The Merseyside Skeptics Society is a non-profit organisation which aims to develop and support the skeptical community on Merseyside. The society was founded in February 2009 and holds regular events in Liverpool City Centre. We also publish three podcasts, Skeptics with a K, Be Reasonable, and InKredulous as well as publishing the long running skeptical magazine The Skeptic.
MSS is governed by a board of directors, acting on a volunteer basis. The current composition of the board is:
- Michael Marshall (President)
- Alice Howarth (Vice President)
- Mike Hall (Secretary/Treasurer)
- Rachel Waller (Social Secretary)
- Kathryn Ford (Events Coordinator)
- Phil Armstrong (Events Publicity)
Doubt vs Denial
Skeptics are not a collection of grumpy nay-sayers, gathering to reject out-of-hand any ideas which do not gel with our pre-existing beliefs. We adhere to the principles of scientific skepticism, which seens to establish the veracity of claims through the logical and impartial evaluation of evidence.
We believe this to be the more reliable method available to distingish truth from fiction, and seek to apply these tools uniformly to any and all ideas - new or old, established or controversial.
When presented with a claim, a skeptic will reserve their right to reject that claim until the claimant produces sufficient supporting evidence. If evidence is forthcoming and compelling, then we will provisionally accept the claim as true; provisionally because we may see further evidence tomorrow which shows the claim to be false.
The quality and quantity of evidence required will vary from claim-to-claim and from person-to-person. If you claim you have a pet dog, a skeptic may accept that claim just on your word. We know many people keep dogs as pets, and you're unlikely to get anything out of making up stories about a dog. But if you claim to have a pet dragon, a skeptic is probably going to want to see the dragon before believing you.