Religion, alternative medicine, paranormal beliefs, etc, are the things that we are confronted with every day.
You mention history. We deal with History when dealing with woo about conspiracy theories, secret societies and religion. Should we be concentrating our skepticism on the smaller details (like one of my favourite subjects - Captain Bligh actually the good guy, Fletcher Christian - villain) when there are people out there claiming that the world wars were arranged by the Illuminati, that the Egyptian civilisation was ruled by aliens, etc.
You mention psychology. Many prominent skeptics are psychologists. It is a fundamental part of being skeptical about the paranormal. There are psychologists who have been responsible for false child abuse panics and alien abduction beliefs - we've been skeptical about them.
Anthropology is part of the reality/creationist debate. What aspect would you rather we concentrated on over the false belief in Genesis that millions of people have?
Consumer issues? I'm sceptical when an advert claims that new formula bog roll is 10% kinder to my bum. I'm sceptical when a man in a uniform turns up on my doorstep and says that he's from my energy supplier, but he doesn't know who my energy supplier is. But is that Skepticism? We already cover fake detection devices, chiropractic adverts, etc, what else should we be doing?
'Croydon' Bob Newman. The ladies call him "Thrush" - as he's an irritating cunt.
Also, I didn't assume that the conference talks would be woo; perhaps I didn't express myself very well: I mean that I don't have enough room in my head/energy/interest to consider the paranormal-woo stuff in general (at least not for the time being).
I'm not attempting to critique something I haven't thoroughly investigated - if the conference covers more than I took its blurbs to mean, fair dos.
EDITED: Just to show you how the conference was advertised to forum members via email (which may explain why I thought that it was going to be all about ghosts and paranormal):
This is a quick message from the UK-Skeptics forum to announce the UK-Skeptics 2009 paranormal conference, which will take place at the beautiful (and supposedly haunted!) Muncaster Castle in the English Lake District on the weekend of the 18th-20th September 2009.
The aim of the conference is to take a balanced view of anomalous experiences from all perspectives (not only from skeptics) in the hope of increasing understanding of the issues and generating healthy debate in a friendly manner with those on all sides of the paranormal debate.
In order to achieve this, an excellent selection of internationally renowned speakers from several disciplines including neuroscience, social psychology, parapsychology, cinema studies and sociology have been invited to give their perspectives on anomalous experience.
Last edited by Nukapai; 30th June 2009 at 05:51 PM.
I am not a Marxist.
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