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Skeptic Summary #241

By The Staff
Posted on: 6/20/2009

A slow week, but with an epic article, a speech and more!

Week ending June 20, 2009 (Vol 6, #23)

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:
Paying attention at last? - Gotta watch what you shove up your nose.

New Article This Week:
TAM5 - An epic! Two years in production! One to write it and then sit on it. Then one to sit on it and then edit it.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
NCSE’s Scott speaks at Evolution 2009
NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott spoke at the Evolution 2009 conference on June 12, 2009, and video of her lecture — “The Public Understanding of Evolution and the KISS Principle” — is now available on-line in RealPlayer format. At the conference, Scott was presented with the first Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Evolution “to recognize individuals whose sustained and exemplary efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science and its importance in biology, education, and everyday life in the spirit of Stephen Jay Gould.” According to the citation, “As the executive director of the National Center for Science Education she has been in the forefront of battles to ensure that public education clearly distinguishes science from non-science and that the principles of evolution are taught in all biology courses.”
The video of Eugenie Scott’s talk runs for about one hour and twenty two minutes. And it’s a great talk on how teachers should be teaching science because the way it’s being done now, she believes, is failing to get across the basics of science. She also addresses many other issues such as what science can tell us and what it can’t with regard to religion, science and the associated philosophical concepts behind both.

I strongly recommend this talk to you.

If you’ve got a religious belief that withers in the face of observations of the natural world, you ought to rethink your beliefs — rethinking the world isn’t an option.
— PZ Myers

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: With TAM7 less than three weeks away now, of course it had to be on the list of topics for chat. Also discussed was the unemployment rate and slogans for eugenics. Then discussion changed to the software industry, software engineering vs. software development, circuit programming, and many other nerdy things that need not be mentioned here. A little bit of comparative geography (“My state is better than your state!”) ended the night.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
Thetas I

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
10 Fantastic Futuristic Materials that Actually Exist

The 113th Skeptic’s Circle

An Amusing Brainteaser


A Helpful Tutorial on The Most Difficult Video Game Ever

Homeopathic plutonium? Now there’s a hot time in the old town tonight!

John Hodgman at Radio & TV Correspondents’ Dinner

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Say Chimps And Humans Share A Common Ancestor

Magnetism, mystery and plain muddle

Religious Right Leaders and Slavery Apologists

Skepticality #103 — Greenhouse of the Dinosaurs

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

Book of the Week:
Evolution vs. Creationism, by Eugenie C. Scott.

“The evolution versus creationism conflict is here to stay. Even after their devastating defeat in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, advocates of intelligent design and other forms of creationism continue to revise their strategies for undermining the teaching of evolution — and thus of science in general — in American schools. In this revision of Evolution vs. Creationism, Eugenie Scott, one of the leading proponents of teaching evolution in the schools, describes these ever-changing efforts to undermine science education and shows what students, parents, and teachers should be aware of to help ensure that American science education prepares our students to compete in the 21st century.

This second edition of Evolution vs. Creationism will help readers better understand the issues involved in these debates. It expands and updates the original work with an insider’s look at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, a new selection of primary source documents on the Creationism/Evolution controversy in the media, and an up-to-date analysis of the most recent creationist challenges across the country.

The revision also expands and updates the collection of primary source documents that address cosmology, law, education, popular culture, and religious issues from all sides of the debate, as well as the resources for further information.”

— Product Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit!
  3. New World Order happening right now!
  4. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  5. Possum on the half shell
  6. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  7. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  8. Why Michael Shermer is a Libertarian
  9. Is there a slugologist in the house?
  10. Beelzebufo ampinga
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Skeptic Summary #152
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  6. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  7. Miracle Thaw Tray
  8. Mesmer, Casino Monkey, and Video Sex
  9. Skeptic Summary #211
  10. Come & Receive your Miracle: A Sunday Afternoon at a Robert Tilton Crusade
There were 13,727 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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