Wednesday Links – Bye-Bye Prop 8, Kicked-Out Komen, Alt Med In Universities Interview And Love Love Love

Firstly, another thought-provoking post by Daniel Loxton on Skeptic Blogs - “Russell’s Hedgehogs and Hirst’s Shark”:

This straightforward advice—try not to take people’s word for stuff, especially when we’re promoting a position in public—is a core skeptical concept. It underpins all of skeptical scholarship, for responsible skeptical outreach demands the due diligence exercise of checking everything twice. Someone says they saw something? Maybe they did, and maybe they didn’t. We ought to try to find out. Someone says they know something? Well, maybe they do—and maybe they don’t. If skeptical sources (for example) confidently assert that a case is solved or a paranormal topic debunked, we ought to ask ourselves, “I wonder if this topic is really understood, and how well?” —and then try to find out before repeating assertions from the sources we admire. Sometimes it turns out that the best available scholarship is preliminary, or incomplete, or even downright speculative.

Congratulations California –  Prop 8 banning gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional:

Komen VP Karen Handel Quits Over Planned Parenthood Dispute – mind, I have my doubts as to how much of what went on hinged on the efforts of one person within Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity…

Then - later on the Token Skeptic podcast today – an interview with Dr Rob Morrison, who is the National Vice-President of the Australian Science Communicators, a patron of National Science Week South Australia and a Freelance Science writer / Broadcaster and Professorial Fellow Flinders Uni. What will it be about?

New York Times: Friends of Science in Medicine — a recently formed group that includes more than 400 prominent scientists, doctors, academics and consumer advocates from Australia and overseas — wrote to the vice chancellors of Australian universities last month. They outlined their concerns about what they called the “diminishing of the standards applied to the teaching of science in our universities” and “the increased teaching of pseudoscience.”

You’ll be able to download the whole show at Episode One Hundred and Six: On Friends Of Science In Medicine – Interview With Dr Rob Morrison on the Token Skeptic podcast, out later today!

Until then? Get ready for Valentine’s Day - How to Make Mobius Strip Love Hearts:

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    I already knew about the rest of things in the OP but I didn’t know about the Möbius hearts. I’ll be trying that later tonight.

  • http://thouwinterwind.wordpress.com Winterwind

    The Prop 8 news is fantastic. I love the quote pulled from the ruling.

  • http://sansscience.wordpress.com/ sansscience

    Excellent! I’ll go over and listen to the interview with Rob when it’s up to hear how things are going.

    They’ve got quite a battle on their hands – the quacks are screaming blue murder. Plus because some of them are employed by universities they get to sound authoritative on places like The Conversation. (And the less coherent ones have unfortunately been filling my comment moderating with utter nonsense.)

    Southern Cross University (one of the worst homeopathy offenders) have just put out a media release saying: “Of course you need evidence, both empirical and experience, to justify any practices and we welcome any scrutiny of education practices,” Professor Graham said.

    Excellent, then let us know exactly what you’re teaching students that homeopathy can treat (apologies for self-plug, but they seem to be altering their woo website right now, although so far the homeopathy page is still up http://sansscience.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/pseudoscience-homeopathy-can-get-you-a-health-sciences-degree-at-australian-universities-the-end-of-the-world-is-nigh/) and we’ll scrutinise it ;)

  • http://givingnottaking.wordpress.com/ Andrew

    They say theres no Santa Claus on that Mobius Love Strips Video, that is disappointing! Was never a arts and craft person at school, but may give this a try though,I do remember making a lovely Brown and White checked shirt(fashion statement)during I think Home Economics?, can’t remember it’s probably not a subject that is taught anymore at school.
    Keep your stuff coming, I don’t know where you get all your energy from! Amazing


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