It is no secret that many scientists are becoming disenchanted with skeptics groups and the skeptical paradigm in general. Skeptics groups have been losing membership, and some institutions now take a dim view of membership in groups like CSICOP, the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.
This is because of a growing concern that skeptics groups and publications are interfering with the progress of science by attempting to compel the rejection of evidence that does not fit existing models of reality. Institutionalized skepticism is beginning to appear more like a religious practice, far removed from the ideals of scientific objectivity which inspired founders such as Dr. Carl Sagan.
Winston Wu has now written an essay that brilliantly and decisively rebuts the general skeptical arguments against the paranormal. This is among the best essays ever written on this subject, and deserves extensive study. The essay carefully moves through the entire skeptical lexicon of arguments, rebutting each in turn.
As it reveals the fallacy in each argument, it builds a crucial case against the whole skeptical approach to reality, suggesting that it is, essentially, a form of superstition that has the effect of filtering out data if it cannot be explained by accepted scientific theory.
The essay suggests that a clear-eyed view of evidence is essential, and that it is lacking both among believers and skeptics. Essentially, Mr. Wu is asserting that the evidence is undigested by science as a result of its being too uncritically embraced by believers and rejected by skeptics.
Mr. Wu identifies a difference between healthy skepticism and the cynicism of blanket rejection of evidence.