When “Skeptics” Break Rank
In part 1 we learned how George Michael gave relatively favorable review to Leslie Kean’s book “UFOs: Generals, Pilots, And Government Officials Go On The Record”. The unexpected part was that his review was published in the eSkeptic – the email newsletter of the Skeptics Society. However, that couldn’t end well. We don't often see how one skeptic teaches another what a true skeptic really is.
On April 2, 2012, leading UFO skeptic Robert Sheaffer immediately chimes in. His direct rebuttal was published on his blog “Bad UFOs”: http://badufos.blogspot.com/2012/04/day-skeptics-society-wasnt-skeptical.html
First he hits eSkeptic ezine hard, criticizing their decision to publish such a treacherous piece in the first place. His title is very telling: “The Day the Skeptics Society Wasn’t Skeptical.”
“Normally the Skeptics Society is a pretty reliable source of information concerning paranormal and pseudo-scientific claims. So imagine my surprise (and dismay) to read in the weekly eSkeptic of March 28, 2012 a totally uncritical review of Leslie Kean’s book," writes Robert with a patronizing tone.
Then he directs his disappointment towards the reviewer for his lack of skeptical sense. He continues: “(George) praises Kean’s ‘numerous credible eyewitnesses to UFO encounters and authoritative sources.’ He thinks she makes an ‘impressive case,’ and praises her ‘academic rigor.’ Plainly, either Michael did not read the same book I did, or he was entirely hornswoggled by the way that the crafty Kean disguises her hard-core UFO belief as respectable agnosticism.”
Next few lines are even harder: “Michael is totally uncritical of the claims and statements in Kean’s book. Given that the title of the magazine is “Skeptic,” why did it never occur to him to question any of the assertions made by Kean, instead of just accepting each and every one as Gospel truth? … What have we skeptics been doing, sitting on our hands, or scratching our heads, during the decades since these Oldie-But-Moldy UFO claims were made?”
Then he introduces his reinforcement. British UFO skeptic Ian Ridpath and Peter Brookesmith supported their buddy Robert and gave their share of criticism. It goes on and on. You really have to read it for yourself.
In closing notes, Robert concludes: “Unfortunately, now Leslie Kean will be able to boast to reporters that her book has been given the 'seal of approval' of Skeptic magazine for its ‘academic rigor.’"
Other skeptics joined in the comment section. Jean-Michel Abrassart writes: “I was also in dismay when I read that article. What were they thinking at the Skeptical Society when they decided to publish such a thing?”
Then Robert shares happy news. Michael Shermer said that he wants to publish this piece as a rebuttal to George Michael in E-Skeptic. And it happened. It was published in the next issue on April 4, 2012: #feature
But controversy is not over…yet. To be continued… #UFO #UFOs #UAP