The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

The JREF Million Dollar Challenge is Profitable Pseudoscience

The quintessential example of how Social Skeptics flee from the scientific method when it does not suit their purpose. The hypocritical employment of pseudoscience quackery in order to mislead and make $millions$.

The JREF “Million Dollar Challenge” should be defined as a ‘contest’ under 12 Unites States Code Lottery Laws.  Legally it is not a test, experiment, study nor research investigation. Rather it stands as nothing more than a public beheading, crafted to mislead a target demographic, incite and reap from the gullible, millions of dollars. To entertain the SSkeptic faithful and serve as a warning to wayward scientists.
An actual scientific method approach, involving professional testing could be easily executed under the millions of dollars JREF brings in annually,³ …but yet they chose to run away from science. Why? Ironically, their patrons would not pay, if they did actual real science. Take that as a hint. 
If you, JREF, are a self appointed trustee and representative of the scientific method, and can trust the discipline to perform ethical science and show this as bunk, then why not do it?
Why employ lottery odds? When someone does win, it will not be a proof of the contention, they will have simply gotten very very lucky. And further then you can employ this luck excuse to dismiss the outcome, when they do win.

I met a colleague for lunch sometime back who teaches at a local university establishment, we stopped by the an old fave’ the Tin Pot for a scoop and talked, whereupon the topic of The JREF Challenge came up in the matter of our discourse.  He mentioned that such a science challenge stands as an exemplary sentinel of the willingness of SSkeptics to address the contentions of pseudoscience.  I disagreed with him and explained why the Challenge is the exact antithesis of what should be done inside Ethical Skepticism and ethical science. He and I disagreed as to both the nature and the efficacy of such a public stunt. The crafters of the study enjoy the luxury of its misperception, and despite their declarations to the contrary, wallow in the sunshine of the Challenge’s misleadingly inferred message that they are conducting scientific evaluations of the paranormal.  I tend to think more like a businessman, sensitive to that which will produce results; and my colleague like a politician, more keenly tuned in to what sounds good. Firmly within the ranks of social and political ‘acceptable sounding’ discourse reside the antics of fake SSkepticism.  Nothing elucidates this better than the JREF Challenge itself. In the opinion of the Ethical Skeptic, crafting a display of public intimidation such as the JREF Million Dollar Challenge would constitute a misleading act as well as dis-service to humanity and science.

The Challenge allegorically sheds light into the two primary reasons why there exists a wall preventing specific disdained topics from being taken seriously:

  1. your funding is in real danger if you research these subjects, and
  2. there is NO WAY SSkeptics are going to afford these subjects any access to the scientific method.

The Challenge sheds so much light into the unethical heart of many SSkeptics, factors elucidated no better than by Dr. Steven Novella himself, a senior fellow at the JREF:

By admission in his blog post (Neurologica: Defending the Million Dollar Challenge), “The purpose of the [JREF Million Dollar] challenge is not to design and run scientific experiments, and it is not to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of the paranormal or any particular supernatural phenomenon. Randi and the JREF have always been crystal clear about this. Rather, the point of the challenge is to be a public demonstration.”  In other words the challenge is propaganda, a public beheading employed to intimidate budding scientists, entertain the religious faithful of fake skepticism and vilify those whom his fellows disdain.

Steven understates above what the JREF Million Dollar Challenge is NOT, but fails to cite what the Challenge indeed IS.  Thankfully he further expounds that,  “The threshold for statistical significance is often set at 0.05 (Steven is equivocating between probability math and scientific series testing confidence interval significance measures here, which are not the same thing at all even though the numbers sound similar to a layman), which essentially means that, by random chance (see bullet point 3 below) alone, 1 experiment in 20 will reach statistical significance. If Randi were to set the threshold at a P-value of 0.05 then he would be giving $1 million dollars to every 20th applicant (“p-value” …this is not how science or Confidence Intervals work in the least,¹ he has shifted from Confidence Interval verbiage now to a misunderstanding of p-value application (see Scientific American April 16, 2015), but let’s let Steven continue to dig deeper). It should be obvious why this is not done. Even a level of 1 in 100 would be ruinous. It is perfectly reasonable to set the threshold at 1 in a million, where it has traditionally been set. In other words, the JREF challenge is faking both the understanding and application of Null Hypothesis Significance Testing methodology.ε It is not one test to which a ‘P-value’ is applied, as if it were simple probability math, as Mr. Novella either cluelessly or disingenuously mis-frames, in this amateur understanding of research analytics; rather actual science involves a series of controlled tests regarding input variables, under who’s arrival distributions and/or sensitivity functions, a confidence interval (theoretical domain tolerance) is developed regarding summary variable outputs expressed in terms of a P-value. ¹ (Lehmann) ² (Madsen).

