*By Fringe Paranormal researcher & Co-Founder Cory Davis
Why would any paranormal investigative team want a skeptic on their team? Wouldn’t that be more of a hindrance than a benefit? These are just two of several questions any rational person would ask when the topic comes up. What many people don’t understand is the absolute necessity of having someone on the team who will not only question the very basis of thought for the team but also the evidence and findings the team produces over the course of its case studies. To elaborate let’s first examine what a skeptic is and what skepticism means. The Webster dictionary defines both as:
Skeptic: An adherent or advocate of skepticism. A person disposed to skepticism especially regarding religion or religious principles.
Skepticism: An attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object . The doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain. The method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics. Doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation).
Simply put, skepticism has a rather important place in the way any team operates. In order to validate personal experiences, review technical data, or even just evaluate the team’s viewpoints on any particular subject you have to place a bit of skepticism into play. President Ronald Reagan used to have a great saying that summed this idea up. “Trust but verify.” To put it another way, experiences and evidence have more validity when they can be verified by independent means.
So how does this apply to me? My level of skepticism about paranormal occurrences varies depending on the subject. I am, for the most part, a believer that spirits do exist and that they do interact with our physical world in some way. I am a believer that (at least statistically) it is impossible for Earth to be the only world inhabited by beings such as ours. One caveat for this, however, is that I’m not so sure any worlds would be more advanced than ours and am sure that we’ve been contacted by another world’s civilization at any point in our past. I am less of a believer in the existence of Bigfoot, most conspiracy theories and other cryptozoological phenomena. Basically, my level of “buy-in” for any particular claim is directly proportional to amount of credible data available to back up that claim.
My challenge over the coming months is to approach each case study in an objective manner and evaluate the evidence based on its own merits. No case study is alike and each one deserves serious consideration. As we in the group develop our game plans to go “hunt” Bigfoot, observe UFOs near Dolce or investigate claims of paranormal activity in someone’s private residence I will develop my opinions on whether the evidence gathered can be “explained” or not. Until then I will remain healthily skeptical of the issues.
I’m looking forward to the future with the group and remain committed to developing my own truth for my existence on this Earth.