and ‘irrationality’ – rather corruption and conclusiveness
  • Does not block research of any alternatives – even the one they question
  • Dissents as to the null hypothesis assigned, but may refuse to assign one as well
  • Has held epoché past its utility
  • May resist a whole set of scientific ideas they perceive to be politically motivated
  • Employs real methods of science (sometimes with errant data or assumptions) to encourage more scientific research
  • A denialist rarely or ever considers violence or legal action as an at-hand solution to their debate
  • Might be simply a mistaken ethical scientist
  • Employs science – just errs in conclusion, soundness or logical calculus

Behind the Conflation of the Two Terms

Pseudo-skepticism is an entirely distinct malicious and errant method and is not a set of errant conclusions, per se. False skeptics do not get this. They believe the notion that

The ends justifies the means, the answer justifies the methodology of arriving at the answer.

Vigilantes and Police Forces both take people into custody at gunpoint, and sometimes kill people. They both have headquarter offices, but this does not make them the same thing at all. In similar fashion, just because a denialist might use some of the tactics of social skeptics and pseudo-skeptics at times (after all this is what celebrity skeptics have been teaching the public since 1972), does not serve as a basis to identify them as pseudo-skeptics. Social skeptics will employ the use of traits common to both terminology domains, those traits in the undistributed middle, to provide a basis for conflating and confusing the terms ‘denial’ and ‘pseudo-skepticism’.  They do so, for reasoned purpose: to blur the distinct integrity of words which might be useful in describing and communicating the methods of masquerade they employ.

Characterization by the Undistributed Middle

/philosophy : formal fallacy : fallacy of composition/ : a rhetorical blending of fallacy of composition and affirmation of the consequent, wherein traits shared between two distinct groups are used to underpin the claim that the two groups are indeed identical or falsely that a person in one group actually belongs in the other group. Usually a form of rhetosophy, used to support an agenda, in its conflation. All pseudo scientists promote un-vetted data, the proponent of this argument promoted un-vetted data, therefore the promoter of this argument is a pseudo scientist.

Being right all the time, is not the goal of an ethical skeptic. Investment in such ego and fear assets – introduces bias into the deliberative processes we undertake. I would rather be a mistaken denialist, who pressed their epoché just a little bit more than they should – than a mindless, bad methods, unethical pseudo-skeptic any day.

epoché vanguards gnosis

How to MLA cite this blog post => 8

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism, Institutional Mandates | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ten Reasons People No Longer Find Skeptics Credible

Skeptics are losing the argument; losing the war for the American mind, and for good reason. Their actions appear to indicate confidence in the strategy of screaming louder, accusing everyone of being anti-science, conducting more personal attacks and pushing more idiot-but-celebrity personalities into the journalistic limelight; hoping that this approach will somehow rescue themselves in their plight.
However, in the end all this bray will prove to constitute is not a defense of science, rather simply the squeaking noise of their fingers desperately clutching at the metal surface, descending down the slide of irrelevance into posterity.

t1larg.angry.toddler.thinkstock - Copy - CopyVirtually all skeptics believe that, in order to improve the quality of life experienced by those who inhabit this world, then the scientific literacy of our leadership and that of the general population must be enriched. I agree with this sentiment. This Kantian a priori reasoning is belied however, as skeptics are frustrated by an ever increasingly difficult or opposition-minded audience with regard to the conclusions they attempt to foist under such a guise – on both the American population, as well as their elected representatives.

Scientific American published a series of articles recently by Joe Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. The articles revolved around an original work criticizing the skeptic movement for focusing too much on soft/easy targets, and contending that ‘the skeptic movement needs shaking up’.  Coupled with a complete change of landscape towards specific issues of social conscience since the Social Skepticism movement was launched to protect corporate/social/political client interests in 1972, specific mistakes are combining to change the dynamic of how the public conscience is swayed regarding critical issues of research and epistemology. Ways which were not anticipated by the smarter-than-thou leadership the skeptic community hails; indicating an ominous foreboding for Social Skepticism. For instance, celebrity skeptic PZ Meyers has decided he is done with the ‘asshole skeptic’ movement for good. Fake skeptics, science communicators, MSNBC, CNN are all being collectively filed in the circular file of the American public mind. Heck, even celeb-wanna-be and journeyman skeptic Sharon Hill has thrown in the towel over disgust with the intransigence and fecklessness of the ‘skeptic’ community:

I am not happy with the status quo in what is termed the “skeptical community” and have removed myself from group activities. My beef has been with the lack of effectiveness of promoting a skeptical worldview. The reason for this ineffectiveness has multiple factors. I’ll leave that longer discussion for some other time (or never, since I might as well talk to a wall for all the good it does). But here, in a nutshell, is what is going on in my head right now on the topic:

The fundamental shortcoming of the various organizations and the collective network is that it is missing a thoughtful mission with coherent goals.

