Skepdude

From the creator of Video Skepdude

Here Be Dragons follow up

I finished viewing “Here Be Dragons” by Brian Dunning and it is excellent. I have posted the video at my Video Blog. Go see it…NOW! It is a commandment!

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July 17, 2008 Posted by | Critical Thinking | , , , | Leave a comment

The £10,000 homeopathic challenge!

Following in the footsteps of Randi’s million dollar challenge, a British professor by the name of Edzard Ernst has set up a £10,000 challenge to anyone who can prove that homeopathy works. Apparentley, the professor has run some 200 trials and not even one has shown anything resembling evidence. So we know the prize will go unclaimed until the good professor decides to stop the challenge, which he is bound to eventually. Sooner or later people need to move on to other projects.

Apparently homepoaths are not happy about this.

Homeopaths have reacted with anger to his £10,000 challenge, branding it a publicity stunt and they already had “more than enough proof”.

Yes, except that they get angry when someone asks them, and offers them money, for this “proof”. What kind of bullshit is that?

Dr Robert Mathie, of the British Homeopathic Association, said: “What is needed is more investment in homeopathy research, not facile enticements by scientists who should know better.”

Hey, why don’t they take the free 10,000 pounds and invest it in additional research? That’s no chump change I’ll tell you that much. As of today that amount is worth $19,906. That won’t fund any revolutinary research that’s granted, but it can easily take care of some overhead.

Frederiek Maddock, a homeopath from Crediton, said: “Dr Ernst does not appear to have done his research properly and is very selective in what he decides to believe.

“This is not a very professional way to do this. Whether anyone will take up his challenge is a matter for the homeopathic association.”

I will make a prediction. Even homeopaths are not stupid enough to do it, and even if they did and failed miserably (as expected) they and their followers will fall onto some sort of post-hoc argument and turn a blind eye to the results. Faith is always stronger than the evidence which contradicts it.

June 30, 2008 Posted by | Critical Thinking, Pseudo-science | , | Leave a comment

French Soccer and Astrology

It turns out the current coach of the French team competing in Euro 2008 is an ardent believer in astrology, so much so that he uses it to pick the players for the French national team.

he France coach is the ever-controversial Raymond Domenech. He loves the theater. He loves astrology. He has said, publicly, that he won’t put Scorpios on the team (sorry, Robert Pires!), and that Leos make bad defenders.

Unfortunately for him, astrology seems to have failed him in this respect. France are up to a lousy start, they tied 0-0 with Romania, got their behind whipped 4-1 by Spain and are playing it all in the last game against Italy today. They’ve scored just one goal and allowed 4. I think he needs to load up on those Leo defenders. They’re on the brink of being eliminated, even though they still have a chance if they win today. Just another experiment that shows how ridiculous astrology is.

***IMPORTANT UPDATE-The French just lost 2-0 to Italy and were eliminated (last in their group) despite their astrology guided coach. Astrology is bullshit!

June 17, 2008 Posted by | Astrology, Critical Thinking | , , | Leave a comment

First Name: In God – Last Name: I’m with Stupid

In God is currently driving a bus, literally. Bus driver, formerly known as Steve Kreuscher, has legally changed his name to “In God We Trust”.

A Lake County judge granted permission to the Zion man Friday to officially change his name to “In God We Trust.” That’s “In God” as a first name and “We Trust” as a last name.

Ok, I guess I’m ok with stupid people labeling themselves for the rest of us to know. I am sure there is something blasphemous about this as well, you know the whole “taking the name of the lord in vain” kinda thing. But what really bothers me is that this thing was allowed to happen, and it took a whole 2 minutes!

The entire process before Judge David Hall took less than two minutes, but We Trust said he was quite nervous.

Well, actually the whole application process took about 3 months, but the judge made up his mind in 2 minutes, and it only cost $600.

The process to change his name took roughly three months.

The really sad thing is that if another person had applied to have their name changed to “God is dead” he would most likely be denied, and that’s almost as good as fact! Unfortunately there is a double standard in the US today, which we need to shake off.

Now let’s end this in a light note:

Throughout the course We Trust said he was looking for a sign from God that would let him know it was a good idea. He got it one day while adding up the expenses for the name change, which came out to roughly $600.

“I didn’t want to use my own money because things are tight,” said the father of four. “Three weeks later, I got my (tax) rebate check for $600.”

I would like to know how much is “roughly $600” because ironic as life is I think it would be hilarious if this amount was closer to $666 than $600. Wouldn’t that be a nice sign?

