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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #94

By The Staff
Posted on: 6/3/2006

Shakeup!, reminders, Masons, microbes, eggs, icons, something fugly, the Ark, egg details, nukes and more!

Week ending June 3, 2006 (Vol 3, #21)

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

Shakeup at the SFN!
You might notice a few changes among the staff here, as well as a reorganization of the forum moderators. If it’s good enough for the White House, then it’s good enough for us. Seriously, the most-important thing to notice is that Ricky has been promoted to Moderator, and is taking over Cuneiformist’s Wednesday chat-host job as well as some forum duties. Congrats, Ricky!
An Evil Reminder:
This will come up from time to time because I will keep bringing it up. Today is The West Memphis Three World Wide Awareness Day:
…Although there was no physical evidence, murder weapon, motive, or connection to the victims, the prosecution pathetically resorted to presenting black hair and clothing, heavy metal t-shirts, and Stephen King novels as proof that the boys were sacrificed in a satanic cult ritual. Unfathomably, Echols was sentenced to death, Baldwin received life without parole, and Misskelley got life plus 40.

For over 12 years, the West Memphis Three have been imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. Echols waits in solitary confinement for the lethal injection our tax dollars will pay for. They were all condemned by their poverty, incompetent defense, satanic panic and a rush to judgment.

But there ís still hope for them, and you can help.
Please visit the Free The West Memphis Three Website, learn what’s gone down and make a donation if you can.
A Friendly Reminder:
The SFN get-together in Washington, D.C. is now a little less than a week away. Please let us know if you’re planning on attending, so we won’t wander off without you.
Forum Highlights:
Mason’s created and perpuated Evolution [sic] - One of these days, we’re going to have to do an all-verlch Summary

Microbe hints at life’s origin - Or, if you’re a literalist, it defines life’s origins… apparently.

Which came first? Answer at last! - Now, if they could just figure out why he crossed the road…

Editor’s Choice: Icon of Atheism? “Cy” the Cyclops kitty. - A pedantry competition, along with more questions for the museum owner in absentia.

From the Archives Things get Fugly!!!!!!!!! - Age-of-the-Earth debate in classic verlch style!
Best of May, 2006:
Topic of the Month: Fundamentalists HATE Noah’s Ark! - And Bill proves it by refusing to stay on topic.

Post of the Month: What’s an Egg, Anyway? - Brand-new SFN member Zebra offers up some eggcellent reading.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Going Nuclear: Frames and Public Opinion about Atomic Energy - With energy costs being what they are it looks like the debate over nuclear power is, ummmmmm, heating up again?
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Corporate ICT monitoring policy and workarounds; chat text truncation; special characters in chat; fundie zealot glut? Pre-dinner pop-in by new member Zebra; John forgets to log out, and a couple of hours later Cuneformist comes by to see if John still has a pulse.

Wednesday: (Ricky’s first time hosting!) I messed up my first duties in chat turning on the sign, while Dave starts to take over the SFN piece by piece. Moakely starts with nose puns and they just never stop running. After a short series of puns that just generally blow, my cable modem temporarily goes out. Go figure. A quick topic change with absolutely no transition over to Pat Robertson and his bionic legs, and then again to teaching children about God, but not in the way that fundamentalists want us to. The Staff page gets a well-deserved update, and Dave and Kil discuss ways to get money for TAM5. Maybe they should sell snake oil. A short debate over the morality of Blue Frog. Mab stopped arguing, so I’ll take that as a victory. Chat somehow ended with talking about what to do when you run out of beef jerky. Still not quite sure how that happened. I’ll blame the fact that it was 2 AM by then.

Come chat with us.
New Members Last Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

Making Sense of Global Warming

Mysterious red cells might be aliens (original paper, PDF)

The Secrets of Supervolcanoes

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:
American Theocracy: the Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, by Kevin Phillips.

“Phillips, once a member of the Nixon administration, has written a timely book that argues that … [d]ependency on oil is one of three major tendencies that will seriously undermine America’s future, …the other two being the influence of radical religion and the growing reliance on debt to support the economy. For Phillips, these constitute ‘the three major perils to the United States of the twenty-first century,’ and he offers little hope that the US will avoid the consequences.”

— Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Which came first? Answer at last! (1156 views)
  2. Lord Jesus Light to the World (682 views)
  3. Supernatural Strength (380 views)
  4. Microbe hints at life’s origin (360 views)
  5. Mark it Down: June 6, 2006 (337 views)
  6. Shocker! Prayer fails healing study (327 views)
  7. Anyone for 9/11? (311 views)
  8. Icon of Atheism? “Cy” the Cyclops kitty. (214 views)
  9. Why Do Creationists Fear Evolution? (199 views)
  10. A media critique (186 views)
  1. Cold Reading (60 views)
  2. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (59 views)
  3. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (54 views)
  4. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (53 views)
  5. Skeptic Summary #93 (39 views)
  6. Why Do Creationists Fear Evolution? (38 views)
  7. Evolution, Scientology Style (35 views)
  8. American Scientist Review (March/April 1998) (35 views)
  9. The Bible Answer Man (34 views)
  10. The Polonium 218 Controversy (33 views)

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 2006, all rights reserved.

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