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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25714 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2005 :  22:38:01  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you're new to the SFN, feel free to introduce yourself in this thread. Or, introduce yourself elsewhere, we're not too picky. Or, don't introduce yourself at all, and just jump in and post. But, for those looking to introduce themselves, I offer this thread. And for those just looking around, welcome to the Skeptic Friends Network.

And I may as well introduce myself here, as well, for those who are new to these forums. I'm Dave W., and I've been editor of the SFN since January of 2004. I came to be a skeptic while dealing with the thousands of "alternative medicine" claims regarding psoriasis, with which I became personally familiar in 1998 or so. Oh, if only one-tenth of one percent of those claims were true, we'd all be walking around in perfect states of health...

(Other staff members may also choose to introduce themselves here, if they wish.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.

solidsquid
New Member

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2005 :  10:33:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit solidsquid's Homepage  Send solidsquid a Yahoo! Message Send solidsquid a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, ye ole intro thread, excellent. Well, I'm Solidsquid and I live in south Texas, Victoria to be exact. I'm 29 and a I'm a senior, biopsychology major at the local university. I start my graduate work in health psychology soon before I continue on towards my doctorate in behavioral neuroscience.

I'm also a musician, I play guitar and bass. I had a band but interpersonal turmoil destoryed that pretty good. However, my father is setting up a studio and music store so that will be great for my musical part of my life.

I'm a member of several other messageboards, mostly revolving around atheism as I am an agnostic or "weak" atheist. I also spend a lot of time giving informal introductory evolutionary biology instruction to many people who do not have a grasp of the theory.

I currently work as a computer lab assistant at the university I attend, pretty nice job for a full time student.

I also am a former squid (Navy). I was a LI3 (petty officer third class - lithographer's mate). It was pretty interesting. Had to have a top secret security clearence, was in the Gulf for Operation Southern Watch. Was medically retired for idiopathic nocturnal epilepsy.

That's about it for me.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2005 :  10:55:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I be's filthy. My handle is also my road name in the M/C clubs, and has been since the mid '50s.

Most of the pertinant info on me is in my profile. I got into skeptisim at a very early age refuting the huge number of nonsense stories concerning reptiles, mainly snakes, and especally venomous.

Retired on disability now, I have done a great many jobs including welder, motorcycle mechanic and truck driver -- anything to make a living for my family. I raised 2 daughters as a single father. I was 10 years in the Navy, starting as a boatswain's mate and then a shipfitter. I was one of the last salvage divers to be qualified on the Normandy, then became a first class diver (helium). I pulled some time in 'Nam as a river rat on a diving barge.

Through it all, I have been an intense student of the natural world. I do not consider it especally important, but I am an atheist.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13287 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2005 :  11:01:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm Kil. I am also the Evil Skeptic, a title bestowed upon me by our webmaster @tomic because of an essay I wrote for SFN. I am one of the original three founding members of SFN. I have been a skeptic most of my adult life, but only actively since I first subscribed to Skeptical Inquiry in the early eighties. That was when I learned that there was an actual community of skeptics out there challenging certain claims, notions and beliefs that way too many people had simply come to accept. My continuing goal at SFN is to help popularize critical thinking as the default mode for evaluating claims of fact, and to demonstrate that a healthy skepticism is available to all who are interested in using the methods that we promote, and not the sole purview of a scientific and intellectual elite that some critics of skepticism have sometime portrayed us as. I am, in short, a skeptic evangelical and a skeptic popularist, which means for me that the continuing growth and success of SFN, one of the oldest skeptic sites on the Internet (a place where all sites are still relatively young) has been a dream come true.

David Glück

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2318 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2005 :  12:47:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, here we go.

I'm Siberia, a name I've adopted as a second cyber-identity. I can otherwise be known as Dreia (shortening, obviously, of Andreia, which happens to be my name), or Dr. Dre (hehe) due to not being totally ignorant on scientific matters.

