Now let me clarify something. Critics of pseudoskeptics have accused them of believing in Scientism - the belief that science is to be treated as an authority with all the answers and taken on faith, just like a religion is. In response, pseudoskeptics claim that science is a process of independent peer review and replication and therefore not a religion.
So then, is science a religion, you might ask? Well, yes and no. Technically, science is not a religion. It is a tool and methodology of obtaining logical conclusions through evidence and inquiry. As such, it is not an entity that holds positions or viewpoints, like people do. Therefore, science is not pro or anti-paranormal, anymore than a pencil, computer program or mathematical formula is.
However, the scientific establishment is another matter, because it involves people, politics, power, money, institutions and vested interests. And as such, politics, corruption, control, censorship and suppression are naturally a part of it. Realists know and understand this. But for some reason pseudoskeptics don't.
The key fallacy that pseudoskeptics make is lumping the scientific process and the scientific establishment into one, and assuming that they are one and the same. That is the major fallacy of the organized skepticism movement, which consists of the JREF, CSICOP and Michael Shermer type crowd.
In doing so, they falsely assume that the science and medical establishment is objective and unbiased, and free of politics, corruption, control, censorship and suppression. That's where their major mistake is. And as such, they deem the science and medical establishment as an unassailable authority that is not to be questioned or challenged. In that sense, they treat science as a religion. So even though they claim that science is not a religion, they still treat it as such, by holding the views of the science establishment as an unquestionable authority.
Of course the next question to be asked about these "skeptics" is where do these sort of people come from ? Some of them would be genuinely misguided while others, I bet, are the result of the CIA's Robertson Panel or like-minded programs. I come to this conclusion because some of the skeptic arguments are so bad that one would have to be completely delusional to accept them or that the highly intelligent people pushing such positions are attempting to deliberately deceive the public.
Story sourced from the excellent Debunking the Debunkers blog.
[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, May 27th, 2012.]