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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #173

By The Staff
Posted on: 1/7/2008

Huckabee, creationism, NPR, wannabe martyr, conspiracy, the new year, the afterlife and more!


Week ending January 5, 2008 (Vol 5, #1)

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:
Buck on Huck - The SFN takes a look at the minister-turned-candidate for President.

NAS vs. creationism - Download the book. Do it today!

NPR’s bias when announcing Iowa primary results - It isn’t whether you win or lose, it’s how they announce the results.

Editor’s Choice: The would-be martyr - This needed more press.

From the Archives: Creation/evolution - Yes, Bill scott posted this in the “Conspiracy Theories” folder.
This Week’s Poll:
Welcome to 2008
Kil’s Evil Pick:
The Great Afterlife Debate: Michael Shermer v. Deepak Chopra

Well, this is fun. I missed it when it happened but it’s never too late, I guess. From the introduction:
The following debate between Deepak Chopra and Michael Shermer came about after the widely read and referenced debate the two had last year on the virtues and value of skepticism. Deepak has a new book out on the subject, Life After Death: The Burden of Proof (Harmony, 2006 ISBN 0307345785), and Michael has written extensively about claims of evidence for the afterlife, so the two of them thought it would be stimulating to have a debate on the topic. Michael read Deepak’s book and goes first in the debate, offering his assessment of the “proofs” presented in Deepak’s book, then Deepak responds.
SkeptiQuote:

But the fact that some geniuses
were laughed at does not imply
that all who are laughed at are
geniuses. They laughed at
Columbus, they laughed at Fulton,
they laughed at the Wright
Brothers. But they also laughed
at Bozo the Clown.
— Carl Sagan
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: There was no chat on Sunday, so far as I know.

Wednesday: Forum talk started things off but everything quickly died down after a couple of bad jokes. Things got back on track with talk of boron’s 2nd 30th birthday which is just around the corner. Then a whole slew of videos including WiiFit, How To Kill a Brand (PS3), Wii Hacks, PS3 vs Wii (not exactly work safe), Mac Commercial Parody, Mac Users Can’t Talk Without Their Hands, SNL iPhone, and a rather hilarious car commercial. The night ended with old video games such as Zelda.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:
Francisco de la Sol
Brian
dobryjr
Jinzo8
JustBob2008
AK_Skeptic

(Not a member? Become one today!)


Elsewhere in the World:
Clinical trials and playing by the rules

Donors Bring Big Telescope a Step Closer

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:
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens.



“In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.”

— Book Description


This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. We’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean (2,623 views)
  2. LiLo (Behe) is back! (930 views)
  3. Can critical thinkers become critical too soon? (319 views)
  4. Confusion (281 views)
  5. Religion versus vaccines — sound familiar? (196 views)
  6. Unknown ancient geometry (166 views)
  7. Four reasons to believe in God (146 views)
  8. New topic limit (145 views)
  9. Buck on Huck (144 views)
  10. Bush’s legal fictions (140 views)
Articles:
  1. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Argument Weak on Both Sides (649 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (632 views)
  3. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (481 views)
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (122 views)
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (84 views)
  6. Skeptic Summary #152 (71 views)
  7. Miracle Thaw Tray (61 views)
  8. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome (54 views)
  9. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (41 views)
  10. Spam Scams and Slams (36 views)
There were 7,611 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. We’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean (9,690 views)
  2. LiLo (Behe) is back! (3,140 views)
  3. This year’s cynical holiday humor (2,500 views)
  4. Nazi Christmas (2,301 views)
  5. Four reasons to believe in God (1,673 views)
  6. Rejoice Republicans, the Savior approacheth (1,569 views)
  7. An international team of MMGW deniers (scientists) (1,481 views)
  8. MMGW debunked! (1,239 views)
  9. Religion versus vaccines — sound familiar? (1,052 views)
  10. FYI: let’s say thanks (1,002 views)
  11. The myth of the secularist humbug (965 views)
  12. The Bible (681 views)
  13. Owl on the dollar bill… (669 views)
  14. Sunday school (620 views)
  15. Information (553 views)
  16. Pope denounces atheism (523 views)
  17. Ron Paul: not your hero (520 views)
  18. The eaters of the living (512 views)
  19. Really creepy illusions (496 views)
  20. Taking back the default position (475 views)
Articles:
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (2,817 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (2,501 views)
  3. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (930 views)
  4. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome (706 views)
  5. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (515 views)
  6. Skeptic Summary #152 (300 views)
  7. Miracle Thaw Tray (249 views)
  8. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (172 views)
  9. Cold Reading (159 views)
  10. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (135 views)
  11. Evolution is a Lie (104 views)
  12. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (97 views)
  13. Scientific Truth (84 views)
  14. TAM4 (84 views)
  15. Skeptic Summary #95 (81 views)
  16. Evolution, Scientology Style (80 views)
  17. Mesmer, Casino Monkey, and Video Sex (79 views)
  18. Time Warner Cable: Trick or Treat? (75 views)
  19. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda (71 views)
  20. Skeptic Summary #169 (67 views)
There were 35,277 daily visitors in December, 2007.


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 2008, all rights reserved.



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