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My Skepticism of a Skeptic

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The other day, I was watching a movie / documentary on the internet called: Here be Dragons - An Introduction to Critical Thinking. I am not sure how old this movie is, but, overall, I can say I really like it.

However, just because I liked it, doesn't mean that I agree with everything that is said in the movie. One person in the documentary provides a very valid skeptical point of view. He talks about pseudoscience and people believing in new age alternative medicine, psychics and paranormal phenomenon.

For example, he talks about the law of large numbers applied to what people might think is a paranormal phenomenon. For example, dreaming of your uncle the day before he dies. The law of large numbers explains that, at some point in time, people are going to experience extraordinary coincidences, but beyond any paranormal explanation, this is nothing else more but a random coincidence.

I partially agree with that, but those random coincidences are not the ones that really make me wonder about the paranormal. What makes me wonder are the people (close to me) that have these sort of experiences frequently in their lives.

The skeptic guy goes on to mention that all supplements and diet pills are really not effective. In my opinion, he contradicts himself a little there. He shows the "Alli" (FDA approved) diet pill. But then he approves of the FDA methodology to prove that something is really effective. Then, on his FAQ section, he mentions that "Valli" is not valid as a long term strategy for weight loss. I completely agree with that. Not even gastric bypass surgery seems to be effective (the person that I know that got this surgery looks still really fat and saggy). But I thought the point there was to prove that something, long term or not, was effective. I personally think that was a mistake on his part, but I absolutely agree that there's no magic pill that makes you lose weight.

Then he says "science never gets in the way of good science" to justify in his own mind that there's absolutely no reason to think that the pharmaceutical and even vehicle industry will have any interest in suppressing great discoveries in order to favor big corporations.

Gee! I mean, I have no proof of the opposite (just my personal opinion based on what I've seen about the electric vehicles, which I honestly think were destroyed in order to favor oil companies), but I don't care how knowledgeable this guy think he is, unless he worked for any of these industries with a high security clearance, is hard for me to believe this just because it makes sense to him.

He also mentions the 911 and criticizes the people that think there was a conspiracy behind it. What he says doesn't make any sense to me. I understand that, for him, there's no evidence of anything, so therefore we have to ask ourselves "but who crashed the planes"? But what about all those CNN interviews where the same FBI people testified on camera that the government clearly ignored a lot of warning signs?

He also said that many times intelligent and professional individuals tend to believe in the paranormal because is the easier answer and because they enjoy mysteries. Not exactly. I consider myself a critical thinker. I don't believe in psychics and new age stuff. However, I've encountered a lot of events that defy explanation. And believing that science doesn't have all the answers at this point doesn't make me a less critical thinker than any skeptic out there.

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