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Skeptic Summary #176

By The Staff
Posted on: 1/27/2008

Hell, Randi, telepathy, PZ is my hero, girls and boys, get a human and more!

Week ending January 26, 2008 (Vol 5, #4)

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:
Hell, your final destination? - But who’s driving the overcrowded bus?

How we stopped Randi’s Million-Dollar Challenge - Or not.

Telepathy and whatnot - What? Not.

Editor’s Choice: When cdesign proponentists attack - PZ’s got a gun!

From the Archives: Can’t say ‘Boys and Girls’ anymore? - The SFN talks gender differences.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
gethuman 500 database

Imagine calling a well-known large company and having a human answer the phone. Well, forget about it. It’s not going to happen. So, here is the next best thing. The gethuman 500 database is the fastest way to get a human to talk to, complain to, order from and whatever else an actual live company representative can help you with. It’s a shortcut through the maze of computerized keypad choices put there to slow you down or prevent you from actually talking to a real live person.

Not that a real live person can necessarily get the job done for you. In my experience with, shall we say, Time Warner, you might have, as I have had, the misfortune to deal with a real live person whose soul has been sucked dry by the company they work for, leaving you just as frustrated as you would have been playing with your keypad looking for answers.

Most of the time you’re going to end up talking to a human once you have successfully negotiated the maze anyhow, so why not take a shortcut?

Happy calling!!!
No one infers a god from the
simple, from the known, from what
is understood, but from the
complex, from the unknown, and
incomprehensible. Our ignorance
is God; what we know is science.
— Robert Green Ingersoll
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Our chat host was busy recovering.

Wednesday: An attempt to write the floor() function on the integers in a purely algebraic form was abandoned once it was proven impossible. Then movies and reviews. Talk of careers led into military chat, ranks, and Star Trek, which ended the night.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:
the seeker
nOvel mOniker
Wandering Thoughts

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:

Dark matter “scaffolding” of galactic supercluster mapped

Depression — the facts and the fables

O’Leary Proves that ID is Worthless to Scientists

Skepticality #069 — The Mind of the Market — Interview: Dr. Michael Shermer

What’s New by Bob Park

Why woo-woo wins

Got some skeptic news items? Send them to us, and we’ll think about adding them.
Book of the Week:
The Cure Within: a History of Mind-Body Medicine, by Anne Harrington.

“In fluid prose and with the precision of a detective story, Harrington offers a taxonomy of the main narratives that we draw on to try to make sense of disease, whether they emphasize our ability to heal ourselves or more magical interventions. The root of most of our mind-body narratives is the Bible and other religious writings that describe the struggle against ‘possession’ by demonic forces… [She] shows us that, whatever science reveals about the cause and course of disease, we will continue to tell ourselves stories, and try to use our own metaphors to find meaning in randomness.”

— Jerome Groopman, New York Times

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. We’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean (7,500 views)
  2. When cdesign proponentists attack (4,549 views)
  3. LiLo (Behe) is back! (1,306 views)
  4. Hell, your final destination? (643 views)
  5. How we stopped Randi’s Million-Dollar Challenge (580 views)
  6. Telepathy and whatnot (470 views)
  7. W.A.D. of I.D. (384 views)
  8. Religion versus vaccines — sound familiar? (296 views)
  9. ID predicts… (265 views)
  10. Bush’s legal fictions (234 views)
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (854 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (852 views)
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (94 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #152 (82 views)
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (58 views)
  6. Miracle Thaw Tray (50 views)
  7. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (48 views)
  8. Evolution, Scientology Style (47 views)
  9. Cold Reading (47 views)
  10. Skeptic Summary #175 (45 views)
There were 16,464 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 2008, all rights reserved.

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The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.

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