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Saving Lives with Skepticism
We skeptics talk about many different things. Ghosts, psychics, intelligent design, cryptozoology, and dowsing are all frequent topics for our lectures and articles, but in most cases these are academic exercises. It's true that in some cases we might save someone pain and suffering, such as when people realize that the "psychic" who's been taking their $100 a week really can't talk to the dead, or when someone takes our advice and doesn't buy the $30,000 audio cables. For matters of so-called "complementary and alternative medicine," the stakes are higher and a skeptical viewpoint can actually save a life, as whatstheharm.net shows in some detail. But in the past year, we skeptics did something quite a bit more impressive. We literally saved hundreds if not thousands of lives, and it all started at a meeting at JREF headquarters.
But actually that's not true... as with many things skeptical, it begins with Randi, tirelessly dogging promoters of "woo-woo." A search of Google shows us nearly 1500 references to the word dowsing on randi.org, and that doesn't include the forum. Randi and the challenge have been responsible for demonstrating over and over again that dowsing does not work. It doesn't work with forked willow branches, pendulums, and it still doesn't work when batteries and ersatz electronic ciruits are added. We've seen this last form under the names "Quadrotracker," "Sniffex," and the later form of the Quadrotracker, "ADE 561." It's these "hi-tech" dowsers that turn a harmless delusion into a profitable and deadly deception.
More http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swi ... icism.html
I think skeptics should let people arrive at their own conclusions and stop preaching to them.
If the psychic charging them $100 is not legit, they should have the sense themselves to know
that. If they don't care whether they are legit or not, then its their business.
Alternative medicine has done a lot to help people and many people testify to this personally.
Many people say Yoga cured their arthiritis, or heart disease or parkinsons disease etc. Many
people say meditation has made them happier and generally well rounded people. Many people
say Reiki and spiritual healing has saved their lives. Many spiritual organizations are involved
in charity work, disaster relief, environmental initatives.
Last edited by really? on 23 Jun 2010, 20:06, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by really? on 23 Jun 2010, 21:26, edited 1 time in total.
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