A ‘p-value’ applied as probability math upon a single instance test (as is the case for the JREF Challenge) is  …wait for it  … pseudoscience.ε

The employment of simple probability math in lieu of professional confidence interval science, is a principle misuse of statistics, and stands as a litmus test which distinguishes pseudoscience from science. †ε

“Many researchers have labored under the misbelief that the p-value gives the probability that their study’s results are just pure random chance.ε

  ~ Scientific American: The Sciences; Regina Nuzzo on April 16, 2015

Novellas New ClothesReasonable,” in Dr. Novella’s portrayal? Yes, if your only goal is to protect a cache of money and donation/grant stream, this uneducated ploy is totally reasonable. In science, it is unreasonable. “Traditionally,” he implies a long history of practice of this understanding of p-values and science. Equivocation to say the least, implying to the layman and outsider that science has reasonably and traditionally employed Dr. Novella’s cited method and further then implying its vetting over time by numerous science peers. And of course, it is incumbent that he explain because otherwise I would be too stupid to understand this reasonable and traditional setting of science, right? This would embody a fallacy of relative privation, even if the technical merit were indeed correct.

Such is exemplary of the habitually misrepresentative practices of the Cabal. It makes no difference that Steven Novella has explained what the Challenge is, if JREF enjoys the leverage of a misperception, and utilizes that misperception in order to make money off of and spin pseuodoscience for the public, then JREF/Novella are promoting that misperception – there is no difference. Were the JREF Challenge generally regarded to be cure for cancer, wherein in no way did JREF itself claim to be such, yet throngs of outsiders continually promote the cure claim to JREF’s profit and enjoyment, well then Steven Novella would be decrying the quackery involved. There would be FDA letters. Here we have an exact parallel of applied SSkeptical Science quackery, a practice in which the participants make millions benefiting from the pseudoscience and misperception. Steven Novella supports this type of quackery. Through such planned Emperor’s New Clothes Cozenage (see under Science Fallacies) JREF seeks to leverage three demographic profiles to their deceptive advantage:

How the Emperor’s New Clothes Cozenage Works:

  • 97% of the population, is easily fooled by celebrity and sciencey sounding jargon used out of proper context (like ‘statistical significance’ and ‘P-values’)
  • 2% real scientists who are not fooled and have actually published studies employing P-values in a professional scientific context.  That group they simply intimidate, and keep them in line with career threats, and ‡ (PRB – U.S. Census Bureau)
  • the final 1% are the nasty skeptic patrol sycophants who do the dirty work, never question the propaganda, and simply spin their pseudo-intellectual discourse to keep these first two bullet point groups in line. (Trust me, the number is way less than 1%, who constitute fake skeptics, but their deleterious impact is enormous. 1% is assumed here for simplicity’s sake). Those who alert to the issue are:  woo pushers, stupid, irrational, credulous, fringe, idiots, pundits, etc.

Stage Magician’s Joy in Consummating Broadscale Deception

sleight of hand of misrepresentationSteven Novella is defending a non-professional protocol developed by non-scientist, non-degreed, non-trained, ‘self-educated,’ self-reported IQ, stage magician, Mr. Amazing, James Randi. The mistake has already been published, so the Cabal is here to defend their mascot with whatever bamboozling rhetoric will fall on receptive dilettante ears and mislead the 97% demographic outlined in bullet point 1 above. Both men here demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how science regards probability and confidence under the scientific method.

