Wednesday 31 December 2014

Burnee links catch-up for 2014

Why I'd Still Believe In God Even if the Bible Was a Fairytale | Mick Mooney
This chap should be told about Douglas Adams' sentient puddle. He probably thinks his hands were specially designed to fit in his gloves.

Everything You Need To Know About The UK's Most Ridiculous Election - BuzzFeed News
This is Buzzfeed avin a larf. Isn't it? Those names can't be real. Can they?

'This proves homeopathy DOESN'T work ': Scientist swallows 50 homeopathic sleeping pills in one go - and says she doesn't feel drowsy at all | Daily Mail Online
From the comments:
"Homeopathic meds are very mild." 
This is putting it ... mildly. (I need to speak to Avogadro. Anyone know his number?)

Matt, Mitch and Marsh for QED 2015 / Latest News / QED 2015
Next year's QED — from pretty good to super awesome at a stroke (or three)

Vaccines and Pesticides May Create The Perfect Storm To Initiate Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Oh dear. Amongst other general horrors, continues to promote a specious link between vaccination and autism.

Anger over move to teach intelligent design in schools | Herald Scotland
The article quotes Alastair Noble:
Alastair Noble, director of C4ID, said his organisation believed the petition was based on imposing a "particular world view" and would inhibit legitimate discussion in science lessons. He ­acknowledged the idea of teaching "for and against" evolution would be controversial, but claimed it was consistent with scientific method.
By all means discuss IDcreationism at university level, or even in religious education or philosophy classes at secondary school level. But in science lessons pupils should be taught accepted mainstream science. That's why they are attending science lessons. How much time do biology lessons devote to explaining the principles of the four humours, or the stork theory of procreation? How much time do physics lessons devote to explaining the astrological influences of the planets on the financial and romantic lives of humans? How much time do maths lessons devote to the numerological significance of particular numbers?

The problem with ID is that its proponents claim it is scientific, yet they never do any science to show how it is scientific. Speculations about the origins of biological life are all very well, but if you have a hypothesis that life was caused by "X" — do some experiments to establish whether or not that is the case. Until the IDists do that, IDcreationism remains unscientific and therefore inappropriate to be taught in school science lessons.

Full Moon FREE Distance Healing Event
I was invited to this. I considered joining, especially if I could use the energy to power my laptop.

Space Oddity | Chris Hadfield
It's back — the music video that, when first released, temporarily put every other music video ever made in the shade.

Transport to Faith Schools - Local Authorities Shouldn't Be Subsidising Segregation | Stephen Evans
MP complains about local authorities removing a special "faith discount" from religious parents. Thinks it's perfectly OK that nonreligious don't get the discount, but removing the discount altogether is "discrimination".

Brittany Maynard Didn’t Commit Suicide (What We Can Learn From 9-11′s “Falling Man”)
A Christian calmly reassesses his stance on assisted dying.

Alternative health: what is naturopathy? - Telegraph
“Bioresonance measures the electromagnetic output of every cell in the body. If there’s any discrepancy with the healthy frequency for that kind of cell that gives a diagnosis.”
One cell at a time? Or all together?
“I look to address the cause, not just eradicate the symptoms. If you simply suppress symptoms on a superficial level then you can drive an imbalance deeper into the body.”
Deeper than individual cells? Wow, that's deep!
"Hempel uses bioresonance to put healthy electromagnetic frequencies back into the cells."
What next? Pills containing "healthy electromagnetic frequencies"? (I hear 100.3 megahertz is a good electromagnetic frequency — plus you get classical music along with it.) Really, the Telegraph should be ashamed of itself for publishing such bilge.

Single adults banned from park - in case they are a paedophile | Western Gazette
Incredible. Frankly I wouldn't want to patronise any establishment where I was considered guilty until proved innocent. Or in the case of this particular establishment, guilty until... well, just guilty.

Schools are being infiltrated by cults, say secularists - News - TES
A report on the committee hearing.

The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi -
For those who have (or haven't) seen the recent documentary, this is a good summary.

Homeopaths all over the world to tip their remedies down the toilet in order to cure the oceans. No joke.
No joke? Shirley not... (And who knew water was multilingual?)

The Daily Mail is wrong — homeopathy can't cure Ebola » Spectator Blogs
The Daily Mail is wrong? Well, I am surprised....
(About as surprised as "not at all surprised".)

Egypt's Muslim, Christian authorities unite against atheism | Africa | Worldbulletin News
Atheism is a fad....

Our Unreliable Minds, with Paul Thompson - Skeptics and Believers Discussion Group, Henley-on-Thames (Henley-on-Thames, England) - Meetup
I am reliably informed that this thing is happening in January.

Copper & Magnetic Healing: How to Respond to Complaints | Honest Universe
Take action. It works.

BBC News - Lee Rigby murder: Internet firms must do more on terror, says PM
Is David Cameron serious about this, or merely pandering to constituents, or is he just clueless about how the internet works?
Terrorists are using the internet to communicate with each other and we must not accept that these communications are beyond the reach of the authorities or the internet companies themselves," he told MPs after the report was published.
Their networks are being used to plot murder and mayhem. It is their social responsibility to act on this.
Has he any idea how many posts and comments are written on Facebook every minute? Is he expecting Facebook employees to read everything posted?

Glasgow’s Intelligent Design Director has ”open mind” on age of Earth | Eat Your Brains Out; Exploring Science, Exposing Creationism
"...there is a lot of uncertainty about all scientific things..." Depends what you mean by "a lot".

Introduction to Intelligent Design, Alastair Noble (review) | Eat Your Brains Out; Exploring Science, Exposing Creationism
I wonder if this is the brochure that Alastair Noble keeps mentioning in his emails, available for £2 plus p&p — apparently only 32 pages long and easily made available as a freely downloadable PDF. If he's so keen to introduce ID, why charge for it?

James Randi: debunking the king of the debunkers - Telegraph
People are ... human. And we must never forget that Randi is in the deceit business. - Let’s talk about Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
No True Christianity...

Provider for Christ Hunting Adventure | Frikkie du Toit Safaris
Marvel at the awesome beauty of God's creatures! And kill them!

'Homeopathy CAN cure Ebola but WHO officials are stopping us' | Daily Mail Online
Homeopathy "at the same time" as conventional medicine? About as effective as prayer at the same time as conventional medicine.

10 Things You Need To Know About "The Imitation Game"
The film is a great piece of storytelling, but contains a fair bit of artistic licence.

10 Jokes Only Engineers Will Understand. Who Says Engineers Don’t Have A Sense Of Humor?
Apparently there are no female engineers.

Stephen Collins on a Christmas ad – cartoon | Life and style | The Guardian
We did check?

PodCastle 341, Giant Episode: Balfour and Meriwether in the Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs | PodCastle
My latest narration — this is a looooooong one.

What is this saucery?
Love this....