Friday, December 16, 2011

Remembering Scooby Doo

I was watching TV the other day and my son was watching old episodes of "Scooby Doo, Where are you!", and it occurred to me that it might have been the single greatest skeptic's cartoon in the history of children's television.  What great lessons it taught us without us even acknowledging it.

Like how to sneak with all that sneaking music going on.
On the surface it seemed like a show all about ghosts and goblins, but the real lessons it taught were about the importance of investigation and evidence.

Also how to recognize stoners.

They were a great example for the rest of society in how to deal with supernatural and unbelievable claims.

Honest investigation


and letting the evidence lead you to the proper conclusion without the confirmation bias that affects so many of us.

You guys listening??

There were no monsters, no goblins, no ghosts, no aliens. 

In the end the "Gang" would always reveal that it wasn't really supernatural happening by explaining the scheme of some old guy who was trying to pull a fast one

"and I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for those pesky KIDS!"

As long as no one mentions the strange talking of a great dane, the show was a skeptics paradise!

Sadly I have also noticed that even the great skeptics contained in the Mystery Machine can fall victim to the lowest common denominator. 
TV shows always have to go further and further in order to keep their audience interested (so they think), so eventually in the later spin-off series (and in the second movie) there really WERE ghosts and goblins.

The first live action movie actually went back to the original fantastic formula for skeptical success and all the hocus pocus was revealed in the end to be just a trick perpetrated by a small talking puppy.

ummm, well there has to be SOME suspension of disbelief...

ANYway, let's just look back fondly at this show as the example of rational thinking that it was.

I think that I have found my son's Christmas Present!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quote of the Week- H.L. Menken

H.L. Melkin was a scholar and a journalist.  He was a fierce skeptic and is considered to have been one of the most infuential writers of the first half of the 20th century. 

He was also very well known for his satirical coverage of the Snopes Trial, which he called the "Monkey Trial". 

Mr Melkin was many things, but today, he is the author of one of my favourite quotes...

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken

Well said Henry! 

Religion is NOT deserving of respect

People are, and while we should strive not to purposefully hurt their feelings, we should never shy from critical thinking.

No matter WHAT we are criticizing.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Atheist Haiku of the Month-Christmas Edition

Many people say
That "Jesus is the Reason"
But he's not. Thank GOD!

PS-Have a great Holiday Season everyone!