The ethical employment of repetitive testing, establishing a 95% confidence interval (If they are desiring a ‘P-value’ of .05) under disciplined observation arrival and distribution protocols (ie. the scientific method) is the only way for real science to effectively address the types of challenge nominated by the JREF Contest. Legally it should be called a ‘contest’ under lottery laws as it is neither a test, challenge nor a study; and it is certainly not a controlled experiment.² (Madsen)

An actual scientific method approach, involving professional testing could be easily executed under the millions of dollars JREF brings in annually,³ …but yet they chose to run away from science. Why? Ironically, their patrons would not pay, if they did actual real science. Take that as a hint.

They chose to charter instead a flawed approach very early on in the JREF Challenge charter development? The motive? As always: The Magician’s Rush of Deception, Organizational Power …and Money.

The Problem is that This Sleight-of-Hand is Employed to Extract Lottery Money from Hapless Victims of its Deception

This is akin to the “auction” site Beezid, where hapless victims are deceived into believing that they are observing execution of an ethical auction, when in fact the shenanigans are nothing but a lottery. A charade in which they do not understand that they will rarely, if ever, win. This is a very common practice of stage magician-ship and deception. A sleight-of-hand as to what game is actually being played, by dressing it up as a more familiar, but different, game.

So in essence the Challenge threshold of evidence is set ridiculously higher than, and out of context from, that employed in the real scientific method, so that JREF does not have to perform science which might threaten their club beliefs, and so that JREF can maximize total assets and annual income. Therefore JREF fellows and membership must circumvent the scientific method (ie. practice pseudoscience) to avoid something which would “be ruinous” in their words.  Dr. Novella makes it clear that the charter of the challenge is to “[not] be ruinous.” This whole charade is an abrogation of science, and an offense to those who are seeking truth regarding the subjects it is purporting to test. This is deceptive to the victims of misapplied statistics and procedural pseudoscience, and disservice against those who have entered the contest and wagered their reputation, travel expense investment, contracting and idea or skill. Deception against the donors who do not understand the delineation between jargon and science and ultimately a hoodwinking of the audience (all of us) who believes this rabbit hat trick to constitute real scientific experimentation.

SSkeptics bitch and moan about the potential of paranormal researchers employing pseudoscience to make money, when the fact is that their Cabal is committing monetary graft on a large scale. JREF reported a total income from this scientific masquerade of $1 million and a balance sheet asset base of $1,750,000 in 2010 alone.³ (IRS Form 990)

To express it in the inverse, the JREF Challenge is a fairground-lottery,ƒ (12 US Code CS § 25a), as framed by Steven Novella’s own words above.  Eventually someone will win the 1,000,000 : 1 odds and pass the “Challenge” because it does not use science in its protocols; rather –

Fatal Problems:

The Challenge employes 1M:1 gambling/gaming odds, rather than science based protocols and confidence intervals.

When someone does eventually win the 1 million to 1 lottery, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with the scientific veracity of the tested subject.  They will have simply gotten very very lucky. 

Let’s put it even a third way:  JREF – calls all this bunk – but was not willing to wager $1 million that the subjects would be shown by the scientific method to indeed be bunk.  What do they fear? Why would they not put their money where their mouth is?  If you are a self appointed trustee and representative of the scientific method, and can trust the process to perform ethical science and show this as bunk, then why not do it?

When a lottery winner is actually successful in the demonstration, then ‘being very lucky in the lottery’ stands as the ready-made excuse, deployed to dismiss the outcome.

All this is done to bilk the easily deceived, out of millions in donations in support of the contest. Money from people who would not donate, if the JREF challenge were to actually practice scientific protocols.³

In his own words, Dr. Novella has not only framed in my opinion, the irrational context behind the JREF Million Dollar Challenge; but moreover elucidated with it, the principles motivations of many persons inside the Social Skepticism movement:

1.  Its fellows crafted it as a non-scientific lottery with the penalty of a public beheading/warning

2.  Its fellows charter is to make money, not lose money, “craft any charade necessary to protect the money (funding)”

3.  Its fellows forbid its adherence to scientific methods because of the real danger that a claim might show scientific validity under ethical protocols

Thank you Dr. Steven Novella for clearing that up for The Ethical Skeptic 8-).

Pseudoscience is the deceptive act of intimating or 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 SSkeptics claim; rather, is an action constituted by errant methodology and pretense.

