Today is the 175th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto; the battle in which Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana’s army, and which eventually led to the independent nation of Texas. And to commemorate the event, they set the entire state of Texas on fire.
Kidding of course. The fires are just a horrible coincidence. But goddamn . . . Rain dance anyone?
Anyway, let me get this Inquisition underway before I have to flee for my life:
One quarter of Americans think President Obama was not born in the US. A lot of people think a guy came back to life after the Romans killed him. An opinion poll posted on a major news outlet online is asking “Is Judas in Heaven or Hell?”. A Google search on ‘ancient astronauts’ returns about 1.5 million entries. A Google search on ‘Bigfoot’ returns about 11.5 million entries. And some asshole blogger is asking readers if they know how to do a rain dance.
Clearly, spurious thinking may never be totally eradicated, but often it can seem like the good skeptical activist is spinning his or her wheels.
Is this a fair assessment? Are skeptics making progress? Are skeptics making progress in some areas only to fall behind in others? In what form does progress come, if at all? How does one measure the successes? Is it valid to try to track success, or is creating a fully scientifically literate society simply accepted as a Sisyphean endeavor?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.