I’d suggest such a mission would be simply to promote skeptical evaluation of questionable claims for the benefit of society.

This mission has nothing to do with secularism, humanism or atheism at all and it’s not simply cheerleading for science and reason. If anyone thinks that progress has been made by skeptical organizations to make society better, show me the metrics. I would be so happy to see them.

To her credit, Sharon gets that there exists a problem in the community, as exemplified no better than in her last two sentences; however she does not yet grasp the philosophical and scientific bad habits which have served to precipitate this problem.

  1. Skepticism, at least real skepticism, does not possess a ‘worldview’. Only noisy fake skeptics foist this idea.
  2. Skepticism does not ‘evaluate questionable claims’, science does.

‘Skepticism’ which attempts to foist a worldview and preempt and act on behalf of science – is known by another name. But delving into that is not the purpose of this blog post. In a nutshell, Ms. Hill is experiencing what is called Skeptive Dissonance. She is stepping into the realization that what is taught as popular skepticism stems simply from feckless ego. She is undertaking the Road Less Traveled By, and on to maturity out of  anosognosia and concealed tantrum.

Skeptive Dissonance

/philosophy : pseudoscience : ethical dissonance/ : the difficult to articulate or grasp, cognitive discomfort experienced upon one’s first perception of the disconnect between fake skepticism and real or effective science. The discomfort one experiences in overcoming a former fake skeptic anosognosia. Usually considered the first step in ethical skepticism.

Skepticism is a philosophical disciplining of the mind undertaken by the person who intends to conduct science. Ironically, the role of skepticism is to protect from ‘worldview holders’, the prejudicial status of ‘questionable claims’ and challenge the assuredness of their favored provisional ones. The role of skepticism is to protect us all from social justice warriors and their ‘worldview’ taking over science in the first place. Ms. Hill does not get this at all. Never has. Only science can evaluate questionable claims, and science does not possess a ‘worldview’ – other than the gnosis-body of what it has found.  These bad practices of skepticism promoted by Ms. Hill, are exactly why the community is disintegrating through dissonance. They are falling apart because of bad instruction as to what skepticism even is. Bad skepticism.

So, perhaps this failure in mission on the part of Social Skepticism (not real skepticism) is indeed not indicative so much of a decline in the rational/scientific mindset of the general population, as it is reflective of a specific set of mistakes being wrought inside the skepticism movement itself.  Perhaps, the public is a lot smarter than social skeptics give them credit. They can sense chicanery but find it hard to articulate their discomfort around it. Fake skeptics exploit this, along with errant descriptives of science and skepticism to enforce their agendas. ‘Worldview’ in their jargon has increasingly come to be associated with a specific political party, a specific paranormally-obsessed religion, specific medical diagnoses/obfuscation and specific view on failed economics; all compressed inside the circumspection and experience-lacking footprint of arrogant cubicle-constrained and celebrity infatuated academia. Americans get this.

Our feckless, low value/soft target fake skeptics do not get this. As a skeptic, if you are worried about tin-foil hats, bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, brainwashing children and how stupid everyone is, you are going to lose credibility, period. Americans are smarter than this, and they demand more than rhetosophy dressed up as science.

Skeptics are Losing the Battle for the American Mind and Here are Ten Reasons Why

Why do leading periodicals such as National Geographic today decry the “War on Science?”  Perhaps this conclusion is not so much an outcome of diligent epistemology, as it is a push propaganda message on the part of social skepticism’s effort to dominate the media. An effort we have observed to be riddled with critical and harm-enabling mistakes. Through our research conducted over the past decades across a wide range of social topics, we have drawn this conclusion: Cognitive biases cause skeptics to habitually skip past critical research, fail to understand the actual scientific method, focus too much on correctness and control, instruct others as if they are idiots, try too hard to fit in with each other (ironically as if a ‘community’), chronically seek celebrity status and depend too much on experts in a single sub-field to provide a basis for opinion on broad venues of life and social discourse. All serious mistakes of non-science and Popper/Wittgenstein Error. In this article we discuss how these deeply ingrained skeptic foibles interfere with their message—through ten specific weaknesses in message and practice which have manifested over the last 20 years.

