Desperately seeking skepticism

This has been an annoying week on the old blog. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we had an infestation of antivaccinationists this persistent and prolonged in a while. Heck, even one of the “big kahunas” of that blogospheric repository of all things antivaccine, Age of Autism (Dan Olmsted) showed up in the comments to spew non sequiturs about the Hewitson “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” monkey study (I’m devastated he apparently read my discussion of that very study) and misleading claims about measles. I guess that’s what mentioning Dr. Offit with anything other than a sneer does; it drives antivaccine activists into a frenzy of hatred.

In any case, this is just my usual long-winded and roundabout way of informing you that I could really, really use a strong dose of skepticism and critical thinking given the hundreds of comments full of pseudoscience, misinformation, and paranoid conspiracy-mongering that I’ve had to put up with lately. I bet you could, too, at least the vast majority of my readers who also prize science, skepticism, and critical thinking, given that you have valiantly and tirelessly done battle with the forces of antiscience right here on this very blog in the comments. (Those who don’t value science and skepticism, keep reading. Maybe one day what I’m laying down on a more-or-less daily basis, reinforced by the efforts of some prolific commenters, will finally start to sink in.)

That’s why it’s a wonderful thing that the 94th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle is scheduled to appear less than four days from now on August 28 at Reduce to Common Sense. The general guidelines for what we’re looking for are here, while submission instructions specific to this week are here. Finally, if you really want to contribute to science and skepticism and have a blog, why not consider hosting a Skeptics’ Circle of your very own. The schedule is here, and the guidelines for hosts are here. It’s a lot of fun, not to mention a good way to boost your traffic and potentially expose your blogging talents to a wider audience.