Thursday 13 June 2013

The Round – up Wks. 22 to 23.

Hello and welcome to another Round-up.

Creationism is the hot topic this week at Sitp so, fresh from his stint on the BBC’s best advert for atheism, The Big Questions, we had Jonny Scaramanga visiting us on Wednesday night to tell us about his fundamentalist experiences, old beliefs, and the goings on “Inside Britain’s Creationist Schools”. This was a fantastic talk and if you were unlucky enough to miss it Jonny has a channel up on YouTube with some of his back story and you can check here to get hold of the DVD when it’s all edited and nice.

Psychic Sally’s libel case against The Daily Mail started on Monday 10th June and is slated to last at least three weeks. Talk about conflicted! Well, I (don’t) like The Daily Mail and I (don’t) like Sally Morgan, but which is better? Only one way to find out… With bonus Daily Mash repost and an extract from Richard Bacon’s A Series of Unrelated Events to boot.

Zack Kopplin at The Guardian reports that Louisiana's legislators are continuing their legislative jihad to keep the theory of evolution out of the state's public school science classrooms. 

Yoga opens you to Satanic possession
says GOP candidate,
 luckily there's a high energy workout that doesn’t compromise your spiritual beliefsMore gems from the confused E.W. Jackson here.

What a week! Fitting a kitchen and dealing with nuisance neighbours has led to interactions with a plumber wearing a copper bracelet and a Peeler sporting a blue holographic Power Balance band. Plenty of rib digs from Mrs B to ‘be nice’– oof!

By marketing products as “free from” GM, aspartame, MSG and parabens, supermarkets are playing on people's fears based on rumours about these substances.
Similarly, Professor Joe Schwarz explains that the important point to understand is that the presence of a chemical is not the same as presence of risk.

Global flood in 2345BC – whole of Ireland evacuated! Let’s read that again…

When the abuse of insulin injections, syrups that cause vomiting and fasting pacts amongst friends fail in keeping your weight down, how about resorting to a painful hernia repair patch stitched to your tongue? Hmm…perhaps someone should mention this treatment to Michael Douglas who invokes a very strange law of similars as a cure for his cancer. Anybody care to suggest a (preferably clean) name for Michael’s new ‘opathy’?

Research by Oxford University Psychologists suggests that a 'belief in science' may help non-religious people deal with adversity by offering comfort and reassurance.

Ghosts, Triskaidekaphobics and tetraphobics stigmatize properties.

To boldy go: Star Trek Darkness promotes bestiality claims another pastor who fails to understand evolution, biology, species, etc.

Penned by Paul Burns for Freethinker Magazine and almost as long: If cats wrote the Bible.

Misplaced decimal point could sink submarine. A mere 70 tons too heavy!

Senior Salvation Army officials go on record that LGBT parents should be put to death, as the Bible instructs.

Not sure if this is really Round-up material – just found it a bit odd: William Windsor (goat).

America's Best Christian takes time to explain to less informed Christians the curious details of the Lord's concept of marriage: Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage to Everyone Else.

Consumers don’t know that taking megavitamins could increase their risk of cancer and heart disease and shorten their lives reports Paul A. Offit at The New York Times.

Simply asking people whether they experienced an event can trick them into later believing that it did occur: Studying the misinformation effect on Dutch soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.

During a speech on the senate floor, a Democratic lawmaker cited an interesting source to urge his colleagues to get serious about climate change; The Bible.

Swears abound at Short & Spiky as a question is posed. Does Homeopathy rot your brain?

Half the size of a paperclip, weighing less than a tenth of a gram, inspired by the biology of a fly, with submillimeter-scale anatomy and two wafer-thin wings that flap almost invisibly at 120 times per second: Flight of the Robobee.

Nothing to see here, just a regular day at the office: Pope performs exorcism.

Following the evidence: Magician Uri Geller teaches much about Bible miracles.

Can’t say we’re surprised by this statement from the next article ‘Every day in a small museum in Kentucky, a few hundred adults and children stare at a diorama of Adam sitting next to a placid dinosaur’; no doubt slack-jawed too as we would be. Slightly late for Darwin Day nonetheless an interesting read - Big trouble in Creationist paradise.

Further updates from the Creation museum comprise of an exhibit to include unicorns and dinosaurs and, in a push to diversify, adding secular fare such as zip lines and sky bridges. Sounds like a good way to celebrate your kinship with the primates – go ape.

Emil Karllson takes on Intellihub, an online “alternative” news site that claims to provide “independent news for independent minds”, in this excellent point by point takedown of a recent ant-vaccine post:  Irrefutable Evidence Shows That Anti-Vaccine Activists Still Have No Clue.

Bringing things to a close, there’s just space to point you towards our future events and book club pages, and keep an eye on our FB and Twitter updates; we may have a surprise speaker in store later in the year.

“If there is one thing about science that everyone should understand, or that would at least clear up much misunderstanding, then it is the concept that science offers only provisional knowledge about the world, and not anything absolute”. Not so good if you like your dinosaurs just the way they are: (For Ken)….. F U science! (NSFW due to >20 swears)

This week’s Round-up was compiled by SitP regular Roy Beddowes.

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