Scripturient: Ghostly claptrap

Does the Large Hadron Collider Actually Disprove Ghosts? That’s the question asked in a recent article posted on Gizmodo. Well, of course it doesn’t. The LHC doesn’t disprove invisible pink unicorns, either. It can’t disprove what doesn’t exist. No matter how many wingnut websites promise to reunite you with your long lost loved ones (for ...

Scripturient: Modern Credulity Sucks

People believe a lot of crazy things. I’m talking about really seriously bat-shit crazy  stuff that somehow people you thought were normal believe and now you look at them like they have grown extra heads. It’s like discovering a whole family of cousins you’ve been inviting for Xmas dinner all those years are actually Scientologists. Or ...

Scripturient: Conrad Black: Wrong on Religion, Again

Atheists renounce and abstain from religions; they don’t reform them. So said Conrad Black in a recent National Post column. Black seems to be increasingly theological in his writing; perhaps he has had some sort of epiphany in prison. If so, it seems to be pushing him towards a Pauline-style intolerance and exclusivity, religiously speaking. ...

Scripturient: Jade Helm 15 and the Madness of America

For a guy who gets great entertainment from reading the wild and wacky conspiracy theories that sprout like mushrooms online, I was surprised that I missed the rapid growth of the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy. I only noticed it as a surface ripple until this past weekend, when I realized it had blossomed into a ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Extraordinary Claims

As the poster for the Centre for Inquiry notes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It’s a popular catchphrase for the skeptical movement, but should be an intellectual policy for everyone. Regardless of what is being claimed, it requires evidence at the same level of the claim. Anecdote is not evidence, please note, especially personal anecdote ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Camping’s madness carries on

Harold Camping has been dead for almost a year, but his legacy lives on. Not just in the broken dreams of his deluded followers, but in the many lives he destroyed through his madness. You would have thought that, having predicted the end of the world several times, and been wrong each one, because of the ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Debunking Homeopathy. Again.

Homeopathy. It’s absolute bunk. But you already know that. All those forms of ‘magic medicine‘* are bunk, of course, but homeopathy has a special place reserved for it in the kingdom of codswallop. Codswallop is dangerous to the mind, and often to your wallet, but homeopathy compounds that by being dangerous to your health, too, ...

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religous Disservice – Superstition

A fine video by QualiaSoup. Filed under: Education Tagged: Qualia Soup, Superstition, The DWR Sunday Disservice

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Food Babe and other nonsense

She’s been called the “Jenny McCarthy of food.” That’s not a compliment and should warn anyone with half a brain to beware of her. She’s a New Age wingnut helping turn the public from science to superstition. She’s also been described as the “latest quack making a name for herself on the Internet by peddling pseudoscience” ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The dangerous idiocy of the anti-vax movement

Measles is on the rise in Canada. There have already been many cases in 2014: in PEI, London, Ottawa, southern Alberta, Regina, Qu’Apelle, Calgary, Fraser Valley (320 cases), Hamilton, Halton, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Nanaimo and other locations. Eleven cases in Ontario this year alone. Nine in Alberta. That ancient, deadly foe we recently believed we ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Debunking the Adam Bridge

    A story popped up on the internet in late 2013, recycled in early 2014, claiming “NASA Images Find 1.7 Million Year Old Man-Made Bridge.” Claptrap. It’s not a bridge. It’s simply a natural tombolo: “a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: 2014 predictions always good for a giggle

I had barely finished writing my post on the failed 2013 predictions of the self-described “psychics” and “clairvoyants” who are the media darlings du jour, when the sorry lot of charlatans published their latest lot of flim-flammery and codswallop: predictions for 2014. These will, of course, prove as wrong as the predictions for 2013. And ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Psychics 2013: the silly, the scams, the failed predictions

