“Is This the Week that Organized Skepticism Imploded?”, asks Greg, a clearly sympathetic blogger, citing and linking scandals/uproars we’ve covered here, plus ones some of us didn’t know:
Whether each of the accusations is valid or not, and whether the naming of certain individuals is proper, is not part of my argument here. But what has become clear is that the former figureheads of the skeptical movement finally now have a (long-awaited) skepticism being applied to their own actions and pronouncements, and a number of them are being revealed for the pretenders they are. I’d like to think that this is the end of skeptical demagoguery, and the beginning of a new, more intelligent, self-critiquing skeptical movement – though perhaps it’s more just a fragmentation, as Myers and Randi and others now just seem to have their own righteous armies fighting somewhat of an internal civil war in skepticism. I’m still hoping for the former though, as intelligent skepticism is a much-needed element of modern discourse, but something that has been very rare indeed to this point.
Some of us suspect, over coffee, that the lesson in all this is: There is lots to be skeptical about these days. But it’s dangerous to be skeptical of organized morality, as these stories show.
The fact that lots of folk don’t practise what they preach doesn’t make the practice ill-advised or the preaching wrong. Anyway, ‘tis the season for hot weather stories, and these top the list. 😉 (Now back to the Origin of Biological Information conference papers.)
See also: Breaking News: Michael Shermer issues cease and desist order against PZ Myers
Hat tip: Matthew Cochrane