Ruh Row! The new Skeptic’s Circle is up!

By Phil Plait | July 24, 2006 12:23 pm

How is it that with all the themed Skeptic’s Circles (carnivals of skeptical blog entries) that have been posted, no one ever thought of those meddling kids? Zoink!

Back when my beard wasn’t fully grown in, I was sometimes accused of looking like Shaggy. Hmph.

By the way, "Scooby Do" was one of the best all-time skeptical shows on TV: it always looked like ghost, goblins, and ghouls were behind the capers, but it always turned out to be Bart Sibrel a hoax. How cool was that?

Comments (10)

  1. “Scooby Doo” was a good skeptic show … until the movie came out and that had ACTUAL ghosts instead of some creepy guy scaring kids.

    Like, yoinks.

  2. Josh

    Gotta second the above comment. I saw an updated Scooby show a while back, with witches and pirate ghosts that turned out to be…witches and pirate ghosts.

    Shaggy and Scooby’s credulity was rewarded, and Fred and Thelma’s skepticism was punished. I fear for our children.

  3. I third the first comment: Skepticism is a virtue that we must instill in our kids. The Scooby Doo crew had to look beyond the first impressions of the credulous.

  4. Elyk

    Hollywood does it again…

  5. HAL9000

    For pity’s sake, people, there’s such a thing as taking skepticism too far. Some ghost stories are not going to subvert the children and taint our precious bodily fluids. What’s next on the hit list? Harry Potter? I think most kids grok the difference between fantasy from reality.

    And Scooby Doo blew. It’s an archetype of poor toonage right out of the Dark Age of American animation.

  6. Melusine

    HAL9000 Says:

    For pity’s sake, people, there’s such a thing as taking skepticism too far. Some ghost stories are not going to subvert the children and taint our precious bodily fluids. What’s next on the hit list? Harry Potter? I think most kids grok the difference between fantasy from reality.

    Sure, but that’s what was good about “Scooby Doo”…that was the show’s shtick. “Nancy Drew” books were like that also–behind every weird happening or mystery was a Mr. So-and-So up to no good. There’s plenty of fantasy to go around, so it doesn’t hurt to have some cartoons deal with plausible reasons for ghostly apparitions.

    And Scooby Doo blew. It’s an archetype of poor toonage right out of the Dark Age of American animation.

    Geesh, we grew up with “Scooby Doo” every Saturday morning, but hey, at least I don’t believe in ghosts, ghouls, and crystal balls. Now, what to do with all these palm reading establishments still thriving all over Houston…maybe kids get it, but not all adults.

  7. frogmarch

    I found the scoobydoo explinations were often terrible, like projection of ghosts onto thin air- I don’t see how that futhers the cause of critical thinking.

  8. Wyle E.

    Come on folks, Scooby Doo was a cartoon! It’s not meant to educate. Relax and escape a little once in a while.

  9. Mark Martin

    Incidentally, if anyone here is a Jonny Quest afficionado, they might notice a similarity between the formula plot to Scooby-Doo and an episode of Quest, broadcast several years prior to Scoob & The Gang’s entry into Saturday mornings.

    The episode is “Werewolf of the Timberland”, and the plot synopsis (from http://www.classicjq.com) reads:

    “The Quests go in search of a rare type of petrified wood in an area where they’ve been warned about a prowling werewolf.”

    In the end, it turns out the werewolf is just an elaborate myth, propagated by a small number of greedy opportunists who are privy to some sort of high-valued commodity in the region.

  10. KaiYeves

    Sorry if this post is long, but this topic is very close to my heart.
    Back when I was younger, back before I had ever heard of this website, faces in Cydonia, waving flags on the moon, Piltdown Man, Planet X, Occam’s razor, candles in the dark or even the words “astronomy” or “skepticism”, I knew what they were from Scooby-Doo. I watched it all the time and still do. The VERY new movies do have fake monsters again, and most of them are set in foreign countries where real facts are woven in. Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster even contained two rival scientist characters, one a borderline-woowoo true believer, the other so skeptical he wouldn’t even let people mention the monster. In the end, both recived their due- the monster proof that had been uncovered throughout the film were fakes, but there was tantilizing proof that a real monster might exist. I wonder if the scriptwriters had heard an interview on Charlie Rose where the great Dr. Sagan was asked
    “What do you think about the Loch Ness Monster?”
    “Well, is it possible that an unknown mammal or some kind of dinosaur is living in a Scottish lake? Yes, it’s possible. Does the evidence support it? No, but as good scientists, we don’t say ‘imposible’, we say ‘unproven’.”
    I LOVED that story- could someone PLEASE write another? Not another team-up, but I’d like to see the BA and his friends take on a Scooby-type monster or Mystery Inc. up against Hoaxland or Sibrel. Velma is my hero, and as a mystery writer, I’ve used several SD-inspired plots. One was in a series of time-travel mysteries, where the hero and Charles Darwin investigate a sea serpent, really a fake made by salvors to scare people away so they can loot a treasure ship. The other one was kind of like “Scooby Doo meets Robert Ballard”, where a group of campers on a JASON-like expedition investigate ‘gremlins’ causing computer glitches that turn out to be two disgruntled techies creating a distraction to steal plans for an ROV.

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