I'm 20, handicapped and stranded to a wheelchair for life due to rheumatoid juvenile arthritis or whatever name it has, since I was eight months old, really. I'm at university, majoring in Computer Science next year's end. I was born and live in Brazil, and am self-taught in english. Currently, I'm working at IBM, a totally irrelevant detail I just keep sharing for no reason whatsoever, because I'm oh-so-happy.

I never considered myself a skeptic until I suddenly tripped on SFN, and have been hooked since. I never bought the religion thing, which made me an atheist (or rather, I simply never cared enough to label myself anything) neither did I ever believe astrology, tarot, and the likes. I've always loved all things science.

Which brings us to another facet of the Sib: I'm a self-declared writer, published a child's book at age 15 (written at age 12), now focusing on science fiction and failing miserably at it. I also enjoy playing with Photoshop and pretending I'm an artist, which is why you (yes, you) should go visit my deviantArt's account: Alienation.

That's it, I suppose.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9637 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2005 :  13:15:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello!

I'm Dr. Mabuse (the story about my nickname is here)

My profile is here.
I've been a member of Skeptic Friends Network since May 2003, and a moderator for the Chat section since November 2004.
My native language is Swedish, but I've studied English as a second language for some time and have tried to acquire a British accent (sometimes referred to as RP, or Queen's English).

Ever since I was a child, I've always been interested in science, and space in particular. In my mid-teens I became involved with the Pentecostal Church, and for a while I was rather devout member. After about 10 years I broke up with the church: a decision finally arrived at after a few years of gradually realising that religion stuff wasn't for me, that it was more based on wishful thinking than reality. Too many inconsistencies, including norms and behaviours of members of the churches I encountered on the road. And that wasn't where I wanted to be. Returning to science wasn't a big step, because even in church I maintained a measure of logic and science that apparently intimidated my so-called brothers and sisters. Their distance made my leaving so much easier.

In 1994 I made the final decision to leave church, and in 1995 I moved to my current town to start a great job as an electronics engineer at a major telecommunications manufacturer, got myself a great girlfriend, a nice bike (pic in my profile), and eventually found Skeptic Friends Network, which turned out to be a good source of friends. My life has improved greatly since I left the church, and I don't regret it in the least.

If my insights and knowledge from SFN, the job, and from school, (I don't hold any University degrees though I've taken several courses for recreation) can keep people from getting suckered by churches or 'organised' religion, then I've done a good and worthwhile job.

I like to do good for the benefit of mankind, and I am convinced that knowledge (through the scientific progress), truth, honesty, and cooperation are the best tools for achieving that goal.
That's why I think Skeptic Friends Network is so cool: A community that serves all of the above.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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latsot
Skeptic Friend

United Kingdom
70 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2005 :  14:39:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit latsot's Homepage  Send latsot a Yahoo! Message Send latsot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always dread these 'go round the table and introduce yourselves' things, but here goes anyway.

LATSOT stands for 'Look At The State Of That'. Its an acronym me and some friends had to develop years ago when we worked for a particularly insane company. The boss would email one of us some new madness instruction in direct contradiction to everything he had previously said and, generally, itself and we would gleefully email it round the place as yet another example of the general insanity. We used to start the emails with something like "Yeah? Well look at the state of THIS". Unfortunately, there were so many examples that we couldn't keep up without abbreviation. Another, and even more frequently used, abbreviation was 'FFS'. I'm sure you can work out what that stood for.

Anyway, latsot seems an appropriate name for a skeptics forum. I use the term every day to describe some of the random beliefs, delusions and outright insanities I come across. Although I sometimes think 'ffs' might be even more appropriate.

I was born into a (very) religious family and realised at an early age that I wasn't satisfied by the explanations they tended to provide. This led me to science, then into the real world when I found out how little scientists earn, then back into academia, where I run a research group at Newcastle University (UK) working in e-Science (this is about the fundamental computer science needed to help other branches of science and to help different branches of science to work together). I intended to do this for a year as a rest from contracting in the IT and telco sector, but I've been there four years so far for some reason.

I also work in biology, particularly evolution and extinction. I have a particular dislike of creationists.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2005 :  18:39:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude, because the character was so funny. Or maybe because I (annoyingly, to myself at the least) overuse the word sometimes.