June 16, 2008 Posted by | Atheism, Critical Thinking, Funny, Religion, Thinking Out Loud | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SkepNews-Week ending 6/13/08

  • State to regulate religious beliefs – In Indonesia that is. The president, who is up for reelection, signed a decree ordering members of a minority Muslim sect to stop practicing their form of Islam or face arrest. “Although the wording of the decree did not explicitly ban the group, it warned Ahmadiyah members that they were no longer free to practice their beliefs and strongly encouraged them to “return to mainstream Islam,” according to Bonaventura Nainggolan, a spokesman for the Indonesian attorney general.” The funny thing is that freedom of worship is part of their constitution. Hm, we are allowed freedom of worship under our own constitution too. Creepy!
  • Muslim student receives apology for church graduation – A Muslim student who sued because his public high school graduation ceremony was held in a Baptist church has received an apology from Newark’s school district and assurances that it will not hold future events in houses of worship.-That’s nice and everything, but how many of us think that an atheist student would have received the same treatment! None, eh?
  • Over half of Yemeni brides under 15 – Over half of women who marry in Yemen are under 15 years of age, said a field study conducted by Yemen’s Women and Development Study Centre, which is affiliated with the University of Sanaa. On top of that, in rural parts of Yemen, girls usually get married at an average age of 12 to 13 years old.- Now what the fuck are these people smoking over there? This is pretty seriously messed up shit and the term child abuse doesn’t do it justice. This is a tragedy!
  • Same sex marriage? How about no marriage – Ann Barnett plans to stop performing ceremonies for all couples in Kern County as of June 14. Barnett’s announcement came after she received advice from county lawyers that she could not refuse to marry only couples of her choosing. – Oh, I see, she wanted to discriminate just some people, but the law wouldn’t allow her so she decided to discriminate everybody. I think Ann Barnett should move to Yemen, given her “moral” beliefs!
  • Egypt bans female circumcision -Egyptian parliament on Saturday approved a law to ban female circumcision except in cases of “medical necessity,” according to an amendment of a bill on children’s rights. – We can’t praise such action enough. Two thumbs up to Egypt for taking a step in the right direction. Congratulations! There is still hope in this world after all.
  • Imagine no religion…in Denver – The Freedom from religion foundation (of which I am a proud member) continues to make news with it’s “Imagine no Religion” billboards campaign, this time in Denver. At least I know my membership money is being spent wisely. Keep it up FFRF!
  • Friday the 13th safer than “regular” Fridays – Dutch statisticians have established that Friday 13th, a date regarded in many countries as inauspicious, is actually safer than an average Friday. “I find it hard to believe that it is because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home, but statistically speaking, driving is a little bit safer on Friday 13th,” CVS statistician Alex Hoen told the Verzekerd insurance magazine. – Well, I’m glad that is settled!
  • 3 genital mutilation victims can stay in US says NY court – A court ordered the U.S. government on Wednesday to reconsider the asylum requests of three women who suffered genital mutilation in Guinea, saying it was “deeply disturbed” their claims were not taken more seriously. – I mean who the hell is reviewing such cases? How can people ignore such circumstances? Female genital mutilation is crime against nature and we should do whatever we can to help the victims, not act as if their pain and suffering is made up. Thank goodness the courts have some common sense in them!
  • Couple charged in Norway for mutilating daughters – Police in Norway have arrested a Gambian-born man and charged him and his wife with subjecting five of their six daughters to genital mutilation, officials said on Friday.The youngest of the five mutilated girls, all born in Norway, is five years old, police officials said. The others are aged seven, 10, 13 and 14 and live in Gambia, national broadcaster NRK reported. Their youngest, age three, has not been subjected to the procedure, NRK said. – I can comprehend how a parent can willingly subject their child, their own flesh and blood, to such merciless, cruel procedures, all in the name of some fucked up morality code. These people are not parents, they’re monsters.
  • Widow throws party to bribe her way into heaven – A rich 80-year-old Indian widow has spent thousands of dollars on a feast for 100,000 people in the hope it would please the gods and open the doors of heaven for her, local officials said.People from surrounding villages and towns were fed lunch over two consecutive days by Phuljharia Kunwar, who spent $37,500 on the feast. – At least something good came out of this woman’s stupidity. Lots and lots of people got fed for two days.
  • 74% of Congressional Republicans disbelieve in global warming – As if we needed another reason not to vote Republican!
  • Christian group asks California appeals court to temporarily prohibit gay marriages – Oh yeah, that makes sense. Let’s “temporarily” suspend laws we don’t like, until we hope the time comes that they are repealed. Then why the hell is there a law in the books if it can be temporarily suspended? I suggest another group can ask the California appeals court to temporarily suspend the law that gives people the right to ask for a law to be temporarily suspended. How’s that for a catch 21?

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Crimes against Humanity, Critical Thinking, Morality, Religion, Thinking Out Loud | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment