I hereby officially define, declare, and otherwise decree the terms skeptard and tinfoil.
I’m sorry if “skeptard” offends anyone. I assure you it is not meant as a co-derision of anyone struggling with diminished mental capacity. The movie Cabin in the Woods readily used the term celebutard, and last time I checked, people were still watching movies written by Joss Whedon.
The word skeptic is defined by dictionary.com as several things:
Everyone has a certain level of disbelief built into their necessary information filters. I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the tenets of Paleo and Tribal/Ancestral Health lately, pushing particularly hard against some of the more dangerous aspects of modern health and standard dietary/fitness advice. During heated online debate over these matters, the dissentient will often remove other kinds of filters in their discourse and readily deride me for being a “conspiracy theorist” or “tinfoil hat-wearer” for questioning the safety of vaccines and the ulterior financial/social control motives of the medico-scientific establishment. These people readily identify with skepticism, of the brand best exemplified on the website Skeptoid and in the debates of Bill Nye.
Taking a cue from the pleasing timbre of the name of their favorite website, I have much to their chagrin taken to calling these folks skeptards when things get heated. Even when new scientific information supports my initial bias (which is also based on logic, wisdom, human experience, and principle), they deny it in allegiance to decades of faulty, corrupt science that has become like a religious belief that they won’t question. This is very interesting, considering definition #3 of skeptic. Aren’t skeptics supposed to question these deep-seeded allegiances to old beliefs?
So now it’s my favorite nickname to use. I made it up, and I’d really like the term to stick. It’s important to apply it when I see a perfect example so that it will catch on. The pattern of thought I’ve been noticing is kind of a counteractivism against new ideas that question conventional wisdom and the presiding medical establishment (which are slowly collapsing under the weight of better ideas which support traditional and holistic ideas of the human body). It really seems like a religion, because these people will not let go of what they’ve been taught from childhood by the USDA, their family doctor, their parents (if they weren’t lucky enough to have hippy or Amish parents), and the FDA. I’ve decided to label this the skeptic religion. And further, I’m deriding it by shortening that to skeptards, and starting the hashtags #skeptards and #waronskeptics.
Explaining the Skeptard Religion
Different factors of acceptance of new scientific information:
- Your personality (how trusting/gullible you are based on past experience)
- Your perception of the presenter
- The “scientific” basis of the source (what studies, how many studies, study bias, corporate/government interests)
- Your religion/principles
- Personal experience (and quantity thereof)
- Anecdotes from people you trust/distrust (and quantity thereof)
- Habitual or otherwise programmed response to reject/accept certain information (confirmation bias)
- Your mood
- Information overload (capacity for new information at present)
- The scientific lens through which you peer at the world
I would like to briefly address specifically the default for most people to interpret data using a “scientific” basis. As I’ve said in past articles, people like to think of themselves as scientific, always diligently researching (read: Googling) and finding out the real story with the best science behind it. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, and it suggests that you’re investigating your own as well as the presenter’s biases as you consider the new info. But the problem is, if you use “logic/intuition,” you realize that most studies are funded by universities, corporations, and governments that have financial, political, and/or other conflicting interests. If you’re going to take apart each and every study in pursuit of the “best science,” you’re going to have to navigate this matrix of considerations ad infinitum as you read between the lines and try to interpret the truth from countless peer-reviewed studies.
Reggie Watts bragging about being a “Google hooligan.”
Choosing the Correct Lens for Your Frame of Reference
Considering the vast amounts of data and the labyrinth of considerations you’re navigating, I recommend that you adopt a lens through which you look at the world to pursue, test, and understand all of the information you encounter, especially for scientific information that applies to your day-to-day health choices. One example of such a lens scientists use was the adaptation of looking at the world in terms of microbes, or the germ theory of disease. This has served science and human understanding very well thus far, and continues to do so as we narrow the focus through the new miraculous lens of the human gut microbiome.
Some lenses have been a little foggy, though, in many regards. People often take their application way too far. The germ theory actually had its setbacks. One of the first developments looking through the lens was ironically pasteurization, the namesake of the father of germ theory. Pasteurization was great at the time, because it dealt with nasty microbes that were truly making people sick from rotten milk, but the elimination of consumption of certain microbes contributed greatly to the sterilization of the human gut. The pharmaceutical/drug lens also started with great promise, because antibiotics have saved countless people from staph infections from surgeries and wounds. However, these have had the same pratfall of destroying good bacteria. People have also developed dependence on many drugs that are very detrimental to their gut biome as a side effect. Further, antibiotics have become virtually useless in treating the very superbugs they’ve created. It is clear that constant adjustments and refinements of your scientific lens are required to get the best and most relevant results given all information.
Now I look through an Ancestral Health, Tribal, and/or Paleo lens when it comes to the human body. I highly recommend that you do the same. I’ve had countless positive results in my own health looking through this lens, and I’ve heard countless anecdotes from people with good results. There are exponentially multiplying studies that support these approaches. In light of the great corruption and conflicting interests I’ve observed, I no longer look to Conventional Wisdom and Western Medicine as my basis for understanding the human body. This makes modern vaccines, pharmaceuticals, low-fat diets, GMOs, and chronic cardio among the most obvious candidates for elimination from the list of things I accept as scientifically sound.