I entered this world as a skeptic, and with far to much curiosity for my own good. But, as the handle suggests, self discipline and desire for conformity were never high up on my list of priorities.

I found out at 18 that I was in no way, shape, or form, ready for any type of college, even though I was accepted into every place I applied (don't want to sound like I'm bragging so I won't mention names). A friend of mine was joining the military, so I did too. Not a HUGE(tm) mistake, but certainly a wakeup call. After a short stint I returned to civilian life, and realized I was unemployed (and pretty much unemployable) without further education. So, with a need to obtain a career that would feed and shelter me, I went to nursing school at a community college. Have been doing that for about 10 years now. About two years ago I looked around and realized that I was nowhere near where I wanted to be educationally nor professionally, so I kicked myself soundly and jumped back into school.

Currently working on a B.S. in Biology, I'll be a junior at the University of South Florida this fall. The plan is to continue on to a graduate degree.

As for skepticism and critical thinking, well, as I said, I've never not been a skeptic. When in school for my current profession I first learned that there was a formalized method of evaluating claims and solving problems called critical thinking. The material was only introductory, but it was the most interesting thing I learned there. I've been on a personal quest of sorts ever since to expand my knowledge of critical thinking and how to apply it to the world around me.

Stumbled across the SFN a while back, and it has been a blast ever since. The people on this board are the best.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2005 :  23:21:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any good psychic (Dave W. or BigPapaSmurf) can tell you who I am and why.
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2005 :  06:10:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am in my mid 30's and I am "Director of Engineering" for a telecom company - which means that I do a lot of hardware/software design and implementation. I have escaped the clutches of wedlock and I have a beautiful 3 year old daughter. I live in the DEEP SOUTH.

For the first 15 years of my life I was raised and belived in christianity - particularly the radical, virulent type (assembly of god - aka "holy rollers"). I was very active in church; some even had hopes of me becoming a preacher. Fortunately I was given a chance at a great education, and as I got older and started getting exposed to other worldviews, etc., I started questioning my religion until I was able to break from it my senior year of high school.

I have been a skeptic ever since.

FWIW, I am also an atheist but also hold that the existence of a "god" is possible, just not probable.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2005 :  06:37:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Storm is a true believer*, and thats that.

*This idea cannot be defined.

I however am BigPapaSmurf, who is also a Pistons fan if you'll notice he sports the colors. My name is from a D&D game I ran one time where I tried to make smurfs into allies for the players and they went in an extremely Anti-smurf direction, thus creating the super villin BigPapa. (An incredibly powerful wizard who tormented the players for stopping his plans to become a lich.

I became a skeptic over a long time, I was never inclined to accept face value and I had always loved science. From a Catholic fam, but raised secular. Really after I read Skeptic Quarterly for the first time is when I would call it official.

I love board games and making my own board games and modifing other game to make them "not suck". I have been known to spend a hundred dollars and six monthes to make a game that I play once. My friends and fam dont understand why I would make a game with no intention of marketing it. (I do have such plans for some of the better games, but I wont do it half-assed and this particular market is quite difficult to break into.)

My latest game is a space expansionism game, with unique mechanics, just fine tuning it now.... I do need a name cause Im too picky.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4818 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2005 :  09:30:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am Valiant Dancer. 38, married twice, so I fear nothing. I have a three year old son and now two dogs. (The 13 year old needed help with the little boy.)

Valiant Dancer was going to be an alcohol funny car, but I couldn't afford one. So, in 19-ought-86, I took the name for an online handle with the Meltdown BBS. (now defunct Amiga based Telgard board that suffered a chip cook off.) Meltdown had access to a bunch of Usenet boards which I was a member of.

I started posting here in 2001 after Piper/SeeThruArt (a real psycho) started spewing unbelievable crap on the Bad Astronomy BBS. Stayed for the good conversation and help with my critical thinking skills.

I am a Wiccan, but I don't let my religion interfere with my reasoning most days. Started to become skeptic after the Amazing Randi appeared on the Tonight Show and exposed psychic surgery.

I think Chomsky is speaking outside his expertise when objecting to the US's conduct in historical contexts.