I have a better idea.  Let’s correct this errant methodology and pretense by issuing the ZERO Dollar Paranormal ChallengeBy eliminating the funding as the threat risk, we free up the ethical participants, so that they can do actual science and not conduct unethical activity with the testing standards.  Such an idea! But, bear with me dear reader, in reality there exists no such thing as a Zero Dollar Challenge in science.  Sadly today, implicit in every “Challenge” is the threat of loss of funding.  This is why the science does not get done; that is the charter of celebrity skeptics like Dr. Novella and Mr. Amazing, to visibly display an analogy to this this funding threat, to demonstrate why everyone is too afraid to pursue the science, while we all wallow in anecdote and ignorance.

This constitutes vigilante town-square-beheading ethics, destroying just as many innocents as it does villains.  Gentlemen, you are very good at enacting your magician-ship charter. Congratulations.


¹  Lehmann, E.L., Testing Statistical Hypotheses, 2010; University of California at Berkeley, Springer-Wiley, pp. 21-114.

²  Madsen, Richard W., Statistical Concepts, 1986; University of Missouri-Columbia, Simon & Schuster, Inc., pp. 314-340 and 448-468.

³  JREF reported, in 2010, a total income of $999,971.00 and a Total Asset claim of $1,736,101. Click here to see the available JREF Form 990. – See more at: http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor%27s-Data-v-Barrett/RandiArrested.htm#sthash.zU4kQ7f9.dpuf

†  European Journal of General Medicine 2007; 4 (Vol. 3), pp.128-134; Misuse of Stastics In Medical Research, Ercan, Yazıcı et al., Uludag University, Department of Biostatistics, Anadolu University; Science Faculty, Department of Statistics, Eskisehir, Turkey

†  Misreporting or Misunderstanding of Estimated Error, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misuse_of_statistics

‡  PRB analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s decennial census and American Community Survey

ƒ  12 United States Code CS § 25a , defines a “lottery” as being that which includes any arrangement whereby three or more persons (the “participants”) advance money or credit to another in exchange for the possibility or expectation that one or more but not all of the participants (the “winners”) will receive by reason of their advances more than the amounts they have advanced, the identity of the winners being determined by any means which includes–(A) a random selection;(B) a game, race, or contest; or(C) any record or tabulation of the result of one or more events in which any participant has no interest except for its bearing upon the possibility that he may become a winner.

ε  Nuzzo, Regina, “Scientists Perturbed by Loss of Stat Tool to Sift Research Fudge from Fact,” Scientific American, April 16 2015; http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-perturbed-by-loss-of-stat-tool-to-sift-research-fudge-from-fact/?WT.mc_id=SA_Twitter.

February 16, 2013 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Institutional Mandates, Social Disdain | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethical Skepticism: Value

The Two Goals of Ethical Skepticism: Value and Clarity

Value

A primary goal of Ethical Skepticism: “Value – as measured by achieving beneficial outcomes in their research”

Value is the watchword of humanity.  It is the measure by which we are all appraised.  It applies from fields as diverse as medical research, metallurgy, information systems and on certainly into issues of economics and national wealth.  Our current economic woes stem indeed from a shift of value-laden activities offshore and into the hands of horizontal monopolies or those countries who have enslaved their populations.  As well the current malady is festering where there exists a divestiture of value oriented professions on the part of socialized countries in the Middle East and Europe.  Indeed the principle of Inflation itself, inside of value based economics, is simply a dilution in value, and is not necessarily constituted and characterized by a rise in pricing, nor by the increase in M1 to M3 conversion leverage rates. Value is the measure of how we as persons and institutions are doing at earning our keep.  It can be born by innovation, creativity, the ability to entertain, inspire, repair, engineer, support, be productive, efficiently turn money or invest hard work.  Any or all of these very human virtues each produces value in a socioeconomic context.  Where value goes, so goes the wealth of a nation.

Where Value Goes, So Goes Wealth

If I take a dollar as compensation for my job or service, and do not provide a commensurate value in return, I have increased the amount of burden placed on everyone. I have increased Inflation, and Inflation is an equal opportunity employer. A society can produce Inflation through theft, bureaucracy, inefficiency, skimming, excessive taxation, monopoly and oligopoly, squelching of ideas, prohibiting disdained thinking, intimidation and the instilling of fear, destroying dreams, allowing infrastructure decay, excessive militarization, protocol formalizing, institutionalizing, regulating, creating elite aristocracies, class polarization, programming, institutional entitlement, excessive religious control, and encouraging the overall detachment of dreams from work on the part of the average individual.

