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Skeptic Summary #19

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/18/2004

Belief and education, God and evil, chickens and eggs, predictions and failure, wombats and opossums, studies and pointlessness and more!

Week ending December 17, 2004 (Vol 1, #19)

Welcome to the Skeptic Summary, a quick week-in-review guide to the Skeptic Friends Network and the rest of the skeptical world.

Forum Highlights:
Level of Belief vs. Level of Education - An object lesson in aggravating everyone.

Who is “the LORD” and why does he do “bad” stuff? - There’s little possibility that the question will be answered in this thread, but look at all the apologetics!

Who was first - More unsubstantiated anti-skeptic rants by the guy who claims James Randi is a fraud but gives no evidence for it.

Editor’s Choice: Predictions for 2005 - Yes, this week’s pick is shameless self-promotion.
Chat Highlights:
Cuneiformist says: So I obviously missed the first part of the chat on Wednesday. Once I got there, I seem to recall a few things — a discussion of favorite beers plus what’s good to mix with vodka; the debate about giving time when asked for distance (e.g. how far away is… being answered by about 45 minutes), which then shifted to a conversation about how far away various VA, DC, MD, WV cities are, and perhaps a few other things. Also, jokes and puns about way’s name came up often…

And Kil adds: We did talk about opossums and wombats. We also learned that marsupials are an order of mammals and not a class. At least, I did…
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Study shows: Some studies pointless - Thanks to BigPapaSmurf for this thread.
New Members this Week:
the student
Eos of the Eons

(Not a member? Become one today!)
Top Ten Search Terms for the week:
These are the terms typed into search engines which most-frequently result in a person visiting the SFN:
  1. miracle thaw
  2. Bryan Marsden
  3. pips pureinvestor
  4. skeptic
  5. pips scam
  6. “bryan marsden”
  7. creationism evolution
  8. pureinvestor
  9. owl on dollar bill

Featured Site:
Animal Diversity Web

Dr. Mabuse says: A fantastic resource for checking out animals, pictures, searching for species names, latin designations, and browsing the cladistics. Even a complete biology-dunce like me can spend hours browsing, examining aspects of cladistics, and checking out similarities between unrelated species like the Raccoon and the Raccoon Dog, and stuff like that.

It’s an awesome database of the diversity of life on planet Earth.
Elsewhere in the World:
ACLU to Sue Over Pa. Evolution Debate

Psychic Predictions 2004

What’s New by Bob Park

Got some skeptic news items? Send them to us, and we’ll think about adding them.
Book of the Week:
Truth, Knowledge, or Just Plain Bull: How to Tell the Difference : A Handbook of Practical Logic and Clear Thinking, by Bernard M. Patten

“In lively, straightforward prose, Patten lays out some general principles of clear thinking… then, chapter by chapter, examines various forms of false reasoning to which we might fall victim… Patten doesn’t minimize the mental effort required to master clear thinking, but his own clear writing and down-to-earth tone make it as painless as it can be to strengthen your ability to reason and see the faults in the reasoning of others.”

— Publishers Weekly

More issues of the Skeptic Summary can be found in our archive.

The Skeptic Summary is produced by the staff of the Skeptic Friends Network, copyright 2004, all rights reserved.

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