Some thoughts on the legitimate limits of “debunking”:

In some cases, a dangerous (mis)application of “Occam’s Razor” could be used as a means to disguise a legitimate occurence.

A good example of this is the sort of “deductive reasoning” used by (some) UFO “skeptics”.  Quite simply, BOTH “sides” of the debate strike me as somewhat inane:

  1. Because it “could have been” an inversion layer does not automatically mean that it was an inversion layer, for example.  More to the point, it would make sense for (let’s say) “secret” military tests to be done in such a way that any inadvertent sightings could be explained away in exactly the way that genuine “skeptics” would.

In other words (and, somewhat ironically) exactly the same techniques used by “The Amazing Randi”, etc.  – could easily be used to explain away a genuine — albeit anomalous — occurence.

Now, what does this mean?

Quite simply: there is a fine line between “healthy” skepticism and outright gaslighting:

The easiest way to “discredit” an inconvenient whistle-blower, inadvertent sighting, etc. — would be to “explain” how such an event could have been “faked” or “misinterpreted”.

The important thing here is: such an explanation requires the a priori assumption/implication that suck “trickery” DID occur.

So, for example: inconvenient evidence of actual psychokinesis could easily be “explained away’ by demonstrating that Uri Geller was a fraud.

Just some thoughts.  I’m not “advocating” either side here — just pointing out (in the interests of “balance”, primarily) that healthy ‘skepticism” could easily be used as a form of “disinformation”, in its own right.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s