Skepticism applied as a goal in and of itself, and not as a contingent sub-feature of a broader set of scientific inquiry, does not produce value

Deskeption is one such activity which dilutes value.  Just because one enjoys a personal reward as a SSkeptic by decrying potential errors inside a “topic of pseudoscience,” simply because they may catch a Schopenhauer logical fallacy every now and then, does not mean that one is increasing the overall value of their contribution to society.  The potential net loss in squelching even ONE significant idea of merit, is vastly more destructive than the scant benefit derived through trivial repetition of one liners.  Further, when the SSkeptic exercises enjoyment of the Ten Pillars of control he is contributing to the overall “squelching ideas, prohibiting disdained thinking, intimidation, institutional entitlement, elite aristocracies and the instilling of fear” process.  And make no mistake, this set of circumstances exists in science right now.  It might be a rewarding psychological return for the SSkeptic, to be in control of those things which science is allowed to examine, but that role is not healthy for science or our society.  It might be heady compensation to not have your thoughts held to account, and to manifest the appearance of always being right by the simple act of ridiculing those whom you deem to be lesser people, as if bully on an elementary school playground.   It might be personally rewarding to the SSkeptic, but it does not improve life, does not improve information, does not improve knowledge, does not improve science.

It would benefit me much to be a King, but I am not sure everyone else would fare so well.

The simple fact is, that in an unbridled and research driven culture, added information tends to falsify errant constructs and data through a simple disciplined process.  Such a culture does not require SSkeptics. In an environment, such as the labs I run, outlier ideas are not things to eschew as long as we have ways to evaluate them.  We do not need police who filter ideas in advance, pretending to be on our side, as that stifled thinking destroys our lab’s business.  We do not need Kings who have appointed themselves to that Lordship role by their own volition.  The Science is King.

Ethical Skepticism seeks to Add Value – Not Intimidate and Squelch Ideas

How  does the Ethical Skeptic Add Value? First we must address two prerequisites to Ethical Skepticism:

A.  That one actually does research

B.  That one is under the burden of changing the state of mankind for the better (note: teaching everyone ‘the truth’ does not qualify as bettering mankind)

Outside of these two requirements, one is a person with an opinion (which is fine), but is not an Ethical Skeptic.  From there, the Ethical Skeptic adds value by some basic tenets:

  1. By conducting actual ground up research.  Nothing kills SSkepticism quicker than by one actually being out there and doing the field work
  2. By skipping Promotification, and looking at what ALL the data really says
  3. By not Filtering Data, or Dismissing Data because one has presumed the superiority of one’s own or Cabal’s knowledge
  4. By getting out of the classroom, media and academia – or other self focus activity
  5. Allowing constructs to falsify themselves through rich added data, not Deniability
  6. By tolerating the falsification of my pet ideas and beliefs
  7. By working to eliminate the personal character flaw of disdain
  8. By being placed under a delivery burden which required new thought
  9. By having a human need ride on their research, not just intellectual banter
  10. By deriving an actual benefit, from their work, in terms of one of the counter-inflationary activity sets
  11. By reducing the need for power gratification, and increasing the understanding and appreciation of those around you.

Personally addressing the Ten Pillars in all of us, is our task in life.  No squelching, no intimidation and excuses to ridicule people (“outlandish claims are indistinguishable from a parody of same”, etc.), no intimidation of colleagues into a house of silence and fear, no prejudiced data filter, no disdain, no leveraging our elite entitlement power.  Rather, provide Value.

Ethical Skepticism, exhibiting the best of Human Character.

