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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We are the Reasonists

Garry Trudeau generally has his head in the right place when dealing with crazies and this time seems no different. We identify ourselves squarely in the last frame.

There is a surprising number of people who accept things they have no evidence for. I would almost go as far as to say "everyone." Probably including us, we just don't know it, or think that our evidence is valid when it is not. We are not infallible but our knowledge of our own fallibility helps.

Truthers, birthers, moon landing hoaxers, antivaxxers. Astrologers, psychics, reiki practitioners, homeopaths. Science is an excellent tool for Finding Things Out, applying that set of rules will ensure you that you get only the truth, or at least our closest approximation of the truth. We can apply Science to all these things and cut through the bullshit easily.

But as Trudeau says in the last panel, we are a minority group, small, not very influential. The human mind has an amazing ability to believe crazy shit just because you are told it by someone else. Always question things. Even what I say. Question things, research them properly, and investigate thoroughly. It is the only way we can be sure that we do not get fooled. We have the necessary tools. It's time we taught everyone to use them.

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