Monday, October 15, 2007

The Tubes and Skepticism

Finally, I have internet at my school using my own computer! This means I can do lots of things that I couldn't before, like download stuff and talk to friends over the internet. And type on a keyboard that is not azerty, which makes me very happy. I will also be able to write more here, which hopefully will make other people happy. Or very, very bored.

In any case, I wanted to say a quick little something about skepticism. Kathleen had a nice post on how it relates to faith over at her blog, so go there to read a little more.

As you may or may not have noticed, many of the links over there on the left hand side of this blog are to skeptically or scientifically related sites. This is because I believe in what skepticism has to say about the reality of this universe we live in, and should inform (but not dictate) how we come upon our conclusions of what is true and real.

Skepticism is more than what many believe it to be. It is not about nay-saying everything, or closing your mind to possibilities that lie outside the realm of science and empiricism. No, it is none of these things. Rather, skepticism merely says that everything should have at least a modicum of evidence for it. Skeptics want proof, and in the absence of that, a reasonable explanation for why proof is absent but possibly forthcoming. That's it, really. Skeptics need to be open-minded, for if they aren't then they cannot be considered to fall under the paradigm of skepticism.

The scientific method has given us such a fantastic way in which to learn about the world around us, and using the tools of this method to parse out what is true and false in the claims that people make on an everyday basis only helps to enrich our understanding. The verity of all suppositions about reality is not something to be taken lightly. Without it, we are lost, as separating truth from untruth is about all we gots when it comes to groping our way through the darkness that envelops the human experience.

I have much more to say on this, but am very tired from teaching 20-year olds about nuclear energy policy, and having them teach me about rugby. I'll post two links to a comic I discovered just today about skepticism, and call it an evening.

I wish unicorns really did deliver our mail.

This second one pokes fun at skeptics themselves and how their sometimes too-strict adherence to logic can get them into trouble. Or death. Mostly trouble, though.

I am now free to go drink some wine and eat a bunch of french fries. I am not a nutritional role mode sometimes.

1 comment:

Robert said...

The hometown crowd would take issue with all this "reason" nonsense of yours, you know.