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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #199

By The Staff
Posted on: 8/3/2008

Vote outside the box, Expelled, astronautic nonsense, nifty rover, daily science and more!


Week ending August 02, 2008 (Vol 5, #27)

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:
Third-party voting - It’s difficult to choose whom you waste your vote on.

Amazon has Expelled up for pre-order - I wasn’t much of a fan. Horrible plot and poor character development.

Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up - But you can’t trust him, he worked for NASA.

Editor’s Choice: Walking robot freakout! - Can’t wait to see these all over the place, trotting alongside shoppers and around construction sites.



Kil’s Evil Pick:
Science Daily - I happened upon a nature show on television about box jellyfish. These are fascinating animals for several reasons. Box jellies have the most toxic venom of any animal in the world. They have complex eyes that guide them to prey and away from danger, which means that they are not just drifting around catching whatever prey happens to brush against a tentacle, and yet they have no brain or central nervous system. They are also surprisingly fast swimmers.

My interest in box jellyfish was piqued and I wanted to know more about them. My search led me to several sites including Science Daily. I didn’t link to the article on box jellyfish at that site because Science Daily is a science news site and was not exactly what I was looking for. But I was reminded, once again, of what a valuable site Science Daily is. The site covers a broad range of subjects, is easy to navigate, is updated several times a day and the cross-referencing is terrific. So, on the off chance that you don’t know about Science Daily, I have made it my pick for this week. Plus, I have finally bookmarked it for my own use.

SkeptiQuote:
It is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
— Charles Darwin


Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Our Sunday chat host is on vacation.

Wednesday: So, once again Ricky, our regular chat host, was absent. That usually poses a problem for me (Kil) because I can’t log chat. (And to Dave and Ricky that pretty much means that PCs are superior to Macs and not a problem with our chat program.) Anyhow, normally I just make stuff up when I get chat summary duty. Not completely, mind you, but my adherence to accurate reporting is set aside if the mood strikes me, and it usually does. But this time, Dave took notes. Here they are:
Chat 3D - This time it’s personal. News of Jerome. Dino soft tissue. UFO fail. Denouncement of PZ. Catholics and hate. The Ray Tractors — Ray Comfort’s Detractors. A musical interlude including Minnie the Moocher. Debunking atheists. Kil’s back (lots of little discussions about it through the night). marfknox, PhillyCOR’s hate mail, and the Philabundance Workday. Dr. Horrible, in which everyone is either an asshole or a douchebag (or pathetic). Durante’s moritification. Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Thoughts Are Free) (a freethought anthem?), compared with ‘Imagine.’ Outlawed beliefs?
Yeah, it’s a bit raw. (It wasn’t meant to be the actual summary.) But it’s also the truth. It’s what really went down! Sorry but I just haven’t the energy to sort it into anything more comprehensible. Plus, his notes include lots of links, and that’s something my summaries usually lack and Ricky’s summaries are sorely short on. Anyhow, as I usually say, “a good time was had by all,” which is really the point of chat, after all…

Come chat with us.


New Members This Week:
Webster
eric98sm
Im Cool Trust Me
pshaw1313

(Not a member? Become one today!)




Elsewhere in the World:
Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter 94

Skepticality #81 - Alpha Kids

What’s New by Bob Park

Working out the fame formula

Got some skeptic news items? Send them to us, and we’ll think about adding them.


Book of the Week:
Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide for Young Skeptics, by Dan Barker.



“…This is definitely a kid’s only book, with annoying little characters drawn in ‘see it go, see it go up’ style, with a dog and a few other cuddly critters as well. But, it’s good stuff on how and why a skeptic thinks as he/she does that prods a kid to question in ways I never experienced growing up, at least not till I was, oh, maybe 32. (Of course I'm kidding.) Barker provides simple illustrations of what is proof, why it’s unwise to believe everything you hear, how to listen carefully, ask questions, seek clear answers, display curiousity andlook for better explanations — all illustrated in an unfolding story about kids looking for ghosts. The reasoning processes that apply in the search for ghosts also are shown to apply to a skeptic look at claims for UFOs, ESP, telepathy, telekinesis, prophesy, out of body experience, dowsing, levitation, astrology, horoscopes and faith healing. The refrain throughout to the young reader is, ‘What do you think?’…”

— A customer review




This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (5,844 views)
  2. A Christian (Catholic) sense of proportion… (626 views)
  3. NASA doctors photos from Mars (554 views)
  4. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit! (522 views)
  5. Possum on the half shell (446 views)
  6. BlackLight Power Inc.: too good to be true? (301 views)
  7. Third-party voting (294 views)
  8. Crop circles again… (280 views)
  9. Caesar’s Messiah by Joseph Atwill (269 views)
  10. Conscious Life Expo (228 views)
Articles:
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (1,553 views)
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (1,362 views)
  3. Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it! Part 4 (445 views)
  4. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda (322 views)
  5. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (300 views)
  6. Skeptic Summary #152 (237 views)
  7. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (169 views)
  8. More on the Polonium 218 Controversy (162 views)
  9. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Argument Weak on Both Sides (153 views)
  10. Cold Reading (135 views)
There were 27,711 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (15,456 views)
  2. A Christian (Catholic) sense of proportion… (2,649 views)
  3. Possum on the half shell (2,072 views)
  4. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit! (1,985 views)
  5. Crop circles again… (1,376 views)
  6. BlackLight Power Inc.: too good to be true? (1,212 views)
  7. Shark facts from the Discovery Channel (1,170 views)
  8. Caesar’s Messiah by Joseph Atwill (1,122 views)
  9. What is photorealism? (1,114 views)
  10. LiLo (Behe) is back! (981 views)
  11. The wages of sin (944 views)
  12. Global communication — beta (780 views)
  13. Who would win, grizzly or gorilla? (779 views)
  14. creation/evolution (736 views)
  15. Fundamentalists HATE Noah’s Ark! (722 views)
  16. Are skepticism and Buddhism compatible? (716 views)
  17. Happy dependence day (699 views)
  18. Al tells it like it is (675 views)
  19. Beelzebufo ampinga (660 views)
  20. Official 2007 SFN psychic predictions contest (656 views)
Articles:
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (8,340 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (6,907 views)
  3. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (1,254 views)
  4. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda (1,129 views)
  5. Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it! Part 4 (1,108 views)
  6. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (820 views)
  7. Skeptic Summary #152 (756 views)
  8. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Argument Weak on Both Sides (674 views)
  9. Evolution, Scientology Style (652 views)
  10. Cold Reading (599 views)
  11. More on the Polonium 218 Controversy (583 views)
  12. Evil Skeptic and a Visit to Awareness 2000 (522 views)
  13. The Biblical support for a Flat Earth and Geocentricism (499 views)
  14. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (436 views)
  15. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (397 views)
  16. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome (397 views)
  17. Paradigm Paralysis (369 views)
  18. Tommy Debates the Bible Answer man (356 views)
  19. Miracle Thaw Tray (353 views)
  20. N. 57, January 2005: Nonsense on Stilts, an Example (334 views)
There were 119,648 daily visitors in July, 2008.


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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