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Skeptic Summary #216

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/14/2008

New creationist, slacker atheists, incorrect skeptics, pumped doctors, tons of newness, bad parenting and more!

Week ending December 13, 2008 (Vol 5, #44)

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:
Creationist here - Can this one be original?

Merry UnChristmas blog - Atheists are so unoriginal.

Shermer's Law - Being a skeptic doesn’t mean you’re always right.

Editor’s Choice: Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics - Pump me way the hell up!

New Articles This Week:
Come & Receive your Miracle: A Sunday Afternoon at a Robert Tilton Crusade - Can I get an “amen?” Please? Someone? Anyone?

Quantum Age Water - Fun new “scientific” facts about water. Impress your family! Bilk your friends!

This Week’s Poll:
Torturous - No, really! This is your chance.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
This week’s pick is a news item of amazingly little importance to the world at large, that I just couln’t resist sharing.

Bishop attacks use of “ridiculous” Christian names:
An Italian bishop has called on parents to stop giving their children “ridiculous” names and revert to traditional Christian names instead.

Monsignor Bassano Staffieri, retired bishop of La Spezia in Liguria, said that of the 500 girls born in the city this year, “not one was registered or baptised with the name Maria.” He added, “A name is not just a sound, it has a profound meaning.”

Mothers and fathers “should return to using a name like Maria, which is inspired by the Virgin Mary,” instead of opting for “exotic or strange names of which their children will later be ashamed,” the bishop said. There were signs that parents were reverting to traditional names for boys, “but this is still not the case with baby girls, alas”…
Read on!

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
— Henry L. Mencken

Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Working shift; fighting the good fight; debate on how bio-fuels will affect third world countries: Swedish SEKAB starting up sugar cane plants in Tanzania, and there’s a project in Nigeria to use Sweet Sorghum for ethanol. Producing ethanol in Chernobyl, and eating radioactive deer from there. Might not be as dangerous as we thought. Puns. Important parts in books or scripts cut out of movies.

Wednesday: Fan mail and talk of some new articles in progress started things off. Then making fun of the Navy and some YouTube videos. Beskeptigal joined us for the first time in who-knows how long, in fact it had been so long she forgot how to properly spell her username. After some catching up, talk about the Galapagos cruise with James Randi and a boatload of other famous skeptics, and reminiscing, much of chat focused on Cetic and computer science.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
ACLU Defends Prison Preacher

Facepalm, thy name is Dr. Egnor!

How the Sun boobed over Britney equation

On the Shoulders of Gnats

‘Psychic’ gets 2 months in bilking of $108,000

Sci-fi’s grand old man Forrest J Ackerman dies

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:
Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, by Kenneth R. Miller.

“Thoroughly enjoyable and informative, this new book by Miller (Finding Darwin’s God), a Brown University biologist and leading proponent of evolution, dismantles the scientific basis of intelligent design piece by piece. He does this by taking seriously the claims of intelligent design (though with tongue often in cheek), such as irreducible complexity, and looking at the biological facts and the dubious conclusions ID concepts would lead to. He turns to the peer-reviewed scientific literature to demonstrate that the two biological phenomena ID proponents say could not have evolved — blood-clotting proteins and bacterial flagella — are now well-enough understood to fully rebut intelligent design. Looking at the underlying philosophical issues, Miller explains that ID’s proponents want to replace modern science with ‘theistic science’… that would use the Divine not as ultimate cause, but as scientific explanation. Miller effectively explores the devastating consequences such a change would have on both science and society. In a measured, well-reasoned book, Miller explains why evolution does not deny us our humanity or our unique place in the universe.”

— Publishers Weekly

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Possum on the half shell (456 views)
  2. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics (433 views)
  3. This year’s cynical holiday humor (402 views)
  4. Beelzebufo ampinga (325 views)
  5. The shallow end of the gene pool… (319 views)
  6. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (287 views)
  7. Time for a smackdown (265 views)
  8. Creationist here (256 views)
  9. A Half of a Wing & A piece of A Prayer (249 views)
  10. Nazi Christmas (218 views)
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (1,437 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (903 views)
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (123 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #152 (123 views)
  5. Miracle Thaw Tray (65 views)
  6. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (60 views)
  7. Cold Reading (41 views)
  8. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (38 views)
  9. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (34 views)
  10. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (33 views)
There were 9,371 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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