Friday, 8 July 2005

New Term for those Pesky Skeptoids. . .

Just for fun, I made up a new word for all those pesky annoying skeptics who aren't really sketpics, but maybe not quite "randi bots" either. Words like skeptoid, randi bot,etc. have been used in attempts to distinguish the seemingly long dead true skeptic from the more rabid pathological skeptic, or debunker. Problems with that though, as we know. Not all irrational
rationalists are debunkers, not all skeptism is debunkery.

No skeptic, skeptoid, debunker, randi-bot or skepti-bunny likes the suggestion of using skeptic to mean the more rigid militaristic type, and sceptic, with a c, to denote the gentler skeptic, as Fortean Times suggested a few years ago:

"We forteans could be characterised as benign sceptics, taking nothing on trust but tolerating the surreal fringes of explanation until they are supplanted by more convincing evidence. We use 'sceptic' in this sense and distinguish it from the word skeptic (with a 'k') which can usefully be employed to cover the militancy (exemplified by CSICOP) which starts from the premise that most unexplained phenomena area priori impossible. Of course, current dictionaries don't make this distinction; perhaps we need a new word." ~ Fortean Times 1/02

I'm fine with this very sensible solution, but just try bringing it up on skeptic forums, such as the JREF. They'll hunt you down and kill you. I speak from experience. I had to go into the woo-woo protection program after bringing it up over there.

So how about skCeptic? skCeptic to denote the more linear, black and white, rigid rationalist, who may or may not at times be about all out debunkery, but is certainly no peaceful and agreeable sceptic either.


  1. So you realize that, as you are squating here on what was once my blog, you have put your name to blog posts that I have written? "Amy George" did not write this piece, nor the one below it. Fix it. You squatter you.