You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
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Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
Wait… Chakra point does not translate as, “Aneurysm”?
That was really disturbing.
Normally I’ll watch anything with Kristen Wiig in it, but I couldn’t make it through that sketch.
so if acupuncture is supposedly a scam/non scientific medicine on par with homeopathy, how come I know more than a few people who have benefited from it, and only it, when no other procedures or modern medicines seemed to alleviate their pain/symptoms? I’m as skeptical as anybody about most things, especially medicine, but I can’t just sit back and ignore the results.
Because anecdote is not evidence.
Because reports of subjective symptoms like pain are inherently unreliable.
Because of the placebo effect.
I got tired of watching comedians read their lines from off-screen prompters in the 80′s.
This is the strain of the nontheist community that I can’t stand. OVERLY skeptical about every. little. thing. Anecdotal evidence means nothing until there’s some study to back it up, then it’s valid. Like the old wives tale that pregnant mothers who experience lots of heart burn will have babies born with a full head of hair. How ridiculous! All those mothers that experienced that and believed it are fools! Until…. researchers at Johns Hopkins University proved it. Now those women aren’t idiots anymore? Same idea. If you have benefited from acupuncture, you’re a moron. Unless tomorrow some study indicates that it’s actually effective. Then you’re not dumb anymore. Right.
It’s not overly skeptical, it’s just pointing out that you don’t have proof that it works, so you can’t claim it works as a matter of fact until you do have proof, otherwise you are making claims beyond what you actually do know to be true. Would you rather all claims be considered unproven until proven? Or would you rather all claims be considered true until proven false? Prove to me there’s NOT a Flying Spaghetti Monster / Invisible Pink Unicorn.
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