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Media Bias


Dogmatism is Easy

It only takes a a journalist a few minutes to make an evidence-free claim. Dogmatism is easy. It's much harder work to look at evidence itself.

Michael Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Director of the Skeptic Society, the host of the Skeptics' Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology, and the author of a regular column in Scientific American called "Skeptic".In an article in USA Today (Feb 26, 2003) about Rupert Sheldrake's book The Sense of Being Stared At, And other Aspects of the Extended Mind, he was quoted as saying, "The events Sheldrake describes don't require a theory and are perfectly explicable by normal means". It turned out he could not substantiate this claim, and had not even seen the book. Rupert proposed an online debate. He accepted this challenge in March 2003, and said he would "get to it soon". In May he told Rupert, "I have not gotten to your book yet".

After repeated enquiries, he has still not responded.

Shermer seems to be too busy making skeptical claims to look at facts that go against his strongly-held beliefs. He repeatedly tells the readers of Skeptic magazine that "skepticism is a method, not a position". But is this true in his own case?

In November 2005, Shermer launched another attack in his Scientific American "Skeptic" column, called "Rupert's Resonance":
Shermer's article .
Rupert Sheldrake wrote a letter in response, 'Do Skeptics Play Fair?'
Rupert's response
Shermer is still avoiding a debate.
More on Michael Shermer

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