Afternoon InquisitionSkepticism

Afternoon Inquisition 2.5

If it’s true that there is some truth to all stereotypes, we should be able to list a bunch of stereotypes specific to skeptics. At the very least, we should be able to make some funny ones up. So . . .

What are the characteristics of a typical skeptic?

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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63 Comments

  1. Beady eyes, a shifty and cynical attitude, a sour but unidentifyable smell, a receeding hairline, and skid-marked underwear.

    and in spite of all that, I simply love every one of you flinty black-hearted heathens.

    :o)

  2. I think Carolus Linnaeus famously nailed it here:

    “These foul and loathsome animals are abhorrent because of their cold body, pale colour, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation, and terrible venom…”

  3. The only form of happiness that is acceptable to a skeptic is the brief feeling of pleasure we all get from shattering the hopes and dreams of other people. Extra pleasure can be obtained if the target is a child.

    Also, skeptics hate America and want the terrorists to win.

  4. Generally unlikable people, they like to take your most chariest beliefs out of your hands and stomp on them, all while taunting you of your lesser intelligence for believing in such childish things, but only through the internet and blogs, in the real world there far to shy to actually talk to other people who don’t already share their believes.

  5. Here’s a few characteristics I’ve noticed are common among most skeptics:

    – Predisposition to buying the “official” government story on any topic, whether it be 9/11, the Moon Landing, or the Nixon assassination (some people still believe it never happened!)

    – Rejection of the overwhelming evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy, accupuncture and colloidal silver treatment.

    – A fierce adherence to Darwinist, Keplerist and Plaitist dogma.

  6. A commenter on a Salt City Skeptics event said this about Skeptics:

    “…People who place a lot of value on the scientific method… very friendly and most of ’em appreciate alcohol. ”

    This gives credence to the whole “lush” thing.

  7. Indistinguishable from seasoned UNIX administrators except for the missing scent of patchouli.

    Prone to fits of melancholy interspersed with curses made in Latin.

    OCD about arguments. Prone to reply “Prove it!” to the most casual of observations.

    On the whole, they tend to only have four degrees of seperation from Kevin Bacon.

    A group of skeptics has been known as “A Doubting of Skeptics” since 1977.

    Many skeptics will be compelled to check the previous statement on the Internet.

  8. If you are to find a skeptic in a crowd of random people just say the following statement:

    I’m sorry but I’m not feeling well. I knew this would happen today because my horoscope called for troubled times ahead, I thought my aura looked rather blue today but no matter, I will simply take my homeopathic solution of biodynamic wheat-grass juice and I should feel better shortly. Then we can carry on with our scheduled ghost hunt.

    The person on the floor who appears to be having a seizer is your skeptic, but be rest assured as they are in no real danger, they are merely going into conniptions and getting ready to vomit with rage.

  9. Bright but not the brightest
    Colorful but not outlandish
    imbibers but not alcoholic

    They were the kids who took the joy out of Christmas by telling others there was no Santa, and now take the joy out of religion by telling others there is no God.

  10. Okay, so far, the stereotypical skeptic:

    1) Has horns and sulfur smell.

    2) Has a beard.

    3) Is a foul and loathsome animal, abhorrent because of their cold body, pale colour, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation, and terrible venom.

    4) Gets pleasure from shattering the hopes and dreams of other people.

    5) Is a lush.

    6) Looks like this: http://tinyurl.com/bb9pm6

    7) Is intimidating to those with lesser critical thinking abilities.

    8 Is generally an unlikable person who takes cherished beliefs and stomps on them, all while taunting you about your lesser intelligence for believing in such childish things, but only through the internet and blogs, because in the real world they are far to shy to actually talk to other people who don’t already share their believes.

    9) Is predisposed to buying the “official” government story on any topic, whether it be 9/11, the Moon Landing, or the Nixon assassination.

    10) Rejects the overwhelming evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy, accupuncture and colloidal silver treatment.

    11) Adheres to Darwinist, Keplerist and Plaitist dogma.

    12) Has incredible sexual stamina and an active imagination.

    13) Places a lot of value on the scientific method, is very friendly, and appreciates alcohol.

    14) Is indistinguishable from seasoned UNIX administrators except for the missing scent of patchouli.

    15) Is prone to fits of melancholy interspersed with curses made in Latin.

    16) Is OCD about arguments. Prone to reply “Prove it!” to the most casual of observations.

    17) Tends to only have four degrees of seperation from Kevin Bacon.

    18) Is part of a group called a Doubting of skeptics.

    19) Is compelled to check the previous statement on the Internet.

    20) Insists on peer-reviewed, double-blind studies to back up such statements as “I love you.”

    21) Is bright but not the brightest.

    22) Is colorful but not outlandish.

    23) Imbibes, but is not alcoholic.

    24) Takes the joy out of Christmas by telling others theres no Santa.

    25) Takes the joy out of religion by telling others there is no God.

    26) Has beady eyes, a shifty and cynical attitude, a sour but unidentifyable smell, a receeding hairline, and skid-marked underwear.

  11. Skeptics are the ones who drive the most expensive cars, have the fattest wallets, and fornicate with the most beautiful robot hookers. Paid for with wads of money they get from their corporate backers (big pharma, big oil, and big government) for helping to keep down natural medicine, corn based ethanol, and continuing conspiracy theories to keep the rest of the population as gullible as the sheep they are. Nothing says cha-ching like holding back a revolution.

