All Things Skeptical — Sunday Summary
- On Fri 21st Sept a number of large fireballs were spotted shooting across the night sky at around 10:55 throughout Ireland. Scientists haven’t been able to tell exactly what it was, though have drawn the conclusion that it was “space junk”. Whatever it was, it was an incredible sight!
- Article from New Scientist: ‘How to Cut Nonsense from the Net. (Free registration required)
- ‘The drugs don’t work: a modern medical scandal‘ :: excerpt from Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Pharma, out next week, on the Guardian.
- Will science someday rule out the possibility of God?
- There’s been a lot of talk in the past week about “Page 3”, feminism, “objectification of women” and, well, whether Page 3 is does objectify women, or men, and whether The Sun should even be classed as a “newspaper” and kept on the same shelves as papers which report real news. We had a debate on our Facebook Group on the topic — including a valued input from NI glamour model, Laura Lacole. Heyley Stevens articulated her point of view well on The Heresy Club, and again in response to comments received.
- The Northern Ireland Progress Party launched their website, Twitter and Facebook this week. Exciting times are ahead. We will have more details on the party and its manifesto in the next few days.
- A Men’s Manifesto by Ms. Magazine.
- Hear Me Wail: Pictures of people on the Daily Mail website looking sad while holding, or standing close to, the thing that has made them feel sad.
- ‘Sectarian hatred is being overtaken by xenophobic racism in Northern Ireland‘ writes Jake Wallis Simons for The Telegraph.
- So Jesus may have had a wife?
After a piece of papyrus was discovered by Professor Karen L. King, a historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, further investigations have begun and many have re-opened the debate on whether this might be true. While it was reported widely in the media, Phillip Jenkins states in The Anxious Bench, that this is unlikely to be true. However, this is based on oft mistranslated books written hundreds of years ago, having undergone many edits, editions and re-writings and interpretations, based largely on mythical, supernatural, unscientific and unproven behaviour and beliefs that it can be taken with the smallest pinch of salt. While King herself does state that the fragment did not prove Jesus was married, the debate has risen again, and questions on how it would change Christian teaching — and indeed what Christian teaching is based on — have arisen.
- 18 students and a teacher were allegedly possessed by spirits inside a school in Alcala, Cagayan.
- Muslim woman in UK beaten brutally during “exorcism”.
- A report from the 29th edition of the British Social Attitudes Survey claims that “46% of Britons say they are non-religious: largest single category of identity“.
- A poll conducted by Yougov [pdf] found that of 2,027 adults surveyed an “overwhelming 81% of respondents agreed with the statement “Religious practice is a private matter and should be separated from the political and economic life of my country”. Only 6% disagreed.”
- Can a person be a bigot and a nice person? Writes Notung.
Robin Ince has written a brilliant article on secularism: ‘A Ghastly Secularist Writes Some Awful Words About the Oppression of Equality‘
- Atheist Condoms
- The 4- to 14-Year-Old Window: Turning Children Into Evangelists in Public Schools.
- Catholic Church in Australia reveals 620 abuse cases.
- Iran Media Claims ‘Zionists Spreading Homosexuality In Bid For World Domination’.
- ‘Are they really religious? Yes‘ — Despite disregard basic human decency and social justice…
- How to react when someone’s beliefs sound crazy to you.
The Big List of 530 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (New Additions)
Anyone see the meteorites shoot by above Ireland? Reports from Dublin, Belfast, Derry and Manchester. I did and it was awesome! Space rocks!
— Belfast Skeptics (@BelfastSkeptics) September 21, 2012
Fact: The Catholic Church loves to use the phrase “dignity of the human person”. It’svague and interpreted so widely. Misused by many.
— Belfast Skeptics (@BelfastSkeptics) September 22, 2012
I wish I was an ‘old school’ skeptic. Those guys and girls know it’s about more than words.
— Hayley M Stevens (@Hayleystevens) September 22, 2012
Belfast’s slogan ‘our time our place’ is only true if you like 1950’s licensing hours and shop opening times. #Stop torturing tourists.
— Jake O’Kane (@JakeOKane) September 16, 2012
I wonder what Young Earth Creationists make of the 2001 film ‘Evolution’ staring David Duchovny…
— Belfast Skeptics (@BelfastSkeptics) September 19, 2012
Atheism isn’t the enemy of religion, education is. </brainfart>
— Bish (@SimonBishop) September 15, 2012