"A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, and therefore rigorously and openly applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims, especially their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves. Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion." - Dr. Steven Novella of The New England Skeptics and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast.

Atheism Survey

There is a new survey online that is attempting to get some information on atheists and atheism around the world.

It will take about 20-30 minutes depending on how much information you want to give. No personal information is collected.

The AVN Congratulates Fran Sheffield and Homeopathy Plus on Bent Spoon Award!

So, the Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. just put out a media release congratulating the recipient of the Bent Spoon at this years Aus Skeptics conference. I did find one bit of it interesting though.

Terminology used in the vax vs anti-vax 'debate'

I just read Homeopathy regime is rejected as judge tells parents to immunise child on the SMH site. The story is sad in that it has to be reported on at all but that's not what I was wondering about for the purpose of this post. It is more about the terminology used in the article.

Meetup: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Astrology, wft?

So I was looking at an e-mail from Meetup and saw a suggestion from the Six Degrees group. I was thinking that Meetup's recommendation algorithms could use some work because the last thing I saw in that group was someone pushing Reiki lessons.

Idea for debate session at the 2013 NZ Skeptics Conference

Following on from a meeting a couple of days ago to begin planning for the 2013 NZ Skeptics conference here in Wellington I have been thinking about a subject that could make for a good and worthwhile debate.

Woo Calendar

Hi everyone,

I'm interested in collating a list of major woo websites here in NZ. Part of my reasoning is that I love to visit nonsense talks, lectures, workshops, etc in the Wellington area, and as there's no centralised calendar where these "alternative" meetings are advertised I'd like to make one and share it online. The kind of woo I'm looking at can be seen at the following websites:

Virtual Skeptics!

Found this great new podcast, similar to the live one that Astronomy Cast produces, but with skeptics. Anyway, here is the link:

http://virtualskeptics.com/

Next Skeptics in the Pub Thursday, 28 June 2012 7pm Function room Gintrap West Quay Napier Hastings People come along

Hi

All Skeptics in Napier Hastings and the wider Bay come along.
Great location - excellent for conversation - great company.

This months topic motivated reasoning.

Join us on FB

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HBSkeptics/

See you there

Best

Steve

CANCER : Affecting EVERYBODY today.

Everybody , it seems, these days knows somebody who has cancer or who has died from it.My friend lost her teenage daughter to cancer a few years ago.
At that time the rate was 1 in 6. Now it's 1 in 4.
Cancer is an epidemic. Are you concerned? Do you care?

What has changed in our lifestyles today, compared with 100 years ago?
Pollution:
The air
Our food
Our drinking water..

John Cleese and Michael Palin debate religion

I thought folks here might enjoy this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeKWVuye1YE&feature=related

It's a bit slow to start with but definitely worth it by the end.

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