BLUF

This article explains what it takes to be a real skeptic.

Summary

In this article, the author Alfie Kohn makes the following points:
  • Today the term 'skeptic' has been hijacked by science deniers pretending to be skeptical about climate change, vaccines or election results.
  • A  true test of whether somebody is a true skeptic is to ask them what evidence it would take to get them to change their minds—falsification.
  • A denialist or conspiracy theorist, who is merely posing as a skeptic, always comes up with a reason to dismiss any evidence that doesn't support their beliefs.
  • The goal of skepticism should be to get at the truth.
  • Some people respond critically to everything.
  • A true sceptic actively looks for evidence to prove that their views might not be true and might not be supported by any objective evidence.
  • The late Carl Sagan reminded us that: 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence'.