     Skyrocketing Medical Debt and an Increasingly Sick Young US Demographic

so-much-more-important-copyAside from the argument surrounding the latest “1 in 45” autism parental survey, an entire list of new diseases has not only sprung up, but have become the top ten most prescribed-for maladies; and only in the United States for the most part, and within the last 20 years.(1) (2) In their report “U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health (See more at: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2013/US-Health-in-International-Perspective-Shorter-Lives-Poorer-Health.aspx#sthash.BMz0Py3C.dpuf) the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine cites the condition wherein Americans are watching our selves and our children grow increasingly sick as a nation. And as we watch our loved ones suffer and die from a new class of diseases which did not exist 80 years ago, and as our family medical budgets rise by an average of $3,185 per year† and destroy our lifestyles (not to mention economy), the arrogant screams of the self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ at Science Based Medicine begin to ring hollow and appear more and more malevolent to the average American. With autism skyrocketing in our children, IBS skyrocketing, alimentary canal cancers growing, diabetes skyrocketing much faster than calories, sugar and lethargy can explain, and our loved one’s beginning to die earlier, people are beginning to doubt what oppressive groups claiming to represent medical science in the media have to say. This is not a Baby Boomer phenomena, as these diseases are now regularly striking victims in high school and college. Being a skeptic is one thing, and most of us will afford you the leeway to play your virtue signalling game into bounds of intellectual arrogance, so long as it does not affect our families. But now it is personal, deadly and despair inducing. People are no longer tolerating the arrogance of voices of denial and correctness when it pertains to national health moving in the wrong direction.

And while parents and their children suffer, as if the ‘movement’ was rubbing salt and taunt into the public’s wounds, they insist on using their holier-than-thou science minds and superior knowledge of scientific reduction to what?  …waste copious amounts of time debunking the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, for the 400,000th time. People get the malicious insult, perhaps even more than do the social skeptics themselves. This fakery and misplaced priority set may serve to do more damage to the ‘community’ than any other single issue.

     The Social Pressure Crucible They Created Around Fringe Subjects Has Been Shattered

The internet and social media is serving to shatter the social pressure crucible that has traditionally bound us from speaking of our paranormal experiences.(3) Ghost hunting, ancient mystery and bigfoot hunting shows are the rage. Despite the fact that every single social media site which even remotely discusses fringe topics, is assigned a team of 3 to 6 token skeptics to patrol the site and ensure that secular nihilism is taught as if it were true science, people are not buying this. They are rejecting the message along with the arrogant meatpuppet patrols who act as their prison keepers. They are buying the evidence instead. Society no longer regards the 768 subjects condemned by the Skeptic’s Dictionary (with very little real research), as all invalid. I have had four close friends, friends who have died – dead – on the operating table, all of whom have come to me (because they trust my ability to be objective and not call them crazy) and shared privately the extraordinary experiences they had. Experiences during, and only during the time in which they were dead.  Four incredible, honest and information verifiable experiences. Were this thirty years ago during the golden age of methodical cynicism, they would never have come forward to anyone. How do I dismiss their observations (they are not ‘claims’)? As a skeptic I do not dismiss them. I ponder, catalog and watch for further information. These four persons are no longer afraid to come forward, much to the chagrin of the fake skeptic crowd of thugs seeking to enforce their religious choice, Secular Nihilism. Most everyone is understanding that two things now are invalid responses to such challenging observations: Knee-jerk denial, and Noelle-Neumann’s Spiral of Silence-styled oppression. Those days, along with those fake skeptics are all a thing of the past.

     Statistics Show that People are Not Buying ‘Big-A’ Atheism

Despite the fact that a recent Pew Research study elucidates that a full 50 million Americans have departed or declined traditional religion(4), fewer than 12% of those in this newly apostate population even privately profess atheism when queried. Given the enormous amount of vitriol spewed by the group claiming scientific knowledge as to the basis of their belief validity concerning religion and gods, why then the refusal by even the most open minded of the general population to accept what this group has to say? The simple fact is that ‘Big-A’ Atheism (as it is commonly called – the A standing for a variety of terms) is shallow, arrogant and every bit as dogmatic and religious as is fundamentalism.(5) It is a fundamentalist religion after all. ‘Big-A’ Atheism (Secular Nihilism) is a religion; but quietly, rational people regard ignostic atheism as not constituting a religion, rather simply a thinking disposition regarding gods only. This allows them to ponder something besides the false dilemma of Atheism and Theism. Something more intellectually challenging and stimulating; something which does not boast of knowledge one cannot possibly hold.

