About

Skeptic North aims to provide a central hub for scientific skepticism in Canada.  Founded in 2009 by a diverse group of skeptics, science advocates, and critical thinkers, the site takes a respectful, evidence-based look at a variety of topics relevant to Canadians, including health, culture, media, politics, science, and history.

So what is scientific skepticism? Michael Shermer at Skeptic Magazine has a pretty good definition.  In part:

Modern skepticism is embodied in the scientific method, that involves gathering data to formulate and test naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena. A claim becomes factual when it is confirmed to such an extent it would be reasonable to offer temporary agreement. But all facts in science are provisional and subject to challenge, and therefore skepticism is a method leading to provisional conclusions. Some claims, such as water dowsing, ESP, and creationism, have been tested (and failed the tests) often enough that we can provisionally conclude that they are false. Other claims, such as hypnosis and chaos theory, have been tested but results are inconclusive so we must continue formulating and testing hypotheses and theories until we can reach a provisional conclusion. The key to skepticism is to continuously and vigorously apply the methods of science to navigate the treacherous straits between “know nothing” skepticism and “anything goes” credulity.

For a more detailed overview, consult Michael Kruse’s four-part What is Skepticism series on this site:

We hope you’ll find the articles on this site informative and maybe even entertaining.  If you have any feedback you’d like to pass on, or would like to get involved as a contributor, guest blogger, or in some other role, feel free to contact us.