When Skeptics Collide

It seems that skeptics love other skeptics – up until the point such skeptics becomes skeptical of something that other skeptics accept.

Massimo Pigliucci is a skeptic, philosopher (meaning he teaches philosophy), and blogger who occasionally has some interesting things to say, which is why I subscribe to his blog.  Massimo is apparently a fan of James Randi, the well-known debunker of all things mystical.  Today Massimo writes:

James “the Amazing” Randi is an icon of skepticism. The man has done more — over a span of several decades — to further the cause of critical thinking and to expose flimflammery of all sorts than arguably anyone else in the world, ever. That is why I was struck with incredulity and sadness yesterday when I read Randi’s latest take on global warming.

Massimo opines on why James Randi would write such an article (besides the obvious reason that Randi is simply applying his same skeptical eye to the AGW claims that he does to everything else). Randi makes some interesting observations, and Pigliucci tries his best to hand-wave them away.  Which ever side you’re on, or especially if you have no side, it’s interesting reading.

(“Skepticism” poster linked from Xenocrates)

10 thoughts on “When Skeptics Collide”

  1. Mike, You were correct in that the original title of the post went a different direction than I intended… so, I found a more appropriate title to better reflect my intended point.

  2. Mike, I don’t really know who “the Amazing Randi” is… I’ve heard the name, that’s all. It was an interesting exchange of ideas. That’s all.

    Now, go put on “So Long Bannatyne.” 😉

  3. The title of your post was “Randi Debunks Global Warming.” You were using him as an authority because he uses skepticism to debunk card tricks, psychics and the like, right? But he has no expertise in Global Warming. You objected to people rejecting religion because they are not experts in teh last post.

    Jason doesn’t hold himself as an expert in global warming, but his post explains how the process of skepticism works.

    Massimo, himself, respects certain things that Randi does, but doesn’t accept him as an authority on global warming.

    Randi has since admitted that he screwed up on this post, but you didn’t bother to check the follow up.

    Please, Alden. Don’t be so thick on this stuff, I know you better than that.

    Steve Martin, on the other hand, is hopeless.

  4. You quote an IT guy as an expert?

    Now, what specifically about my reasoning in this post bothers you? (If you’ll read carefully, I don’t offer Randi as an authority. It’s Pigliucci who respects him, not me. All I did was link to the 2 posts for folks to read for themselves.)

  5. This is especially the sort of reasoning that makes me laugh at your last post.

    Not impressed by people who claim to be experts? And Randi admits that he is not an expert on global warming.

    Call me when a climatologist (someone who actually works wtih the data) issues the same sort of statement. Until then, drop the critical thinking ruse.

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