     Science is Being Abused to Enslave Not Free Us

The University of California Berkeley cites in its guidance on science, that “Science doesn’t tell you how to use scientific knowledge” and “Science doesn’t draw conclusions about supernatural explanations.”(6) Despite this, science under the SSkeptics’ watch since 1972, is not being employed to free us and our minds; rather is being abused to support specific oligarch businesses, an oppressive religion and to harm/economically enslave families.(7) The Social Skepticism movement manifests its goals through support of several specific special interest groups. These are interests of allegiance without exception inside the ‘community’, in which Social Skepticism seems to have an irrationally high focus, were it solely comprising an unstructured movement of individual ethic and science alone. Key among these partner special interests are the very familiar laundry list of control groups which manage our economically inflating agriculture, healthcare, health insurance, education, asset insurance, pharmaceuticals and universities. Science in the hands of, and under the watch of Social Skepticism, has played a key role in precipitating economic predation inside these seven hyper-inflating verticals, damaging Americans, their families, their nation. Most people are beginning to see this manifestly.

     Skeptics Tend to Scream Conclusions and Not Conduct Research of Ideas

As ‘fringe’ and ‘paranormal’ researchers bring a continuous flow of higher and higher quality evidence, skeptics do absolutely nothing but scream louder and continually demonstrate that they do not possess the grasp of science nor scientific method of which they all-too-frequently boast.(8) Increasingly, the Baloney Detection Kit produced by Carl Sagan in 1995, is simply being employed to enact the squelching of thought, observations, research and ideas. Ideas which social skeptics do not favor, and seek to have blocked from access to science. Proof gaming (demand to see final proof before research ever starts) and squelching of Sponsors and Discovery Science Methodology are the chief tactics of fake skeptic. Americans get this hypocrisy intuitively, and sense a reason to distrust this group. This is one reason why skeptics are not well liked people – and not because they represent science. People grow in their insistence regarding observations under a paranormal moniker, and grow increasingly tired of being called delusional, stupid or liars by those in the arrogant Social Skeptic community. Besides the role models are often horrible persons, ones whom most Americans find shallow, attention seeking and mean.(9)  Celebrities, blogs, defamation and social exclusions are no longer enough weaponry in the Social Skeptics’ arsenal, wholly now insufficient to keep the population in line. The community is viewed as a cabal of spoiled screaming children. Sorry Social Skeptics, it’s just not working anymore.

     Employment of Trolling Punks Obsessing Over Persons & Politics and Not Science

Social Skeptics coordinate through specific social media sites such as Reddit and patrol a variety of popular fringe topic forums. According to Google Ad Planner the median Reddit user is male (59%), 18–29 years of age, and is connecting from the United States (68%). Pew Research has stated that 6% of all American adult Internet users have used Reddit and males were twice as likely to be Reddit users as females.(10) Reddit is a notorious hangout for the arrogant, inexperienced, shallow and criminally defamatory. These are persons who suffer Fanaticist’s Error. Skeptic ranks increasingly comprise inexperienced, thug minded, Reddit-styled-gang mentality, ignorant, hot-headed, overconfident punks. Most Americans either sense or see this, fully cognizant of meaning behind the Shakespearean quote “Methinks he doth protest too much.” When the number one circulated presentation at TAM2014 involved instructing Social Skeptics how to “Not be A Dick,” you know that there is a high-visibility problem in the Cabal with this.(11) Social Skeptics mistakenly think that this negativity will constitute a strategy of success. They routinely underestimate the ethical quality of Americans, presuming us all to be exactly like themselves. This approach will not succeed with Americans. The last few years have seen our first serious lawsuits requiring Social Skeptics to establish legal defense funds because of tortious interference and business tampering litigation regarding persons and businesses. People of science, like me, have already seen the political motivation, and the puppet show of fake science. We are not buying the poser posture.

