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Author Topic: Skeptics, real or not  (Read 1541 times)
Sam
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« on: February 15, 2009, 09:34:09 AM »

Marcello Truzzi (September 6, 1935 — February 2, 2003) was a professor of sociology at New College of Florida and later at Eastern Michigan University, founding co-chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), a founder of the Society for Scientific Exploration, and director for the Center for Scientific Anomalies Research.[1]

Truzzi was an investigator of various protosciences and pseudosciences and, as fellow CSICOP cofounder Paul Kurtz dubbed him, "the skeptic's skeptic."

he coined the term pseudoskepticism. Truzzi stated,

"They tend to block honest inquiry, in my opinion. Most of them are not agnostic toward claims of the paranormal; they are out to knock them. [...] When an experiment of the paranormal meets their requirements, then they move the goal posts. Then, if the experiment is reputable, they say it's a mere anomaly."

In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis --saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact--he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof.

– Marcello Truzzi, On Pseudo-Skepticism, Zetetic Scholar, 12/13, pp3-4, 1987
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