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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #157

By The Staff
Posted on: 9/15/2007

9/11, the consensus, putting the 'fun' in fundamentalism, Odin!, contradictions, cool videos and more!


Week ending September 15, 2007 (Vol 4, #34)

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:
9/11 was an inside job! - An interesting case of mistaken reading and hearing.

Consensus falling apart by the day - Only if you believe the propaganda.

CSE sues ‘Extant Dodos’ for refuting their videos! - Take a look at what the self-righteous seem to think is a good idea.

Editor’s Choice: Norse origin belief demolishes science - Too funny to miss.

From the Archives: Discussing Biblical contradictions - Hippy4Christ brings up an old SFN favorite.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
I thought I would share some cool videos with you this week. The first two were produced by Michael Shermer and called “The Art of the Con.” He and professional magician Dan Hanlan show how a couple of old cons are done.
The art of the con is as old as civilization, employing the skills of deception, misdirection, and the psychology of human greed and the desire to get something for nothing. In this episode Shermer employs a professional con artist to teach him the fine art of conning people.
The first video presents the low down on Three Card Monty. Next is how The Pidgin Drop is done. Very entertaining stuff.

Next and best is an over two-hour lecture by James Randi, a part of Princeton's Public Lecture Series and sponsored by the Spencer Trask Lecture Fund. The lecture is called “The Search for the Chimera.” If you have never seen a talk by James Randi in person, here is the next best thing. Enjoy!
SkeptiQuote:
The fundamental cause of trouble in the
world today is that the stupid are
cocksure while the intelligent are full
of doubt.
— Bertrand Russell
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Funky connection for the host made for little participation from his side, so no stories from Dragon*Con. NFL debate where Jerome claimed predetermined wins. Not much else were discussed probably because everyone else was watching football.

Wednesday: The mystery of the missing avatars plagued the start of chat. Luckily, no one really cared as most didn’t even know there was the option to have avatars in chat. Pogo sticks were reported to have their own episode on the History Channel. This and Vurtego.com combined led into chatters telling stories of their own injuries, even if they weren’t pogo related. A question about the use of nuclear power fueled a debate between the differences in Chernobyl and Three Mile Island and semantics in nuclear terminology. For most, this was the end of the night, but a few stayed behind to discuss further topics.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:
Rubiks
MarshalMix
dilovan
Sleaklight

(Not a member? Become one today!)


Elsewhere in the World:


Open Letter to YouTube video

The Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter 83

Skepticality #060 - Interview: Professor Richard Wiseman by Michael McRae

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:
Nibbling on Einstein’s Brain: the Good, the Bad and the Bogus in Science, by Diane Swanson (author) and Warren Clark (illustrator).



“Grades 5-8. Readers who can get past the book’s distasteful title will find a good introduction to bad science. Swanson offers analysis and many, many examples of vague theories, poor logic, badly designed experiments, biased scientific spokespersons, wild advertising claims, and irresponsible journalism. Introducing ideas under attention-grabbing headings (‘baloney busters,’ ‘media alerts,’ ‘mind traps’), she discusses topics such as the difference between correlation and cause-and-effect relationships, the importance of asking the right questions about advertisers’ claims, and the links between superstition, coincidence, and probability. With a highly readable text and jaunty line illustrations, the book encourages critical thinking and skepticism when evaluating science reporting and media hype. Appendixes include a glossary and lists of recommended magazines, Web sites, and books.”

— Booklist


This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Brights’ opinions of select UFO sightings P.S. (812 views)
  2. Freakist 50 seconds ever! (586 views)
  3. Olympic myth? (490 views)
  4. Awful album covers (435 views)
  5. Religon and magic mushrooms (432 views)
  6. NFL predetermined? (362 views)
  7. Penyprity and thoughts of school taxes (292 views)
  8. Religion versus vaccines — sound familiar? (233 views)
  9. Consensus falling apart by the day (227 views)
  10. Second Amendment (168 views)
Articles:
  1. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (9,344 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (558 views)
  3. A Cherry Picker’s Guide to Choosing Evidence for Traumatic Repression or False Memory Syndrome (347 views)
  4. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Argument Weak on Both Sides (333 views)
  5. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (88 views)
  6. You’re an Idiot (50 views)
  7. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (45 views)
  8. Skeptic Summary #156 (42 views)
  9. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (41 views)
  10. Bible’s Bad Fruits a Cheap Shot (37 views)
There were 10,697 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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