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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #59

By The Staff
Posted on: 9/23/2005

Behe squawking, Derek healing, HYBRID abusing, island sinking, science failing and more!

Week ending September 23, 2005 (Vol 2, #38)

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:
Behe babble - He keeps talking, but he isn’t saying anything.

Derek at Skepticality… - Things are looking up, but he’s not out of the woods yet.

US governement behind 9/11 - HYBRID’s best argument appears to be “Shut the fuck up.”

Editor’s Choice: So what Great Sin has Galveston committed? - Isn’t it obvious? Women shouldn’t wear vests.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Bad Science - Bad Science abounds and comes in many guises. This page sets out to attack only one brand: well understood phenomena which are persistently presented incorrectly by teachers and writers, presumably because they either do not know any better or because they don’t really care enough to get it correct. By publicizing examples of bad science, I hope to sensitize students, teachers and writers to the horrors of such glib explanations or representations.”
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: The chat was slow and with few visitors. First out: The origin of Dr. Mabuse, movies by German director Fritz Lang, and songs by rock group Propaganda. Also: sleeping well on expensive beds, and Phantom of the Opera.

Wednesday: Your host returned to comments about Mab’s work and (in an unrelated discussion) Arlo Guthrie. Also: Java; Pig Sumerian?; hurricane names; skeptic cartoons; Boron10 pulls rank; jobs and resumes; “you’re banned!”; Airplane!; And, in true Wednesday chat fashion, a discussion about non-grain alcohol. Wanna shot of potato vodka? Even if you don’t, be sure to stop by and hang out!

Come chat with us.
New Members this Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

NASA unveils moon program

New evolution spat in schools goes to court

Rita batters Louisiana, Texas coasts

This is global warming, says environmental chief

The Unintentional Irony of William Dembski

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 Republican War on Science, by Chris Mooney

“In the tradition of What Liberal Media? and What’s the Matter with Kansas?, a stinging indictment of how one party has placed politics over science and embraced politically motivated pseudoscience

Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since the Eisenhower administration. In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner; spun or distorted to fit the speaker’s agenda; or, when they’re too inconvenient, ignored entirely. On a broad array of issues — stem cell research, climate change, missile defense, abstinence education, product safety, environmental regulation, and many others — the Bush administration’s positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. Federal science agencies, once fiercely independent under both Republican and Democratic presidents, are increasingly staffed by political appointees and fringe theorists who know industry lobbyists and evangelical activists far better than they know the science.

This is not unique to the Bush administration, but it is largely a Republican phenomenon, born of a conservative dislike of environmental, health, and safety regulation, and at the extremes, of evolution and legalized abortion. In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.”

— Book Description

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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The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.

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