1. Skeptics don’t support paranormal research –

2. Skeptics don’t read the research –

3. Skeptics don’t do the research –

These are the charges made by the host of the Skeptico podcast and blog, Alex Tsakiris.  And for reasons unknown to me, challenged other skeptics and skeptical podcasters why this is so. My two favorite skeptical podcasts, The Skeptics Guide to the Galaxy and Skeptoid took up the challenge and made some excellent points about why skeptics are generally critical of the paranormal and pseudoscience. After Skeptico’s interview on the global consciousness project with Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast, it became clear to me that Tsakiris doesn’t seem to understand the problems of promoting the paranormal and pseudoscience. Subsequent interviews and blog postings have also revealed Tsakiris general lack of scientific knowledge and the workings of the scientific method. A blog entry by Mark Edward dated Aug 25 2009 (http://skepticblog.org/2009/08/25/everbodys-an-expert/) demonstrates this.

As a skeptic, I believe that research, when done properly, should be supported. I have yet to hear any true skeptic make a claim that paranormal research should not be done or supported. My only concern would be the use of public funds on advanced studies where the base hypothesis unproven.

I can’t speak for other skeptics, but unless I have a good reason, I probably won’t read the research. I have no vested interest to see the any paranormal research fail or succeed. And taking time out of my busy schedule is next to impossible so I really can’t give the time needed to properly understand what the research is all about. And unless I do spend some time with the research, you won’t see too much commentary on this blog.

Again I can’t speak for all skeptics, but I would think that there are more qualified persons than myself to do a scientific research project. I am trained in the field of electrical engineering so if I were to try some type of paranormal or pseudo-scientific research I would doubt any reputable scientific journal would publish my work. And it’s quite possible a less than reputable journal would turn it down based on my credentials.

This is my stand on the subject. I am sure there will be some disagreement to all this but I tend to believe that rank and file skeptics have little or no time to chase the myriad of paranormal, conspiracy, and pseudo-scientific claims. I suspect that even the top scientific skeptics have little or no time to debunk the same claims.