Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

What was the Montauk monster?

Posted in Uncategorized by Skepdude on August 5, 2008

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, or spending all your time on Tet Zoo, you will almost certainly have heard about the ‘Montauk monster’, a mysterious carcass that (apparently) washed up on July 13th at Montauk, Long Island, New York. A good photo of the carcass, showing it in right lateral view and without any reference for scale, surfaced on July 30th and has been all over the internet. Given that I only recently devoted a week of posts to sea monsters, it’s only fitting that I cover this too. I’m pretty sure that I know what it is, and I’m pleased to see that many other people have come to the same conclusions, as demonstrated by the many informed comments that appeared at Cryptomundo and elsewhere last week. So, what is the Montauk monster?

Just a damn racoon. Read the rest of this entry at “Tetrapod Zoology”.


Skepnews – 8/5/08

Posted in Skepnews by Skepdude on August 5, 2008

  • UFO crashed 150 million years ago. According to the anonymous sources, it crashed approximately 150 million years ago during the age of the dinosaurs. – What, you have a problem with anonymous sources eh?
  • Cheap atheists? – Campaigners hoped to raise the raise the £23,400 necessary to buy a prominent two-week slot on a “bendy bus” by collecting £5 pledges from atheists online. A specially-created website had attracted only 877 pledges when its deadline passed on Thursday, far short of the 4,678 people needed.– Ok, so here’s my excuse: I was on vacation and didn’t hear anything until now. But seriously, come on atheists, get your shit together, it’s a numbers game, divided we fall!
  • Animal rights nuts attack scientists In the off-campus incident, a well-known molecular biologist and his family, including two small children, were forced to escape a smoke-filled house using a second-story ladder after a firebomb was intentionally set, Santa Cruz police said. One family member sustained injuries requiring brief hospitalization, and police are calling the firebombing, which occurred shortly before 6 a.m., a case of attempted homicide. About the same time, a car belonging to a researcher parked at an on-campus home was also firebombed, destroying the vehicle. – Hey at least the rats are safe now. I say, when they find these morons, don’t throw them in jail. However, next time they need a drug, after say a particularly gruesome car accident, they should be denied all kind of drugs/medical procedures which was at some point in it’s development tested on lab animals. Bunch of hypocrites!

Meet the Flat Brainers!

When it comes to science, the rule of thumb is that we should always challenge everything, in order to make new discoveries and advance our knowledge. After all, if we were to sit around content with the knowledge we have, there would be no drive towards the unknown. Nevertheless, there are certain scientific facts that are so well established, that they just can’t be challenged, unless by a brilliant genius who sees what everyone else misses. Read this carefully : An average Joe, with no training in the field he’s seeking to reinvent has just as much chance of succeeding as an ID proponent has to make sense. And those are pretty slim odds.

One of those well established facts in science is that the Earth is round, not flat. That was established eons ago. There are countless photos, videos and what have you to demonstrate that. Anyone who’s ever set foot on a plane has seen with their very own eyes the slight curvature of the earth’s surface. Yet, as unbelievable as it may sound, there are still people out there who think this whole round Earth thing to be nothing but a vast, world-wide conspiracy. They still believe the eart is flat, infinite and 9,000 kilometres deep (about 5,600 miles) and get this, it stretches infinitely horizontally! You can’t make this stuff up. You can only whole-heartedly believe it.

Flat earth theory is still around. On the internet and in small meeting rooms in Britain and the US, flat earth believers get together to challenge the “conspiracy” that the Earth is round.

“People are definitely prejudiced against flat-earthers,” says John Davis, a flat earth theorist based in Tennessee, reacting to the new Microsoft commercial.

Why are people so fascinated with the idea of a “conspiracy”? How many of these so-called conspiracies can the world governments have going at the same time anyway? The UFO proponents cry conspiracy. The flat earthers cry conspiracy. Almost any thing can be imagined and the lack of evidence blamed on a governmental conspiracy. These folks believe in their weird hypothesis precisely because they can’t find any evidence to back it up. Talk about weird! String theory has got nothing on these nuts!

Prejudiced? Of course I am prejudiced against flat earthers. They are,at the worst complete idiots, and at the best, self deluded, hallucinating, mentally ill people. There is a certain egotistic trend with all such people. They seem to think to be in on something that the general public doesn’t see. They seem to think they’re smart because they have “uncovered” these hidden secrets that “normal” people were never meant (and thus they are better than normal people) to uncover. To me they are like little boys pretending to be superheroes and getting that instantaneous gratification.  All the guys out there know what I’m talking about.

“Many use the term ‘flat-earther’ as a term of abuse, and with connotations that imply blind faith, ignorance or even anti-intellectualism.”

Blind faith…check! Ignorance…check! Anti-intellectualism…Double check!  The fascinating thing however, is that they blame us, the sane ones, of blind faith, ignorance and anti-intellectualism, because you see we aren’t smart enough to see through the veil that the world governments have woven over our eyes. But they can! And they have no evidence to back it up. And that is precisely how they know they’re right. You get the (il)logic there?

“I came to realise how much we take at face value,” he says. “We humans seem to be pleased with just accepting what we are told, no matter how much it goes against our senses.”

And he offers a perfect example of accepting what we are told at face value…himself!

Mr Davis now believes “the Earth is flat and horizontally infinite – it stretches horizontally forever”.

“And it is at least 9,000 kilometres deep”, he adds.

And here’s another, slightly different take:

James McIntyre, a British-based moderator of a Flat Earth Society discussion website, has a slightly different take. “The Earth is, more or less, a disc,” he states. “Obviously it isn’t perfectly flat thanks to geological phenomena like hills and valleys. It is around 24,900 miles in diameter.”

I see it’s either infinite or 24,900 mile disc. I guess they both think the other is part of a conspiracy to hide the true “truth” about our beloved planet.

What about all the photos from space that show, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Earth is round?  The space agencies of the world are involved in an international conspiracy to dupe the public for vast profit,says Mr McIntyre.

John Davis also says “these photos are fake”.

Of course, the folks at NASA are all millionaires and getting richer by the day.

And what about the fact that no one has ever fallen off the edge of our supposedly disc-shaped world?

Mr McIntyre laughs. “This is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions,” he says. “A cursory examination of a flat earth map fairly well explains the reason – the North Pole is central, and Antarctica comprises the entire circumference of the Earth. Circumnavigation is a case of travelling in a very broad circle across the surface of the Earth.”

Oh the humanity! The poor, poor humanity!

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