I was offered a moderatorship here and accepted. Fortunately, the class of posters here is high enough where the boards rarely need a moderator to step in.

Welcome one and all to SFN.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Giltwist
Skeptic Friend

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  17:12:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Giltwist's Homepage  Send Giltwist an AOL message  Send Giltwist an ICQ Message  Send Giltwist a Yahoo! Message Send Giltwist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm Giltwist, but if you really wanna geek it up, I've been known to go by Giltwist the Gray (see my radio station profile: http://wrsk.org) I'm a geek of all trades, if it's geeky I probably do it outside of actually collecting things. If you really must know, I collect skeleton keys.

I'm a quasi-skeptic. More often than not, I'll take the scientific method, but that doesn't mean I'll disregard the esoteric. Granted, at least 99% of all the stuff out there is malarky, but there must be a seed of truth to it. The two biggest obstacles to parapsychology are people who want to believe and people who presume that, if such things worked, they would work just like in the movies. I can't read minds or summon up Goetic spirits, but I've got eerily good timing on a regular basis. (EX: Hrm...I'm feeling rather claustrophobic all of a sudden, let's go outside...*fire alarm goes off*)

G.


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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  18:03:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was lost as a child in the rain forests of Saudi Arabia, where my parents were devoured by salamanders. A pair of dingo raised me as their own, feeding me cantaloupe and honeydew. At the age of 12 I was orphaned again when trophy hunters shot my dingo parents and mounted their heads. I was captured and forced to wash their laundry the remainder of the journey. Taken back to civilization, I was sold to a Chinese man named Bok who exhibited me at carnivals and traveling circuses as "The Wild Child."

I grew much in the next few years, gradually learning English from the Brits and Americans who, high on opium, taunted me as I performed my rehearsed dance for them. I escaped one night with other circus performers who were upset at the abysmal living conditions. I can still remember the way in which the light of the full moon glinted off the strong man's chest muscles as he pried open the bars of my cage.

After a brief but passionate affair with the buffalo-faced woman, (ugly as sin, but a hell of a good cook), I stowed away upon a banana boat destined for someplace called "Boston." Any place other than where I was sounded like heaven. Once in port, I got a job at a local Starbucks pouring lattes and espressos where I practiced conversing as a native. Finally, when I was certain that I could pass as one born and raised in America, I settled in a pristine piece of countryside not far from the nation's capital and began my life as a normal citizen.

I found a home here at SFN because it was the one place where they accepted my fantastical history without question.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 07/05/2005 18:06:57
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  18:11:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, I'm Ricky, I like dancing, long walks on the beach...

First encountered skepticism when my biology teacher my sophomore year of high school introduced material by Carl Sagan (I believe it was The Burden of Skepticism, but I'm not sure), Randi, and a few others I don't remember. A second Biology teacher my senior year of high school introduced me to the Creation/Evolution debate which is how I found this site. In fact, my first post was actually a response to Verlch.

I'm a computer nerd, started programming about 6 years ago in TI-83 BASIC. I am now going into my sophomore year of college at Virginia Tech majoring in computer science and math. Right now I am leaning towards a career in teaching, but still not quite too sure.

Oh, and a truck once ran over my face.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  17:11:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been involved in freethought ever since I joined Students For Freethought at Ohio State University in 1998. Since then I've been both an activist for church-state separation and active in Humanist and freethought community building.

I am currently living in Philadelphia with my husband who is a sleep technition at U Penn (yes, he studies sleep) and I am getting my MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. I am a certified Humanist Celebrant(certified by the Humanist Society), which means I officiate weddings, baby naming, and memorials for non-religious folks.

My hobbies are creative writing (mostly SF&F), reading (mostly nonfiction) and cooking. To relieve stress I spend cuddle time with my two adorable cats, Aubrey and Horatio.

Cool groups I currently hang with and do stuff for:
The Secular Student Alliance www.secularstudents.org
Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia www.hagp.org
Philadelphia Association for Criticial Thinking (PhACT) www.phact.org

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 02/22/2006 06:07:14
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