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Skeptical Questions That Need To Be Asked

The following is an adaptation of a list from the Rational Enquirer (Vol. 6, No. 4 if you can find it), a now defunct skeptic magazine as near as I can tell. Regardless, it sums up my way of thinking about "mystic woo," such as dowsing, numerology, telekinesis, ESP, UFOs, homeopathy, and any phenomenon that uses the word "psycho" as its prefix, such as psychokinesis and psychoenergetics.

Adherents to the above mentioned pseudo-sciences and their followers will often claim that they have some sort of "proof" of their claims. However, much of what they present is anecdotal at worst or just bad science at best.

These questions need to be asked before a claim can be given any consideration:
Has the subject shown progress? Does the discipline use technical words such as "vibration" or "energy" without clearly defining what they mean? Would accepting the tenets of a claim require you to abandon any well established physical laws? …