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Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts
« Last post by CarbShark on Today at 05:38:14 PM »
Fact check: Will volcanic glass be in sufficient air-borne quantities to kill a chopper engine? (Assume routine conditions, not "ideal".)

One way to find out
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Hi

Carl Sagan's book 'The Demon Haunted World' is probably a good start, but it's 408 pages or so (I just bought a second hand copy).  I'm not sure there are any quick reads.  There's an EdX course called 'Philosophy and Critical Thinking' that covers the basics (and it's free), seems pretty good.  It might be that you have to work through the course or the book and synthesize an answer for your people. 

My feeling is that skepticism is not obvious; it is a higher level way of thinking than people are generally used to.  We are so ingrained in our own worldviews and mental shortcuts that we cannot easily break free of them.  So much of civilisation - and I can only speak for the Western civilisation but I suspect it's global - is based on following dogma and accepting what you're told.  It makes sense, humanity has been immensely successful using that model.  I think also that absence of skepticism has social benefits.  It's kind of like teenagers smoking - the health risk is possibly outweighed by the increase in social status.  So it goes with non-skeptics: people feel unified in their absolute knowledge of God/UFOs/organic etc.  Us skeptics can be lonely, and frankly it can be frustrating to try to have a conversation where assumptions are constantly being challenged.

Oh, speaking of challenging assumptions...  I don't agree a skeptic should automatically accept the null hypothesis.  I believe a skeptic should have no opinion regarding hypothesise until they critically evaluate the evidence, the assumptions, the conclusions and the analyses.  To automatically accept the null hypothesis is to have an opinion without critical review, which is basically just an unfounded belief.  Scientists often do this, but scientists aren't necessarily skeptics (and I'm a scientist, I know lots of good scientists, but there is a distinct lack of skepticism in much of the science I see).

What was your argument about?  Sometimes a certain subject has a particular way of addressing skepticism. 
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Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts
« Last post by Noisy Rhysling on Today at 05:11:48 PM »
Fact check: Will volcanic glass be in sufficient air-borne quantities to kill a chopper engine? (Assume routine conditions, not "ideal".)
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General Discussion / Re: Ratings - Four Stars vs Five Stars?
« Last post by 2397 on Today at 04:47:52 PM »
I don't trust group reviews that are all 5 stars. I prefer to see a few people in a bunch point out a minor issue, or even a rare person in a large group with a severe complaint, to everyone praising a product/service. It's not realistic that everyone thinks it's flawless.
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Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts
« Last post by CarbShark on Today at 04:44:44 PM »
My sister in law is going to the big Island in July. I think they are staying in Kona.
Other side of the island. Well away from lava and up wind, for now, from the ash.

And hope the wind don't shift. Good luck to the SiL.

Ya they should be ok in kona. I know they will take a drive out there. Helicopter ride would be neat.

Of course, there's always that other volcano they're worried about.

I don't think they're doing public helicopter rides at the moment.
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General Discussion / Re: Ratings - Four Stars vs Five Stars?
« Last post by Harry Black on Today at 04:36:10 PM »
I used to always try to be as accurate and honest as I could until I found out how the system was being used.
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General Discussion / Re: Ratings - Four Stars vs Five Stars?
« Last post by John Albert on Today at 04:23:21 PM »
I always give 5 stars unless something goes very wrong. Even then I seldom give less than 3 unless some malicious intent is involved, and feel that anything less than that is only warranted in situations of potential harm.
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Skepticism / Science Talk / Re: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts
« Last post by Noisy Rhysling on Today at 04:10:36 PM »
My sister in law is going to the big Island in July. I think they are staying in Kona.
Other side of the island. Well away from lava and up wind, for now, from the ash.

And hope the wind don't shift. Good luck to the SiL.

Ya they should be ok in kona. I know they will take a drive out there. Helicopter ride would be neat.
If they get a chopper ride make sure they bring enough OH, SHITs.
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Forum Games / Re: Visual Counting
« Last post by DevoutCatalyst on Today at 03:59:06 PM »
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What atrocities did Allende commit? He was  atotally impeccable democrat until the CIA removed him to install a fascist government.

No, you're right. That was a mistake. I must have been thinking about Pinochet and threw his name in there by mistake.

Cool, we all make mistakes :)
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