Finally! After months, nay, years of relative inactivity, a group of Canadian skeptics from across the country got together, and Lo! It was good!
But what in Sega-Genesis took us so long?
I don’t want this taken the wrong way, but I blame America….except, in a very-very good-way.
You see, the United States does skepticism so well, and one thing that Canada does really well is absorb American culture, television and coca-cola.
You’d think that being so close to the United States would give us all manner of opportunities to create our own skeptic community. Ironically, proximity has not been our ally. Being so close to so many great American skeptics, and skeptical organizations, it seemed that we’ve not really had the need to develop our own voice.
I’ve always held the Australian skeptical community in a kind of jealous-admiration. Canada and Australia have a lot in common: We’re both english-speaking liberal democracies, and the descendants of British colonialism. We both have similar populations, and they’re distributed in a similar fashion (high population density in a given set of locations, and a huge, sparsely-populated countryside). We have similar education standards, literacy, and life expectancy. We should be near-carbon copies, yet our Australian cousins have had a thriving skeptical community for a few decades, and we’re just barely getting our feet wet.
You see, the Australians, like those in the UK, are hilariously far from the bastion of organized skepticism: America-land. Those across the pond(s) have had to fend for themselves for quite a while, and by the time that web 2.0 came around, there was plenty of Australian and UK skepticism to choose from for our modern skeptic textbooks. My personal favorite:
Upon closer inspection, it became clear to the Canadian skeptic community that we had to act together, and under our own steam. The cultural battles that American skeptics fight may be very similar to what goes on up here, but they are not our own. We have our own laws, our own politicians, and our own regional histories and cultures. We can learn a great deal from the American example, but lessons-by-proxy only go so far, and it’s high-time we learned how to fight the forces of anti-science on our own turf.
It’s not lack of talent that’s held us back, it’s been an abundance of very similar talent nearby.
The Canadian-skeptic voice is young, and may be quiet by comparison. With your support and help, maybe we can hold a megaphone up to amplify our words, which are no less important for us are yours are for you.