In other words, I am skeptical of any new information which supports Conventional Wisdom or Western Medicine. This doesn’t mean I dismiss it right out, however. It is very healthy to constantly challenge your current view. For instance, I’ve taken to following people I define as skeptards on Twitter. Usually this results in my trolling them hard using Mod Life Survivalist’s Twitter account, but I have also been able to learn a little bit from one guy who is perhaps rightfully skeptical of Big Organic. He shared the following:
— wayne wright (@Wayne7441) May 11, 2015
As you look through this lens, though, it’s important to establish filters through trustworthy info sources. Sadly, when you bring up your “gurus” in a debate with a skeptard, you’ll often be discredited in their eyes. Usually their reason is because the person you mention sells supplements, a book, or a program to treat health problems. As if Big Pharma and your family doctor has nothing to sell you by sticking to the company line allied to old science. Give me a break.
Some examples of people I have grown to trust, as they distill existing and breaking scientific information into applicable and effective strategies, are:
- Dave Asprey
- Dr. Mercola
- Robb Wolf
- Mark Sisson
- Paul Jaminet
These are people who have whole Reddit strings, article-length hit pieces, and even webpages/websites dedicated to discrediting them. This is either a sign that they’re doing something incredibly wrong, or that they’re onto something very big and it’s making people mad because their religion is being questioned. Your call on this is based on your own personal worldview and the many factors I covered above.
I’ll give you a hint, though. A quick way to determine if a particular guru is a go-to guy is to look at them and their followers’ results:
- Are they in shape?
- Does their skin look healthy and vibrant in color?
- How often do they get sick?
- Do they seem like they have it together mentally?
- Do they have a cohesive and rational approach?
Ancestral Health: The Most Forward-Thinking Movement
I defy skeptards that we in the ancestral movement are the true skeptics, questioning the mainstream medico-scientific views that have been shoved down our throats for so many decades. In the scope of human development, Western medicine and conventional wisdom (basically from the 20th Century to present) are just a blip on the screen. I think there is so much we can learn from ancient cultures, many of whom we can still observe today in the form of hunter-gatherer tribes in remote parts of the world (like the Aché and Hadza tribes). They are living among us relatively happily and virtually disease-free, with long life expectancies (when provided with minimal healthcare for acute injuries and childbirth). How can anyone ignore what they have to say about diet, lifestyle, and exercise?
The way forward is often backwards. Even from a scientific perspective, we can look at the source of some recent advances in technology and see the use of ancient 10,000-yr-old+ literature. Werner von Braun, the father of modern rocketry, possibly used principles from the vimanas in the Bhagavad Gita to design vessels that would leave the Earth’s atmosphere and go into outer space. Not a lot of people know this, and the skeptics would have a field day with the suggestion, but even taking out Von Braun’s involvement, it’s certainly compelling to know that such ancient literature described technology so similar to modern technology. The possibility of ancient technology is in my opinion very likely.
To say that the phrase “there is nothing new under the sun,” applies here is an understatement.
But, further implying the backwards-is-forwards mentality to our discussion, we can see a litany of examples from ancient medicine applied to heal or at least alleviate symptoms of people with modern ailments. So many people have had great success with Ayurvedic medicine, which employs a holistic approach involving the organs of detox and the health of the digestive system to accomplish its goals. Herbal treatments and shamanic care for the ill has also continued to be successful. Recently, even mainstream medical science had to bow to some wisdom from the depths of the Dark Ages, successfully employing an ancient potion to kill MRSA. What?!
In addition to being skeptical about Paleo and stuff that questions conventional dietary wisdom, skeptards (not unlike the mainstream media) default to disbelieving any suggestion that there is some overriding corruption in their government and major corporations. I guess they just inherently trust that those in power are out for their best interests and are honest in all fields of information dissemination, be they nutritional, medical, political, or situational (basic) in nature.
This is why I see the coming paradigm and polarization as so compelling, because there seems to be little crossover between these groups. It seems that most people who doubt the NSA has any nefarious intents using the hoards of data they collect also doubt that the USDA intentionally lied about saturated fat and downplayed the negative effects of sugar. Likewise, if you think Jade Helm is preparation for Martial Law (not an implementation, btw; nobody thinks that), you’re more likely to think that vaccines are harmful. We will probably be seeing a more distinct disconnect between those who trust the story of the establishment/elite, and those who inherently and readily distrust it.
And thus I dub the opposition skeptards. I am also partial to gliberal, which I have previously coined to describe mainline liberals who just spout the same Progressive Socialist crap that sounds good but doesn’t actually work. But skeptard also includes those on the Right who tend to default to conventional wisdom in their blind trust (ahem—NeoCons).
As a concession to the skeptard (skeptic) crowd, though, I’d like to also semi-coin (or rather repurpose) the term tinfoil and give it to them as an easy insult they can use against us. We suggestible types, sometimes called truthers, who question the mainstream view, have been otherwise relegated under the aluminum blanket of tinfoil hat-wearing “conspiracy theorists.” Well, I say we just own it and say,
Heck yeah, considering all the crap we’ve learned about NSA spying, CIA drug-trafficking, and false flags, I’m more likely to believe the source questioning and discrediting the establishment than the mainstream media and government sources!
So, as a true skeptic, why not proudly serve the modern skeptic as a foil, more readily accepting the marginalized view over the wargamed government story and spun disinformation that prevails in the mainstream media?