Skepticism plays an important role in
scientific method in discovering what
is true and what is false in the world around
Methodological skepticism, as popularized
René Descartes, is an
agnostic position of neither accepting
nor rejecting a particular
hypothesis until proven either true
or false using the scientific method. Today
there are many so-called "skeptics" who
claim to be true skeptics but are actually
pseudoskeptics. A pseudoskeptic is someone
who takes a position that a particular hypothesis
is either true or false without providing
the scientific evidence to support it. Often
such pseudoskeptics are "professional debunkers"
skeptics" - many of whom are stage magicians
who are not actively engaged in scientific
research. One such professional "media skeptic"
Amazing Randi who is famous (or infamous)
for making claims without doing the necessary
research nor providing
empirical evidence to support them.
For example, concerning the near-death experience
(NDE) phenomenon, pseudoskeptics claim consciousness
is forever destroyed after irreversible
death. They make this claim without the
scientific evidence to support it and despite
a growing "mountain" of evidence suggesting
otherwise. On the other hand, true skeptics
raise important questions which need to
be investigated and addressed by NDE researchers.
The following articles address some of these
questions and are answered by some of the
top researchers in near-death studies.