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Skeptic Summary #302

By The Staff
Posted on: 10/2/2010

An atheist win, a fundamentalist fail, a chance for a new trial and more!

Week ending October 02, 2010 (Vol 7, #37)

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:
Atheists and agnostics are #1 - Let me tell you about your religion…

Will Christine O’Donnell become a Senator - Not if skeptics get their wishes, but she’s fun to watch.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
Free the West Memphis Three Official Blog — Things are happening in the case of the West Memphis Three that you should be made aware of, if you aren’t already. And the Free the West Memphis Three Official Blog seems to be the place for the find most up-to-date information on the wrongful convictions of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, all convicted of the murder of three children, based on the flimsiest of evidence, every bit of which has been debunked, to support a satanic crime that would not hold up in any court of law today.

From the blog I found a link to a video of the Arkansas Supreme Court hearing for a new trial for Damian Echols based on DNA and other new evidence that was denied by the appellate court. (It should be noted that the judge in the appellate court was the same judge who sat for their original trials. That’s not mentioned in this appeal to the higher court of course.) The hearing just took place last Thursday, September 29, 2010. I found the video to well worth watching. I am more hopeful than ever that a new trial will be granted for Mr. Echols, based on the strength of the arguments made and the judge’s questions and reactions to the attorneys, both for and against.

For a complete rundown of the circumstances surrounding the case and what has gone on since the three were convicted over 17 years ago including new evidence, recanted testimonies and evidence of jury tampering, please see “West Memphis Three: Outrage in Arkansas.”

I also urge you to visit the support fund site for more information about the case.

Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is; for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows.
— Socrates

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: Again, chat logging was a failure. I (Dave) remember that we spent a lot of time arguing about Obama’s performance in office, and whether it has been liberal enough.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Aerosteon riocoloradensi: A Very Cool Dinosaur from Argentina

Animal farms are pumping up superbugs

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

The Bane of Human Remains

A Blasphemy in Connecticut

Book Review: The Case of The Pope by Geoffrey Robertson QC

Closer Look at Rift Between Humanists Reveals Deeper Divisions

Every time you reach for something, there’s a squabbling match in your brain

Found: An Earthlike Planet at Last

Good Decision-Making Groups Need More Women, Not Geniuses

Happy Blasphemy Day: How I became an atheist

New Space Telescope Relies on Never-Before-Manufactured Material; No Problem, Says NASA

Punishment does not fit crimes with the most victims

Sacred Cow: Caffeine

Skepticality #139 — The Calculus Diaries

So you want to write a horoscope (Or: Amusing the gullible for fun and profit)

UN names official space 'host'

What’s New by Bob Park

When Fear of Science Becomes Dangerous

Who Are the New Go-To Movie Villains? How About Atheists?

Your Brain on Music

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

Book of the Week:
The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, by Jennifer Ouellette.

“Kiss My Math meets A Tour of the Calculus

Jennifer Ouellette never took math in college, mostly because she — like most people — assumed that she wouldn’t need it in real life. But then the English-major-turned-award-winning-science-writer had a change of heart and decided to revisit the equations and formulas that had haunted her for years. The Calculus Diaries is the fun and fascinating account of her year spent confronting her math phobia head on. With wit and verve, Ouellette shows how she learned to apply calculus to everything from gas mileage to dieting, from the rides at Disneyland to shooting craps in Vegas — proving that even the mathematically challenged can learn the fundamentals of the universal language.”

— Product Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  2. Funny FAILS
  3. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  4. The Supper
  5. The Battle of Tehran
  6. Atheists and agnostics are #1
  7. The Bible is false
  8. Three Wolf Moon
  9. The Enneagram Institute
  10. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Scientific Truth
  4. The PQ Test
  5. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  6. The Fred Flintstone Hoax
  7. Miracle Thaw Tray
  8. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  9. TAM5
  10. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
There were 6,569 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  2. Funny FAILS
  3. The Supper
  4. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  5. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  6. The Battle of Tehran
  7. Burning the Koran: how stupid is this?
  8. Fif50ty FreAkieSt AnIMaLS
  9. DMV Senior Motorcyclist Handbook
  10. Quote Mine warning propaganda poster
  11. DADT Survey
  12. Beelzebufo ampinga
  13. The B**BQUAKE — 911 — the end of atheism
  14. Scattershots: the stone art of Mesoamerica
  15. Jesus tempts Satan
  16. Documentary: 1983 ‘Moonwalk’ was staged
  17. Alan Grayson to Chris Matthews on the swine Cheney
  18. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  19. Crabby Catholic curses, well, everything in sight
  20. Need help on replying to Creationist
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Scientific Truth
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  5. Miracle Thaw Tray
  6. Cold Reading
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  8. Evolution, Scientology Style
  9. TAM5
  10. The PQ Test
  11. The Laundry Solution
  12. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  13. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  14. Evil Skeptic and a Visit to Awareness 2000
  15. Come & Receive your Miracle: A Sunday Afternoon at a Robert Tilton Crusade
  16. Newton’s Third Law
  17. The Biblical support for a Flat Earth and Geocentricism
  18. Spam Alert
  19. More on the Polonium 218 Controversy
  20. N. 25, June 2002: Ecology vs. ecophily — being reasonable about saving the environment
There were 29,120 daily visitors in September, 2010.

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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