Got Space for Skeptics?

By Phil Plait | May 22, 2008 12:00 pm

The 55th Carnival of Space is up at Catholic Sensibility. As usual, lots of good blog links there for your spaced-out Thursday.

Also, if that’s not enough, the 87th Skeptics Circle is up at Action Skeptics, too! Some NSFW language there, if you care.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Science, Space

Comments (7)

  1. Zoom Kapowie

    What the Pope? “The 55th Carnival of Space is up at Catholic Sensibility”. What does one have to do with the other? For that matter, what does being a skeptic have to do with an astronomer? Dr. Plait, congrats for noticing that there is no giant man living in the sky. But Spinoza’s God would cringe at that discovery.

  2. Quiet_Desperation

    Why is the tag line for Action Skeptics “Annoying stupid people one woo at a time”?

    The problem is one of education and not stupidity. The skeptical community needs more empathy for the ignorant, and I use the term “ignorant” in its pure and noninsulting intent. It simply means “lacking knowledge.” We’re all ignorant of many things.

    If some guy was boran and raised in an insular religious community, that’s not his fault. If some woman was raised in a culture that doesn’t even bother to educate its “womenfolk”, that’s not her fault.

    People like that can’t be blamed for not actively seeking information beyond their monkeyspheres. They don’t know that they are supposed to, and have been trained that such activity is immoral.

    A lot of people simply grow up not knowing a lot about the universe. The gaps in their knowledge creates a world view where ghosts and alien UFOs and magic and horoscopes can easily be true.

    The main advocates for “woo” aren’t stupid, either. They’re out to make money. I doubt many actually believe their line of bull.

    So I don’t get the tag line. I guess it’s easier to annoy than educate, maybe.

  3. Jigsaw Man

    I think you hit it on the head, but slid off the wrong side. I’m all in favor of educating ignorant people, people who do not know any better. I am likewise in favor of irritating (if not sterilizing) stupid people. “Stupid’ is defined here as ‘willfully ignorant.’ If you refuse to try to learn when new material is presented to you, you are stupid.

  4. Ignorance is curable (through education)
    Stupidity is terminal. (because people don’t WANT to learn)

    J/P=?

  5. Zoom Kapowie

    You can educate people with patience better than with a hammer. Giving a nudge in the right direction is sometimes all you can do. But if you push, people will push back. This is not good.

    I never understood pretentious self-congratulatory atheists. Guess what? They don’t have answers to the big questions either. So why are you so proud of yourselves?

    So you found out that religious fundamentalists are wrong. That is no big accomplishment.

    You pride and loud mouth condemnations of others give the ignorant a good excuse to ignore you. And thus, instead of being an educator, you end up being the diametric opposite of one.

  6. Phil:

    Thank you kindly for the link. The traffic influx has been absolutely massive…

    QD:

    Because it’s funny. Some people don’t take themselves as seriously as you seem to.

  7. Quiet Desperation

    Because it’s funny. Some people don’t take themselves as seriously as you seem to.

    Where sis I take myself seriously? Does not compute. Parse error. It is dark, and you will be eaten by a grue.

    Stupidity is terminal. (because people don’t WANT to learn)

    and

    “Stupid’ is defined here as ‘willfully ignorant.’ If you refuse to try to learn when new material is presented to you, you are stupid.

    They have been *trained* through nurture and not nature to not want to learn. That training can be unraveled. It is *willful* ignorance! That’s the point. You can break that will.

    At some point the skeptical community needs to notice that the current approach really isn’t working very well, and might even be counterproductive.

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