The Central Maine Skeptical Society (CMSS) is part of a growing skeptical movement that seeks to promote science, reason, and critical thinking.
New discoveries in scientific knowledge and technology have made tremendous improvements in human longevity and quality of life; yet far too many people seem to live in a world of “magical thinking” that denies the reality on which all of science is based.
For example, many Americans are unable to distinguish good science from pseudoscience, medical experts from quacks, and actual medicine from snake oil. Without a basic understanding of the principals of science and the Scientific Method, many people lack the ability to critically examine evidence and gullibly follow the latest fad diets and so-called “alternative” medicine.
So what’s the big deal?
In addition to harm to the individual (e.g., taking snake oil rather than real medicine), non-skeptical thinking at the government level creates a host of even more serious problems, from bad policy decisions based on pseudoscience (including everything from social inequalities for people of color and the LGBT community to meaningless “debates” on the reality of global warming) to the lowering of educational standards, most blatantly through the avoidance or watering down of the teaching of evolution, the cornerstone of all aspects of biology and modern medicine.
The CMSS is lucky to have access to knowledgeable speakers on skeptical topics through our partnership with the UMaine Skeptics, a student group at the University of Maine, in Orono. Together, we will have monthly meetings on campus to discuss skeptical topics and hear from experts in many scientific and medical fields. The CMSS also plans to provide relevant website, podcast, & book recommendations and host an online discussion group where members can further discuss (in a respectful manner) skeptical issues.