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Skeptic Summary #43

By The Staff
Posted on: 6/3/2005

Dull knives, ugly sentences, obvious politics, silly theories, contradictory verses, super germs, reality carnivals and more!

Week ending June 3, 2005 (Vol 2, #22)

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:
Long, sharp, pointy thingies… - Encase yourself in lucite, just to be on the safe side.

More anti-church/state crap - You’re being sentenced to 10 Hail Marys.

WTF?! Sellout? - Did the Smithsonian flirt with the dark side?

Editor’s Choice: 20th century “just a theory”! - Next up, applying creationist arguments to the law of gravity.
Best of May, 2005:
Topic of the Month: Discussing Biblical Contradictions - Are contradictory Bible verses even worth bothering with if you’re not a literalist?

Post of the Month: Bugs, super and not so super - beskeptigal offers some good info about which germs to avoid, and which aren’t that scary.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Reality Carnival
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Siberia berated for long absence, and congratulations to the job she got; Skepticality officially announced as a Special Guest on Sunday, June 12th. More in chat: attending a memorial service; countries and currencies; overdosing BBQ; history of bestiality laws in Sweden (prompted by the Skepticality Show #3); new age; spiritual experiences and related exercises in critical thinking. Finally: expressing grief.

Wednesday: Cuneiformist was late to chat thanks to a baseball game, but things were underway as usual nonetheless. After the usual ribbing for the late host, the conversation turned to graduate school. Also: computer fonts; moakley watches the 700 club Daily Show?; being a skeptic; bias; neighborhood fights; Storm tries to answer the question: what is ‘human consciousness’?. Later: chemistry and puns, organic and otherwise.

Come chat with us.
New Articles this Week:
Laetrile - Kil is informed that - despite the available evidence - Laetrile is THE cure for cancer.

On Holy Books - Massimo takes a look at one the latest targets of opportunity.
New Members this Week:
Penvronius Cambrensis

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

Dinosaurs’ link to modern birds strengthened by new finding

Probes to moon, Mars called priority

Skepticality shows #5 and #6, and Whimsicality #3

Testing Natasha

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:
The Golden Ratio: The Story of PHI, the World’s Most Astonishing Number, by Mario Livio

“Most readers will have at least dim memories from geometry class of the irrational number pi. Theoretical astrophysicist Livio gives pi’s overlooked cousin phi its due with this lively account, the first on the subject written for the layperson. Phi is the golden ratio of antiquity (1.6180339887), a never-ending number so lauded for its harmonious qualities that in the 16th century it was dubbed the divine proportion. It is related to phenomena as diverse as the petal arrangements of roses, the breeding patterns of rabbits and the shape of our galaxy. Phi is also claimed to have been crucial in the design of the Great Pyramids, the composition of the Mona Lisa and the construction of Stradivarius violins. Livio (The Accelerating Universe) carefully investigates these and other claims and does not hesitate to debunk myths perpetuated by overzealous enthusiasts he calls ‘Golden Numberists.’”

— 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 2005, all rights reserved.

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