On February 6th of this year, the Skeptics Society announced a new project over on the Skepticblogs site, authored by Daniel Loxton:

For over twenty years, the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine have labored at the forefront of the skeptical movement—constantly experimenting, often pushing the boundaries, but always circling back to the heart of the skeptical tradition.

This week, we’re pleased to present Daniel Loxton’s challenging and provocative new project, “Why Is There a Skeptical Movement?” (PDF). Almost two years in the writing, these two meticulously-researched chapter-length explorations dig deeply into the roots, founding principles, and purpose of scientific skepticism.

If you don’t know who Daniel Loxton is, then you really need a history lesson. But for those who came in late, he’s the Editor of Junior Skeptic (the 10-page kids’ science section bound within Skeptic magazine). He’s is the author and illustrator of the national award-winning kids’ science book Evolution: How We And All Living Things Came to Be and is also the author and illustrator (with Jim W. W. Smith) of Ankylosaur Attack, a paleofiction storybook for ages four and up. This is the first book in the “Tales of Prehistoric Life” series from Kids Can Press, with Pterosaur Trouble soon out and yet another new book co-authored with fellow Skepticblogger Professor Donald Prothero on the way.

Daniel has written for critical thinking publications including Skeptic, Skeptical Briefs, eSkeptic and the Skeptical Inquirer, and contributed cover art to Skeptic, Yes mag, and Free Inquiry.

Why Is There A Skeptical Movement is an impressive document, covering two millennia of paranormal skepticism, and even if you are convinced that you know what skepticism is about, is well worth reading for the fascinating narrative of investigators, scientists and activists from years past. And if you are convinced that you know what skepticism is all about? You may very well need to read this document a few times.

Which is why it’s interesting that during a time of discussion and often heated debate about what constitutes skepticism, Daniel released it on Skeptic Blogs now. Hence, this Token Skeptic interview on Why There Is A Skeptical Movement

Many thanks to Daniel Loxton and the Skeptics Society for granting this interview. This show is available on Zune, mp3 via Libsyn or iTunes. Visit www.tokenskeptic.org – and I’d love to get your feedback at tokenskeptic@gmail.com. Songs used with kind permission in this episode: “Walking In Snow With Russians” by Ice Core Scientist. Theme songs are “P&P” by Derek K Miller of www.penmachine.com and “Leap Second” by Milton Mermikides, of www.miltonmermikides.com. Please considering supporting the show via visiting Tokenskeptic.org.


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