Skepticism should be applied to claims made about physical facts and events, as well as the truth-claims of individuals and belief sytstems. There is, however, a difference between skepticism and debunkery. Skepticism proceeds from doubt; debunkery begins and concludes with a kind of solidified, inevitable doubt necessitated by ideology rather than detailed survey and rational interpretation of fact(s). In this post I would like to address two examples of what I consider to be debunkery, and how they represent faith-statements rather than factually-based conclusions. I will be including links so that the reader can judge the “pro” side for him or herself. The two examples are the Shroud of Turin and the Roswell, New Mexico UFO “crash” case (aka “the crash at Corona”).
Denial of Shroud authenticity is mostly based on the C-14 testing of 1988. The testing occurred; a date was procured, with parameters limited to a period of approximately the 13th-14th century. Case closed. Or, perhaps, not. Critical review of the testing has found it, to say the least, somewhat lacking in normative features.