How would you react to these type of stories?

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How would you react to these type of stories?

#1  Postby Soral » Jul 03, 2014 7:03 pm

I was at work and a co-worker shared these links to me in an e-mail.
Do you think these kinds of stories deserve any skeptical input, or should they be ignored?

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-sc ... ty-n144986
http://retractionwatch.com/2014/06/24/r ... published/
http://tinyurl.com/lc2vg9n
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Re: How would you react to these type of stories?

#2  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 05, 2014 10:51 am

I think everything deserves skeptical input! :D

For yetis/bigfoots(feet?) - there are already plenty of people involved in cryptozoology from a skeptical perspective. The problem with the non-skeptic is that it always becomes the 'evidence is under another rock' type of reasoning, where someone finds 'yeti hairs', these yeti hairs are then credibly examined and shown to be something more mundane, and the non-skeptic simply assumes that the truth is still out there. I find it hard to imagine being so emotionally invested in a particular conjecture, but my experience talking to people who are so afflicted suggests that the belief is the most important part of the equation; the non-skeptic doesn't value falsification.

For the 2nd article, this is where the skeptical mind-set is absolutely essential. Claims which have the potential to do harm have to be tested vigorously - far too much medical research is operating on Texas sharp-shooter methodology, reporting only the hits and not the misses. In this day and age, it's impossible to be an expert on everything; we have to have transparent institutions with accredited experts skeptically reviewing claims which could impact our health. By 'our', I include all life on Earth.

For the last link: I can't see it! The joy of living under a military government! :grin:
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