"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.

May 2012 Meetup

Hi Guys

We didn't have a meetup last month, lets get things kick started again. Meetup next Saturday (May 12th), 2:30 at The Bank on Vic st, we'll be out the back or near it.
If we can get you all coming again we can start getting speakers, so come along!

Hope to see you there.
Leela

Crowd funding science!

Hey everyone

This month I am taking part in the SciFund Challenge, which gives scientists the whole of May to raise money for science using crowdfunding. The challenge came about partly as a result of the lack of funding for basic science, as well as an effort to get the public interested and involved in science.

Hawke's Bay Next Skeptics in the Pub the Gintrap 64 Quay West Ahuriri Napier Thursday 26th April 7pm

Next Skeptics in the Pub the Gintrap 64 Quay West Ahuriri Thursday 26th April 7pm (seperate Room for the Group)

Hi
Here is out topic for the next Skeptics in the Pub.
I have enjoyed Sam Harris's thinking on whether there can be a science of good and evil.

Some quotes
"It seems to me patently obvious that we can no more respect and tolerate vast differences in notions of human well-being than we can respect or tolerate vast differences in the notions about how disease spreads, or in the safety standards of buildings and airplanes."

Wikipedia has gone dark for 24 hours in protest

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is the sixth most used site on the Internet. On Wednesday the website will go dark to protest two bills facing Congress and the Senate. The bills, the Internet giant states, stop freedom of expression and could destroy web sites unfairly. Source of article: Wikipedia and others go dark to protest SOPA

All about a Jimmy Wales message

Skeptical Desiderata

Go skeptically amidst the lies and the guile, and take comfort in whatever rationality there may be.
As far as possible, without being an asshole, question established orthodoxies and fatuous argument. Speak your truth quietly and clearly even to the dull and ignorant, for though it conflicts with the evidence, they too have their story.
Avoid creationists and climate change deniers, for they are vexatious to rational argument and their minds are lost. You will argue with them in vain and become bitter.

March Skeptical Meetup in the Mao Bar, Palmerston North

Thanks very much to those of us who turned up at Mao’s Bar on George Street two weeks ago. Sorry it has taken so long to get this typed up!
We had some great discussions and I thought I should summarise some of what went on for those of us who didn’t make it. David.

March Meetup - Natural Health Product Bill

Have you heard about the Natural Health Product Bill but are a bit unsure of the details? (or haven't heard about it at all?)

What is it supposed to do, and will it achieve what it is intended to?

We can't promise all the answers, but come along to discuss the ins and outs with us anyway.
Because hey - that's what we do.

The following link has a good outline of the bill in case youd like to do a bit of homework :)
http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/BillsDigests/b/8/a/4...

PAlmerston North Skeptics in the Pub, 7pm, Thurs 1st March at the Mao Bar, George Street

Looking forward to our regular meetup at this new venue!

Next Hawke's Bay Skeptics in the Pub Provedore 60 West Quay Ahuriri

Next Meet up Thursday 29th March 7pm - all welcome - bring a friend at the Provedore 60 West Quay. Will message with topic.

New Venue

Thanks to everyone who cam to the skeptics in the pub on Thursday. A fun evening. One of our members is unraveling a genetic mystery in algal dna that is a billion and a half years old. The evidence, not the actual dna. I am in awe of Barbara Schoenfeld. But don't tell her I said that. :-)
We had a great evening and we set about solving six mysteries that science cannot explain. I thought it would take about thirty minutes, 5 minutes per mystery, but I forgot how distractible skeptics are. But we nailed most of them, even with a pub quiz booming in our ears.
http://bit.ly/wBHJ6P

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