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Skeptic Summary #105

By The Staff
Posted on: 8/19/2006

An institute, a child, a virgin, a fine line, a movie, an important skeptical question and more!

Week ending August 19, 2006 (Vol 3, #32)

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:
The Enneagram Institute - It may match, but so does everything else.

JonBenet killer found? - Or maybe that’s just “sick JonBenet-loving pedophile found; killer still at large.”

New Virgin Sighting! - Or make that Maltese Falcon… er, Richard Dreyfus… er, uh the Obelisk… oh, nevermind…

Editor’s Choice: Sexy vs. creepy - Shameless wife promotion.

From the archives:Jews need to get over ‘Passion’ - Mel Gibson’s movie generates, er, passionate views about anti-Semitism.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Priests in lab coats - Philosopher Michael Ruse is an ardent evolutionist who thinks creationism is claptrap. So why is he accusing atheistic scientists like Richard Dawkins of being as religious as born-again Bible thumpers?
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Alignments of personalities; moral dilemmas faced by characters in books; Visual Studio problems (why can’t Microsoft release something bug-free?). Finally: midnight snacks and fun with Time Zones.

Wednesday: We had a record crowd. That means lots of people were in chat on Wednesday. Not a whole lot, but many more than a few. A few few plus a couple more maybe? Anyhow, we talked about many things. Well, not so many that it was hard to keep up. But more things than usual. Valiant Dancer opened chat and eventually Ricky showed up, but he has laptop problems. He has the chat log. So there it is…

Come chat with us.
New Member This Week:
sack of kittens

(Not a member? Become one today!)
New Forum Feature:
Check out our new Permalinks!

Elsewhere in the World:
Astronomers sharply divided on new planet definition

Bad Science

For Stars, Size Determines Destiny, Hubble Confirms

The Skeptic Express

The Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter 70

Skepticality - The Return of Skepticality!

Tall Tales: Medieval people weren’t shorter

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:
Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts, by the Editors of Popular Mechanics.

“The first conspiracy theories about September 11 began to emerge while the wreckage was still smoldering. Today, nearly five years later, hundreds of books and thousands of Web pages are devoted to the idea that the U.S. government encouraged, permitted, or actually carried out the attacks. These theories claim to be based on hard evidence. But an in-depth investigation by Popular Mechanics — first published in the magazine’s March, 2005 issue, and now greatly expanded into book form — definitively proves that the evidence most often cited by conspiracy theorists is inaccurate, misinterpreted, or false.

The original article in Popular Mechanics caused a huge groundswell of interest, setting off online debates that continue to this day. Debunking 9/11 Myths expands that investigation to include the 20 most prominent and persistent claims underlying the conspiracy theories, focusing on concrete, physical facts rather than political hypothesizing. Among the issues examined: claims that air traffic control violated standard operating procedures by not immediately intercepting the stricken jets; that the fire caused by the crashes wasn’t actually hot enough to melt steel and cause structural damage in the World Trade Center; that the holes in the Pentagon were too small to have been made by a Boeing 757; and that Flight 93 was actually shot down by an Air Force plane.

The fascinating and in-depth findings come from leading experts in all the relevant fields, including aviation, air defense, air traffic control, civil engineering, firefighting, metallurgy, and geology.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Surface of the Sun (part 9) (1,096 views)
  2. George Galloway on Israel (563 views)
  3. Are Penn & Teller spreading bullsh*t? (393 views)
  4. Christianity and the cracks in the pot… (373 views)
  5. I don’t believe it!! Fucking idiots!!! (316 views)
  6. Draft Al Gore (268 views)
  7. JonBenet killer found? (266 views)
  8. Surface of the Sun (part 10) (253 views)
  9. Sexy vs. creepy (219 views)
  10. Caesar’s Messiah (175 views)
  1. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (78 views)
  2. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (68 views)
  3. Cold Reading (59 views)
  4. Why Do Creationists Fear Evolution? (50 views)
  5. Skeptic Summary #104 (42 views)
  6. Miracle Thaw Tray (37 views)
  7. You’re an Idiot (37 views)
  8. Skeptic Summary #39 (36 views)
  9. Dr. Dino doesn’t like our Jack Chick spoof! (33 views)
  10. Evolution, Scientology Style (28 views)
There were 3,895 daily visitors this week.

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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