Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Video Of The Day

Dr. Michael Shermer, a former psychology professor and founder of the Skeptics Society, on the question of why skepticism in science is necessary:

His basic premise, based on his own experience as a psychology student studying paranormal phenomena, is that while other organisms don't intentionally deceive scientists, human beings often do. They may do it for profit, or out of fear of being discovered to be something they'd rather not have people know, or just for their own amusement, but it's something they often do. I suspect that some day we'll find that some of the more intelligent animals try to deceive us as well, but that people do this is now a well-established fact.

In any field of human endeavor, it's important to remember that human beings will sometimes try to deceive us. In my own experience, which includes observing the supporters of various politicians, the best way to deceive people is to tell them what they want to hear. Being skeptical of the people who tell you things you think are true is often just as important, and far more difficult, than being skeptical of something you're not inclined to believe anyway.

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