User:EternalSkeptic

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Welcome to my user page!

I joined RationalWiki because I'm a strong believer in science and reason. Like many of us, I'm tired of obscurantism, prejudice and pseudoscience, all of which sadly flourish in our modern world.

Mission statement[edit]

My main goal is to help others avoid the trap of dogma and irrationality. I do not think that we, as a modern civilization, can afford to disregard the most successful method of inquiry, to which we offer the very extent of our civilization's development.

Views[edit]

Skepticism[edit]

I do not believe that occasional loony theories made up by various cranks are that dangerous. What seems to be the most dangerous are pseudoscientific and obscurantist claims that are often put forward by cranks with a degree and a position of authority.

One example of such dangerous claims is the notion that vaccines cause autism, which was put forward by Andrew Wakefield - a British doctor.

Another example, is the way autism is handled in France - unlike in most Western countries, almost a century old, unfalsifiable and pseudo-scientific branch of psychoanalysis is used to classify and treat autism over there. Teachings of Freud, Lacan and Jung - all of whom had a degree and a significant position of authority within the psychology community - are used to "explain" autistic disorder. It is considered to be a form of "infantile psychosis" which is caused by "mothers who didn't show enough affection for their child", and not a developmental disorder with clear differences in brain development, as all the evidence up to the present date suggests. As a result, children with autism are (or at least were, until a few years ago) "treated" based on these "theories" - the child is wrapped in cold, wet sheets to "re-establish the connection between the mind and the body" - a procedure called "Le packing". Evidence-based medicine is disregarded, mothers are blamed, and successful modern therapies, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, are not used, resulting in very poor functional outcomes for autistic children in France. Karl Popper presented us with an argument as to why psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience - he demonstrated that it isn't falsifiable. Decades later, this very pseudoscience which we ignored still flourishes and does harm to others. This very case of psychoanalytic "treatment" of autism in France only demonstrates how dangerous it is to allow pseudoscience to subtly mask itself as science, and acquire legitimacy even among experts.

Politics and economy[edit]

After going through many ideologies, ranging from revolutionary socialism to liberal capitalism, I started believing that dogmatically adopting some doctrine is counterproductive and useless. Only the future evidence and the winds of history will show what political models are efficient. It could be well that some form of socialism could turn out to be highly efficient (maybe the Lange model or computer-ran socialist economies), and surpass capitalism in every way. It could also well be that every conceivable form of socialism will fail, and that capitalism will result in much higher well-being for the population. We must not be fooled by our misconceptions on how things will turn out to be like. Things will only turn out to be as they are – not as we pre-decided them to be. We must also stay as informed as we can about the doctrines we adopt. Scientific and rational thought can also be applied when making decisions concerning ideologies.

Interests[edit]

I'm interested in science, mathematics, and programming.