About Suncoast Skeptics

Introduction and Purpose

Whether you are skeptical about the paranormal, superstition, the supernatural, pseudoscience, or any other form of "woo" we would love to meet you. If you love science, value critical thinking and reason, come out and join in our discussions.

Skeptics are people who ask questions. They inquire. They don't believe something just because everybody else does. They investigate. Not to be confused with denialism--our goal is to find the facts and discuss them; not to deny reality because we don't like it.

Everyone is skeptical. Some of us require more convincing evidence than others. If you tend to require more evidence than most, you might fit in very well here. If you have a pet conspiracy theory, however, you may not find the confirmation you seek, but you are still welcome to discuss the facts with us.

Some people think that skeptics don't believe anything. That's not true. Maybe we can't be absolutely certain about the world around us, but we can show that some things are more likely true than others. Skeptics believe many things. We study the evidence and we use the methods of science to help us find what is most likely true.

Others think that skeptics are party poopers because some studies show that a popular belief is wrong or very doubtful. Anyone who studies science will tell you that the real world is magical enough. We don't need to have beliefs that are probably not true just to make life interesting.

History

David Williamson

The Suncoast Skeptics was founded in 2009 by David Williamson who wanted to "make some new rational friends." The group began to meet on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings to discuss science and pseudoscience, critical thinking and logic, and brought together people from many backgrounds and interests over food and drinks. People joined looking for friendship and community with others who valued evidence-based decision making and critical thinking as a vital piece of determining fact from fiction. 

More group activities were added, including UFO photo taking (to demonstrate how easy it was to fake such 'evidence'), spoon-bending and dowsing demonstrations, kayaking trips and museum visits, as well as the occasional speaker. The group grew to over 175 members and most breakfasts and dinners were often maxed out quickly.

Dave Nichols

David moved to Orlando in 2012 and handed off leadership of the group to Dave Nichols and Anita McCauley. The group continued to grow, and as of July, 2014, has over 290 members. David and Dave were guests on WSLR's Surreal News, representing the group and discussing matters of pseudoscience and critical thinking. Anita and David hosted a booth at a freethought convention and offered attendees brochures and information about the Suncoast Skeptics. Dave has been on WSLR's Stratosphere Sarasota, discussing creationism in public education.

In August 2014, the Suncoast Skeptics Speaker Series launched, featuring a talk on creationism by group member Tyne Hopkins Venzeio, and a podcast is also in the works for the coming months. 

For more information about the Suncoast Skeptics, contact info at suncoastskeptics.com or look us up on meetup.com.