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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

QUIZ: Are You A Fake Skeptic?

Pseudo-skeptics, Social Skeptics, Skepducks, Skepdicks - whatever it is you call them, our lives have been overrun by these poseurs. They pervade popular culture and social media, impeding progress and spreading a perverted version of science literacy.

A Science Enthusiast, pictured with Monsanto's Director of Millennial Engagement, Vance Crowe, sells stickers and t-shirts in the name of science.

Many of these big S Skeptics don't even realize what they are or know that they have a problem. Today we are going to discuss some of the the things to look for to know if you, or perhaps even a loved one might be in fact, a fake skeptic. The first step to solving any problem is realizing there is one.


"Hey Rick, what are your thoughts about healing crystals?"

  • Do you refer to personally disdained items or topics as pseudoscience or 'woo'? 
  • Do essential oils, the words 'toxin' 'detox', 'natural', ghosts or homeopathy make you flip your shit?

Do you believe in the One True Method?

  • Do you oversimplify topics and distill them into one liners like, 'the dose makes the poison' or 'correlation does not equal causation' to dismiss people's viewpoints and questions? 
  • Do you employ popular catch phrases (see above) to demonstrate your superior logic and reason?
  • Are you a dick?

Hi, my name is Dick. Skep Dick.
  • Do you use science to assert dominance over other people and prove how inferior they are to you? 
  • Have you ever called people who disagree with you 'conspiracy theorists' 'woonatics' 'anti-science' 'science deniers' or the like? 
  • Do you try to associate people with absurd beliefs to discredit them?
  • Do you tell people they exhibit the Dunning-Kruger effect without actually understanding what the findings of Dunning and Kruger really were?
  • Do you accuse anyone who does not hold your viewpoint of getting their information from Food Babe, Natural News or David Wolfe, despite them never having mentioned such sources to you?
  • Do you troll people, but pretend it's about science?

  • Do you demand absolute proof before the science has been completed?
  • Do you make counterclaims but shift all burden of proof onto the other person?
  • Do you attack the person, instead of addressing the topic?
  • Do you regularly appeal to authority by referring to scientific consensus to silence questions or calls for more research?
  • Do you spend time with industry insiders and employees, enjoying the Skeptic celebrity status and networking or career opportunities they can provide?
  • Do you refer to industry employees and insiders as 'friends'?
Yes, Vance *is* her friend.
  • Do you insert your knowledge into many different subjects, appealing to Skepticism as your expertise?
  • Do you use industry front groups as legitimate sources? 
  • Do you let climate change denial slide because the person or group is pro on other pet science topics?
  • Do you attend events with industry insiders, and accept accolades from them?
  • Do you ridicule people who are sick or otherwise suffering?
  • Do you wear Skepticism like an identity?
  • Have you ever been to a TAM, NECESS, or CSICon event?
  • Do you use science as a verb?


If you answered in the affirmative -

0 - Congrats! You are not a fake skeptic. Give yourself a cookie.

up to 10 - You've picked up some bad habits, change your path before it leads to the Dark Side.

10 or more - You're faker than Lee Press On nails. Please use birth control.