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Skeptic Summary #60

By The Staff
Posted on: 10/2/2005

The problem with ID, the problem with Trudeau, the problem with DeLay, the problem with 9/11, the problem with conspiracies and more!

Week ending September 30, 2005 (Vol 2, #39)

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

Just a quick note here: After this issue of the Skeptic Summary, we’re going to start aiming for midnight on Saturdays as our weekly publication time, instead of midnight on Fridays. So next week’s issue will actually cover eight days instead of the normal seven. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Forum Highlights:
A Nice Summation of the Problem with ID - Though not all are willing to say that there is a problem with ID!

Kevin Trudeau - A slimeball with an infomercial! Run!

Tom Delay Indicted - But will it stick?

Editor’s Choice: US governement behind 9/11 - On the eighth page, a conspiracy theorist changes his mind (partially).
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Grand Conspiracy - So it’s a conspiracy theory you are after? You will find some of your favorites at this site.
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: First out: Discworld by Terry Pratchett; Advanced Dungeons & Dragons settings, world Forgotten Realms; Dr. Who and Crime Traveller, complex scripting. Also: medications; musical inspiration to write; extensive sharing of (sometimes gross) experiences of surgery; stories of tricking and fooling people. Finally: programming different languages; solving Ricky’s mathematical problem. The chat ended after a record session lasting 6 hours 15 minutes.

Wednesday: Chat was a good time, as usual. Your host was late (of course!) but joined into a discussion Bush’s poll numbers. Also: missing out; math. Lots of math; woodchucks; proper grammar; mostly not smoking; Ricky’s project. His long, complicated, technical project. Wanna discuss 1=c3(x+fs)? Stop by next week!

Come chat with us.
New Members this Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

New company wants Mars colony

Understanding Bias in Coverage of Intelligent Design: Follow-up on Columbia Journalism Review article and New York Times Series

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 Evolution-Creation Struggle, by Michael Ruse

“[Ruse’s] understand[ing of] the particular vulnerability of the science of biological evolution to religious attack is to blame it on the biologists. Ruse, a well-known philosopher of science, is not a creationist and is careful to align himself with the Darwinian explanation of the origin and evolution of species. He identifies his position on the existence of a higher power as ‘somewhere between deist… and agnosticism.’…

His chief quarrel is not with evolutionary biology as a technical scientific discipline, or even with its claim that the evolution of species has been a purely material process, but rather with what he calls ‘evolutionism,’ a commitment to a principle of universal long-term progress in the biological, social, cultural, and political worlds. He identifies evolutionism as a form of religion and portrays the conflict between creationism and evolutionism as a fight between two religious doctrines, a struggle between premillenialism, the doctrine that earthly perfection will only be achieved after, and as a consequence, of the Second Coming, and postmillenialism, the view that Christ will return, if at all, only after earthly paradise has been achieved. Ruse sees evolutionary biology as having been permeated by the idea of progress and so, as a rhetorical device, identifies it as ‘postmillenial,’ but without any commitment to the Second Coming.”

— Richard C. Lewontin, New York Review of Books

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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