     The People Impacted are the New Peer Review

The availability of information and scientific studies is allowing diligent common persons to conduct in-depth research on their own. Contentions can be readily presented and refuted. Mom’s in particular are the primary observers of their childrens’ health for example, in contrast to ‘Science Based Medicine,’ who is not. They are disagreeing and are speaking up. Fake skeptics will tell you that skepticism is about the ‘simplest explanation’ (see the fake Occam’s Razor) and then turn around and tell smart mom’s that they are too dumb to understand the science, so shut up. Let’s be ethically clear here: if  you are the victim, impacted by a new action of science – then by default – you ARE the peer. These stakeholder peers are questioning when government regulators take Vice President and higher jobs inside the corporations for which they just crafted legislation. They are elucidating the malfeasance, financing and a priori influences on authors involved in studies touted as being ‘unbiased’. They are not intimidated by extraordinary claims that others represent science, and that mom’s are stupid or delusional. Again, it is just not working. Moms are the scientists now, they are making the first hand observations and doing the testing – mostly because they have to. Social Skepticism has abandoned them, for the Potter’s Gold of celebrity and career promotion. In comparison, the fakers are simply talented at making 80 year out-of-date noise. Activist organizations such as Thinking Moms’ Revolution are making a big splash – a manifest of the increasing health and financial pressure on us which has resulted from the abuse of science by Social Skepticism since the 1970’s.

     Scientists Quietly No Longer Support Social Skepticism

Scientists do not think as does the Cabal of Social Skeptics and studies make this clear.(9) (12) Scientists after all are people. Their kids get sick, their food damages their health and they have paranormal experiences too. A recent Edge Survey of science journalists and real scientists reveal an enormous schism developing between these two groups as to what constitutes good science, and the chief concerns of scientific endeavor.(12) In fact, the number one regarded issue among real scientists expressed inside that study was concern over ‘Screening of Information/Control of What is Regarded as Acceptable Science’. This contrasts dramatically with science communicator top two concerns focusing on ‘pseudoscience/religion promotion’ and ‘conspiracy theory/anti-big institution activism’.  At a certain point to the ethical mind, tenets of philosophy must yield to sound evidence. The evidence is around us every day – we are being media manipulated by social skeptics. Scientists have strange occurrences in their houses, some have seen Sasquatch and UFO’s or have children who have had vaccine injuries or an entire neighborhood with allergies, cancer and diabetes. Does this make them immediately credulous on such issues? Does this mean they are making a claim to proof? No, of course not. They simply may desire some of the 768 forbidden subjects of skepticism be in fact, …I dunno, maybe researched? An inverse negation fallacy in contrast is a condition wherein you decry the de rigueur 768 topics, and the set left standing after all this rancor, just happens to overlap 100% with the religion you adopted at age 14. This fakery is tantamount to making a pseudoscientific claim – and dressing up as a scientist in an attempt to belie that reality. It cannot be defended by masquerading an Omega Hypothesis through a ‘Oh it’s the null hypothesis’ baloney – real scientists get this. All this does serve to give them pause, and opens the question: “Are our arrogant voices of conclusive certainty, maybe premature?”  The resounding answer to the ethical scientific mind, is Yes.

     People Now Think Outside the Box and are No Longer Intimidated by a Claim to Represent Science

Media is discovering that not only are people interested in the strange; moreover, and even more importantly, they possess an increasing thirst to know more about the world around them. They are not afraid of out of the box thinking or tough questions; a fear socially enforced through Bernaysian Engineering 150 to 50 years ago. This public sentiment makes Social Skeptics scoffing and furious – the 1972 handbook on fake science skepticism is not working! Don’t they know who we are? Why does the public not come to them, the smartest people in the room, for such information? Obviously the public is a bunch of idiots. The growth in paranormal oriented media, has not only detracted from the stream of violent soap-opera-fiction big network and fake news fare, but has spawned a whole new generation of channels dedicated solely to paranormal, science fiction and the strange.(13) The public grows ever more suspicious of people who make the extraordinary claim to represent science, yet at the same time refuse to examine the evidence on a variety of challenging issues. An interesting dichotomy in character.

     The American Public is Weary of Being Called “Anti-Science”

The American public is simply and justifiably tired of this; and they are calling out people like Steven Novella for making such grandiose and unfounded claims: “Not only do people reject the science specific to their issue, they reject science itself.”(14)  So claims Steven Novella (and yes, this is a claim and not an observation, under the scientific method). National Geographic recently produced a rather shallow and associative condemnation laden article on everyone who disagrees with five litmus scientific ideas, as all being one tin-foil-hat-wearing ‘War on Science‘ crowd. Social Skeptics everywhere giggled with joy. The simple fact is that the Anti-Science accusation crowd acts more like unto a political party and oligarchy movement, and nothing else. People sense this, and science is damaged in the process of its being used as ruse and football for these, less than scrupulous persons.(15) When one issues a MiHoDeAL Claim – people are no longer seeing such a claim as being based upon science. Religion, it is not just about a bearded grandfather in the sky anymore. We are not stupid, delusional, irrational, unscientific, anecdotal-conclusion vulnerable, not as susceptible to hoaxes nor are we liars as your ‘community’ implies. This continual insult of the American public, is nothing more than an attempt to remove constitutional rights, import votes from foreign countries and increase your client billing revenues. It is simply the squeaking noise skeptic fingers make as they desperately cling to the metal and skid down the slide of irrelevance into posterity.

