It seems like lately, the power of skepticism has proven far stronger than was to be expected and almost every big news story revolving around an issue skeptics take seriously, it’s been good news for us.
For instance, almost every time $cientology has been in the news for the past two years, it’s meant bad news for $cientology. And though seemingly unstoppable a few months ago, lately every news story surrounding the anti-vaccine movement has been bad news for them. Homeopathy’s been getting a lot of negative press lately. Modern dowsing rods received a snowstorm of bad publicity from mainstream media outlets over their use as bomb detectors in Iraq. The 9/11 denialist movement, though still lurking background, has been completely relegated to the fringes where they have virtually no chance of influencing public policy. Hell, even the UFO community, who have been virtually out of the news entirely for the last decade have suffered two pieces of bad publicity in just the last two weeks. And one of those stories, one of their own prominent leaders calling the entire movement “humans deceiving humans”, was a major blow.
The only major piece of pseudoscience that seems to have really grown in popularity in the past decade that isn’t on the decline is ghost hunting, which is more popular than ever thanks to The Sifi (Syfi? Syfy?Psi-phi? Zyphi? Sigh-Figh?) Channel and A&E. And that trend is likely to die off sooner or later due to the over-saturation of the market…and the fact that, you know, every episode is exactly the same, nothing happens, and their complete lack of ghosts that don’t look like the light from their own video equipment.
But now comes two biggies.
Simon Singh has DEFEATED the British Chiropractic Association!! Singh had been barely hanging in their with the legal fees, which he paid himself. And yet it was the giant Goliath that is the British Chiropractic Association that threw in the towel.
The sudden end to the case will strengthen the campaign for reform of the libel laws, which Jack Straw, the justice secretary, is considering. It is also a specific pledge in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.
The whole matter seemed to have backfired on them anyway as the more they tried to silence Singh’s criticisms, the more attention they drove to them.
The other big victory today is the Freedom From Religion Foundation won its court case in the U.S., making the National Day of Prayer has been declared unconstitutional. And once again, church/state separation has been protected.
Viva la resistance!