What is the definition of healthy versus unhealthy scepticism?
Wikipedia:Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia link
Rule 9. Write neutrally and with due weight
All articles in Wikipedia should be impartial in tone and content. When writing, do state facts and facts about notable opinions, but do not offer your opinion as fact. Many newcomers to Wikipedia gravitate to articles on controversial issues about which people hold strong opposing viewpoints. Avoid these until familiar with Wikipedia’s policies (see Rule 3), and instead focus on articles that are much easier to remain dispassionate about. Many scientists who contribute to Wikipedia fail to appreciate that a neutral point of view is not the same as the mainstream scientific point of view. When writing about complex issues, try to cover all significant viewpoints and afford each with due weight, but not equal weight. For example, an article on a scientific controversy should describe both the scientific consensus and significant fringe theories, but not in the same depth or in a manner suggesting these viewpoints are equally held.
It looks like the Ministry of Materialism is trying to take over Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Many of Wikipedia’s pages are a work of skeptical pseudo debunkery with a touch of inferiority blackmail thrown in – “If you’re not one of us, you’re stupid: It’s Official, we have science on our side”. Skeptics think they become scientists when they become skeptics because science uses scepticism, a circular argument. Some of them are scientists, but scepticism is not a science and never can be. It’s a matter of personal opinion, like talking about yesterdays football match; everyone has their say and it’s all pretty harmless. But the sceptics think it’s real, they are on a mission from God, or so it would seem to them. There’s a lot of talk about extremism these days, but not much about extreme skeptics, until we read about Wikipedia entries, these guys have been radicalised:
Harassment on Wikipedia
skepticalaboutskeptics.org says: For several years now Rome Viharo has been documenting his disturbing Wikipedia experiences on his website ‘Wikipedia, We Have a Problem’. His latest post is an excellent case study on the harassment, libel and slander routinely practiced by some editors of the king of encyclopedias. (Interestingly, Rome Viharo’s page was blocked by Google??? )
There is a disturbing pattern of behaviors evolving across Wikipedia – a number of skeptic activists on Wikipedia believe that only they are qualified to edit a large swath of topics and biographies on Wikipedia, and they seek to purge other editors from those articles or Wikipedia itself. Skeptic activists take this very seriously and treat Wikipedia like a battleground for their activism, where online harassment, slander, bullying, character assassination, and public shaming are all used as tactics to control editing permissions on the world’s largest repository of knowledge…
Read it all here: http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org/
The original site was blocked by Google (Now working): http://wikipediawehaveaproblem.com/
Rome Viharo or Tumbleman as he is known on ‘wiki talk’ editors pages, can be traced at the following link.
Talk:Rupert Sheldrake/Archive 7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Rupert_Sheldrake/Archive_7#2007_Wikipedia_Arbitration_on_the_Paranormal
As someone who has been a victim of these fanatical skeptics, I can say with some confidence that Tumbleman has shown considerable restraint. I can find no evidence that he is a troll as skeptic editors have described him.
GSM on the wiki talk page above refers to the ‘Guerrilla Skepticism’ movement and Sgerbic refers to the cult leader Susan Gerbic. She says in the UK version of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia “The mission of the Guerrilla Skepticism editing team is to improve skeptical content on Wikipedia. We do this by improving pages of our skeptic spokespeople, providing noteworthy citations, (usually by skeptics) and removing the unsourced claims from paranormal and pseudoscientific pages. Why? Because evidence is cool. We train – We mentor – Join us.
(Note: Paranormal pages are almost never sourced by scientists because, as a general rule, they don’t study taboo subjects and so she is on to a sure thing. When scientists do take an interest, like Rupert Sheldrake in the link above, he is attacked by the same skeptics. It’s all very circular!)
Susan Gerbic’s “improving pages of our skeptic spokespeople” is quite telling as it infers ownership of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is, admittedly used here in these pages as a reference work not so far removed from the others, not because it’s the best but because it’s accessible to all. More work is needed to return Wiki to what it was planned or hoped to be. That is to say, not an organ for extremist activists and that is exactly what these people are. I do attempt to highlight and reference any Wiki extremism, scientism, mistakes, omissions and contradictions, things I come across quite often.
(Note: This is not restricted to Wikipedia, Fortean Times Forum has been completely decimated by the skeptics… the reason I stopped using it long ago. I don’t need these people telling me what to think)
For those who don’t understand what’s going on, the Wiki skeptics are altering and or deleting anything that is not within the remit of academic science – it makes them feel smart. – on a quest for ‘hard facts’ they say, but only the facts that appeal to skeptics. If they had their way there would be no mention of alternate healing, spirituality, UFO’s or any exotic technology, in other words the things we expect to find referenced in a balanced manner even if they are not endorsed by the encyclopedia. Although the skeptics claim to be scientific they tend to bend the rules of science when it suits. They have a skeptical agenda that is known only to themselves. One that can only be justified by other skeptics but usually it depends on the individual alone. It is a very emotion-driven discipline with a psychology akin to denial and selective memory. They live in a fantasy world of their own making based upon a science that most honest scientists would not recognise. The sad truth is, that they do not understand science, what it’s about and what it’s doing, it’s limitations, it’s failures, they don’t care about such trivia. Their world is a simplistic binary, black white, true false, science not science and this is not the same world that I, for one, live in.
