‘Psychic Kids’ needs a spanking

A recent article on Skepchick.org suggested a letter-writing campaign to the television network A&E to complain about their completely reprehensible and morally bankrupt show “Psychic Kids.”

I’d already written an angry letter to the network back when the show first aired but I decided to follow the Skepchick example and help this campaign by writing a second letter to the network.

Here’s what I wrote A&E:

Two years ago, when you began running the insipid program entitled “Psychic Kids,” I wrote a complaint about the abject nation of the show that promised that as long as that show remained on the air, I would never watch your network.

It’s two years later and I have kept my word. And now I’m writing you again to voice my disapproval of this program. … continue reading this entry.

The God of Creationism

Believe it or not, as an atheist I don't see this as an irrefutable text.

As far as atheists are concerned, I think I come off being rather tame.  I have never suggested that religion is some horrible institution that should be burned to the ground and I have been quite outspoken with my fellow skeptics about my belief that there are forms of belief which cannot ever be debunked through skepticism.  That said, creationism bothers me on multiple levels.  Last week, I wound up spending an inordinate amount of time arguing with a creationist on this very blog and I came to the conclusion that reactive defense of evolution was not going to win an argument with someone who refuses to look at evidence.  So I’ve decided to go on the attack on this one.  My reason is simple: whether there is a god or not, the specific God of Christian Creationism is logically impossible. … continue reading this entry.

Conspiracies and plot holes

I don’t usually notice plot holes when at the movies. I tend to have a very strong suspension of disbelief, meaning a hole has to be pretty glaring for me to be unable to ignore it and particularly egregious for it to significantly hinder my enjoyment of a film.

One such example was in the recent film District 9, when the entire plot revolved around a two-dimensional, monolithic evil corporation, MNU, that was also possibly collaborating with the government, which devoted twenty years and presumably trillions of dollars to trying to figure out how to operate alien weapons. Those weapons could only be operated in the hands of the aliens themselves and the corporation is seen in the film forcing captured aliens to demonstrating some of those weapons’ capabilities. But later in the film, when we’re finally shown the full capabilities of the alien weapons in real combat, they turned out to be at best no more powerful than a common bazooka, and certainly insignificant compared with the atomic bombs made here at home and which without a doubt would have been far easier for the corporation to obtain. This left me scratching my head and hoping MNU fired whichever moron was heading up the project in first place. I was also left feeling sympathy for the MNU shareholders and the villainous MNU employees who would soon to be out of work because their company has clearly bankrupted itself by taking wasteful spending to a whole new level. … continue reading this entry.

Why October 23rd makes a great Homeopathy Awareness Day

Earlier this year, British skeptics launched the ’10:23 Campaign’ against homeopathy. The name came from the Avogadro Constant, the scientific principle in which homeopathy would violate…if it were true. The slogan they came up with for the campaign was “Homeopathy: There’s Nothing In It.”

For many years prior, skeptics like James Randi had attempted to illustrate that there’s nothing in homeopathy but water or sugar pills by giving public demonstrations in which he swallows whole bottles of alleged homeopathic sleep aids, what should constitute as some kind of overdose. In 2004, the Australian Skeptics even videotaped “The Great Skeptic Attempted Mass Suicide Using Homeopathic Crap”. … continue reading this entry.

Mike Adams warns us about The Pharma Burger! Oh noes!

Mike Adams sitting on a bench

I just came across a video created by Mike “The Health Ranger” Adams discussing a recent study. Applying all the subtlety of a Road Runner cartoon, Adams’ video painted the researchers as crazy mad scientists with kooky ideas that any idiot could see were just folly.

So what was Mike Adams complaining about this time? There was apparently a recent study published in August in the American Journal of Cardiology that led the authors to suggest it could be beneficial to public health if fast food establishments offered packets of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to their customers. Suffice it to say, Adams, enemy of anything with the word “drug” in it, disagreed with their professional opinion. … continue reading this entry.

New Age and the paradox of paradise

When I first became an active religious critic, I thought I’d found the biggest taboo there was. I began to regularly receive some of the most venomous hate mail from hypocritical religious people on behalf of their omni-benevolent deities. It wasn’t all that different from the hate mail Richard Dawkins reads here.

But ever since I’ve gotten involved in the skeptical movement, I’ve found that the religious aren’t the only ones who can dish out nasty insults to those who don’t agree with them. Paranormalists, alternative “medicine” practitioners and customers, conspiracy theorists, and pseudo-scientists of all kinds have been responsible for some of the most vitriolic hate mail I’ve ever received. And ironically, one thing they all seem to have in common is a massive overlap with the New Age Movement, a group often associated with touchy-feely, infinite open-minded, post-modernism. … continue reading this entry.

The end is not near

For thousands of years people have been predicting the end of the world, often even supplying specific dates near in the future when it would happen. And so far as I can tell, every single last one of them has been demonstrably proven 100% wrong.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are constantly predicting the date of the end of the world. So is Harold Camping, a radio evangelist who predicted the world would end specifically in 1994, based on the words of the Bible…even though in the Bible, Jesus clearly says that no one can predict the date or the hour of the end. So if you’re reading this that means one of two possible things:  either you’re one of the unfortunate souls that were “Left Behind”…or more likely, Harold Camping is just a moron and another yahoo who deludes himself into thinking he can predict the end of the world. … continue reading this entry.

The News Convinced Me that Bigfoot Exists

And I used to think this was a fake... I feel like such a fool.

And I used to think this was a fake... I feel like such a fool.

Did you know that Bigfoot is real?  No?  Neither did I, until I watched a story from an upper Minnesota ABC station KSAX, that is.  Take a few minutes and take a look, I’m sure you’ll be amazed!

http://ksax.com/article/stories/S1566237.shtml?cat=10230

There!  Did you see it?  Did you see any evidence which could possibly contradict the Bigfoot hypothesis?  No?  Neither did I!  Let’s take a look at the evidence one piece at a time.

Let’s start out with the “amazing footprints” found near Bena, Minnesota.

Each track was a bit different, different pressures, different depths, eliminating the possibility of some sort of footprint stamp. … continue reading this entry.

Why I’m a better psychic than John Edward and James Van Praagh

When I think of alleged psychics who “talk to the dead,” two names come to mind:  John Edward and James Van Praagh. These are probably the two most successful professional “psychics” who do this trick.

Of course there’s nothing remarkable or even mysterious about this talking to the dead act that these self-proclaimed psychics perform. Legendary magician Harry Houdini regularly debunked these scams almost a century ago and today anyone can learn to do them themselves by reading books like Flim Flam by James Randi, former professional psychic M. Lamar Keene’s tell-all Psychic Mafia, the internet, or any decent book on mentalism. … continue reading this entry.

‘Face of Jesus’ discovered in Rorschach test

Eerie ... Jesus face in Rorshach Test

Eerie ... 'Jesus' face in Rorshach Test

I’d always heard weird news stories about the likeness of Jesus or the Virgin Mary being miraculously discovered in the most odd and random of places like on an egg, on a banana, in a frying pan, on a cat, on a cow, on a toilet, on a dirty rag in Ikea, in a condom, in bird poop, on a tree stump, in a lava lamp, on a potato chip, on a pierogi, and in a painting.

And skeptic that I am, I always pretty much wrote it off as a product of pareidolia, the psychological phenomena of seeing patterns in vague stimuli.  That is, I was a skeptic until April 1, 2010 when the  miraculous image of Jesus was discovered someplace where chance, pareidolia, and April Fools pranking could not possibly have played a roll…in a Rorschach Test. … continue reading this entry.

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