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Skeptic Summary #114

By The Staff
Posted on: 10/22/2006

Big fizzle, molten whozeewhatzee, Hovind in the news, funny stuff, Numenware and more!

Week ending October 21, 2006 (Vol 3, #41)

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

Special Announcement:
The SFN would like to send Kil back to the Amaz!ing Meeting next January, and you can help!
Forum Highlights:
Big Bang - More like “Big Crock.”

Molten metal - Like molasses.

Editor’s Choice: Evangelist arrested on tax evasion… Guess who! - An update on one of our favorite charla… characters.

From the Archives: Humor (part 2) - It was almost as good as Part 1!
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Numenware - a blog about neurotheology, by Bob Myers - Who would have guessed that I would meet a fellow skeptic while waiting to be called to sit on a jury? We had a lively conversation, which made a very long day go much faster. Bob’s interest is in brain function and how we may be “hard wired” for religious beliefs. This is a subject of no small interest to me, and should be of interest to skeptics in general.
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Nothing much was discussed during the chat.

Wednesday: Mab finds out that he wastes too much time on Internet forums and Ricky tells his tale of yet another Creationist presentation. More talk about sending Kil to TAM5, this time hotel and airline reservations, as he gets closer and closer with his fundraising goal. Then onto more important things such as the events of 9-11. Next was metal disorders, anthropology, jail, and Kil’s inability to spell. Finally, an unfortunate phrasing of “talking behind your back” lead to some even more unfortunate butt puns. They ended chat fairly quickly.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

Complete Darwin works put online

It‘s no science fiction: Scientists make invisibility cloak

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 God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins.

“The nub of Dawkins’ consciousness-raising message is that to be an atheist is a ‘brave and splendid’ aspiration… Dawkins’ case against religion follows an outline that goes back to Bertrand Russell’s classic 1927 essay ‘Why I Am Not a Christian.’ First, discredit the traditional reasons for supposing that God exists. (‘God’ is here taken to denote the Judeo-Christian deity, presumed to be eternal, all-powerful, all-good and the creator of the world.) Second, produce an argument or two supporting the contrary hypothesis, that God does not exist. Third, cast doubt on the transcendent origins of religion by showing that it has a purely natural explanation. Finally, show that we can have happy and meaningful lives without worshiping a deity, and that religion, far from being a necessary prop for morality, actually produces more evil than good. The first three steps are meant to undermine the truth of religion; the last goes to its pragmatic value… Despite the many flashes of brilliance in this book, Dawkins’ failure to appreciate just how hard philosophical questions about religion can be makes reading it an intellectually frustrating experience.”

Jim Holt

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Just to be clear (part 2) (1,056 views)
  2. Caesar’s Messiah (part 3) (730 views)
  3. Molten metal (722 views)
  4. A simple question (624 views)
  5. Big Bang (614 views)
  6. Just to be clear… (397 views)
  7. NIST report deserves skepticism (343 views)
  8. Ah, North Korea brings us all together… (318 views)
  9. Waiting to be called (195 views)
  10. NDE experiment (191 views)
  1. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (93 views)
  2. Cold Reading (70 views)
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (66 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #113 (50 views)
  5. Evil Skeptic and a Visit to Awareness 2000 (43 views)
  6. Spam Scams and Slams (42 views)
  7. Why Do Creationists Fear Evolution? (37 views)
  8. Dr. Dino doesn’t like our Jack Chick spoof! (26 views)
  9. You’re an Idiot (25 views)
  10. The Bible Answer Man (24 views)
There were 4,073 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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