free debate

October 28, 2009

Having Fun with Skepticism

I think that too often, skeptics are painted as this serious group that just go around denouncing other people's beliefs. I know that even I can come off that way sometimes. One of the reasons I actually like skepticism so much is because they have fun while maintaining rationality. This cartoon is an excellent example. One of the first things I learned about confronting people with these kinds of beliefs, is that they are quick to point out other people's superstitions as nonsense. Inspired by this I also wanted to point out some other comical cases of rationality.

The Onion is a great place to go if you want a laugh. Recently they posted this article "God Introduces New Bird." Targeted towards creationism, the article is a fun example of something that would actually prove creationism if it happened. Mark Crislip has a great article over on Science-Based Medicine taking the ideas of alterative medicine, and applying them to Alternative Flight.

If you are a video person, Dara O'Brian and Mitchell and Webb have both put together great videos that point out the absurdities of alternative medicine. They both do a good job of just taking what proponents of these therapies are saying, and looking at it critically. One of my personal favorites is Tim Minchin. His most famous skeptical work is probably Storm, but I think that Tony the Fish is my personal favorite.

The list goes on and on. Skepticism is fun and interesting. None of this can be really counted as evidence for anything, but I think, in some ways, this kind of material does more to change people's minds than any number of studies.  If you have a personal favorite in skeptical humor, feel free to post it in the comments.