Skepticism should be about celebrating scientific skepticism and critical thinking, not about pushing particular philosophies or ideologies which alienate potential supporters. I think that regardless of Rebecca Watson’s controversial beliefs, her personality is anathema to the free exchange of ideas. She is divisive, hostile and authoriarian. None of these traits promote scientific skepticism, but instead hinder it and so she should not be a host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe.
…oh hang on, no. Nope. That’s not me, that’s the people who created the ‘Remove Rebecca Watson from the Skeptics Guide to the Universe Podcast‘ petition.
I do find it a bit funny that people who listen to a free podcast that has hundreds of thousands of listeners believe they can influence the removal of one of the hosts simply because they don’t like her, because let’s not beat around the bushes here – that’s exactly why those people are signing the petition. For one reason or another they do not like Rebecca Watson and think it is perfectly rational to petition for her removal from a free podcast they download because of this. That’s ‘free exchange of ideas’ right there folks!
Let’s face it though, that petition wasn’t created to get rid of Rebecca from the SGU – it was created to tell Rebecca that people hate her. It was created to harass Rebecca a bit more, and to remind her how terrible she is, and what a menace she is.
I have never heard Rebecca be divisive, hostile or authoritarian on SGU. Those talks of hers available on the internet do not show her behaving in that way either. I’ve found her to be rational, outspoken, insightful, funny and consistent during the discussions and talks. I have learnt things from Rebecca Watson on SGU and in her talks that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. On more than one occasion I have rethought my stance on something because of insight from Rebecca. She has a valid and respected input to the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, and she should not be forced off of the show simply because some people have issues with her elsewhere on the internet.
That’s why I created this petition to ‘Keep Rebecca Watson on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast’ – not because I’m kissing ass, or because I’m a sycophant, but because I’m a person who cannot stand passive aggressive bullies. I normally wouldn’t get involved in crap like this because there are better things to do with one’s time than poll jacking, but fuck bullies, man. Fuck them.