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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #268

By The Staff
Posted on: 1/16/2010

Palin failing, pyramid sighting, teabag burning, argument assaulting, AGW denying, apocalypse busting and more!

Week ending unknown 16, 2010 (Vol 7, #3)

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:
NYT: Sarah Palin to Contribute to Fox News - If there ever was a pretense that FOX was apolitical…

Pyramid UFO - Another one that remains… unidentified.

Teabagging mania as a modern witch craze - Witch is old.

Editor’s Choice: Assault my argument please - The result is probably predictable.

From the Archives: An international team of MMGW deniers (scientists) - Non-specialists in climate science make claims about climate science. Sound familiar?

Kil’s Evil Pick:
A Brief History of the Apocalypse, by Chris Nelson — At this site is a collection of end of the world predictions going back to 2,800 BCE and moving forward through the years and into the future. The predictions are organized by each date that the world (for us anyhow) was supposed to come to an end. Here is the introduction to the site:
The 21st century has begun in earnest! And despite the cries of doomsayers, psychics and prophets, the world has not come to an end!

Is the idea that the End is near a recent phenomenon? Far from it. Indeed, Chicken Littles have crying doom since ancient times. The aim of this page is to debunk end-time prophecy by listing hundreds of failed doomsday predictions, allay the fears spread by end-time preachers, and demonstrate that doomcrying is nothing new. I also hope you will derive amusement from some of the more bizarre prophecies.

I have strived for accuracy through careful cross-referencing among source materials. I’m constantly adding new information and correcting mistakes, yet there may still be some errors.

Please journey with me through the wild, wacky and wonderful world of failed doomsday prophecy!
There have been no updates since 2005, but no matter. There are enough end of the world predictions here (lots of them) to inform and to amuse. Enjoy! (Hat tip to Daniel Loxton.)

I’m a skeptic not because I do not want to believe but because I want to know.
— Michael Shermer

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: Chat happened. And you wouldn’t have wanted to miss this one. Sure it was fairly typical as chats go, in almost every way. But that’s what made it special. It was like participating in a control group in order to baseline chat. This was the chat that all other chats will be compared to. And if you weren’t there, then you missed it. See what I mean?

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Back in time in medicine

Christianity’s role in history of U.S. at issue

The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage

Did aliens help to line up Woolworths stores?

Ebert: “Limbaugh, you should be horse-whipped”

Hitchens on Vidal

Only Biblical Literalists May Be Alabama Governor

Prop 8 Trial Tracker

Regarding Dr. Mehmet Oz: Whoops. Maybe I spoke too soon about vaccines

The Silver Lining?

The Skeptic’s Dictionary newsletter #111

Skepticality #118 — The Santa Situation

VFX has gone too far

Voices of the ancients

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:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells — taken without her knowledge — became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons — as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo — to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells…”

— Product Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. Funny FAILS
  3. New World Order happening right now!
  4. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  5. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  6. Quote Mine warning propaganda poster
  7. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  8. Jesus tempts Satan
  9. NYT: Sarah Palin to Contribute to Fox News
  10. Avatar
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Newton’s Third Law
  3. Evolving a Venom or Two
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  5. Laetrile
  6. Miracle Thaw Tray
  7. TAM5
  8. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  9. Scientific Truth
  10. Skeptic Summary #267
There were 20,450 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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