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Skeptic Summary #69

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/3/2005

UFOs, OK?, cold reading, the Sun's surface, a material skeptic, trolling tips, the evolution of Darwin and more!

Week ending December 3, 2005 (Vol 2, #48)

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:
In the News: UFOs Are Real - I’m still stunned by this.

OK… - Well, not OK, OK?

Editor’s Choice: Cold-readin’ St. Nick! - This stuff is just too easy.
Best of November, 2005:
Topic of the Month: surface of the sun - So much hand waving goes on that the proponent of this idea winds up invalidating all of science.

Post of the Month: Where’s the Line? - Subjectmatter divides the material from the immaterial precisely and easily.

Special Note: the “funniest post of the month award” goes to dv82matt for his trolling tips.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Charles Darwin: Evolution of a Scientist - “He had planned to enter the ministry, but his discoveries on a fateful voyage 170 years ago shook his faith and changed our conception of the origins of life.”
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: [While our regular host did show up, no summary was offered.]

Wednesday: Kil shows us the depths of religious-based psychosis; Dave goes to the little skeptic’s room; Cune shows up (eventually); ignored has keyboard problems. @tomic graced us with a rare appearance and took a look under the hood of SFN; the link between eating eggrolls for a more successful chat has produced more positive results. Confused? Offended? Join us next week for chat. It’ll be… interesting.

Come chat with us.
New Members this Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

Scientists: Life on Saturn’s moon Titan unlikely

Skepticality: Lynne Kelly, Part 1

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 Battle for Christmas, by Stephen Nissenbaum

“This scholarly analysis of our modern celebration of Christmas pulls together a thoroughly convincing case for the widely accepted notion that it is a 19th-century creation, indeed a deliberate reformation and taming of a holiday with wilder pagan origins. Christmas was set at December 25 in the fourth century, not for any biblical link with Christ’s birth, but because the church hoped to annex and Christianize the existing midwinter pagan feast. This latter was based on the seasonal agricultural plenty, with the year’s food supply newly in store, and nothing to do in the fields. It was a time of drinking and debauchery from the Roman Saturnalia to the English Mummers. The Victorians hijacked the holiday, and Victorian writers helped turn it into a feast of safe domesticity and a cacophonous chime of retail cash registers.”


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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