Guys. You are losing the battle. Your horrid behaviors, darkened hearts, and control freak minds are sticking out like dead tree stumps in a forest. Those of us highly involved in science and the questions on the mind of the American population, are going to make sure that you do lose. Our society cannot afford your fakery any longer. In the end, Social Skepticism will prove simply to be a cautionary tale parents tell the children of the future.

epoché vanguards gnosis


1.  “Endocrine-Immune Disruption and the Exorbitant Cost of Social Skepticism Induced Bliss,” The Ethical Skeptic, Aug 2, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/08/02/the-exorbitant-cost-of-sskepticism-induced-ignorance/.

2.  “The Urgent Need to Reform the Cartel Science Around Glyphosate,” The Ethical Skeptic, Nov 19, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/11/19/pseudoscience-in-action-the-urgent-need-to-reform-the-science-around-glyphosate/.

3.  “Obedience, Social Pressure, and their Fatality,” Anti Essays, extracted Nov 15, 2015; http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Social-Pressure-425975.html.

4.  “If the New Religiously Unaffiliated are Not Atheists, Then Just Who are They?,” The Ethical Skeptic, May 15, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/05/15/if-the-new-religiously-unafiliated-are-not-atheists-then-just-who-are-they/.

5.  “No You are Not an Atheist, You are a Nihilist,” The Ethical Skeptic, Jan 7, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/01/07/no-you-are-not-an-atheist-you-are-a-nihilist/.

6.  UC Berkeley, “Understanding Science: How science really works,” extracted Nov 15, 2015; http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/whatisscience_12.

7.  “The Corrupt Oligarchy of Social Skepticism,” The Ethical Skeptic, Apr 18, 2014; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/04/18/the-oligarchical-goals-of-social-skepticism/.

8.  “Survey Shows Rise in Paranormal Beliefs,” Center for Inquiry, Dec 12, 2009; http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/survey_shows_rise_in_paranormal_beliefs_blending_of_christian_new_age_easte/.

9.  “U.K. paranormal survey shows rise in belief,” Doubtful News, Sep 16, 2013; http://doubtflnews/2013/09/uk-paranormal-survey-shows-rise-in-belief/.

10.  Duggan, Maeve, Smith, Aaron, “6% of Online Adults are Reddit Users,” Pew Research Internet Project.

11.  Phil Plait, “Don’t Be a Dick,” Discover: Bad Astronomy, Aug 17, 2010; http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/17/dont-be-a-dick-part-1-the-video/#.VkjIrOJOqZM.

12.  “Real Scientists Disagree with SSkeptics About World’s Top Concerns for the Future,” The Ethical Skeptic, Apr 3, 2013; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2013/04/03/real-scientists-are-not-concerned-about-the-same-things-as-are-sskeptics/.

13.  “Paranormal Media: Audiences, Spirits and Magic in Popular Culture,” Oxford Journals, vol 53, issue 4; http://screen.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/4/495.extract.

14.  “The Rising Age of the Cartel: Your Freedoms Were Simply an Experiment,” The Ethical Skeptic, Jul 7, 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/07/07/the-rising-age-of-the-cartel-your-freedoms-were-simply-an-experiment/.

15.  “The Anti-Science Party,” MSNBC, May 15, 2014; http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-anti-science-party.

†  Bob Bryan, “Americans’ out-of-pocket healthcare costs are skyrocketing”, Business Insider, Sep 14, 2016; http://www.businessinsider.com/out-of-pocket-healthcare-payments-skyrocketing-2016-9 – 10% annual rise on individual average US cost (as identified by the Commonwealth Fund annual report) of $7,960 in 2011, for a family of four.

