I recently downloaded a new iPhone app called Skeptical Science. The app (and its website) is designed to give easy access to science-based arguments regarding global warming. Overall, the usability is great and information within appears to be top-notch, but I think this concept needs to be taken further.
First of all, the app’s (and website’s) tagline reads, “Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism.” I feel that this is misleading. I’m not the first in the skeptical community to say that we all need to stick together and own the term Skeptic/skepticism/skeptical. Those opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming are often being called “global warming skeptics”. Although it may seem intuitive to many, this is not a productive description as these people could be mistaken as being part of the skeptical movement, or the skeptical movement could be confused as opposing science-based knowledge. A better term is “global warming deniers”, and I think this app would be a great place to get the ball moving on the conversion of the term.
One problem might be that many of the people agreeing with the science on this issue aren’t skeptics as a whole. They probably don’t know we’re out here. Just a few years ago, I would have only classified myself as an atheist. I agreed with science on evolution and felt strongly about my beliefs. Once I stumbled across the wealth of information that the skeptical movement provides, I almost instantly realized I was a skeptic. It changed my opinion of some topics, as I’m sure it did for many of us skeptics. We need to use individual topics as a way to show others that they too are skeptics.
As it seems completely intuitive to me, other skeptical topics should be incorporated into this app. I need the ability to grab my iPhone and find the best responses to the arguments of Homeopaths and Creationists as well. If Skeptical Science isn’t on board, than we, the skeptical community, need to create an app for this. SkepticWiki is chock-full of information that would be useful in a similar format to what the Skeptical Science app provides. Who’s ready to help?