The History (And Herstory) Of Great Superhero Skeptics

Because it’s still Thanksgiving over there in the USA… just.

Token Skeptic Podcast episode Eighty-NineGreat Superhero Skeptics! The History (And Herstory). Moderated by Desiree Schell – featuring Dr Phil Plait, Benjamin Radford, Tim Farley, Dr Eugenie C Scott, and Kylie Sturgess.

Many of us know some names, but who have you missed and who should we know? A roundtable discussion on great authors, thinkers and activists in skepticism, past and present.

This special ‘Thanksgiving’ episode is brought to you with many thanks to Desiree Schell of Skeptically Speaking. It is also with immense thanks, as always, to the 2011 Dragon*Con Skeptrack –Derek Colanduno of Skepticality.com and Mark Ditzler at Abrupt MediaPhotograph is by Rob Tarr (thanks to him too!).

The Token Skeptic survey is still open over at this link; even if you don’t listen to the show, feel free to give any tips, ideas or suggestions as to what you want from a podcast in 2012.

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  • Stoddy

    And yet, the chief deficiency I see in the sceptical movement is in its
    polarization: Us v. Them – the sense that we have amonopoly on the truth;
    that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons;
    that if you’re sensible, you’ll listen to us; and if not, you’re beyond
    redemption. This is unconstructive. It does not get the message across. It
    condemns the sceptics to permanent minority status; whereas, a
    compassionate approach that from the beginning acknowledges the human
    roots of pseudoscience and superstition might be much more widely
    accepted.

    • Butler

      “the sense that we have amonopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you’re sensible, you’ll listen to us; and if not, you’re beyond
      redemption. This is unconstructive.”

      I agree! Good thing NO ONE IS SAYING THAT then.

      “a compassionate approach that from the beginning acknowledges the human roots of pseudoscience and superstition might be much more widely accepted.”

      This is hilarious. The whole POINT of skepticism is that pseudoscience and superstition have human roots – because there is no supernatural source for them!

      Thanks for your “concern”, but the only way to deal with an insidious and pervasive bad idea is to kick the ever-loving shit out of it.

      • Kylie Sturgess

        Butler – that person? They’re QUOTING CARL SAGAN. That is a passage from The Demon-Haunted World. I know this, because a section of that quote ended up on a practice test for my students.

        Stoddy, whoever you are – quote your sources in future? Would save a little trouble.

        As for Butler – I couldn’t disagree with you more regarding the ‘kicking part’. Appears Sagan disagrees too. Mind, you might want to do some reading on the topic – here’s a copy you can get: The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

        • Butler

          I have to admit I was being a bit snarky there, so I apologise for that. I also partly retract my last statement – doing violence to bad ideas isn’t the ONLY way to deal with them, but it is effective, and dare I say, necessary.

          That said, I stand by my basic disagreement with Stoddy’s statement. Sagan wrote those words nearly sixteen years ago, about skepticism as he saw it then; but as an unattributed quote, Stoddy’s effectively copy-pasting that judgement to apply to modern skepticism, and when you do that it reads like a straw-man followed by some light concern trolling.

          • Kylie Sturgess

            It’s okay – on reflection I find it rather funny and I wonder if Carl Sagan would have ever gone around chatting on blogs. :)