Across three decades, his goal was to drive a scientist’s skepticism into the heart of India, a country still teeming with gurus, babas, astrologers, godmen and other mystical entrepreneurs.
Dr Narendra Dabholkar,
a former physician, was assassinated at age 67 earlier this week in the city of Pune. From Times of India:
"Since 1983, he was confronted time and again by many religious and spiritual gurus, and faced several threats and even physical attacks. But he rejected police protection for himself. 'If I have to take police protection in my own country from my own people, then there is something wrong with me,' he used to say. 'I'm fighting within the framework of the Indian constitution and it is not against anyone, but for everyone.'"
posted by storybored
on Aug 25, 2013 -
Why I Am No Longer A Skeptic
That's right: the nerds won, decades ago, and they're now as thoroughly established as any other part of the establishment. And while nerds a relatively new elite, they're overwhelmingly the same as the old: rich, white, male, and desperate to hang onto what they've got. And I have come to realise that skepticism, in their hands, is just another tool to secure and advance their privileged position, and beat down their inferiors. As a skeptic, I was not shoring up the revolutionary barricades: instead, I was cheering on the Tsar's cavalry.
Referenced in The Cult Of Bayes' Theorem [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 16, 2013 -
"A wonderful brain interprets something differently from what it actually is, but it doesn't mean it's made a mistake. It took the information it had and did it's best job
." Those are but two tricks from Jerry Andrus
(1918-2007), self-taught magician and illusionist, and one of great renown
amongst other magicians
. But he was more than a slight-of-hand man: he was also a poet, philosopher, inventor, humanist, agnostic, and skeptic
. There are an impressive number of videos of him online, these are but a few to get you started down the rabbit hole: Jerry Andrus is visual poetry
(Google video / YT
, 28 minutes) :: Jerry Andrus at the Magic Castle
(G.vid, 49 min), Jerry Andrus at 83 his Optical Illusions
(G.vid, 41 min) :: Jerry Andrus and Ray Hyman on Uri Geller
(YT, 26 min) :: James Randi on Jerry Andrus
(YT, 5 min) :: James Randi - who was Jerry Andrus?
:: James Randi describes Jerry Andrus
. The last two clips are from Rex Young
, a young illusionist who has recreated many of Andrus' illusions on his YouTube channel
, and made some of his own
posted by filthy light thief
on Sep 12, 2011 -
The credibility of Skeptoid
podcast creator, Brian Dunning, has come under fire from the Science Blog / Skeptic community after he posted a questionable podcast
regarding DDT. A comprehensive fact check in two parts
hit the web soon thereafter, followed by other critiques
- suggesting that Dunning's objectivity may be tainted by conservative / libertarian political leanings. [more inside]
posted by jnnla
on Dec 22, 2010 -
Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.
From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style.
), at age 81, has come out. He discusses the announcement in more detail on the JREF
podcast For Good Reason
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Mar 21, 2010 -
"A Helpful Hand"
- Penn & Teller call Bullshit!
on the "bestselling book in the world," the Holy Bible. (link is to entire episode approx 29mins - *language, flash)
posted by hypersloth
on Dec 14, 2005 -
Expect a miracle? Freeman Dyson
on Littlewood's Law of Miracles: "...the total number of events that happen to us is about thirty thousand per day, or about a million per month. ...The chance of a miracle is about one per million events. Therefore we should expect about one miracle to happen, on the average, every month." From his review of book debunking the paranormal (whose views he isn't entirely willing to accept).
Via Marginal Revolution
posted by Jos Bleau
on Jul 14, 2004 -
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible includes the entire text of the King James Version of the Bible, but without the pro-Bible propaganda. Instead, passages are highlighted that are an embarrassment to the Bible-believer, and the parts of the Bible that are never read in any Church, Bible study group, or Sunday School class are emphasized. For it is these passages that test the claims of the Bible-believer. The contradictions and false prophesies show that the Bible is not inerrant; the cruelties, injustices, and insults to women, that it is neither good nor just.
posted by oliver_crunk
on Jan 10, 2003 -