There’s an app for that…

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?

About Brian

I'm a skeptic and atheist from Normal, Illinois. I will be contributing to the BNFree blog and am also one of the BNFree.com administrators. I graduated from Illinois State University and now work in IT.
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3 Responses to There’s an app for that…

  1. Jay Pea says:

    What kind of help do you want? I am always willing to help the cause but do you want people to send emails to Apple to ask for that app? Or do you want help in designing an app? You know how we skeptics are and we love information so please feed our thirst and quench our hunger.

  2. Happy Skeptic says:

    Could it be a matter of having a SkepticWiki app?

  3. John Cook says:

    Hey, John here from Skeptical Science. To address your last point first, sorry but I have no intention of expanding my app to encompass homeopathy or creationism (I know of at least two iPhone apps that already covers creationism). The focus of my website and the app is on global warming.

    I agree with you re the difference between skeptics and deniers – most of those who are “skeptical” of global warming are actually denying climate science. However, I find when you throw around the term ‘denier’, this alienates many of the people you’re trying to reach who think you’re equating them with holocaust deniers. Then the debate degenerates into what labels we should be calling each other. In order to keep the focus on the science, I concede the term ‘skeptic’ then direct people’s attention to the peer-review science and what it really means to be skeptical.

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