I read an article of Dr. Michael Shermer of skeptic magazine, “Baloney Detection Kit“.
I also saw a related video on skeptic.com and on youtube, which has been produced by The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
They seem to be excellent aids to differentiate between scientific knowledge and non-scientific knowledge. It would have been appropriate to refer to it as non-scientific knowledge detection kit. But baloney? So these folks seem to be arrogantly dismissing any non-scientific knowledge as nonsense.
Toward the end of the above mentioned video, Dr. Shermer says, “Then there are things that are almost surely not true – like you know – psychic telepathy where I can read your mind – that sort of thing – those are surely not true. So you get this range of probably true to probably not true.” He contradicts himself by saying something is surely not true and then having a range which excludes surely not true! Okay, I am being nit-picky about his words – but then I think in such a ‘grand’ fake-knowledge detection kit video he/editors should be careful about consistency of his statements.
Some people I know and trust have experienced that their minds could be read by a particular spiritual person – but those experiences are individual subjective experiences. There may be other “gifted” but very, very rare persons who have such mind-reading capability and which has been experienced by some persons. Now those who have experienced such mind-reading cannot prove that experience to others and so don’t expect that strangers, who don’t know about their honesty and integrity, will believe their experience. Their knowledge and experience in this regard are non-scientific but certainly not baloney :).
Jesus Christ, in my opinion, in all probability, performed “miracles”. That is one of the main reasons, perhaps, why His apostles and their descendents/followers became such dedicated followers of Jesus Christ and spread the Christian faith in many, many parts of the world over centuries. Now the miracles of Jesus Christ may fail the “scientific knowledge test” especially from a distance of around 2 millennia but that does not mean it is baloney! Some people could hold a view that the miracles of Jesus Christ are probably not true as they don’t have “scientific evidence”. That seems to be a fair stand to me, even though I do not agree with it as I prefer to give value to historical & literary evidence which can be viewed as “non scientific evidence”. But to say that it is nonsense is being rather illogical, in my opinion.
I hope the skeptic folks do not get offended but since they have used very harsh language I feel I have some license to use similar language. I think these folks are becoming so fanatical about science being the only true way to knowledge, implying any form of and all forms of knowledge, that they can be considered as illogical and against the pursuit of existential truth. Considering the respect that humanity holds for science & technology today, it would be a nice service to humanity if the esteemed scientists in these organizations don’t get carried away and make science “the only true way” religion to all truth and all knowledge of existence.