LEAVE the ghost and UFO hunters alone! say paranormalists. Your thoughts?
I was recently a guest on a paranormal-themed podcast. To set the context, I was the FIRST skeptic on this long-running show, Binnall of America. I was so very pleased for the opportunity and, if you listen, you will see that it was respectful and fun discussion. I loved it and thought it was truly worthwhile. But not everyone did.
I’m currently looking into the relationship between “skeptics” and “paranormalists” (is there a better word?) and will be writing about it in depth in the future but I would REALLY love feedback on the episode.
But since 2 hours is a big commitment of time, I would also appreciate comments on this one description that accompanied the show, from The Anomalist.
How can one bridge the gap between paranormal researchers of all stripes with skeptics? By hearing out the other side. Tim Binnall has a long interview with skeptic Sharon Hill. The common ground covered here is going after homeopaths and antivaxxers who ultimately hurt people. We question the invective directed towards ghost hunters and company, comparing them to juggalos for instance, whose greatest crime is trespassing in a place regular people don’t care about. The application and advancement of science would be better spent pursuing curing cancer, developing renewable energy, and cleaning the environment than taunting sexagenarians with MUFON as their homepage. Whether you agree or not, this episode is provocative to say the least.
Just to note, Tim compared them to “juggalos”, not me. He is not a fan. Frankly, I’m not either, generally, but I find it socially fascinating and there are many who really TRY to do a good job and want to help people. But that’s not my concern. My focus is what appears to be a confused idea about applying skepticism just to “curing cancer, developing renewable energy, and cleaning the environment”. I don’t know ANYONE who is “taunting sexagenarians with MUFON as their homepage.” Straw man. And woman.
This opinion was also echoed in a twitter discussion between @whoforted and @dailygrail. So, it’s a typical sentiment – to keep skepticism/science only to the places where it apparently REALLY harms people and let the paranormalists just have fun.
I have my opinions on this but I would greatly appreciate hearing yours.