Getting Adequate Information

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

You're likely to hear people refer to themselves as skeptics, but they are probably using the word in its common form (needing evidence before accepting a truth claim) instead of identifying with the ancient Greek school of philosophy. Some apply the word skepticism to religious or supernatural views related to the irrational philosophy of agnosticism, while others could be termed hyper-skeptics, rejecting any and all evidence for God, creation, and so forth. (Kinda puts a burr under my saddle when they question little (if any) "evidence" for evolution while rejecting evidence for creation.)

People tend to get excited and believe things that are not exactly correct, especially in origins research. Healthy skepticism and fact-checking are in order.
Charles Darwin is in a tree near my apartment.
Being skeptical can be healthy. When someone makes a claim that a bit on the fantastic side, I reckon it's a good thing to want some evidence instead of being gullible. F'rinstance, here's Papa Darwin in a tree. Evolution be praised, blessed be! I proved my claim by putting a picture next to it. Actually, it's a psychological thing called pareidolia, which made the news when people "saw" a lady on Mars. By putting a picture of Darwin next to it, I can encourage others "see" what isn't really there. Maybe I could have "seen" a baboon or other ape in the tree as well.

Another example on the fantastic side is the claim that eight US soldiers disappeared when trying to remove a flying machine from an Afghan cave. This story has spread verbatim to several occult and UFO-related sites, but doesn't impress me. For that matter, I'm mighty skeptical when someone's source cannot be verified, or worse, "I know a guy whose brother has a friend in a high government office who spoke on conditions of anonymity, and he's using an assumed name because he's afraid for his life". Something a bit more substantial, if you please.

People get gullible when reading things on the Web, and I suspicion that they are fond of things with drama. Sometimes reports are made with the ring of authority and even seem plausible, but are actually made up. (Speaking of the "ring of authority", how often do people get malware and viruses because e-mail or a site insists that their software is out of date, there's a problem with the computer, or whatever, then they learn the hard way by clicking on said link? They can sound convincing.) The Web has made starting rumors, hoaxes, and outright lies much easier nowadays. Look for the Dilbert video excerpt about "Chronic Cubicle Syndrome", it's just over three minutes long. Want to check the link now that I obtained for you on the alert? Do a search for "Norton Safe Web", right-click the link information, copy it, then paste it into the Norton Safe Web checker. There are other tools if you want to search for something like "how do I know a link is safe?" The last few sentences have been a public service message from The Question Evolution Project.

Moving on to something more prosaic (and coming down the trail closer to the point I'm going to make), it seems like gluten allergies have suddenly stampeded in recent years. Gluten is a type of protein, and the disorder that makes people sick actually affects a small number of people. See "The reason people go gluten-free isn't because they're allergic" and "The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)" for some interesting information. I don't endorse the sites, but they should be able to spark some thinking and further research — which is part of the reason for this here article. Edit: Just learned about this from Doug McBurney: "Gluten-free diet could damage health of people without coeliac disease, expert claims".

Evolutionists use many fallacies, but the pertinent one now is the fallacy of insufficient evidence. If you scan the articles on this site, you'll see a passel of complaints about something being promoted as "evidence for evolution", but Darwin's Cheerleaders conveniently ignore pertinent data that does not support their preconceptions. It behooves us (do people still say "behooves"?) to be skeptical of claims, use some logic (watching for changing word meanings, incomplete data, hasty generalizations, and so on), and take things slow. 

Now for the earlier examples. 

People get fooled by "faces" and such because they are led into seeing something (or mayhaps because they want to), sometimes encouraged into it like I did in my example. 

Eight Marines disappeared because they were on a secret mission (how do you know that?) to a lost cave (not exactly lost now, is it?) on a mission to find an ancient flying machine (they disappeared, the mission was secret, the cave is lost, so how do you know?), and "according to US scientists" it's trapped in a "time well". So why try to get it out? No, just settle down and think things through before spreading fantastic things.

Don't believe everything you read on the Web. There is a wealth of good information as well as useless stuff. Learn to check out sources. (No, I'm not advocating the genetic fallacy, which is usually based on prejudices, but when a source has a doubtful reputation, the information may need verififying.) We all make mistakes, but let's try to be a bit more careful on fact-checking, you savvy?

So you think you have a gluten allergy. Is it self-diagnosed through some cause-and-effect thing, where you ate certain wheat stuff and got sick, or did a medical professional do a thorough diagnosis? It may not be gluten per se, but something else that you're sensitive to. Or not. But the possibility that it may not be a gluten allergy may be worth checking out.

Whether it's extraterrestrial/occult activity, faces and things where they don't belong, spooky stuff that sounds more like rumors than actual news reports, healthy skepticism is very helpful. When it comes to origins research and the proclamations of Darwinoids, even more skepticism and critical thinking are needful.