Science & Skepticism
- This page is one one of the 5 pages about the importance of getting to truth. Here I gather some of my notes and links about Science and Skepticism.
- I split away Thinking and Humanism onto other pages see the 4 other science pages listed at the bottom

Science Is A Great Thing
- It gives a system and framework for making sense of the world and creating ever better things
- But there is a big problem the normal man in the street is not literate in Science & Thinking (we could call them the Dulls) hence they are not in a good position to protect themselves against all the people pushing BS and are less able to make rational decisions which will help move themselves and the world forward.

- We should bring cultural change to
: eliminate "scientific and thinking illiteracy"

Why the Scientific Method is Better
- for understanding the world
- Science gives us a theoretical framework for understanding the world. We take the evidence, propose theories and try to disprove them. If they stand up though then the framework is extended.
- So science is different from other belief systems like religion : Science is independently validated i.e. there is evidence not just dogma.
- religion doesn't improve - science does

Rule 1. Don't be Afraid to say "I don't know"
Rule 2. Make decisions by a logical analysis of the evidence
Rule 3. saying "of course" is bad thinking : Give me the numbers give me the reasoning

Skepticism and science go together

- In science challenging your ideas is an important part .. "did it really work ?". (hence EBM Evidence based medicine)
- these days cos we live in a world of false information :
- 1. people lie cos they want to make money out of us,
- 2. we want to believe,
- 3. politics and religion;
- 4. Fear has such impact, but It's a lot easier to spread fear than information

So the true picture of life gets distorted. But we need the true picture to make good decisions. - Without the true picture we cannot always trust the process/treatment we are sold. Bad process/treatments not only cost extra money but they may be much more likely to harm us

- If it is scientific then we can trust it, fix it improve it.
- If it is non-scientific, but evidence based then it's difficult to fix or improve
- Some people come up with things which they explain in words which seem to be scientific, but aren't really i.e. pseudoscience like homeopathy and telepathy etc. Now if you take pseudoscience like a homeopathic treatment for malaria instead of a scientific medicine then you could end up dead.
- Skepticism Is in important for protecting the public against pseudoscience

- Note the difference if some process/treatment comes from tested observation then it is evidence based
- but if it also fits in with the established scientific framework then it is Science Based
- Hence the idea of Science Based Medicine from Stephen Novella et al.

- I am not sure when I first found the skeptic movement. I know I was fascininated by bizarre and strange things like the paranormal, but when I read more things I came across information which challenged these ideas. And the idea that we shouldn't take strange things at first glance as they can mostly be explained just in the same way magicians tricks can be explained. I did read skeptic books and go to skeptics meetings from 2004.

- The Skeptics movement is Great because :
- 1. Truly fun and enlightening as it explains amazing things which seem to be like magic
- 2. promotes the public understanding of Science and Critical thinking
- 3. Performs a consumer protection role in exposing scams and pseudoscience.

* It's a lot easier to spread fear than information : Note how it takes one misguided person to run off one sentence which scares people yet it takes the science/skeptic movement 5 pages to explain why this is wrong : this is the nature of how information impacts humans

Yes, skeptism is Positive
- cos it allows us to get closer to the truth and make better decisions

Science LINKS

- Science Media Centre : scientists - respond to the media quite good. See press releases
- "Promoting good science and evidence for the public"
N.B. 2 websites above are sometimes pretty good, though it is linked to strange people/cult who used to be Marxists, but are now super right wing. bizarre, but it checks out see my notes. Also implicated is Claire Fox (trading as the Institute of Ideas), but a look at the staff list makes them seem quite credible

- Royal Society - said to be funded by bad companies ? ..annual Summer Science Exhibition - funds a lot of research
See also My Radio links - full list of Science Radio
- The Naked Scientists (Chris Smith) have podcasts
- See Dr Karl's Podcast and his interesting page Science Explanations
- Madsci Excellent site answers 36,000 questions
- On BBC Radio 4 the material world has a great Archive does Frontiers
- In Our Time has a brilliant archive on the history of science.
- More or Less on Radio4 show on practical Maths & rigging stats etc
- almost Full list of BBC Radio science shows
- BBC Focus Magazine - Is a pretty good monthly printed mag with a good events listing.
- the Science Café on BBC Radio Wales - I found another fun science show similar to The Naked Scientists
- Dont' forget the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures
- Working to combat Math Hysteria
- focuses on Climate Change Skeptism home of the $125K challenge
- Going a bit popularist : now sometimes mixes popular commentators with real science
- Evidence Based Medicine Page
- quackfiles, Quackbuster article .. on how even proper science data can be wrong
- Quackwatch huge site
- 80 :excellent quackwatch site
- Richard Wiseman :

