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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Goodbye To Leonard Nimoy, Dead At 83

by Stephen Propatier

February 27, 2015

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Donate This is not a Skeptoid post, I have one that will go up later today. This is a personal post for a person that helped inspire me to be a skeptic. I am saying goodbye to an actor/director and I am thanking him. He smoked cigarettes and early reports indicated that he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Of all the behaviors I see that are self destructive, that one is the most insidious and prevalent.

I would like to say thanks to Mr. Nimoy posthumously. When I was a kid the Spock character(portrayed and developed by him) helped foster my interest in science and logic. He also sparked my skepticism. He was the narrator/host of the '70s TV show In Search Of. His presence on that show got me to watch it. Even as a young kid I had a skeptical leaning but the fantastic stories on that show inspired my interest in things paranormal. Eventually that interest and subsequent exploration morphed into skepticism.

Mr. Nimoys' work both as a narrator and as a actor taught me to love science. His influence helped develop my need for evidence. His shows both fostered my love for science and helped teach me how the media can fool us. So even when he was promoting pseudoscience he was making me a better skeptic. Additionally Mr. Nimoy and his wife Susan Bey-Nimoy had a long history of public and monetary support for astronomy. Still his character defined his benefit to me personally.

I think Ben Casselman has said it best about Nimoy/Spock, writing:
"Star Trek" was driven by a utopian belief in the power of science and technology to eliminate poverty, end war, cure disease and overcome prejudice. Spock, the Enterprise's tricorder-toting science officer, was the embodiment of that spirit.
I'll miss his movies and his cameo appearances as Spock. Most of all I'll miss his distinctive voice and portrayal of a character I love—a character who inspired myself and others to ask great questions, and always think about things logically. Spock is a character evolving from Nimoy. An actor who taught me to look at things from a different point of view, and to value knowledge, science, and logical thinking.

Everybody wanted to be Captain Kirk, but Spock was the ideal friend. Super intelligent, loyal and charismatic. The character lives on in Zachary Quinto's interpretation, but the man who developed it, fostered it, and made it real to generations of fans is gone.

We never met, so I can't call him friend. I would have like to have known him.

Rest In Peace

by Stephen Propatier

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