Saturday 17 November 2012

Sceptics' Corner

This post is a "folder" for the various articles I have posted on this blog regarding the sceptical position on the Loch Ness Monster. But what exactly is a "scepticism"? In this particular context, it refers to a modern trend in scepticism which questions a belief in a large set of creatures in Loch Ness on the basis of scientific understanding and logical deduction.

When applied to various people, it can be a rather nebulous term since "sceptics" just like "believers" can come in various forms. I say that because, people can take a sceptical stance on subsets of evidence for the Loch Ness Monster but still believe there is a large creature in the loch.

For example, Nessie Hunter Alastair Boyd is well known for exposing the Surgeon's Photograph as a hoax but is firmly in the camp of "believer". So, in this case, there is scepticism focused on a particular item of evidence.

However, there is also a form of scepticism which focuses on theory. This refers to a disbelief in a proposition about the creature. One good example is the opposition to the theory based on eyewitness accounts that the creature has a long head and neck.

So, in some sense, there should be an element of the "sceptic" in every Loch Ness Monster researcher. The problems in being sceptical arise from either applying faulty logical processes or using data that is either incomplete, false or irrelevant to come to incomplete, false or irrelevant conclusions. I think it is safe to say that everyone has at some time has fallen foul of these pitfalls, because after all, we're all fallible humans.

The main articles are listed but a lot of other posts address sceptical arguments for various Loch Ness Monster cases.

1. A general overview of the sceptical position: LINK.

2. The problem of finding evidence that would convince the sceptical position: LINK.

3. Seven things sceptics will focus on to debunk eyewitness testimony: LINK.

4. Case Study: The debunking of the Greta Finlay sighting: LINK, LINK.

5. How sceptical enquiry can be exaggerated by the media: LINK.

6. Does scepticism reduce motivation to collect sighting reports? LINK.

7. And to balance things, when being sceptical proves correct: LINK.

8. Yet for all the naysaying, some might just say "perhaps ...": LINK.

9. Do sceptics bother about what witnesses claim? LINK.

10. The marks of honesty and deceit - LINK

11. Review of sceptical book "Abominable Science" - LINK

12. Should we be seeing more Nessie photos? - LINK

13. Sceptics, Steamships and Nessie - LINK

14. Sceptics and Scottish Independence - LINK

15. Those otters again - LINK

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I'm a Mexican "skeptic" blogger, and... I would like know your opinion about:

    * The Skeptic's Dictionary, by R. T. Carroll:

    * The tv program "Is it Real?: Lake Monsters".

    * The conclusions about monsters, by Joe Nickell and Benjamin Radford:

    Sorry for my english (I know, it's bad).

    Thank you!