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Skeptic Summary #380

By The Staff
Posted on: 2/4/2013

Defense, Beckistan, fighting, nudity, Moon hoax, the Smithsonian and more!

Week ending February 03, 2013 (Vol 10, #2)

Welcome to the Skeptic Summary, a quick, bi-weekly review of the Skeptic Friends Network and the rest of the skeptical world.

Forum Highlights:
Catholic hospital offers convenient defense - Throws an article of faith under the bus on their way to court.

Crazytown, U.S.A. - Public laughing stock Glenn Beck wants to found a libertarian utopia.

Fighting back - Atheist-plus campaign against hate. And Shermer has a fit.

Shoud public nudity be legal? - Should offensive stuff be illegal?

Editor’s Choice: Great moon hoax debunking video - Why it was simpler to actually go to the Moon.

Kil’s Evil Pick: — As it happens, it almost exactly a year ago that I picked the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. That was in our Skeptic Summary #318 edition. Coincidence? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. And of course, I still highly recommend the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. is really its own thing. It’s sort of the Smithsonian’s version of their monthly magazine, only it’s online. Duh! And it’s big. Just like the Smithsonian in Washington, the biggest museum in the world, it covers a lot of territory, virtually speaking. I’m not going to bother going over the menu and sub-menus with you. What I can say is you can spend a lot of time there and and still not really scratch the surface. Great articles, great photos, interactive areas and video are just some of the features that can be found there on almost any subject that you wish to pursue.

They describe the site this way in their About Smithsonian page: expands on Smithsonian magazine’s in-depth coverage of history, science, nature, the arts, travel, world culture and technology. Join us regularly as we take a dynamic and interactive approach to exploring modern and historic perspectives on the arts, sciences, nature, world culture and travel, including videos, blogs and a reader forum.

Like the magazine, you don’t have to be looking for anything in particular to find something interesting to read or look at. Depending on what floats your boat, who knows? For example, did you know that chicken wings went from being a stock pot item to being the most expensive part of a chicken, because of the popularity of Buffalo Chicken Wings? Do you wonder How Your Brain Works? (Hint. You should.) And did you know that Your Cell Phone Could Soon Become Part of a Massive Earthquake Detection System? Well, it might.

If you haven’t yet, go check out Tell them that I sent you!

It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment.
— Galileo Galilei

Chat Highlights:
Wednesdays: There were at least three of them since the last Summary, I think. And yet, here it is, only one chat summary. I’ll try to cover all three chats. In general, chat starts around 7 PM Pacific Standard Time. I make my dinner to coincide with the beginning of chat. I do that out of habit because there is no particular reason for me to wait until seven to eat. As for chat (I’ll bet you thought I would never get to it), we had a pretty good crowd last week. The two previous weeks were slow, due to the holidays I suppose. Oh well. Also, maybe one of these days we will find a new chat host who can log chat. Then there might be a reason to read this. Never the less, do stop by next Wednesday night. We have fun.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
Mentalist Erik Dobell
Sopwith Kamel

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
The Burzynski Clinic

Child Witch Killings and Africans

Churches Threaten to Pull Funding If Boy Scouts Drop Anti-Gay Ban

The Daily Beast’s shameful anti-vaccine rant

Doubtful News

FAQs About the New Flu

“Intelligent design” bill in Missouri

Iranian space monkey hoax?

Jenny McCarthy Dumped from Bust A Move Ottawa event

Moon Hoax Not

My God is an Alien

Pale Blue Blobs Invade, Freeze, Then Vanish

The Placebo Phenomenon

Quack Goes the Astrologer

The Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter, February, 2013

Stop Validating Ignorance

Top 30 terrible comments about atheist soldiers on

Truth in Education

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:
The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People, by Neil Shubin.

“From one of our finest and most popular science writers, and the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery as big as the world itself: How are the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago embedded inside each of us?

In Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human bodies — our hands, heads, and jaws — and the structures in fish and worms that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. In The Universe Within, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, Shubin takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we look the way we do. Starting once again with fossils, he turns his gaze skyward, showing us how the entirety of the universe’s fourteen-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. As he moves from our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system) through the workings of our eyes, Shubin makes clear how the evolution of the cosmos has profoundly marked our own bodies.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  2. Didn't you all know? Lizards never stop growing!
  3. Should you have to be 18 to feature in porn?
  4. Nitrofill your car tires
  5. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  6. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  7. Thanksgiving
  8. Jim Garrow
  9. No Budget, No Pay, Law Passes House
  10. Great moon hoax debunking video
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  3. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  4. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  5. Cold Reading
  6. Free the Glutens, or When a Cookie isn’t Just a Cookie
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  8. Miracle Thaw Tray
  9. How Do Vaccines Work?
  10. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
There were 6,687 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  2. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  3. Fighting back
  4. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  5. New general technology?
  6. Didn't you all know? Lizards never stop growing!
  7. Fif50ty FreAkieSt AnIMaLS
  8. The Missing Universe Museum
  9. Scattershots: Cleaning out the pipes
  10. Combat Ki?
  11. Random fun
  12. Kitsch ‘artist’ Thomas Kinkade dies at 54
  13. Scientist: No knuckle-walkers in human ancestry
  14. ‘Debate’ between me and Stan
  15. DMV Senior Motorcyclist Handbook
  16. Jesus tempts Satan
  17. Nitrofill your car tires
  18. Alchemy and the Philosopher’s Stone is real
  19. Latest on the "Antikythera Mechanism"
  20. Our creator was a computer
  1. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  4. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  5. Laetrile
  6. The Myth of the Missing Moon Dust
  7. Cold Reading
  8. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  9. Free the Glutens, or When a Cookie isn’t Just a Cookie
  10. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
  11. How Do Vaccines Work?
  12. Skeptic Summary #379
  13. Miracle Thaw Tray
  14. Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it!
  15. Quantum Age Water
  16. TAM5
  17. The Truth About The Bible And Evolution
  18. Skeptic Summary #349
  19. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda
  20. Scientific Truth
There were 27,297 daily visitors in January, 2013.

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 2013, all rights reserved.

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