April 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethical Skepticism: Clarity

The Two Goals of Ethical Skepticism: Value and Clarity

Clarity

A primary goal of Ethical Skepticism: “Clarity – as measured by the ability to obtain common ground or understanding with opponents when possible”

Clarity is the triumph of the human mind.  Regardless of the veracity of our beliefs, our claims and our understanding of the natural realm which envelopes our daily lives, it is clarity which should excite our souls, the ability to see which should become our benchmark, and the capability to then share clear ideas with each other which becomes the fulfillment of our life legacy.  An idea which proves me wrong, which tenders me clear and further advanced thinking on a subject should be embraced fully by the Ethical Skeptic.  Clarity can be muddied by fervor and can be betrayed by agendas of disdain and control.  Clarity is the gift which blesses the pure of heart but eludes those who seek baser goals.   The onus is upon each of us to not be deceived by the illusion of residing in clarity; rather to discern when our ‘clarity’ is simply a convenient packaging of propaganda, and not the disciplined daily mental breakthrough which is the signature trait of the truly ethical intellect.

The Ethical Skeptic should eagerly seek to be proven wrong every single day

Clarity is however an illusive state.  The prerequisites of clarity are an objective heart and a disciplined set of habits with regard to the handling of new information and principles.  The undisciplined traits of SSkeptics outlined later herein, represent the lazy tolerance of muddied conflict as satisfactory in one’s life or necessary in gaining an advantage on opponents, and stand as the essence of deception, Deskeption and politics.  Four key measures which help the Ethical Skeptic monitor their walk along the line of Clarity, and which are helpful to me include:

a.  The demonstrated and consistent ability on my part to accurately articulate an opponent’s contention (have your opponent relax and say “Yes, that is what I am contending.”), coupled with

b.  The ability on my part to skillfully disarm and bring an opponent to accurately articulate my position or data set (have your opponent say in non-defensive fashion “So what you are saying is…”),

followed by

c.  The ability to find common grounds of understanding with opponents when possible, and

d.  The daily habit and ethic of re-examining tired old understood constructs in totally new ways.

These are the measures which the Ethical Skeptic should seek in pluralistic discourse in an effort to groom and maintain their clarity.  A good laugh over the nature of the disagreement is often a key hallmark of having achieved Clarity when it comes to a pluralistic discussion.

Deskeption: When Clarity is NOT the Goal

But when clarity is not the primary goal, when there is actually no semblance of a two party discourse in the mind of the agenda promoting SSkeptic, a habitual set of practices emerges from the doctrine and methodology of the practitioner of Deskeption.  The key methods of opaquing issues and eluding Clarity, are tendered under the psychological need to maintain the appearance of always being right.  They include:

