February 13, 2010
It's common to think of skepticism simply as doubt—and as far as one-word definitions go, that's fine—but it's not quite as simple as that. Skepticism is not simply a position on a subject: it's a method. It’s a method of critically examining and analysing claims, to sort those that are probably true from those that are probably not. Modern skepticism is closely linked with science, and for that reason is commonly called "scientific skepticism". Celebrated astronomer and skeptic Carl Sagan summarized it thus: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." (Yes, that's the same copy that you'll find on our website; but I think that's fair enough, as I wrote it in the first place.)
Science and its tools, critical thinking and investigation, has proven time and again that it is the best method for differentiating truth from falsehood. And that's important.
Canadian skeptic, software developer, father, and beard advocate.
Lots of friendly folks talking about ideas. If you go directly to Snopes whenever you receive a chain email, play devil's advocate in every argument, or raise an eyebrow when someone offers to realign your chakras, this is your group!