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Skeptic Summary #186

By The Staff
Posted on: 4/21/2008

Lamarck, abortion, Expelled and Ben Stein and more!

Week ending April 19, 2008 (Vol 5, #14)

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:
An Uncommon Descent into Lamackism - Devolution of evolutionary theories.

Using abortion as an art medium - This project should have been aborted long ago.

Editor’s Choice: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed! (Part 2) - The gift that keeps on giving.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
From The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) pages “Expelled Exposed” comes the contest “Set Ben Straight.”
In promoting the creationist propaganda film Expelled, Ben Stein managed to stick his foot in his mouth over and over again, issuing what seemed to be a ceaseless stream of ignorant, offensive, and just plain daffy claims. Here’s your chance to set Ben straight. Send your favorite claim to along with a refutation. We’ll post the best for all the world to see. And five lucky entrants will receive a year’s subscription to Reports of the NCSE along with their choice of a book from NCSE’s shelf — including such useful books as Mark Isaak’s The Counter-Creationism Handbook, Eugenie C. Scott’s Evolution vs. Creationism, and the AAAS’s The Evolution Dialogues: Science, Christianity, and the Quest for Understanding. But you only have ten days, and a wealth of silliness to examine, so act now!
Follow the link to the rules. This might be fun for someone here and a chance to do SFN proud!!!

[When asked, “What is your gut feeling?”]

I try not to think with my gut. If I’m
serious about understanding the world,
thinking with anything besides my brain,
as tempting as that might be, is likely
to get me into trouble.
— Carl Sagan

Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Our chat host may be returning to work on May 4th!

Wednesday: Ricky was absent. We had a pretty long discussion about Cuneiform because we sometimes have to let Cuneiformist show off his PhD. We talked about Semites and Sumerians and deciphering the languages of those long ago times. If I hadn’t been sick, and drawn extra and unexpected duty, I might remember other things about last week’s chat. It must have been a good one because it lasted for two-and-a-half hours… That’s how I figure it.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:

End is nigh for zombie slayers

John A. Wheeler, Physicist Who Coined the Term ‘Black Hole,’ Is Dead at 96

Science 2.0 — Is Open Access Science the Future?

What’s New by Bob Park

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

DVD of the Week:
Kansas vs. Darwin, directed by Jeff Tamblyn.

“Tamblyn’s film is important because it allows us to see the politics and religion behind the hearings — to see it in the creationists’ smirking faces, to hear it in the condescending tones of their emotional attacks, and to witness it in Pedro Irigonegaray’s righteous anger at what was being done to the education of Kansas schoolchildren in the name of God.”

Dave W.

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (3,035 views)
  2. Hell, your final destination? (1,525 views)
  3. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed! (1,070 views)
  4. We’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean (678 views)
  5. LiLo (Behe) is back! (570 views)
  6. 9/11 was an inside job! (552 views)
  7. Possum on the half shell (496 views)
  8. Turdblossom teaches the time-challenged! (406 views)
  9. What are your favorite words? (403 views)
  10. Why not go to the beginning? (336 views)
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (1,322 views)
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (1,119 views)
  3. Skeptic Summary #152 (128 views)
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (121 views)
  5. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome (58 views)
  6. Newton’s Third Law (47 views)
  7. Skeptic Summary #185 (47 views)
  8. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (38 views)
  9. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (38 views)
  10. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (36 views)
There were 9,768 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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