  • Associative Condemnation – The attempt to link controversial subject A with personally disliked subject B, in an effort to impute falsehood to subject B though the association of some idea or keyword common to both topics.  Guilt through association and lumping all subjects into one subjective category.  This typically will involve a context shift or definition expansion in a key word as part of the justification.
  • Antiquing – The citing of very old and ludicrous sounding histories of a modern phenomenon to associate the phenomena with backward or pedestrian old thinking and culture, in an attempt to avoid modern evidence data and impart a tarnish to the idea as originating from an era of non-enlightenment and myth.
  • Construct Laundering – A proposal of Plausible Deniability is tendered on the part of one prominent SSkeptic regarding a Cabal target pluralistic topic. This Plausible Deniability is subsequently then is cited as a peer reference by others inside the SSkeptic Cabal as evidence of falsification. After time, this referential discourse is further promoted as peer reviewed proof that a topic or construct has been ‘debunked already’ by experts in their community at large.  In reality no such falsification has indeed been attempted nor attained.  Only an outlandish  but conforming counter-explanation has been enforced through the SSkeptic community as de rigueur doctrine.
  • Context Dancing –The habit and common practice of SSkeptics whereby a discussion which is less favorable will be shifted slightly in context and into a new realm in which a more favorable new counter point can be introduced that appears to refute the idea being considered or supports SSkeptic’s viewpoints which were unsupportable in the former context.
  • Credulity Accusing – Accusing a person of practicing pseudoscience and credulity simply because they are regarding an outlier idea.  A credulist may be wrong, but as long as they are not pretending to represent Science or claim to be using the Scientific Method, they are not practicing pseudoscience; rather, are merely guilty of being receptive to an untested conclusion.
  • Denial/Dissent Blurring – Denial by a SSkeptic being falsely passed off as informed dissent on their part. Conversely, spinning dissenters or those with opposing data as persons who are “Deniers.”  Denial is the personal or organizational refusal to observe, collect or acknowledge data, or allow such data into a body of research; whereas dissent is an educated disagreement.
  • Fake Hoax Exploitation – An Agent of Deskeption who is anonymous, or who poses to be representative of the Concealed Truth, then posits a transparently ludicrous idea or obviously faked hoax piece of ‘evidence’ which is posed in order to discredit and poorly characterize those of opposite opinions from the SSkeptic.
  • Fact /Ambiguity Dipoles – A fact tendered along with a less obvious parasitic and maliciously incorrect implication.  This sleight-of-hand is employed to surreptitiously condemn topics and people false skeptics wish to attack, while avoiding the overt appearance of doing such unethical activity.  One-liners and headlines are often the best places in which to practice this malicious art; typically employed with the personal goal of improving overall Cabal ranking.  A Fact/Ambiguity Dipole dances along the boundary line of slander or libel, with its virtual center of gravity, the parasitic implication, clearly on the unethical side of that line, while at the same time the superficially contended technical facts remain accurate.
  • Faith Enforcement – The habit of forcing those around you to adhere to your personal choice to cherish an unproven construct as true.
  • Kuhn Denialism – The pseudoscience of social and media bullying with the ultimate goal of controlling exposure to and blocking Science’s consideration of a condition of plurality or new paradigm or its supporting data on a given disliked subject.
  • Plausible Deniability – A technique of obfuscation employed by SSkeptics to enforce a classic or predetermined Deskeption conforming conclusion inside a pluralistic set of observations/data.  The explanation is oft touted to be in compliance with science and an erroneous interpretation of “Occam’s Razor (sic)” wherein the ‘simplest explanation tends to be the correct one.”  In reality, the proposed deniability scenario, while seeming simple in concept, is highly complicated in its viability or application, and often constitutes an impossible explanation of the data set which has been observed.  Plausible Deniability therefore is a method of thought control and data filtering and in no way represents science falsification hierarchy logic nor the scientific method.
  • Pork-Barreling – The practice of shifting the context of an accepted tenet of science or broadening the definitions involved in the principle, in order to appear to imply that science includes proof of additional ideas personally or religiously favored by the SSkeptic.  Blurring – to the converse, using the same tactics with opposing viewpoints to imply that science has condemned or disproved them; when in fact no such event has occurred.
  • Promotification – The pseudoscience (antithesis of Falsification) of forcing the proponent of an idea to, as a priority first, fully develop evidence in support of and tests which can only serve to confirm competing or classic explanations.  It suffers from the logical fallacy that it provides for no disciplined falsification under Developmental Science Methodology, and refuses to acknowledge differing research protocols under Discovery Science Methodology.
  • Proof Gaming – The pseudoscience of forcing the proponent of a construct or set of data, to immediately and definitively prove their contention, circumventing the scientific method and aid of science, before the contention would ostensibly be allowed to be researched by science.
  • 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 un-seatable ‘King of the Hill’ status is established for pet SSkeptic beliefs.
  • Religion Enforcement– Forcing compulsory adherence to an idea around which testing for falsification is prohibited.
  • Semantics Jousting – The common practice of SSkeptics to introduce terms with broad and multiple definition footprints in order to shift the discussion from one word meaning in which they are at a disadvantage, and onto another meaning of that same word which then allows a new context to be introduced, and the topic to be steered back to their enforced point of view.
  • Stooge Posing – Attack on piece of data or an easily disprovable topic of credulity used as an effort to bolster a SSkeptic’s record of debunking success and club ranking.  Easy kills, selected because they require little actual effort in research and are useful as visibility-increasing pseudoscience bashing victories, offer merit badge points which increase the Cabal Member’s status and perceived gravitas.  In the end the SSkeptic neither cares about the subject itself, nor science at all; rather, uses the merit points to then increase their credibility in and around other tougher subjects which they then seek to discredit.  It is about crafting personal power by any means available.

By spotting these unethical habits in our own actions, and developing the mental discipline to filter them out of our discourse; by regarding new ideas and persons with enough respect to understand them accurately first, and by pondering anew the mysteries of our world each day, as a habit – the Ethical Skeptic grows, and so does the Clarity of his world.

Ethical Skepticism, exhibiting the best of Human Character.

April 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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