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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #142

By The Staff
Posted on: 5/12/2007

All sorts of 9/11 bafflegab, science sense and more!

Week ending May 12, 2007 (Vol 4, #19)

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:
This week we’ll just be highlighting the failed “Total Truth Takeover” of our forums:You be the judge.

Editor’s Choice: Why are any 9-11 conspiracy theorists still alive? - It’s a real good, and unanswered, question.
Kil’s Evil Pick:

Sense About Science - In their own words:
Sense About Science is an independent charitable trust. We respond to the misrepresentation of science and scientific evidence on issues that matter to society, from scares about plastic bottles, fluoride and the MMR vaccine to controversies about genetic modification, stem cell research and radiation.

Our recent and current priorities include alternative medicine, MRI, detox, nuclear power, evidence in public health advice, weather patterns and an educational resource on peer review.
A highly recommended site!
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Diet sodas don’t taste that much like chemicals anymore (still not good enough?); the origin of Vanilla and Cherry Coke; Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, and Carbon: so close to each other yet so different; how to chill out hot debate-feelings; Kil dining with cool people (from JREF); people to meet at Dragon*Con, and how to get assorted items through customs; Kil fires Ricky for neglection of duty. Also: fighting spam, Blue Frog was effective; Starbucks controversy with quotes of the cups; Rush’s new album is out and better than expected; homosexuality; Ted Haggard; Jesus Camp Documentary; hurricane strikes; smokey whiskeys and smokey tea.

Wednesday: The night started off with children’s songs, as marfknox requested the name of a song which all kids know and love. Why she wanted one, no one bothered to ask. Everyone was too busy naming them. Things became a bit more serious when problems were noted in the New Quoting Style, an update which just appeared on the SFN forums. While Dave was fixing the problems, an unfortunate participant asked, “What is a record?” and chat spun off into a series of quotes from the movie Airplane. The night was about to end with sharing memories of old comic books, however at the last moment a global warming denier entered, looking for a debate. A few stuck around for a while, but we were all tired and ended up requesting that he make a post on the forums about it.

Also, several times throughout the night we had 13 participants in chat, tying our old record. However, not once did we get up to 14. Perhaps you should join in next week to give it another go.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:
mark roberts gay spy

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

Popular Crackpot Podcast — Episode Six

Religious Groups Reap Share of U.S. Aid for Pet Projects

Skeptic’s Dictionary — Huckabee as Bozo

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:
Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul, by Edward Humes.

“Some see the 2005 case of Kitzmiller v. Dover, concerning a small-town school board’s adding an ‘intelligent design’ (i.e., anti-Darwinian) text to the ninth-grade science curriculum, as the second Scopes trial. But whereas evolution lost in 1925, it won in 2005. Also, Kitzmiller was a federal and Scopes a state case. Yet as Humes sees it, Kitzmiller won’t end the battle over evolution any more than Scopes did. That fracas, he opines, doesn’t die; it evolves. Hence, religion was central in the earlier, science in the later, trial. While thoroughly presenting the personalities and events of Kitzmiller, Humes fills in so much of the story of evolutionary theory and literalist biblical reaction to it — especially the intelligent design, originally ‘creationist,’ then ‘creation science,’ movement — that the book is an engrossing community drama and a character-centered, topical history-of-science primer. Humes’ clear reportorial style and sympathy for all the principals in Kitzmiller (except, perhaps, for the school board’s hired-gun lead attorney) ensure the high interest of both aspects of the book.”

— Booklist

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. 911 conspiracies (1,256 views)
  2. Building 7: the smoking gun of the 9/11 inside job (837 views)
  3. The Kent State shooting conspiracy (662 views)
  4. Zionists committed 9-11 (586 views)
  5. A plane hit the Pentagon (431 views)
  6. The 911 mural truck bomb audio (425 views)
  7. Reality check (420 views)
  8. Religion versus vaccines — sound familiar? (385 views)
  9. CNN warns against Iraq pullout (268 views)
  10. Psychic Jomanda/Millecam: the true story (251 views)
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (322 views)
  2. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (94 views)
  3. Skeptic Summary #141 (50 views)
  4. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (48 views)
  5. Cold Reading (45 views)
  6. Miracle Thaw Tray (44 views)
  7. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (37 views)
  8. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (32 views)
  9. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (28 views)
  10. TAM4 (25 views)
There were 6,041 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 2007, all rights reserved.

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