I Believe Not
Carson Holloway on the Unreasonable Faith of Skeptics
Published by the Center for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), The Skeptical Inquirer primarily seeks to explain—not to say debunk—supposed experiences of UFOs, ESP, ghosts, and the like. It is a serious enterprise: Among CSICOP’s fellows are Harvard’s E. O. Wilson, Oxford’s Richard Dawkins, MIT’s Steven Pinker, and F. H. C. Crick of the Falk Institute, and the magazine has a circulation of about 35,000, more than any similarly serious religious journal.
In its special March/April issue, the “Magazine for Science and Reason” turns its attention to weightier concerns than UFOs or ghosts. The issue, titled “Science and Religion 2004: Turmoil and Tensions,” is chiefly of interest, however, not so much for what it reveals about “Science and Religion” as for what it reveals about the mind of the skeptic. Skepticism turns out to be—contrary to the claims of its adherents—more like a faith than a straightforward commitment to reason and evidence, more an alternative religion than an alternative to religion.
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Carson Holloway is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the author of a book on Darwinism and political theory from Spence Publishing.
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