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Skeptic Summary #136

By The Staff
Posted on: 4/1/2007

Revisitng the Sun, museum depression, skeptical defaults, Einstein, Rove rap and more!

Week ending March 31, 2007 (Vol 4, #13)

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:
New ‘impossible’ findings on the Sun - Mozina returns!

Won’t be long now… - ...until American society reaches a new low.

Editor’s Choice: Does skepticism default to atheism? - A very good question.

From the Archives: Is Einstein’s relativity theory wrong? - Of course — he forgot about the ether!
Kil’s Evil Pick:
MC Rove - Be afraid. Be very afraid…
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Derek and Swoopy interview and photoshoot for BusinessWeek; Google Earth; holidays in Florida including Disney World and Space Center; Windows Vista vs. XP; Derek announces donation drive to send Dr. Mabuse to Dragon*Con; Mab’s girlfriend hit by a car, escapes with a few bruises from a smashed windscreen and a totalled bicycle; other tales of close calls, uncomfortingly many involving braking through the ice; spying naked bodies on Google Earth; Skepticality people wonder where the SFN-chatters are. Chili and “deep heat” cream on… let’s call it “sensitive skin.”

Wednesday: Motorcycles were the first subject as Dr. Mabuse details his first ride of the year. Most of the night was spent discussing different science fiction books. Baxter, Vonnegut, Ann Rice, Rebecca Bradley and many others were discussed. Towards the end as chat was dying down, talk switched to lurkers, Creationists, and other visitors of the SFN.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:
christel jean

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

The Promise of Plasmonics

Skepticality #048 - Infidels and Free Books: Reginald Finley and Scott Sigler’s Ancestor

What’s New by Bob Park

A World Where Lies Are True

Got some skeptic news items? Send them to us, and we’ll think about adding them.
Book of the Week:
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, by Philip Zimbardo.

“Psychologist Zimbardo masterminded the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, in which college students randomly assigned to be guards or inmates found themselves enacting sadistic abuse or abject submissiveness. In this penetrating investigation, he revisits — at great length and with much hand-wringing — the SPE study and applies it to historical examples of injustice and atrocity, especially the Abu Ghraib outrages by the U.S. military. His troubling finding is that almost anyone, given the right ‘situational’ influences, can be made to abandon moral scruples and cooperate in violence and oppression. (He tacks on a feel-good chapter about ‘the banality of heroism,’ with tips on how to resist malign situational pressures.) The author, who was an expert defense witness at the court-martial of an Abu Ghraib guard, argues against focusing on the dispositions of perpetrators of abuse; he insists that we blame the situation and the ‘system’ that constructed it, and mounts an extended indictment of the architects of the Abu Ghraib system, including President Bush. Combining a dense but readable and often engrossing exposition of social psychology research with an impassioned moral seriousness, Zimbardo challenges readers to look beyond glib denunciations of evil-doers and ponder our collective responsibility for the world’s ills.”

— Publishers Weekly

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. New ‘Impossible’ findings on the Sun (860 views)
  2. A little more civility, please… (659 views)
  3. Something to chew on… (585 views)
  4. Does skepticism default to atheism? (421 views)
  5. The evil aspect of organised religion (407 views)
  6. Iranian Manhattan Project speeds along (365 views)
  7. Best sidekicks (297 views)
  8. Wrong images of Saturn (278 views)
  9. Substitute biology teacher (266 views)
  10. Harry Houdini was murdered by a woo conspiracy (233 views)
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (126 views)
  2. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (69 views)
  3. The Bible Answer Man (59 views)
  4. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (56 views)
  5. Cold Reading (50 views)
  6. Skeptic Summary #135 (43 views)
  7. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (38 views)
  8. Miracle Thaw Tray (36 views)
  9. Evolution, Scientology Style (35 views)
  10. Darwinism: Sorcery in the Classroom (35 views)
There were 5,734 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 2007, all rights reserved.

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