‡ Sharon Hill, “Teaching the kids critical thinking looks like the BEST place to focus efforts”; I Doubt It, May 24 2017; extracted same; http://sharonahill.com/teaching-the-kids-critical-thinking-looks-like-the-best-place-to-focus-efforts/.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda | , , , | Leave a comment

Poser Science: Proof Gaming

Science begins its work based upon a principle called necessity, not upon proof. Science then establishes proof, if such can be had. Popper critical rationality as it turns out, involves more than irrefutable proof, contrary to what gaming social skeptics might contend. Proof Gaming is a method of tendering an affectation of sciencey methodology, yet still effectively obfuscating research and enforcing acceptable thought.

im-a-skeptic-burden-of-proofIn order for science to begin to prove the existence of the strange animal tens of thousands of credible persons report roaming in the woods, I must first bring in its dead carcass.  But if I bring in its dead body, then I have no need for science to examine that such an animal exists in the first place; I have already done the science.  The demand that I bring in a dead body, given a sufficient level of Ockham’s Razor necessity-driving information, is a false standard threshold for science to begin its diligence, and such a demand constitutes pseudoscience.

Now of course, Karl Popper in his brief entitled Die beiden Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie contended that science should be demarcated by the proper assignment of truth values to its assertions, or ‘sentences’: ergo, science is the set of sentences with justifiably assigned truth values.¹ This was called a mindset of ‘critical rationality’.¹ It was a step above simple scientific skepticism. The task of the philosophy of science is to explain suitable methods by which these assignments are then properly made.¹ However, one can extend the philosophy of science to construct elaborate methods, which prevent the assimilation of ideas or research which one disfavors, by gaming these methods such that philosophy stands and acts in lieu of science. One such trick of conducting science research by means of solely philosophy, all from the comfort of one’s arm chair, is called Proof Gaming. Popper contended later in his work, as outlined by the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy here:

As a consequence of these three difficulties [the problem or necessity of induction] Popper developed an entirely different theory of science in chapter 5, then in Logik der Forschung. In order to overcome the problems his first view faced, he adopted two central strategies. First, he reformulated the task of the philosophy of science. Rather than presenting scientific method as a tool for properly assigning truth values to sentences, he presented rules of scientific method as conducive to the growth of knowledge. Apparently he still held that only proven or refuted sentences could take truth values. But this view is incompatible with his new philosophy of science as it appears in his Logik der Forschung: there he had to presume that some non-refuted theories took truth values, that is, that they are true or false as the case may be, even though they have been neither proved nor refuted [William of Ockham’s ‘plurality’]. It is the job of scientists to discover their falsity when they can. (IEoP)¹

Social skeptics will cite the base logic of Popper’s first work, yet omit his continued work on induction (Logik der Forschung) – as a process of sleight-of-hand in argument. So, critical rationality as it turns out, involves more than irrefutable proof, contrary to what gaming social skeptics might contend. Science begins its work based upon a principle called necessity, not upon proof. Science then establishes proof, if such can be had. Sadly, much of science cannot be adjudicated on anything like what we would call iron-clad proof, and instead relies upon a combination of falsified antithetical alternatives or induction based consilience.

The gaming of this reality constitutes a process of obfuscation and deceit called Proof Gaming. Proof Gaming is the process of employing dilettante concepts of ‘proof’ as a football in order to win arguments, disfavor disliked groups or thought, or exercise fake versions or standards of science. Proof gaming presents itself in seven speciations. In the presence of sufficient information or Ockham’s Razor plurality, such tactics as outlined below, constitute a game of pseudoscience. Posing the appearance of science-sounding methods, yet still enabling obfuscation and a departure from the scientific method in order to protect the religious ideas one adopted at an early age.

Let’s examine the seven types of this common social skeptic bad science method, formal and informal fallacy.

Proof Gaming

/philosophy : argument : pseudoscience : false salience/ : employing dilettante concepts of ‘proof’ as a football in order to win arguments, disfavor disliked groups or thought, or exercise fake versions of science. Proof gaming presents itself in seven speciations:

Catch 22 (non rectum agitur fallacy) – the pseudoscience of forcing the proponent of a construct or observation, to immediately and definitively skip to the end of the scientific method and single-handedly prove their contention, circumventing all other steps of the scientific method and any aid of science therein; this monumental achievement prerequisite before the contention would ostensibly be allowed to be considered by science in the first place. Backwards scientific method and skipping of the plurality and critical work content steps of science.

Fictitious Burden of Proof – declaring a ‘burden of proof’ to exist when such an assertion is not salient under science method at all. A burden of proof cannot possibly exist if neither the null hypothesis or alternative theories nor any proposed construct possesses a Popper sufficient testable/observable/discernible/measurable mechanism; nor moreover, if the subject in the matter of ‘proof’ bears no Wittgenstein sufficient definition in the first place (such as the terms ‘god’ or ‘nothingness’).

