Humans are gullible. Hell, as a rule we're damn stupid most of
the time. Usually when something they see is too good to be
true, many (most?) of us take that trait as evidence that it
is true--- otherwise, wouldn't it be obviously false?
(Scritchy!) The pot of gold is always at the end of the next
scam that comes along and they fall for: past failures of
miracle cures, get-rich-quick scams, levitating gurus, love
potions, prophesies, management techniques, and assorted
bullshit is soon forgotten, when a new sparkling miracle is
presented to them. Anyhow, that's where humanity finds itself
these days (and in every day that has passed since the first
protobiotic microsphere washed up out of the tidepool), and we
are stuck with it. Folks just sit quiet and watch while some of us
wait anxiously for the UFOs to come and carry them (The
Selected; The Pure; The Worthy) "home" up near the Pleiades.
Is there any hope? I think so. I certainly hope so.
It is amazing to me that people still believe in astrology,
"psychic" abilities, and a hundred assorted metaphysical
fooleries. Humanity is entering the twenty-first century, not the
first! (Hords of humans believe that vampires exist, angels
exist, fairies exist, demons exist, and invading armies from
Sirius exist, which I won't go into here). Every "psychic"
who has been properly tested has failed to produce the claimed
ability. The history of metaphysics consists of only
claims that have been debunked, and claims that cannot or were
not tested properly: if "psychic" abilities actually
existed, someone would have demonstrated them by now. Since no
one has ever demonstrated a "psychic" ability which has
convinced an informed observer, one can conclude that "psychic"
ability either does not exist, or those who actually possess
such abilities are in hiding. Why "psychics" only convince the
ignorant, the desperate, and the fearful is an issue I also
will not address--- others have done so better than I could.
Alas, I wish the world were the way the "psychics" claim it is:
I want the world to be a magical place where human beings can
learn to do amazing feats just by willing them--- without the
hard work that is actually required to achieve results desired
by humanity. "Touch Therapy," where one is healed of
sickness and disease just by someone else willing it, would be
the greatest boon to humanity since the invention of the
alphabet. "Psychic Surgery," where the "physician" uses his
hands instead of a knife to remove tumors (and leaves no scars)
would be THE greatest medical break-through since
antibiotics and pain killers. If one really could tell if
someone is a liar and a thief just by looking at his or her
palm; if one really could perform diagnosis of illness (current
and future) just by studying someones' eyes---- think of how much
better off humanity would be if these abilities were true!
But they are not, as far as anyone can tell. Humanity is "stuck"
with reality. But isn't reality amazing enough as it is? I sure
There is a very tiny minority of human beings in the world who
are fighting to expose injurious beliefs for what they are: a
cancer that sucks the time, energy, and money (great, huge,
monsterous piles of money!) out of the lives of the
ignorant; the gullible; the decient people who, out of need and
desperation, turn to confidence artists and quacks when there is
seemingly no where else to turn.
Social Retardation Shy David ponders the effects false beliefs has had on humanity.
American Airlines Shy David sends a letter to American Airlines.
- Baloney Detection The Fine Art of Baloney Detection. A quote from Card Sagan's 1996 book, The Demon Haunted World.
- The Journal of Scientific Exploration A page with links to various studies on or about astrology.
- The real romance of the stars Part of an article about astrology, writen by Richard Dawkins. There is a link to the complete article.
- James Randi The Amazing James Randi's famous "psychics" challenge. Win over one million USA dollars, just by demonstrating a "psychic" or "paranormal" ability!
- Skeptic Tank The well-known, infamous Skeptic Tank. Get a horde of files delivered to you by e-mail, that you select yourself, from a multi-various list of related subjects: no fee! No commerial e-mail! No spam!
- Bay Area Skeptics Excellent resource for skeptics.
- Annals of Improbable Research The MAD Magazine Of Science
- Dictionary Skeptics Dictionary: A Guide for the New Millennium
- Andersen / Posner Exchange Testing One Unlikely Claim. Your proposed taste / smell test is too complex / convoluted to suit the Tampa Bay Skeptics. Would something along the lines of the following be acceptable to you?
- Hello / Heaven-o Change 'Hello' to 'Heaven-o' And Avoid Hell!
- Skeptical Briefs March 1998 Peddling the Paranormal: Late-Night Radio's Art Bell
- Dr. Steven Greer Space Aliens Under Blanca Mountain!
- Crazy Cost The crazy cost of ignorance in the world. The Vancouver Sun
- Cancer Cure Hoax The Doctor Is In: His Cancer 'Cure' Has Italy All Agog
- Quackwatch Off-site link to a WWW site about medical quackery
- Prayed To Death The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974
to Shy David's Home Page.