Short List Of Things To Check Out

EDIT - because I just learned of it: Why the “Critical” in Critical Thinking. Go read. I am sure that most people have not thought much about why it’s called “critical thinking” and, when asked, would probably assume that “critical” refers to its importance (especially skeptics). However, they would only be partially correct. “Critical” means “crucial”, but it also refers to discriminating judgments. Critical thinking is an process in which we distinguish accurate information from inaccurate info … [Read more...]

ChemFest – Curtin University Saturday, 12th November

News from SciTech: An explosive chemistry extravaganza! Ignite Your Curiosity about the wonderful world of chemistry! Bubbling beakers, explosive experiments and fantastic fireballs – discover the incredible role chemistry has in our everyday life. Brought to you by the WA Chemistry Consortium, this FREE event includes an amazing array of shows, demonstrations, interactive activities that will amaze the whole family. Activities include: • Interactive stalls • The explosive ‘Ignite your Curiosity’ … [Read more...]

The Cat Quiz (AKA Grading Philosophy Papers)

I'm not going to be blogging over the next few days, due to work.Instead, you have three hours (with ten minutes reading time) to complete the following, using a 2B pencil.1) Which of the following questions is NOT a suitable caption for this photo?A. I will steadfastly ignore you, unless you reach for the eraser, then I shall pounce on it. B. You cannot has exam papers. C. Food, or  hairballs on your marking guide. D. This is a helpful cat.2) As tea-cosy is to teapot, cat is to … [Read more...]

Books To Beat Your Baby By – The Right-Wing Biblical Approach To Raising A Child

I noticed Leslie Cannold and a few other skeptics that I follow on Twitter chatting about this (highly recommended Twitter-follow, for catching up on relevant links, ideas and issues that you might otherwise miss) - while at the same time I had open in front of me a petition on to request that not endorse certain books: Currently there are several books available to buy on Amazon (both .com and that advocate, endorse and advise on parenting methods that involve the … [Read more...]

Stephen Fry Answers The ‘What Knowledge Did The Apple Bring’ Question

This is for Digital Cuttlefish, who is wildly busy and should NOT be online, but I'd like you to visit their blog so they can still feel loved. Horrid fishy thing that it is. Neener.To cheer Cuttle up - a nice little slice of Quora, the popular Q&A site: What precisely was the knowledge that God didn't want Adam & Eve to have? It must have been very threatening to God considering his reaction to the eating of the "forbidden fruit." Over the years I have seen many contradictory attempts … [Read more...]

The End Of Philosophy Classes (An Incidental Lesson On John Edward)

NOTE - Simon Taylor is NOW in Perth! Check out details of his comedy tour here - he'll be catching up with the Perth Atheists and Skeptics tomorrow! One of the many small surprises of the recession has been a significant growth in the number of philosophy majors, according the the Philadelphia Inquirer. It has slightly exceeded the growth of enrolments in the last ten years; many other humanities and social science fields have just kept up. At the University of California at Berkeley, despite or … [Read more...]

On Sally Morgan And The Issues With Testing Psychic Claimants (Are There Any?)

One of the unfortunate side-effects of Twitter is that you can get short, sharp, terse-sounding and inappropriate comments that are intended to be anything but. I'm certain Tim Minchin could talk about that quite easily, for example.This doesn't mean that the occasional intentional passive-aggressive statement is completely absent, which (as I'm certain we all know) can also be par for the course with online interactions. They tend to just exacerbate what could be, at its core, a simple mis … [Read more...]

New Token Skeptic Podcast – Very Superstitious!

From the 2011 Skeptrack at Dragon*Con, this is one of six panels that I took part in and it's one I was proud to moderate! Head to the Token Skeptic podcast site to download (and please consider becoming a donor to keep the show going!)This is "Very Superstitious - psychology, belief, weird things - what does the research show and when is superstition not the way?" Features Kylie Sturgess, Dr Steven Novella, Barbara Drescher, Stephen King and Robert Blaskiewicz.Many thanks to all the p … [Read more...]

When ‘Skepticism’ Makes Me *Headdesky* – Not-So-Much A Jefferson Quote After All

From the Friendly Atheist:The Backyard Skeptics in Orange County, California — no strangers to controversy— just put up this billboard yesterday afternoon: "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology" - Thomas Jefferson. ...Just one problem with the quotation… Jefferson never said it. Oh bloody hell.Anyway. Today is Friday, I'm thinking of spending a little time checking out the Conscious Living Expo in my town (mostly because the Australian Va … [Read more...]

On Gardasil For Guys / Boys, Girls And The HPV Vaccine

Despite The Hamster Wheel's gentle mocking of the departed Hungry Beast show last night ("Vaginas, Robots, Vox Pops and Graphics?") - you have to admit that they were ahead of the bell-curve when it came to suggesting the HPV vaccine for men as well as women:That is the great Daniel 'Professor Funk' Keogh, local Perth science celebrity and the creator of the 'The Strange Power Of The Placebo Effect' video that I put onto the Token Skeptic podcast about a year ago(with many, many thanks!). … [Read more...]

Send The Secular Student Alliance Some Reddit And Facebook Love!

Okay, I'm going to make it very plain:So, there you go. Nyah.Seriously though, the Secular Student Alliance Facebook page got a TREMENDOUS amount of Reddit love (a popular social networking site) in a short space of time (about gone from 6.5k to over 13k in nine hours) and they'd appreciate the recognition and support from everyone out there - even if you're not currently a university/college student like I am, you can still zip in a click to the Facebook page or 'upvote' the Reddit link ( … [Read more...]