The comments that scientists are somehow 'skeptics' is absurd. The term skeptic applies to both sides equally with each side being skeptical of the other's idea or beliefs.
Ken, that essay by Sagan is outstanding and it defines the underlying problem in discussing the audio issues in a very succinct way.
There are two passages that he writes which exemplify my feelings and approach to these unproven ideas:
"Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so".
I think his statement says it all quite well.
As for the second statement, here is exactly why people begin the arguments about audio:
"Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion."
The key phrase here is "tentatively to reject". Those whose believe a concept (like speaker break-in for example), have taken a leap of faith and not tentatively rejected the hypothesis while others have taken the more systematic approach. The arguments arise when the masses of faith meets the masses of the unproved.
If one is to inform others properly about these controversial audio ideas, then at least promote them NOT as fact, but ONLY as a personal belief and have the decency to also inform them of the other possibilities that exist. As true evidence comes about, then present that information so it can be reviewed by all. Note for the masses of the faith, newspaper articles, statements from the general public and magazine clippings do not cut the mustard as credible sources for the masses of the unproved.
I thought fhw and PlainHaven have a superb perspective on the scientific method and its underlying principles. The posts were excellent reading.
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth. Research begets reality."