Friday, April 27, 2012

The kind of skeptics we should be touting
Post on "True Equality"

Sanal Edamaruku, an Indian skeptic, went to Mumbai and revealed that a "miraculous" weeping cross was really just a bit of statuary located near a leaky drain whose liquid reached it by way of capillary action. The local Catholic Church demanded that he retract his statements, and when he refused, they had him charged for blasphemy.

He was notable a while back for challenging an Indian tantric woo-meister to try and kill him with his magical mind powers.

On this case my feelings should be pretty clear. There is not magic, people who believe this is a miracle are fools and the Catholic church are a bunch of totalitarian thugs and the very idea of a blaspemy law is backwards and oppressive.

I’ve been dismissive in the past of certain people in the skeptic movement, like Rebecca Watson. The reason is that such people don’t seem to do much, they manoeuvre in social circles and increase their own power but they are not the classic debunkers in the mould of James Randi and Sanal Edamaruku. Hell, even though I felt she has been canonised to a silly degree, even Jessica Alquist did something.

Not that you need to debunk things to be a valid figure in the skeptic movement. People who contribute ideas and books such as Michael Shermer, Stephen Pinker, Eugenie Scott, etc, are rightly considered important figures for this very reason.

Sanal is a true skeptic debunker who is doing awesome work in a quite woo-susceptible society. Fair play to him!

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