Anyone adopting an "evidence-based" approach must reluctantly concede that the so-called "skeptic" movement has now just become another cult.
This is unfortunate.
However, the evidence is overwhelming.
For example, the opinions of "leaders" such as Richard Dawkins, Ben Goldacre, or Simon Singh are adopted without question. Anyone who questions these opinions are rubbished and insulted.
There are "sacred texts". The "skeptic" populist Robin Ince always carries the "holy" texts of Carl Sagan, and he just quotes from it in response to any searching question. Indeed, "skeptics" are encouraged to buy texts as part of their "skeptic" education, always to the financial benefit of leaders such as Dawkins, Goldacre, and Singh. There is also pressure to contribute to litigation funds, so as to ensure the legal rights of "skeptics" are protected.
And then there are meetings. Loads of them: monthly rallies held not in churches, but in taverns and private houses in every town and city. There are even conferences, such as "TAM" and "QED", where novice "skeptics" are expected to sit and listen to hours of earnest and rather dull "skeptic" propaganda.
It is all rather worrying.
People are being duped by the rhetoric of "evidence-based thinking" into joining groups where certain positions on, say, alternative health and on religion are simply ridiculed and dismissed.
It is time for the so-called "skeptic" movement to concede it has become the sort of thing it purports to attack: a quasi-religious movement, with leaders, texts, congregations, and mind-control.
The "skeptics" are now just another cult.
[Addendum: please note this was published for April Fools' Day...]
[Second Addendum: please also note that on 1 April, no "spoiler" comments were published unti the mid afternoon. However, the comments below are in order of posting not moderation. Do bear this in mind as you read them: the ones pointing out it was really an April Fools' post were simply not there as the wonderful earnest and ironic ones mounted up.]