Action News, an ABC affiliate, ran a late-year story with the headline “Psychics interpret pets’ thoughts.” No, it’s not April Fools’ Day: this was December 26. Yet the reporter treated it seriously; just like it was a real story; actual news, rather than a steaming heap of superstitious dung. That reporters for any media outlet ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: American belief in evolution is growing: poll

A new Harris poll released this month shows that Americans apparently are losing their belief in miracles and gaining it in science. The recent poll showed that American belief in evolution had risen to 47% from its previous poll level of 42%, in 2005. True, it’s not an overwhelming increase, and it’s still less than half ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Pyramids in the Ice: Hoax

What is it about pyramids that excites the imagination? Their shape? Their size? Height? Age? The complexities and difficulties in their building? Or the sheer grandeur of them? And what is it about them that get the cranks and conspiracy theorists so fired up? What is it about these  constructions that convince some folks they’re ...

Molly'sBlog: THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTIAN HISTORY

The Dark Side of Christian History The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe: Morningstar and Lark, Orlando Florida, 1999 ISBN 0-9644873-4-9     This is the sort of book that I had to force myself through. It was not so much the purported subject matter but rather the author’s not-so-well-hidden agenda. This is not an ...

Molly'sBlog: THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTIAN HISTORY

The Dark Side of Christian History The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe: Morningstar and Lark, Orlando Florida, 1999 ISBN 0-9644873-4-9     This is the sort of book that I had to force myself through. It was not so much the purported subject matter but rather the author’s not-so-well-hidden agenda. This is not an ...

Molly'sBlog: THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTIAN HISTORY

The Dark Side of Christian History The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe: Morningstar and Lark, Orlando Florida, 1999 ISBN 0-9644873-4-9     This is the sort of book that I had to force myself through. It was not so much the purported subject matter but rather the author’s not-so-well-hidden agenda. This is not an ...

Molly'sBlog: Measuring ghosts

MEASURING GHOSTS     A recent article in Science Translational Medicine asks the question “Can We Measure Autism ?” To my mind this begs the question, “is there really something called “autism” that we should be trying to measure ?”. The authors Isaac S. Kohane and Alai Eran inadvertently make the case in the negative. They first ...

Molly'sBlog: Measuring ghosts

MEASURING GHOSTS     A recent article in Science Translational Medicine asks the question “Can We Measure Autism ?” To my mind this begs the question, “is there really something called “autism” that we should be trying to measure ?”. The authors Isaac S. Kohane and Alai Eran inadvertently make the case in the negative. They first ...

Molly'sBlog: Measuring ghosts

MEASURING GHOSTS     A recent article in Science Translational Medicine asks the question “Can We Measure Autism ?” To my mind this begs the question, “is there really something called “autism” that we should be trying to measure ?”. The authors Isaac S. Kohane and Alai Eran inadvertently make the case in the negative. They first ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Anti-Intellectualism: The New Elitism

There’s a growing – and disturbing – trend in modern culture: anti-intellectual elitism. The dismissal of art, science, culture, philosophy, of rhetoric and debate, of literature and poetry, and their replacement by entertainment, spectacle, self-righteous self ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. These are usually followed by vituperative ridicule and angry caterwauling when anyone challenges the populist ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Why Creationists Don’t Win the Nobel Prize

Looking at the list of Nobel prizes awarded in 2013 for science, we see three prestigious entries: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 François Englert and Peter W. Higgs “For the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Why do so few Canadians get a flu shot?

That’s the headline for a recent Toronto Star story. It suggests that as few as one third of Canadians get a flu vaccine, and in some place the number may be as low as 20 percent. This despite Ontario having the world’s first universal free flu shot program, introduced in 2000. The 2013-14 vaccine is ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Chemtrails redux: the attack of the tin-foil hat brigade

My earlier post on the nonsensical chemtrail conspiracy has generated quite a lot of activity recently (more than 1,000 views in a few days – thanks!). So much so that I decided to look online again to see why – had this silliness abated? Were people waking up and laughing at their former craziness? Or ...