Jack Aubrey a sceptic?

Written by on February 4, 2010, 12:28 pm

I have had, for as long as I remember, a deeply rooted confidence in science and a corresponding lack of faith in religion. Recently I have found that there exists a like minded group of individuals whose world view very neatly fits my own.

The Skepticism movement is a somewhat eclectic group of people with a common belief in the importance of science and reason. I hadn't realized that there were people actively promoting this kind of thinking (and the importance of doing so) until I began listening to the popular Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast:

My experience of The Skeptics' Guide has been a liberating one. It has led me to re-examine some of the irrational beliefs, which I had held quite strongly, and taken away much of the uncertainty that had plagued my perception of the world around us.

I feel like a Skeptical world view, rather having the negative connotations of cynicism, is a compassionate and hopeful one that is not driven by our very human ability to frighten ourselves with the unknown.

I was delighted to discover, while reading The Surgeon's Mate for my Mapping Project, Jack Aubrey having a moment of sceptical clarity in response to Mr Pellworm's lamentation of departing on Friday the thirteenth (and with a woman on board for all love):

'No, no: your omens keep threatening disaster - they did so before Grimsholm, and you see what happened: all cry with no wolf at the end of it. I have done with omens,' he said, grasping a belaying-pin. 'But your falling glass is another kettle of fish: your glass is scientific.'

Another kettle of fish indeed.

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