A couple of timewasting avoidance schemes when dealing with anti-skeptic Defenders of the Faith in Science:
(1) The Congealed Minds
Some people pop up in skeptic blogs commenting in a way similar to swashbuckling (or marauding), making statements such as “I believe the scientists doing the research are a much better judge of that than you are“.
That’s a very good sign that we’re dealing with people who:
- Worship mainstream scientific literature
- Are willing mouthpieces of somebody else
- Routinely misrepresent science as an organically growing process where past interpretations are cast in stone
- Act like those philosophers who would reply to Galileo continuously quoting Aristotle and the Aristotelians, rather than accept to reason by themselves
The only question to ask them is: Is there anything anybody could ever say, show, write, demonstrate, ask or explain in a blog or comment to a blog, that will make you change your mind?
The answer will of course be “No”. Therefore there is no point debating with them.
(2) The Deferrers
Another common anti-skeptic tactic is to invoke some Higher Authority, eg: “I won’t presume to substitute my non-professional judgment for that of someone who’s dedicated his career to a pursuit of unbiased scientific knowledge, just as I wouldn’t substitute my judgment for that of an oncologist or a neurologist treating myself or someone close to me“.
That’s a completely meaningless statement, because it is supremely illogical. If a person defers judgment to somebody else, obviously what that person writes has no value at all: we should always be looking for the opinion of “somebody else”. Anybody arguing “don’t listen to me, listen to somebody else” is a prisoner of twisted logic, as the first part of that sentence negates the second one. Therefore there is no point debating with them.