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Skeptic Summary #278

By The Staff
Posted on: 3/27/2010

Health care, water, more denial, a member in need, men-men-men, NatGeo videos and more!

Week ending March 27, 2010 (Vol 7, #13)

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:
Health care bill up for grabs - News of the week.

Water covering the Earth - You got questions? SFN has answers.

What is the physical evidence for the Holocaust? - Confederate/Nazi sympathizers, unite!

Editor’s Choice: Would somebody loan me a Bible? - Can someone help filthy out?

From the Archives: The secrets of men: unbalanced homophobia - Er, not that there’s anything wrong with that?

Kil’s Evil Pick:
National Geographic Videos — Here is a collection of very cool science videos. None of them are much over three minutes long, but all of them are fun and interesting. Want to know about undersea forests in the waters off Antarctica? How about a laser that had been “taught” to zap mosquitoes? How about a vampire squid that can turn itself inside out? There are these videos and many more.

I just spent a couple of hours watching, being entertained and learning from this collection of great little video slices of science. Enjoy!

Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge.
— Horace Mann

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: This week’s chat started with the psychic Edgar Cayce. I would say “supposed” psychic, but that’s redundant. We moved on to health care and various metrics one can use to analyze how “good” a particular system is. We found one that every person would agree on but forgot to write it down. The conversation slowly became less practical and more philosophical with relative/absolute morality slipping in and how great a totalitarian government would be if Dave were in charge. One of his ideas is to have insurance for every activity, which would be incorporated in the costs of the activity itself. We railed on Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, and Limbaugh for a while before getting back to politics. The night ended with forum talk, computer games, and even a little math.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
The Absurdity of “No Foreign Law” Demagoguery

Affirmative Atheism

Animals Raros

Boy Scouts Accused of Massive Sex-Abuse Coverup

Canadian lesbian couple says doctor refused to treat them

Comic Jim Wiggins on George Carlin's Passing

Could human life be put on hold?

Doing Nothing

Joel Levine: Why we need to go back to Mars

My New Favorite Kid

National Academy president nominates winner of Templeton Prize

National Accommodationists Host Templeton Prize Announcement

NCSE Lauds Templeton Prize Winner

The neverending hurricane-climate story

A new favorite word

Predatory animals are bad and should be allowed to go extinct, or should be modified to become kind and herbivorous

Sam Harris: Science CAN Answer Moral Questions

Sarah Palin to host reality TV series

Sex, statistics and Sunderland

‘Super mosquitoes’ could fight malaria with a bite

Tear Down That Wall

What’s New by Bob Park

When is attempted murder more acceptable than harming someone by accident?

Who fired the first shot in the Civil War?

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

Book of the Week:
Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle, by Daniel L. Everett.

“…Everett’s life with the Pirahã cost him dearly. He almost lost two family members to malaria, and his first marriage broke down after years of highly productive shared field work. But life in the Amazon taught him a great deal about human nature, too, perhaps more about his own than that of the Pirahã. Everett began his linguistic work as a Christian missionary, but the Pirahã were marvelously impervious to his promise of a life with Jesus. They pointed out that Everett simply had no proof for the supernatural world he described, and in the end he found himself agreeing with them. He left the church, choosing a world that more honestly integrated his goals as a scholar with the world view of his Pirahã friends — one where evidence matters.”

— Publishers Weekly

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  3. What is the physical evidence for the Holocaust?
  4. Funny FAILS
  5. Quote Mine warning propaganda poster
  6. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  7. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  8. Health care bill up for grabs
  9. AIG’s Dan LIEtha, at it again
  10. The ‘opinion’ thread
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Evolution is a Lie
  4. Scientific Truth
  5. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  6. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  7. Skeptic Summary #277
  8. SkeptiCamp Atlanta: A Personal Overview
  9. Cold Reading
  10. Miracle Thaw Tray
There were 27,312 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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