(Note: my phrase “outside of then remit of science” refers to the things that science does not, will not, or cannot study. Things difficult to repeat or impossible to put in a test tube, things that simply do not fit the accepted rules, are not necessarily things that do not exist.)
Wiki: Christopher Charles (Chris) French is a British psychologist specialising in the psychology of paranormal beliefs and experiences, cognition and emotion. He is the head of the University of London’s Anomalistic psychology research unit and appears regularly in the media as an expert on testing paranormal claims…
On the importance of Anomalistic psychology he said in an interview on The Skeptic Zone,
“Opinion poll after opinion poll tell us that the majority of population, in one way or another, do express belief in the paranormal. Most people, in any survey, will endorse at least one paranormal claim. Now, either that means that paranormal forces really do exist, or it’s telling us something really interesting about human psychology. So, either way, we should definitely take these types of claims seriously and try to understand what is going on. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_French
Anomalistic psychology is the study of the paranormal by those who do not believe it exists…The last time I checked this it was called bias and so Chris French teaches an unashamedly biased pseudoscience. In reality, it’s a cunning strategy by a senior psychologist with the intent of gaining student qualifications for pseudoscience, virtual scepticism and bias, none of which (or so we are told) have a place in the science of psychology or any other science. He also keeps himself in a cushy job as debunking and calling people stupid is so much easier than doing real and useful science.
Wiki paranormal: Chris French Anomalistic psychology: Chris French founder of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit. Bainbridge (1978) and Wuthnow (1976) found that the most susceptible people to paranormal belief are those who are poorly educated, unemployed or have roles that rank low among social values. The alienation of these people due to their status in society is said to encourage them to appeal to paranormal or magical beliefs. (Blackmail: that those who disagree are inferior)
(Note: Let us not forget that many of the founding fathers of science, like Newton, Boyle and others spent most of their time studying the paranormal. If we look at the record of the most productive scientists of more recent times we find a surprisingly large proportion with paranormal connections. But I don’t expect French to know anything about science history!) For more on French et al
Wiki Paranormal: A psychological study involving 174 members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) completed a delusional ideation questionnaire and a deductive reasoning task. As predicted, (WOW) the study showed that “individuals who reported a strong belief in the paranormal made more errors and displayed more delusional ideation than skeptical individuals”.
This is a complete strawman as it would be expected that any testing of this kind would either use subjects engaged in psi investigations, posessing psychic skills or those with an in-depth unbiased knowledge of the subject, rather than members of a Victorian research organisation who may have none of these qualifications. The SPR is a library that has done no investigating that I’m aware of since the Enfield Poltergeist in the 1970’s. It leaves us completely mystified as to what they were testing for and what it proved with regard to the paranormal. The Society for Psychical Research may or may not, for all I know, be filled with complete dolts, but I don’t see what this has to do with the study of the paranormal.
Youtube: There is a video here that includes Chris French and psychic Diane Lazarus It seems that Diane is smarter than predicted by the skeptics as she would not have taken part had she not been confident that she could outperform them. What is interesting is that although she beats the search and rescue dog, a military tracker and a trained rescue team, Chris French does not ask about her obvious abilities. A common trait among skeptics is, when confronted by what for them is taboo they don’t ask what is it, but ask what else it could be? This is important as it shows an absolute immovable confidence in the skeptical paradigm that will not be shaken even by in-your-face and obvious, personal experience. The denial of reality is complete and absolute and don’t forget, this guy is a senior psychologist, a scientist?
Wiki, Paranormal De Boer and Bierman:
The Wiki version of the De Boer and Bierman quote is third-hand, originally by Dean Radin who is a supporter of paranormal phenomena: Wiki paranormal: “In his article ‘Creative or Defective’ Radin (2005) asserts that many academics explain the belief in the paranormal by using one of the three following hypotheses: Ignorance, deprivation or deficiency. ‘The ignorance hypothesis asserts that people believe in the paranormal because they’re uneducated or stupid. The deprivation hypothesis proposes that these beliefs exist to provide a way to cope in the face of psychological uncertainties and physical stressors. The deficiency hypothesis asserts that such beliefs arise because people are mentally defective in some way, ranging from low intelligence or poor critical thinking ability to a full-blown psychosis’ (Radin). The deficiency hypothesis gets some support from the fact that the belief in the paranormal is an aspect of a schizotypical personality (Pizzagalli, Lehman and Brugger, 2001).See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Radin
Wiki, Paranormal misinformation by default
What should have been emphasised but is completely absent from the Wiki article is that psychics are regularly used by the security services, the military and the police. I’m sure that these organisations would be thrilled to learn that those they choose to help them in their enquiries are either ignorant, deprived or mentally deficient?
“Project Star gate is the collective name for advanced psychic functioning or Remote viewing experiments and programs that were undertaken for over twenty years to create a trainable, repeatable, operational and if at all possible, accurate method of psychic spying or information gathering for the U.S. Military and intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA, DIA).” http://www.remoteviewed.com/remote_viewing_history_military.htm
More to come…………………..