Herculean Burden of Proof – placing a ‘burden of proof’ upon an opponent which is either arguing from ignorance (asking to prove absence), not relevant to science or not inside the relevant range of achievable scientific endeavor in the first place. Assigning a burden of proof which cannot possibly be provided/resolved by a human being inside our current state of technology or sophistication of thought/knowledge (such as ‘prove abiogenesis’ or ‘prove that only the material exists’). Asking someone to prove an absence proposition (such as ‘prove elves do not exist’).

Fictus Scientia – assigning to disfavored ideas, a burden of proof which is far in excess of the standard regarded for acceptance or even due consideration inside science methods. Similarly, any form of denial of access to acceptance processes normally employed inside science (usually peer review both at theory formulation and at completion). Request for proof as the implied standard of science – while failing to realize or deceiving opponents into failing to realize that 90% of science is not settled by means of ‘proof’ to begin with.

Observation vs Claim Blurring – the false practice of calling an observation or data set, a ‘claim’ on the observers’ part.  This in an effort to subjugate such observations into the category of constituting scientific claims which therefore must be now ‘proved’ or dismissed (the real goal: see Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy).  In fact an observation is simply that, a piece of evidence or a cataloged fact. Its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘claim’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

As Science as Law Fallacy – conducting science as if it were being reduced inside a court of law or by a judge (usually the one forcing the fake science to begin with), through either declaring a precautionary principle theory to be innocent until proved guilty, or forcing standards of evidence inside a court of law onto hypothesis reduction methodology, when the two processes are conducted differently.

Proof by Non-falsifiability (Defaulting) – by selecting and promoting a pet theory or religious tenet which resides inside the set of falsification-prohibited constructs, SSkeptics establish popular veracity of favored beliefs, by default. Since their favored theory cannot be approached for falsification, it would be pseudoscience to compete it with other falsifiable constructs and claim it to be an outcome of the Scientific Method. Therefore the scientific method is disposed of, the non-falsifiable theory is assigned a presumption of truth, and furthermore can never be disproved. A flavor of unseatable ‘King of the Hill’ status is established for pet SSkeptic beliefs.

All of these tactics are common practices which abrogate the role and discipline of science.  Additionally, a key set of symptoms to look for, in determining that Proof Gaming is underway, are when

  1. one of these tactics is conducted inside a media spotlight,  and when
  2. every media outlet is reciting the same story, and same one liner such as ‘extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence’, verbatim.

This is an indicator that a campaign is underway to quash a subject.

The sad reality is, that on most tough issues, any one single person or small group of outsiders is poorly equipped to prove a subject beyond question. Popper recognized this later in his life work.  We simply do not have the resources and time to accomplish such a task.  SSkeptics know this and use it to their advantage.  The people who are calling for research for example on the connection between cognitive delays in children and the potential role which immunizations have had on this, are simply asking for science to do the research. The response they receive is “You can’t prove the link,” thus we are justified in waging a media campaign against you and scientifically ignoring this issue. This is Proof Gaming.  Complicating this is the fact that the issue is broader than simply MMR and Thimerosal (the majority body of current study), involving the demand for science to research the causes of valid skyrocketing levels of developmental delays, autoimmune disorders, and learning disabilities in our children. The issue bears plurality and precaution, but is answered with ignorance. The Proof Gamers who sling epithets such as “Deniers” and “Anti-vaccinationistas” and “Autistic Moms” are committing scientific treason. One should note that the handiwork of such SSkeptics is rarely characterized by outcomes of value or clarity, is typically destructive and control oriented, and is reliably made media-visible (see our next Poser Science series on the tandem symbiosis between virtue signalling and malevolence).

Hype and name calling has no place in pluralistic research, and the media pundits who commit this are practicing pseudoscience plain and simple. Once plurality has been established, the games should be over.  But not for Proof Gamers.   Attacking proponents who have done case research to call for further science (not proving the subject) for not “proving beyond a shadow of a doubt,” their contentions, is an act of pseudoscience.

This fake demand for proof before research is Proof Gaming, is an abrogation of the Scientific Method and is Pseudoscience.

epoché vanguards gnosis


¹  The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Karl Popper: Critical Rationalism”; http://www.iep.utm.edu/cr-ratio/#H2.

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies, Social Disdain, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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