Hayley is a Ghost

Fools

Posted on: April 3, 2011

April 1st was, as ever, April fool’s day where it’s traditional for people to prank one another by creating fake news stories, articles and announcements as well as the more traditional pranks like cling-filming the toilet bowl, unplugging your colleagues mouse when they’re not looking and putting salt in the sugar pot etc.

I took part, and with the help of Bob Dezon created an article on the BARsoc website detailing our discovery that Bownessie researcher and supposed psychic, Dean Maynard, had been caught by a BARsoc researcher dressed in a monster costume in the lake. We even made photos. It was fun.

Other notable pranks that I came across included Youtube travelling back to 1911, Google Motion, Marmite announcing it was teaming up with Vaseline to launch a lip balm (ew…), CJ Romer announcing the launch of his ‘You are psychic’ book, Alice announcing she had turned her back on science, and Jack of Kent declaring that Skepticism was akin to a cult.

Most of them were clear fakes and well constructed, but a trend I did notice – especially with the Jack of Kent blog post about skepticism being a cult – is peoples inability to see they’re being duped.

It’s easily done when a normally serious blogger or personality suddenly writes something in their normal style that is completely false and done so on purpose. However I found it interesting that people who refer to themselves as skeptics were so easily fooled – especially as skepticism requires questioning the claims being made and looking at the supporting evidence.

It was April 1st, instinct should have been not to trust things at first glance.

I’ve written before about how ‘skeptic fail’ isn’t a constructive criticism, and I’m not writing this blog post to mock “lesser skeptics”, but I thought that April fools’ day did provide some great examples of how we’re all fallible.

This is something that people do tend to often forget in their mocking of people who hold credulous belief systems. I also think it’s good to be reminded that we’re easily duped and probably make irrational conclusions about things because it helps us all to keep ourselves in check.

“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

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3 Responses to "Fools"

Why are you defending believers of nonsense? Science created the world that they live in today and can discredit all and any bullshit that these delusional, mentally ill and sometimes fraudulent people ‘believe’.

Associating the human tendency to be duped with these lunatics is giving these people too much credit. IMO we should round them all up and lock them away.

No, being a duped human has nothing in common with these delusional people. Skepticism should not rest until all of these retards are off the streets. Nuff said.

There is nothing wrong with holding a belief in something that others don’t. Telling people they’re delusional (heavy wording…) isn’t going to do any good – it’s not going to change their mind or convince them you’re right.

The key is to tackle the idea and not the person. Calling people delusional and lunatics as you have done just makes you sound arrogant.

Illogical thinking, or being duped, happens to us all in different ways – whether it be falling for an April Fools prank blog post because we didn’t process the available information rationally, or belliving in the existence of a paranormal entity because we didn’t process the available information rationally. It’s different levels of belief, granted, but it’s all the same thought processes that lead to those irrational and incorrect conclusions.

@PatS . . Science did not create the world in which we live. For example, we live in a world with poetry and heartache and laughter at silliness and wonder at beautifully coloured sunsets and the tinkle of water on the rocks. Science has never and continues not to explain many of the profound qualities that define what it is to be human. Let each individual choose their own path to resolve those conundrums until such time as there is a non-human and independent arbiter that can tell us all what it is to be human without reference to the subject reference frame within which we find ourselves.

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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