From the creator of Video Skepdude

Let them rot in jail!

The parents of the little girl who died of untreated diabetes, because her so-called parents decided to pray instead of taking her to the hospital will face a judge. They are being charged with second degree reckless homicide and are facing up to 25 years each. Now I don’t know much about the legal system, but somehow the “reckless” part of the charge bothers me. It was not reckless! It was a deliberate withholding of vital, life saving treatment. What they did was done with purpose. It was not an accident or a mistake. They repeatedly refused to get her help. How is that reckless?  That’s murder as far as I’m concerned. But, as I said, I am not familiar with the judicial system and how these things work so I could be wrong. Boy, I am mad!


April 29, 2008 Posted by | Morality, Religion | Leave a comment

Penis shrinkage via witchraft

A “penis theft panic” has hit the republic of Congo.

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men’s penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

It’s real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny,” said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station.

Now are these guys for real, or are they just embarrassed by tiny penises? “Hey baby, I used to be much bigger until the witch shrunk it!”

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Critical Thinking | Leave a comment

Abstinence Only programs are also “rubbish”

According to a Reuters article, experts say abstinence only programs do not work.

Programs teaching U.S. schoolchildren to abstain from sex have not cut teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases or delayed the age at which sex begins, health groups told Congress on Wednesday.

“Vast sums of federal monies continue to be directed toward these programs. And, in fact, there is evidence to suggest that some of these programs are even harmful and have negative consequences by not providing adequate information for those teens who do become sexually active,” Dr. Margaret Blythe of the American Academy of Pediatrics told the committee.

The American Psychological Association and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also issued statements to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform criticizing the abstinence-only programs.

Of course abstinence only programs don’t work. They are based on christian dogma, not science or evidence. They are not based on what has been shown to work, but on what someone wants to work. Usually things don’t work out the way we like them to. And this applies to sex education as well. Lack on information is never good. Censorship does not work. It is idiotic to think that if you don’t talk to kids about protection and family planning, then they will not have sex. The two are not related. What you end up with is a bunch of horny teenagers who know nothing about STDs and pregnancies.

Of course this has no effect on the idiots who cling to their dogma. And proof of that is in the article itself.

Republicans said even if some abstinence-only programs do not work, others do, and it would be wrong to end the funding.

Rep. John Duncan, a Tennessee Republican, said that it seems “rather elitist” that people with academic degrees in health think they know better than parents what type of sex education is appropriate. “I don’t think it’s something we should abandon,” he said of abstinence-only funding.

Charles Keckler of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the Bush administration believes abstinence education programs send the healthiest message.

Oh I see what the administration believes is more important that evidence. Wow, and these are the guys we have elected to guide our country? HELP!

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Critical Thinking | , | Leave a comment

This is why science is superior to superstition

LiveScience reports on a new prosthetic hand currently being tested.

A new prosthetic hand uses individually movable fingers to hold a credit card, use a keyboard and lift a heavy bag.

Unlike similar models that allowed gripping with just the thumb and one or two fingers, the i-LIMB allows a user to grab something with all five. It also feels softer and more natural than the typically hard prosthetics of old, its maker says.

Flexible hydraulic drives are located directly in the movable finger joints, and the prosthetic hand gives feedback to the user’s stump, enabling the amputee to sense the strength of the grip.

Granted, this is still being tested, and it costs over $17,000, and who knows it may never pan out. However, the simple fact that science can give us something like this kind of takes your breath away. Religion gives people hope. Science gives them hope and a prosthetic limb or hand which behaves and feels as close to the real thing as possible. And who knows where the future is headed. Gotta love Science!

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Science | | Leave a comment

Astrology is “rubbish”

The Telegraph reports an a comprehensive study on astrology which appears to have proved what most level headed people already knew: Astrology is bullshit! According to the Telegraph article:

Its central claim – that our human characteristics are moulded by the influence of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of our birth – appears to have been debunked once and for all and beyond doubt by the most thorough scientific study ever made into it.

For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people – most of them born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the subject should have had very similar traits.

Researchers looked at more than 100 different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading – all of which astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts.

The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the “time twins”, however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies: “The test conditions could hardly have been more conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative.”

The findings caused alarm and anger in astrological circles yesterday. Roy Gillett, the president of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, said the study’s findings should be treated “with extreme caution” and accused Dr Dean of seeking to “discredit astrology”.

The time-twins study is only the start of the bad news for astrologers, however. Dr Dean and Prof Kelly also sought to determine whether stargazers could match a birth chart to the personality profile of a person among a random selection.

They reviewed the evidence from more than 40 studies involving over 700 astrologers, but found the results turned out no better than guesswork.

The success rate did not improve even when astrologers were given all the information they asked for and were confident they had made the right choice.

This is good news, but don’t expect it to change anybody’s mind. Anyone who believes in such bullshit, is already ideologically predisposed to reject any contradictory evidence. In fact you must be a person who rejects science and logic to begin with, if you are to entertain such thoughts. So just like the religious, UFO proponents, homeopath believers and countless other moronic herds, this bit of science will do nothing but reinforce their already over acting imagination and conspiracy theories.

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Critical Thinking, Pseudo-science | | Leave a comment