Dan Loxton
Op-Ed and Interview: Daniel Loxton
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 Daniel Loxton (editor of Junior Skeptic) offers his own personal perspective on the future of skepticism as a movement. Presented as an original full-length audio article his op-ed essay argues that the search for a "new skepticism" is misguided and that the early titans of skepticism had it right in the first place. Then, Derek and Swoopy sit down with Daniel to talk about the skeptics paradox: that so many people feel exhausted and fed up by the paranormal, at the very time that the most exciting new developments from podcasts to conferences to community are firmly focused on our core paranormal concerns.
Show Notes
 

October 16th 2007

This week we're featuring an op-ed essay from Daniel Loxton.
Get Daniel's Essay in PDF Format HERE.
"Where Do We Go From Here?" is a song from "Once More With Feeling."
We should return to basics.
CSICOP was initially interested in paranormal fads uninvestigated in the mass media.
Where there was once no one being watch dogs of quackery, we now are many.
Have we "kind of won?"
Even though Uri Gellar was exposed on The Tonight Show by James Randi long ago, he's still a fixture in mass media.
Many skeptics are sick of the same old myths.
The steady decline in the reading of magazines has hurt funding for skeptical publications.
This means new forms of media are more important than ever.
Paul Kurtz says we should our focus.
CSICOP has renamed itself to CSI.
This change comes with a change in direction.
For some, the association of skepticism with the paranormal is uncomfortable.
Burn out is a common problem for skeptics.
At what point, do you close the case on certain paranormal claims?
Daniel believes a focus on the core principles of skepticism will help strengthen our resolve.
Science literacy, and consumer protection are two such principles.
A lack of either of these foundations are a prescription for disaster.
People get hurt by fraudulent paranormal claims and psuedoscience.
Just because we grow weary, doesn't mean that our message has been heard.
The scientific community ignores paranormal claims. so skeptics need to investigate.
Asked if they believe in astrology, twenty-five percent of Americans said yes.
Similar numbers believe in clairvoyance and that aliens have visited the earth.
Belief in haunted houses and mediums is even more wide spread.
Homeopathy is one of the areas that has grown exponentially in recent decades.
The reason for the success of homeopathy is an excellent marketing campaign.
We're all we've got.
Law enforcement, the media and the government give paranormal proponents a free ride.
Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Justice are attainable goals.
We may not win, but we can all choose to slay the dragon.
outro music - Where Do We Go From Here, written by Joss Whedon.
There is going to be a new program with Criss Angel and Uri Gellar called Phenomenon.
This is proof that we still need skepticism, we haven't even started.
Why isn't science as sexy as woo-woo?
The Mythbusters and Scooby Doo figured it out.
The old guard of skepticism had it right, we need to continue what they started.
Jr. Skeptic is meant for students of grade 7, like Lisa Simpson.
There is room for critical thinking materials for younger students.
New media is a great help in bringing the skeptic message to new audiences.
People like Dr. Randy Olson went from science to film making to get his message out.
Crystal Skulls vs. Chocolate Skulls. Which is more powerful? Chocolate has more calories.
One of our natural allies is the magazine Consumer Reports. 
Our audience is everywhere.
We've come a long way, but we've barely started.
Time to slay the dragon.
Daniel has pitched a skeptical investigation series for television.



 
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