"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.

10.23 "overdose" event

Perhaps we should participate on this side of the world?

http://www.1023.org.uk/the-1023-overdose-event.php

Keynote Speaker - Vicki Hyde of NZ Skeptics Inc

Announcing a new Meetup for Christchurch Skeptics in the Pub!

What: Keynote Speaker - Vicki Hyde of NZ Skeptics Inc

When: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 6:00 PM

Where:
The Twisted Hop
6 Poplar Street
Christchurch
+64339623688

An evening of Critical Thinking in two parts. Following on with my goal of having at least one Speaker a month I thought it would be fitting to have the keynote for the year being presented by Vicki Hyde, Chair Entity of NZ Skeptics Inc. Vicki has kindly agreed with me on this.

Part The First:

Gareth Renowden of Hot Topic

Christopher (I think) suggested that we get Gareth Renowden @hottopicnz of the Hot Topic blog and the author of the book of the same name to speak on climate change and it's impact on NZ. Hot Topic is the first popular science book to examine global warming from a New Zealand perspective, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of NZ's first ever Science Book Prize. The judges described it as "timely, lucid, and very readable".

Plans for 2010

I'm not a big fan of New Year Resolutions. They tend to be things that you never get around to until it's too late and at that point... well... it's too late.

So instead, I'm getting a few goals. Some are personal, others aren't and some are aimed firmly at NZ Skeptics in the Pub.

Dunedin SitP 2010

When: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 7:30 PM

Lets keep the good momentum going for Skeptics in the Pub and get our first meeting for 2010 underway!

Forum Content Push?

Just wondering if there's any way for me to receive SITP FORUM content. I don't get a chance to do general web surfing much, and fear I'm missing out on lots of potentially interesting discussions on here. Individual messages or content summaries via email or ideally a feed would help me keep up with what's happening here.

Decisions on Supplements

A member of my family (J) has alopecia (sp?) and has been "prescribed" (i.e. sold by a health store) colloidal silica gel (link below) to help.

I would like any practical advice on how I - as a non-scientific, non-medical skeptic - can make a judgement on how likely this product is to be helpful beyond placebo effect. The claims on the product page itself seem fairly woolly to me.

Good for a laugh

Who would have thought that a married couple had sex? It appears that the catholic church do not like the idea of portraying Mary as a wife and mother, and would rather keep the myth of her virginity alive and well.

This billboard in Auckland was defaced after only four hours.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3168791/Church-courts-controversy-with-C...

Pesticides in our food

From Stuff

NZ atheist bus campaign starts today

The NZ atheist bus campaign was officially launched today. They are relying solely on donations from the public, so please if you feel inclined to spread the idea of rational thought in a secular humanist society, head over there and give them a couple of dollars.

http://www.nogod.org.nz/

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