  12. A complete lack of: Airborne tablets, Bowflex home gyms, cell phone cancer shields, chiropractor appointments, copies of The Da Vinci Code, copper bracelets, Crocs, crucifixes, crystals, E-meters, electrolytic carburetors , letters from Nigerian princes, pentacles, souvenirs from Loch Ness, stock in Steorn, t-shirts from Roswell, tea towels with face-shaped stains, woven hemp anything, WWJD bumper stickers and even kids with chicken pox.

  13. On a serious note, I think the most common stereotype about skeptics is that we’re closed minded.

    That we come into any discussion with a predetermined position which we’ll adhere to and defend despite any evidence to the contrary, being governed in this, primarily, by adherence to ideology rather than the evidence, such as it is, that is being presented.

    In other words, people see us just like we see true believers. Only snarkier. And that’s a damned shame.

    Well, not the snarky part. That’s spot on.

  14. As Episcopalians (think Catholics after a bong hit) we have a crucifix, I have a chain link copper bracelet that a friend of mine gave me, it has a pretty rock in it but is surprisingly lacking in magical abilities. My wife has some hemp jewelry. Last but not least, Dan Brown is a whack job that can write one hell of a page turner.

  15. By far, the most common stereotype I’m accused of is being closed minded. Sometimes, I try to explain that I’ve evaluated the evidence and heard their arguments before and will gladly believe in their woo if only they would bring forth better evidence.

    Otherwise I point them here: http://tinyurl.com/c5dcqx

    Ironically, they almost never go there.

  16. Close-minded has already been listed so next would have to be that we’re “party poopers” or just always so serious that we’re no fun.

    Oh, and we analyse too much, always over-analysing everything.

  17. Okay, we now have a pretty good picture of ourselves. The stereotypical skeptic:

    1) Has horns and a sulfur smell.

    2) Has a beard.

    3) Is a foul and loathsome animal, abhorrent because of their cold body, pale colour, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation, and terrible venom.

    4) Gets pleasure from shattering the hopes and dreams of other people.

    5) Is a lush.

    6) Looks like this: http://tinyurl.com/bb9pm6

    7) Is intimidating to those with lesser critical thinking abilities.

    8 Is generally an unlikable person who takes cherished beliefs and stomps on them, all while taunting you about your lesser intelligence for believing in such childish things, but only through the internet and blogs, because in the real world they are far to shy to actually talk to other people who don’t already share their believes.

    9) Is predisposed to buying the “official” government story on any topic, whether it be 9/11, the Moon Landing, or the Nixon assassination.

    10) Rejects the overwhelming evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy, accupuncture and colloidal silver treatment.

    11) Adheres to Darwinist, Keplerist and Plaitist dogma.

    12) Has incredible sexual stamina and an active imagination.

    13) Places a lot of value on the scientific method, is very friendly, and appreciates alcohol.

    14) Is indistinguishable from seasoned UNIX administrators except for the missing scent of patchouli.

    15) Is prone to fits of melancholy interspersed with curses made in Latin.

    16) Is OCD about arguments. Prone to reply “Prove it!” to the most casual of observations.

    17) Tends to only have four degrees of seperation from Kevin Bacon.

    18) Is part of a group called a Doubting of skeptics.

    19) Is compelled to check the previous statement on the Internet.

    20) Insists on peer-reviewed, double-blind studies to back up such statements as “I love you.”

    21) Is bright but not the brightest.

    22) Is colorful but not outlandish.

    23) Imbibes, but is not alcoholic.

    24) Takes the joy out of Christmas by telling others theres no Santa.

    25) Takes the joy out of religion by telling others there is no God.

    26) Has beady eyes, a shifty and cynical attitude, a sour but unidentifyable smell, a receeding hairline, and skid-marked underwear.

    27) Drives the most expensive cars, has the fattest wallets, and fornicates with the most beautiful robot hookers.

    28) Ranks the Savages thusly: 1 – Adam, 2 – Dan, 3 – Fred, 4 – Ben, 5 – Michael.

    29) Has no Airborne tablets, Bowflex home gyms, cell phone cancer shields, chiropractor appointments, copies of The Da Vinci Code, copper bracelets, Crocs, crucifixes, crystals, E-meters, electrolytic carburetors , letters from Nigerian princes, pentacles, souvenirs from Loch Ness, stock in Steorn, t-shirts from Roswell, tea towels with face-shaped stains, woven hemp anything, WWJD bumper stickers and even kids with chicken pox.

    30) Is close minded.

    31) Eats babies, kicks puppies and drowns baby kittens.

    32) Is annoyingly literal-minded.

    33) Is a shameless masturbator.

    34) Is a killjoy.

    35) Is a rigid, uncreative person.

    36) Is cynical.

    37) Wants to marry Rebecca regardless of sexual orientation, or current marital status, or distance.

    38) Is a proud masturbator.

    39) Is a curmudgeon.

    40) Is an Internet addict.

    41) Loves chocolate.

    42) Is curious, creative, and sassy.

    43) Is a shameless cogitator.

    44) Is a shameless masticator, capable of devouring household woodwork.

    45) Is a shameless master debater with bookshelves full of Sagan, Plait, Dawkins, DeGrasse Tyson, Shermer, et al.

    46) Is a are public philatelist with sisters who are known thespians.

    47) Is a party pooper, or just always so serious that he’s/she’s no fun.

    48) Analyses too much, always over-analysing everything.

    50) Smiles but doesn’t laugh.

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