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Skeptic Summary #285

By The Staff
Posted on: 5/16/2010

Coolness, divisiveness, stupidness, responsibleness, oceanographicness and more!

Week ending May 15, 2010 (Vol 7, #20)

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:
Determine whether or not you’re cool - Do you soda, pop or coke?

From AIG: humans began shorter and small brained - Will AiG admit to Evolution? We’ll never get closer than this.

Teabaggers take over Maine Repugs - First goal accomplished: desecrate Maine’s schools.

Editor’s Choice: Bill Of responsibilities - To whom?

Kil’s Evil Pick:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institiution — Their Mission Statement:
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society.
Short but sweet.

What Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute does is all things Oceanographic. And that’s a lot of things. There are several sections to explore, such as Ocean Topics, which leads to several more topics under the heading of Climate & Oceans. Once there you click can click on to, among other topics, Abrupt Climate Change at which point you will have a choice of several articles to read on the subject. And that’s just one path of many. The site is vast.

Whether you are interested in ocean currents and how they effect climate change, ocean biology, ocean geography and pretty much everything related to oceanographic science, this site is sure to please you. There are articles, photos, videos, links to podcasts, and lots of kid-friendly areas to explore as well. I’m giving the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institiution website two thumbs and a flipper up!!!

“Skepticism,” is that anything more than we used to mean when we said, “Well, what have we here?”
— Robert Frost

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: Chat started off light with the TV show House, and his (now known to be fake) liquor “Black Fox.” The conversation then jumped from Hugh Laurie to Hugh Hefner to 3D porn. We tried to clean up the conversation by changing the topic, but we unfortunately changed it to Creationism. Specifically, the recent controversy over Hominid brain size as published by Answers in Genesis. No one really thinks it will cause a schism, but who knows? The topic moved on to historic methods of dating the Earth’s age and Stephen Hawking and his warning about aliens. What was about to turn into a deep conversation about morality instead became Bush jokes and the difference between Bush and Obama at the White House Correspodents’ Dinner. The night ended with a long shop talk, mostly focusing on the SFN’s new facebook page.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
U.N. Owen

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Age of Autism and Gardasil: What’s that again about not being “anti-vaccine”?

The Amazing Moment: JREF, Skeptics Society and CSI Co-Sponsor TAM8

Bat sex is not protected by academic freedom

Benigno Aquino brings much-needed dullness to elections in the Philippines

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

Cold Comforts: Antarctic Research Bases Are Seriously Self-Sustaining

Commentaris: Stephen Hawking’s Aliens

Common ancestry passes another test. News at 11.

Cross-Border Tug-of-War

David Morrison: Surviving 2012 and Other Cosmic Disasters

Did North Korea cause Wall St swoon?

Do religious Americans accept evolution?

Don’t you hear that?

Doubt Is Cast on Many Reports of Food Allergies

Eureka! Neural Evidence for Sudden Insight

Fat lips evolve at record speed

“For Better”: The science of marital unhappiness

Fossil Find Fills in Picture of Ancient Marine Life

If we can’t help whistleblowers, then we won’t hear their call

Miracle cures for what ails you

Modern life had a single origin

The New War Between Science and Religion

Preaching to the converted

Problem Detected with Voyager 2 Spacecraft at Edge of Solar System

Religion is a Load of Bullshit!

Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds: Many more of Iceland’s volcanoes seem to be stirring

Shai Agassi’s bold plan for electric cars

Skepticality #129 — In the Land of Believers

A Topical Issue

The Ten Most Disturbing Scientific Discoveries

There Must Be an Idiom — Barbara Drescher

Walgreens shelves plans to sell genetic test

What’s New by Bob Park

When Islamic atheism thrived

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

Book of the Week:
Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, by Charles P. Pierce.

“The Culture Wars Are Over and the Idiots Have Won.

A veteran journalist’s acidically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.

In the midst of a career-long quest to separate the smart from the pap, Charles Pierce had a defining moment at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where he observed a dinosaur. Wearing a saddle… But worse than this was when the proprietor exclaimed to a cheering crowd, ‘We are taking the dinosaurs back from the evolutionists!’ He knew then and there it was time to try and salvage the Land of the Enlightened, buried somewhere in this new Home of the Uninformed.

With his razor-sharp wit and erudite reasoning, Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States, and how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has somehow deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.

With Idiot America, Pierce’s thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma, and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  3. Funny FAILS
  4. Teabaggers take over Maine Repugs
  5. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  6. Quote Mine warning propaganda poster
  7. Determine whether or not you’re cool
  8. DMV Senior Motorcyclist Handbook
  9. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  10. How cool is this?!
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Scientific Truth
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  6. Skeptic Summary #284
  7. Cold Reading
  8. TAM5
  9. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  10. Evolution is a Lie
There were 12,204 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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