"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi
|Volume 1 Issue 2||March 1993|
by Ray Hyman
Since the founding of CSICOP in 1976, and with the growing number of localized skeptical groups, the skeptic finds more ways to state his or her case. The broadcast and print media, along with other forums, provide more opportunities for us to be heard. For some of these occasions, we have the luxury of carefully planning and crafting our response, but most of the time we have to formulate our response on the spot. Regardless of the circumstance, the critic's task, if it is to be carried out properly, is both challenging and loaded with unanticipated hazards.
Many well-intentioned critics have jumped into the fray without carefully thinking through the various implications of their statements. They have sometimes displayed more emotion than logic, made sweeping charges beyond what they reasonably support, failed to adequately document their assertions, and, in general, have failed to do the homework necessary to make their challenges credible.More