Skeptic Minority Report

Contributed by
Jul 17, 2007

An interesting aspect of skepticism is the apparent lack of diversity in skeptical circles. I love skeptic meetings, but it's hard not to notice that I blend in like a chameleon there; I am white, 42, bearded, have a receding hairline, and I'm a man. There are lots of women at the meetings, which is great-- in American society, it's a common prejudice that women are less skeptical than men. It's wonderful to see more younger people attending too.

But Blacks, Asians, Hispanics? Very few. I'm not sure why that is, and that's because I'm white, 42, and an astronomer, and not a social psychologist or historian. But it seems logical that one place to start looking would be the broad cultural differences. In very general terms, cultures that are more religious may be less supportive of skeptical thinking. There are probably factors due to differences in educational opportunities, economics, and even population locations.

I don't know, but I'm interested. Happily, there are some avenues of inquiry and discovery for people like me (White & Nerdy), like Masala Skeptic, a blog for Indian skeptics. It loosely focuses on that culture (which is in as dire a need of critical thinking as American culture), and, not surprisingly, religion, but there are other topics there too. It's as group blog, so you can see different styles and opinions on Indian skepticism. It's worth a look.

Are there other, similar blogs out there dealing with critical thinking among minorities? Pipe up! I bet you could attract the attention of a few other big skeptical blogs.

Skepticism is not the due of just one race, just one group. It is a critical, fundamental need across all cultures, all people. Let's see if we can help achieve that goal of inclusiveness.

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