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The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
This day In Skepticism: SPAM; News Items: Chilis and Antivaxers, Crowdfunding Pseudoscience, Ocean under Enceladus, Looking Intelligent, Who’s That Noisy, Your Questions and E-mails: Justina Case, Car Remotes; Science or Fiction Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Want access to exclusive content? Signup as a member gain access to discounts, premium podcasts and a members-only newsletter. Blogs Events

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Biology of Religion 03. March 2012, 11:06 The online-magazine Evolution: This View of Life did get a new (and, if I might say, awesome) look. For example, the recommendation of John Jacob Lyons, who is a regular commentator here, about presenting the number of comments to each post has been fulfilled. Post-Modern Science: The Illusion of Consciousness Sees Through Itself    We have always struggled with the limits to how human language can express our thoughts about reality. But post-modern science dismisses the struggle as futile: We did not evolve to perceive reality. That conviction is changing cosmology dramatically. We know almost nothing about the human consciousness but naturalism must treat it as evolved from unconscious elements. Much confusion is avoided by recognizing that that is a core assumption, not a discovery.

Dalai Lama tells his Facebook friends that religion "is no longer adequate" Well, he'd hardly be the first Buddhist to say something like this. From what I've read, there are already lots of Buddhists, and historical Buddhist movements in various countries, who are atheistic and who prefer to return to Buddhism's roots as a kind of self-help, personal psychological and philosophical system—and yes, I realize I'm hugely oversimplifying that ideological stripe of Buddhism—and that's fine. And if this helps the world be a better place, cool. I'm all for it. But as an atheist I had already got to this point without making sand paintings, spinning prayer wheels or staring at stupas or rock gardens to shut off all mental processes and get to Satori. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong.

Pharyngula Probably not. But the New York Times reports: A review of studies has found that the health benefits of infant male circumcision vastly outweigh the risks involved in the procedure. Actually, it doesn’t. Not at all. The paper is all about the frequency of circumcision in the US; this is the only real data in the paper, and notice that a good chunk of it is speculation.

Friendly Atheist Alberta Officials Reject Proposed Catholic Sex Ed Lessons That “Deny Science” Alberta officials deserve praise for this strong stance against harmful misinformation. Read more Gordon Klingenschmitt: “The Church Should Take Over the Government” NeuroTribes "The Structure of Flame" by autistic artist Jessica Park. Courtesy of Pure Vision Arts: In 2007, the United Nations passed a resolution declaring April 2 World Autism Awareness Day — an annual opportunity for fundraising organizations to bring public attention to a condition considered rare just a decade ago. Now society is coming to understand that the broad spectrum of autism — as it’s currently defined, which will change next year with the publication of the DSM-5 – isn’t rare after all. In fact, “autism is common,” said Thomas Frieden, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last week in a press conference.

A New Theory of the Universe: an article by Robert Lanza about biocentrism building on quantum physics by putting life into the equation Essays - Spring 2007 Print Biocentrism builds on quantum physics by putting life into the equation By Robert Lanza Responsible thinking web sites Critical Thinking sites: These sites discuss critical thinking and common errors in reasoning. The Critical Thinking Community While perhaps the most widely referenced site on critical thinking, the style of the above site is far too dry and academic for my taste. Wikipedia entries for logical fallacies and cognitive biases:

Bad Astronomy Well now, this is an interesting discovery: astronomers have found what looks like a "super-Earth" – a planet more massive than Earth but still smaller than a gas giant – orbiting a nearby star at the right distance to have liquid water on it! Given that, it might – might – be Earthlike. This is pretty cool news. We’ve found planets like this before, but not very many! The Christopher Hitchens Web WhitePagesGoesGreen.org by YellowPagesGoesGreen.org (Yellow Pages Directory Inc.) is a leading online directory allowing users to search an online database and telephone directory for all telephone numbers in the USA. Using the above boxes, simply type in a name and location. Even if you don't have the complete information, the telephone number lookup database can help you find phone numbers.

Portland State Sociology of Islam & Muslim Societies The Sociology of Islam and Muslim Societies Newsletter: Winter 2011 Newsletter No. 7 - ISSN:1942-7948 Contents Social and Political Transformations in the Middle East - Umit Kurt and Oguz Alyanak The Political Economy of Turkey’s Response to the Arab Spring - Altay Atli Footsteps of Revolution in the Land of Queen Sheba - Bezen Balamir Coskun Two Sides of the Same Coin; Conflicting Views of Islamism in Pakistan - Jeanette Bailey Egypt and the "Arab Spring": Notes on Facts and Challenges - Moises Garduño García The Arab Spring and the Turkish Model - Alper Y. Dede Will Geopolitics Split Along Sectarian Lines in the Middle East?

Falsifiability of evolution The falsifiability of evolution is an important part of establishing evolution as a scientific theory on the principles of falsifiability. Creationists and others sometimes claim that evolution and common descent cannot be falsified and consequently are not science.[1] In other cases, intelligent design advocates insist that there is no way to falsify evolution because any new evidence just becomes "evolution in action" anyway.[2] This, however, is simply not the case as there are numerous pieces of evidence that could falsify evolution. The assertions made by creationists may be due to a misunderstanding between the concept of "falsifiability" and "has been falsified". More intelligent criticisms of the falsifiability of evolution focus on how new evidence (such as new fossil or climatology data) always leads to evolution and never towards design, even when theories about specifics of a species' development are changed significantly in light of evidence.

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