"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.

Skeptics: Really just Scared Control Freaks at Heart?

My biggest criticism of so-called Skeptics clubs is that their opinions tend to be based on ignorance and fear. Fear of that which they can't understand because it threatens their beliefs.
The worst thing about them is that they then try to exert their control over others.. all based on mere opinions. Opinions which are missing important facts...Such as those members whose duty they felt it was to support legislation that limits peoples freedom of choice in accessing the healthcare and products of their choice.

Creationist Home Schooling Conference

Got this post from my little sister. Her kids are home school but interesting enough the network are hosting a lovely conference next month

Her message to me was "A group I subscribe to is hosting a conference that has the creationism as its main theme. Please go to http://www.learnex.co.nz/Editable/conference/FirelightJayWile2011Christc..., book a couple of seats at the the conference and forget to post the cheque. This is NOT an event would like to see succeed! "

**Pass this on to your friends!


Chiropractors recruiting from Universities?

As a student, I recently discovered that the New Zealand College of Chiropractors is exhibiting at the University of Canterbury Careers & Employment Fair, NZi3 Foyer and HP Room, 69 Creyke Road, Christchurch, 5.00-8.00pm on Monday 16th May.

Having expressed my concern to the University that woo does not belong anywhere near UC, I received a reply from Chris Bridgman, Careers Internships and Employment Manager, as follows:

"The NZ College of Chiropractic offers a qualification recognised by the N.Z Qualifications Authority.

Really good night monday

Hey really good night on monday, really interesting to see the conversation going and that we have passion around the table

Just a few links to the video I mentioned http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1-bbz3crjw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Shooting fish

FishBarrel: The easy way to report misleading health claims online.

Simon Perry runs the Leicester Skeptics in the Pub, campaigns against pseudo-science and his current focus is to encourage more people to get active campaigning against dangerous medical misinformation. To this end he's written a wonderful extension for Chrome that makes the process of submitting an ASA complaint quick, simple and painless.

Homeopathy in the news again

Dr Shaun Holt has stirred up the Homeopaths again. They seem to be out in arms too. There's a poll attached to the article and since yesterday, when the article was posted, it's been hovering around the 50:50 mark. Would people care to hit the site and correct the Poll?


Vaccine Rejectionism Disorder

It's been a while since I've posted anything. To be honest I don't have the time to post anything now. I've got about a month of solid work ahead of me and until then blogging will need to take a third or forth place. Having said that I will repost the occasional thing that catches my eye. It doesn't take much to do that.

So, first up, a new disorder. Originally found at Autism News Beat, it offers a clinical definition of the Disorder that those that won't vaccinate suffer from.

God is not great

Religion isn't something I particularly touch on that often unless it strays into the realm of reality. i.e. testable claims. This time though I want to pose a question; How can God be as powerful as He is claimed to be when things like the Feb 22nd quake happen? The Dean of the ChristChurch Cathedral is on record saying;

The earthquake was not an act of God. The earthquake was the planet doing its thing the way the planet does.

To the Dean and any Christians out there;

Christchurch SitP Organisers

As many of you know I'm now in Wellington. I'm looking at making this a permanent move which means I'm going to want a new organiser (or organisers) for the Christchurch Skeptics in the Pub group.

[IH] Heading North for a bit

I'm hitting the road on Friday.

The short version:
Christchurch -> Picton -> Wellington -> Palmerston North -> Christchurch. I'm looking for transport and couches. I can offer a lift up the east coast (Christchurch -> Picton) should anyone be heading in that direction. txt me asap on 021 248-4653.

The longer version:

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