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Skeptic Summary #214

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/1/2008

Blasphemy, spamerica, psychology, abuse, fundies and more!

Week ending November 29, 2008 (Vol 5, #42)

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:
High-larious!! - Christians against Cartoons, a subsidiary to Landover Baptist perhaps?

Rational spamming! - Fighting fire with fire.

SPR Study Day - The Psychology of the Sceptic - Or maybe it’s the psychology of the psychologists of the skeptic.

Editor’s Choice: Raising an emotionally stable child - Headdesk. Headdesk. Headdesk.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
The Templeton Fundies,” by Robert T. Carroll:
How much does it cost to determine scientifically why people believe in God?

Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, thinks it can do it for about $4 million. Well, not Oxford
per se, but researchers at Oxford’s Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion and the Centre for Anthropology and Mind have been granted £1.9 million by the Templeton Foundation to try to answer the question about belief.
Carroll is skeptical of the Templeton Foundation’s goal. A very good read.

If falsehood, like truth, had but one face, we would be more on equal terms. For we would consider the contrary of what the liar said to be certain. But the opposite of truth has a hundred thousand faces and an infinite field.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Chat Highlights:
Sunday: First out: fun animal warning signs, then regular photos of wildlife. Government work in Brazil. Bad food. Bad presidents. Fun video.

Wednesday: Chat started out on the thin side. It eventually became fatter in the middle and later, thin again. Not all that unlike my Brontosaurus (now called Apatosaurus) theory. You know, small on one end, big in the middle and small on the other end. This theory I have about some Sauropod dinosaurs is well supported too. If only I could say that about a chat night on the eve of Thanksgiving. But for the few of us who made it, it was an extraordinary chat session. We who were there remain much richer for the experience. For those of you who weren’t: sorry. I hope all the other things you had to do were worth it.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Anatomy of a Zombie Lie

Berlinski and the Windmill

Down’s births: how BBC misread the evidence

Egnor shoots! He scores!

Season’s greetings from the secular side

Where’s that Doctor Doom mask again?

What’s New by Bob Park

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

DVD of the Week:
The God Who Wasn’t There (DVD), by Brian Flemming (director).

Bowling for Columbine did it to the gun culture. Super Size Me did it to fast food. Now The God Who Wasn’t There does it to religion.

Holding modern Christianity up to a bright spotlight, this eye-opening documentary asks the questions few dare to ask. ‘Did Jesus even exist?’ is just the beginning for The God Who Wasn’t There. Your guide through the world of Christendom is former fundamentalist Brian Flemming, joined by such luminaries as Jesus Seminar fellow Robert M. Price, author Sam Harris and historian Richard Carrier.”

— DVD Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (410 views)
  2. Jesus vs. T Rex (395 views)
  3. Beelzebufo ampinga (369 views)
  4. Possum on the half shell (319 views)
  5. A Half of a Wing & A piece of A Prayer (198 views)
  6. The shallow end of the gene pool… (181 views)
  7. High-larious!! (171 views)
  8. Art or oxygen theft? (163 views)
  9. This year’s cynical holiday humor (161 views)
  10. Philosophical question (of sort) (156 views)
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (1,436 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (960 views)
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (116 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #152 (97 views)
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (61 views)
  6. Miracle Thaw Tray (51 views)
  7. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (35 views)
  8. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (34 views)
  9. Cold Reading (28 views)
  10. Mesmer, Casino Monkey, and Video Sex (26 views)
There were 8,568 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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