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Posts By The Scientific Skeptic

bullshit

A discussion about the recent overuse of the word bullshit in science and skeptic journalism. Must we really have to just call everything "bullshit" this often now in journalism? Is there no more room to use sophisticated, varied and non-inflammatory language to make a point? Does it not also affect the credibility of an otherwise important message when resorting to fifty cent words? Or is this simply a clickbait, sensational and opportunistic journalistic approach?

Philosophy of science

Last night, SCTS was tagged in a post from a new age spiritual page. It's not clear why, but we ended up, unsurprisingly, disagreeing with the claims being made and had some interesting conversations.A subscriber on that page contacted me last night and asked me a few questions. I thought I would share our response. TLDR warning! Question: I really enjoyed the debate but you left me hanging without a response on several issues. The unanswered question I'm most curious about is: if everything must come from something, how does science explain initial creation? Maybe I'm wrong but you guys believe in the Big Bang right? Where did all of that energy come from in the beginning if there was no creator? I've never been able to ask an atheist this question. I'm honestly and sincerely curious of your response. Thanks! XXX

A novel hypothesis for self awareness

Self awareness is a function of our evolved conscious brain. But why the sensation of an "I" or a "self." Why are we not just a robot without an inner voice? Why do we have the impression of having a little homunculus sitting behind our eyes, with whom we can engage and even talk with?

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Epicurus (Click here to learn more)
ontology

This picture is a good example for discussing subjectivity and objectivity. It is also a good opportunity to discuss philosophical relativism. If you were to see this object from the right side, you would claim it to be circular. If you were to see it from the left side, you would claim it to be a square.

How to be a responsible skeptic

When we positively assert something, we are making ontological claims. We are all doing it all the time, often without even knowing it. We are essentially claiming that a phenomenon or thing 'is' (exists) or that A causes B, for example. We can also make a positive ontological claim of non existence or that A does not cause B. To be intellectually honest, these assertions carry with them an obligation on our part to support that claim using reason and evidence.

Information

We live at an amazing time. Information has never been so available and abundant. Modern technology affords virtually every human being the ability to access a global database of human knowledge and information with only a few keystrokes and a cheap internet connection. We have the instantaneous capability to query, parse and review all of recorded history, legal and political deliberations and records, public companies' financial information, education resources and technical scholarly material, including the most cutting edge ideas and data in science and technology.

To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.

Thomas Paine (Click here to learn more)
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