- A better medium than real Mediums Wrote THE book about cold reading. In the same style of Derren Brown.
- : What is the true cost of pseudoscience and woowoo in terms of deaths and money
- The JENNY MCCARTHY BODY COUNT stands at 866 for the last 4.5 years
- Skeptics Podcasts on exposing frauds
- Psychic Fraud Exposure : good moved from Geocities
- Check fake Urban Legends etc at
- Skeptics Meeting 1st Thursdays even months, North Adelaide Thinking club at the North Library
- International Network of Skeptical Organizations
- Big List of Links from

- European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO)
- Polish Rationalists
-, RationalWiki:Forum Used to be counter to Creationism, but paradoxically criticises Climate Skeptics with religious zeal (normal emotionally loaded name calling etc.)

- more links on the radio page

Books about the importance of science over pseudo-science

- Voodoo Science - Robert Park notes, Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins notes, Demon Haunted World By: Carl Sagan

Supernature By: Lyall Watson 1973 incredible, establishment says supernatural doesn't exist cos it can't be explained

Skeptics Books people suggested

- Ascent of Rum Doodle - Neville Hicks
- The Danger of Di-hydrogen Oxide - From Oz Skeptics very good
- Steven pinker - how the mind works , blank slate,
- Dan Dennett - Darwin's dangerous idea
- State of fear- Uncertainty is Great think he's talking about Crichton Novel, where the public are manipulated by the authorities

Essays on Separate pages
- Many more science notes in the the old Ideas and Essays Index Opinion Blog Index

The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science - Robert Park
- 1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.
- 2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work
- 3. The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection.
- 4. Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal.
- 5. The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries.
- 6. The discoverer has worked in isolation.
- 7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation.

SA skeptics have a great page on Scientific Method
Science Pseudo-science
non-dogmatic dogmatic
ability and willingness to change fixed ideas
absorbs all new discoveries selected favourable discoveries
ruthless peer review no review
impersonal cultic, depends on personalities
limited claims of usefulness claims of widespread usefulness
international/worldwide narrow, constrained, and bigoted
invites criticism criticism viewed as conspiracy
beneficial to humanity mainly egotistical benefits
falsifiable arranged to be non-falsifiable
Occam’s razor cherished ideas
confers authority appeals to authority
usually accurate measurements measurements at the limit of detection
verifiable by others non-repeatable (trust me)
ability to predict inability to predict
little income often very lucrative
Link : great page on Scientific Method

Amazing Diet Equation from Skeptics Dietician
Calories IN = Calories OUT
: means you'll stop getting fat


Walden - of course
Plato -Books like : Kurt Vonnegut, Gold the Man By: Joseph Green, D Adams, T Pratchett


Big list of Freethinker links

Directory of Skeptics sites

- James Randi newsletter and BIG forum

- JREF tw

Oz good explanations of myths

UK skeptics-forum closed down now

2011 Updates :
- watches for woo woo in the media

yahoo skeptics-forum OK search "-re"

UK Skeptic Magazine

US Skeptics Society and Skeptic Magazine
- The Skeptic Mag
- skepticality good weekly podcast

London Skeptics events

DC is UK's famous anti-quack click latest

Derren Brown Mind Control

Ian Rowland wrote the book on cold reading

vs. Debunking

- OZ Skeptics

- Oz skeptics events, FB

- rationalist of oz

Rationalist Press Association - yahoogroup not very active


Bad Science, in th Guardian Newspaper

Royal Institution

The BA British Association for the Advancement of Science

- Festival of Science

Material World on BBC Radio4

Science Show on ABC

Podcast from DoubtfulNews..err uhmm not great

My Thinking and Logic Pages
Science & SkeptismThinking Techniques Ideas and EssaysHumanism & ReligionClimate Change Skeptic