January 2011 Blog Posts

Scientology, Skeptoid, free rides and abusive relationships

Skeptoid recently took on Scientology. I say "took on". What I actually mean is "gave a free ride to". There's been plenty of discussion of this over at the Skeptalk mailing list, split pro and anti, to which Brian has been firing back one-line replies to in rather a glib fashion. It's a bit tedious, but at least the other members are OK to engage on this subject. However, Brian did add a more lengthy response over at SkepticBlog. Overall I didn't find it a particularly convincing defence, but I was disturbed by one particular paragraph: My analysis was that people who have the...

In which The Pope makes me facepalm. Again.

The pope has apparently expressed the opinion that fake profiles on social media sites are bad, citing "The risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence." May I just remind everyone that "Benedict" is not the pope's real name. His real name is Joseph Ratzinger. And if anyone has a false and self-indulgent image of himself, it's a man who thinks he's god's appointed representative on earth and as a result lives in an opulent palace.

Latrodectus hasselti

Look what I found. It's a Redback, Latrodectus hasselti, a spider which I'm seeing more and more since we've moved to the Zombie-Proof Compound. Back in the day, I hardly ever saw them. I saw a couple when I lived in Woollahra, a juvenile of which I was able (maybe slightly recklessly) to carry out of the house bare-handed. I had one living next to my desk in St Peters (previously blogged here). But here at Zombie-proof? Tons. I've got one Redback living in a waste paper bin just outside my back door (which Esther refers to as my " little...

Truth In Advertising

Flawed reasoning, "absolute" morality and twitter-based zealotry

Errr... wrong. It does not follow that if there is no god there is no basis for good and evil. Now, first let me address an objection that I can already see. I do not accept the idea of "absolute" morality, in the same way that I don't accept the idea that "infinity" actually has an existence here in the real world. It is merely a concept invented by humans to describe "that thing so big it never ends". However, I do accept the idea of "morality maintained over time", and I find, on questioning, that this is what most christians mean...

Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network
Say NO to the National School Chaplaincy Program