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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #184

By The Staff
Posted on: 3/30/2008

Dance you maggots, deep-sea fishing, utter filth, a true obscenity and more!


Week ending March 29, 2008 (Vol 5, #12)

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:
Beware the Believers - And their mad animating skillz.

The discovery of the Hallettestoneion Sea Zoria - Thar be dragons here!

Watch your mouth - Or I’ll watch it for you.


Kil’s Evil Pick:
Bush's War (parts one and two) - This PBS Frontline documentary is available online, by chapter, in its entirety. It is the most comprehensive account of the war in Iraq that I have ever seen and I strongly recommend it to you. From the synopsis:
From the horror of 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq; the truth about WMD to the rise of an insurgency; the scandal of Abu Ghraib to the strategy of the surge — for seven years, FRONTLINE has revealed the defining stories of the war on terror in meticulous detail, and the political dramas that played out at the highest levels of power and influence.

Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga unfolds in the two-part FRONTLINE special Bush’s War. Veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk draws on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism — more than 40 FRONTLINE reports on Iraq and the war on terror. Combined with fresh reporting and new interviews, Bush’s War will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation’s history.

“Parts of this history have been told before,” Kirk says. “But no one has laid out the entire narrative to reveal in one epic story the scope and detail of how this war began and how it has been fought, both on the ground and deep inside the government.”

In the fall of 2001, even as America was waging a war in Afghanistan, another hidden war was being waged inside the administration. Part 1 of Bush’s War tells the story of this behind-the-scenes battle over whether Iraq would be the next target in the war on terror.
Please read the entire synopsis here.

SkeptiQuote:
What is wanted is not the will to
believe, but the wish to find out,
which is the exact opposite.
— Bertrand Russell


Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Our chat host was busy recovering.

Wednesday: I (Kil) am filling in this week for our ex-chat host. (The position is available, by the way.)

Chat was on the slow side this week. I noted that it might be, to our ex-chat host, Ricky. And indeed, it turned out to be a slow night. Not that it wasn’t fun or anything. Once our ex-chat host turned on the sign, a few regulars found their way in and hung out for most of the evening. Dave was there along with Marf and Val, and even our ex-chat host Ricky popped in from time to time. Go figure. Anyhow, we will be expecting a bigger turnout after spring break. And perhaps some new blood in the hosting department will help to get this thing back on track and rolling again…

Come chat with us.


New Members This Week:
Herf
Jorge_Banner
the happy_chappie
normpam

(Not a member? Become one today!)




Elsewhere in the World:
Asteroids Named For PZ Myers, Phil Plait, Rebecca Watson, Michael Stackpole

We Were Invited to Expelled Conference Call

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:
On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, by Robert Burton.



“You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You ‘know’ the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001 — you know these things, well, because you just do.

In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we ‘know’ something comes from sources beyond our control and knowledge. In fact, certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. Because this ‘feeling of knowing’ seems like confirmation of knowledge, we tend to think of it as a product of reason. But an increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain, and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. The feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen.

Bringing together cutting edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain will challenge what you know (or think you know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason.”

— Book Description




This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. What are your favorite words? (3,044 views)
  2. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (756 views)
  3. Why religious people are so arrogant (657 views)
  4. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed! (444 views)
  5. 9/11 was an inside job! (403 views)
  6. We’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean (402 views)
  7. Muslim jihadists (367 views)
  8. Hell, your final destination? (330 views)
  9. New features? (302 views)
  10. Possum on the half shell (271 views)
Articles:
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (1,251 views)
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (881 views)
  3. Skeptic Summary #152 (97 views)
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (82 views)
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (56 views)
  6. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome (47 views)
  7. Cold Reading (46 views)
  8. Miracle Thaw Tray (42 views)
  9. Scientific Truth (34 views)
  10. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (32 views)

There were 9,481 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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