Sunday, October 12, 2014

Comrades

While there is a significant amount of infighting within skepdom these days, I would say more so in the United States than Australia or Britain, but infighting there is aplenty.  However, skeptics have shown recent evidence of still being able to band together against a common threat.


British and French fight as one (wikipedia)
Litigation is the "Germany" that causes skeptics to rally together as the French and Brits did in '14 and '39.  The current plight of British skeptic Mark Tilbrook being threatening with legal harm as well insinuated physical harm at the hands of people close to famous British psychic Sally Morgan has triggered a groundswell of support for him.  Simon Singh's Good Thinking Society has kicked off psychic awareness month, and provided some legal aid or advice.  This matter has been covered by Doubtful News, The Token Skeptic, and The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe among others.  

Further litigious threat is that the SGU's Steven Novella and Science Based Medicine are being sued for expressing a negative view of the medical notions of Dr. Edward Tobinick.  Skeptics with a K noted in their latest podcast that Q.E.D. is donating over $1,000.00 to the SGU's defense fund.  (Yes, Brits think it's spelled "defence" and they add an extra "m" as well as a random "e" to the word "program," but we still respect them.)  


It is good to know that when the chips are down at least for specific needs we can come to each other's aid that crosses oceans and multiple time zones.  It was also nice to see that Andy Wilson of the Inkredulous podcast, Merseyside Skeptics, and Q.E.D. was a guest Rogue on the latest SGU and able to pitch this coming Spring's Q.E.D. Con in Manchester, England.  

I am under no illusion that this current wave of international skeptical brotherhood solves all problems, or is a rebirth of common civility.  It'd be nice, but I am not holding my breath. (I just checked my twitter feed, and yep there's some drama.)  Yet skepdom can still pull together when it counts.  When this type of necessary mutual support starts wavering, then skepdom will be in a whole more ominous mess of trouble.  

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