Real Sceptic

Ventures into scepticism

How Do Scientists Know That?

20th April 2015 No responses

Guest article written by Holly Vesco.

We’ve all heard the question, and perhaps even asked it ourselves, “Just how do scientists know that?” The question is innocent enough, but all too often it’s asked with a sense of distrust and even with a touch of condescension. Honestly, with or without the skepticism, it’s a question worth asking and answering.

It’s perfectly fine to ask how science knows what it knows and to have a desire to understand how the evidence supports the conclusions scientists come to. Those kind of questions are actually a large part of what peer-review does. The type of skepticism that I take issue with (the kind this article is addressing) is different, it doesn’t allow people to follow the facts, but to distort the them to fit their previously held beliefs. This way of thinking turns the question “how can they know that?” into a declaration of “they can’t know that!” That version of skepticism is not true skepticism, but instead it’s just a fancy way of saying, “I don’t like it, so it’s not true.” Read more

Thank You My Patreon Patrons

13th April 2015 No responses

Patreon logoProducing my videos and writing my articles is often
time-consuming and can be very costly. Just interviewing scientists at the AGU Fall Meeting can cost thousands of dollars to hire someone from the San Francisco Film Union (without it I’m not allowed to film). Each year I also spend over a thousand Euro on software licenses, equipment, and hosting. I love what I do, but these costs restrict what I can do as I have a very small budget.

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Categories: General

The Rise Of Skeptical Science

John Cook and Naomi OreskesEveryone at Skeptical Science spends a lot of their time reading the scientific literature and listening to experts. Without that we wouldn’t be able to write all the material that’s published on Skeptical Science. It’s a lot of work, especially when you do this with a critical eye. Our goal, after all, is to ensure that what we write reflects the scientific literature on the subject as accurately as possible.

The materials created by Skeptical Science are used by teachers, politicians, and of course by users on the internet to rebut climate myths. Thanks to this a lot of people have seen materials produced by us, even though they might not know that they have. Read more

Answering A Vermont High School Student Worried About Climate Change

9th April 2015 1 response

Guest article written by Brian Ettling.

In March 2015, a freshman high school student from Vermont named Robin wanted me to answer questions for her school science class climate change project. She asked to interview me because of my experience as a park ranger seeing climate change while working at Crater Lake National Park over the past 23 years. Even more, I spent the past four years at Crater Lake communicating about climate change during my evening campfire program and creating a park handout on the impact of climate change on Crater Lake.

Her final interview question for me was the most profound question anyone has asked me about climate change. Robin wanted to know: Read more

Using The Tactics Of The Merchants Of Doubt To Combat Science Denial

6th April 2015 No responses

Scientists are sceptical and questioning by their very nature. They love to poke and prod everything to see if it withstands scrutiny. So when scientists agree this is a sign that a question was investigated thoroughly and based on the evidence scientists then have an answer they can agree on.

This makes a scientific consensus the biggest threat to the denial of any scientific fact. Hence you see the “there’s no consensus” mantra on subjects like evolution, GMO safety, and of course global warming and climate change. That’s why studies like Oreskes 2004Doran 2009Anderegg 2010, Cook 2013, and Verheggen 2014 are targets for climate science deniers: Read more