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John Hogan – Dear “Skeptics,” Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More

Yesterday I spoke at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, NECSS, a “celebration of science and critical thinking” held May 12-15 in New York City. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, whom I met recently, got me invited, and he might regret that, because I decided to treat the skeptics skeptically. I originally titled my talk “Skepticism: Hard Versus Soft Targets.” The references to “Bigfoot” in the headline above and text below were inspired by a conversation I had with conference Emcee Jamy Ian Swiss before I went on stage. He asked what I planned to say, and I told him, and he furiously defended his opposition to belief in Bigfoot. He wasn’t kidding. I hadn’t brought up Bigfoot, but I decided to mention him in my talk. Swiss didn’t let me take questions, so I promised the audience that I would post the talk here (slightly edited) and would welcome skeptical comments or emails. [See also my follow-up posts here andhere.] –-John Horgan

I hate preaching to the converted. If you were Buddhists, I’d bash Buddhism. But you’re skeptics, so I have to bash skepticism.

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