Special Articles — The Well-Known Skeptic
If you are reading this, it may be because you are wondering about the name of my column. “How is this guy Rob Palmer—who I never heard of—writing an online column named ‘The Well-Known Skeptic’?
Well, for a long time I have been known by friends, family, and co-workers as the guy who “doesn’t believe in anything.” That’s because I am always the one to challenge woo claims in any discussion—even conversations I wasn’t originally part of (and I wonder why I don’t get invited to parties!) But even frequent personal interactions are not nearly enough to justify that description.
Could it be because, as a member of the Guerrilla Skeptics team, my skeptical outreach efforts put skeptical content in the hands of millions of Wikipedia readers as I detailed in my first SI article?That can’t be it. I am anonymous on Wikipedia, as are most contributors.
So, then what is the explanation? I actually have to thank Jay Novella; he inexplicably assigned me that honorific on The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe in early 2018. (Listen to the clip here.) I was beyond surprised to hear this phrase applied to myself, as it was certainly premature. But now, out of the blue, I was afforded this column to periodically share my musings on a range of topics (hopefully) of interest to readers of the most popular source of skeptical analysis!
Uncharacteristically, I believe this turn of events may reveal Jay’s description of me to have been the first proven, honest-to-goodness, paranormal, psychic, clairvoyant premonition. Somebody needs to contact the IIG to have Jay tested! On the other hand, maybe there is a simpler explanation: using Occam’s Razor, I have deduced that that SGU crew has more likely simply invented a time machine.
by Rob Palmer
July 20, 2018
On June 10, yours truly—someone who had never done a presentation anywhere as a skeptic with a capital “S”—was the very first speaker at the very first New York City Skeptics’ SpeedyCamp. So, of course I have absolutely no choice but to report on this event right here and now in my new column.