Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Proving God?

Posted in The Rogues Gallery by Skepdude on November 17, 2008

Listener David Driscoll from Atlanta thought this video of Frank Tipler explaining his “proof” for the existence of God would make a good Name that Logical Fallacy. I agree. Tipler is a crank, plain and simple. That he is a professor at Tulane University must be somewhat of an embarrassment for Tulane.

Others have already dissected Tipler’s nonsense, such as this article in the Skeptical Inquirer. I want to focus on the core fallacy of Tipler’s logic.

He says that the math and the physics lead directly to the conclusion that God exists. In the ridiculous local news video, where we are assured the reporter asked the “tough questions” (cough, cough), they even show some mathematical-looking equations on a blackboard leading to the final conclusion – “God exists.”

Tipler’s main logical error is that he is confusing explanation for proof. He believes that since he can concoct a highly speculative explanation for God or for specific miracles in the Bible (amounting to nothing more than special pleading) that God and the miracles are proven.

For example, he argues that because physics can explain the conversion of matter to energy and back gain, this “proves” the Biblical account that Jesus vanished in the tomb and then later reappeared before the disciples.

His proof of God is too complex for him to summarize it in any meaningful way (according to him) so you better buy his book. But it distills down to some fanciful descriptions of cosmology leading to the dubious conclusion that the universe will end in a singularity without an event horizon requiring infinite information. This singularity (which Tipler dubbed the Omega Point) is God.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT THE “ROGUES GALLERY”

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Albino girl killed for body parts

Posted in News by Skepdude on November 17, 2008

A six-year-old albino girl in Burundi has been found dead with her head and limbs removed, in the latest killing linked to ritual medicine.

Albinos in the region have been targeted because of a belief peddled by witchdoctors that their body parts can be used for magic potions.

The girl, who was attacked on Sunday, was the sixth person with albinism to be killed in Burundi since September.

There have also been a number of attacks in neighbouring Tanzania.

The latest attack took place in Burundi’s eastern province of Ruyigi.

The BBC’s Prime Ndikumagenge in Burundi said the child and her family had only just returned to their family home.

Armed attackers broke into the family home and tied up the girl’s parents before shooting her in the head, local officials say.

READ THE REST OF THIS STORY AT “BBC NEWS”

More Omega 3 child testing nonsense – this time, New Zealand.

Posted in Thinking is dangerous by Skepdude on November 17, 2008

The outcome I would be really happy with is a better understanding of healthy eating“, said teacher Paul Whitaker, from Auckland’s Wellsford School, according to TV.NZ.

What I assume he meant is “The outcome I would be really happy with is a better understanding of the scientific method, placebos and possibly the Hawthorne Effect“.

It appears that after watching a BBC documentary on Omega 3 fish oils, Mr Whitaker decided to run a trial of his own: 42 pupils, 21 with a fish oil pill and 21 without, otherwise, everything was the same. The story was also picked up (slightly, but only slightly more sensibly) in The New Zealand Herald.

Now, Mr Whitaker makes a big enough song and dance about his results to allow me to pilliory him as a bit of a fool. It would be unkind to say that not much happens in NZ, and indeed this is no excuse. History repeated itself in many ways with the ghost of the nonsensical Durham Fish Oil trial/experiment/initiative/trial (still being admirable hounded by MacCruiskeen) being resurrected – the pills were given free to the school by Good Health, a NZ-based ‘natural health solutions’ company, who are happy to tout the trial as a success (despite not being finished yet) and give a list of some of the media exposure gained. (Save lazy people like me having to do too much Google trawling).

In a very similar case to Durham, the trial was poorly designed scientifically and a waste of time, although excellently designed from a point of view of getting a false positive with which to spin to the media.

First of all, 42 people is never enough to get any meaningful results – at best it may give an inkling as to the next direction your research will take.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “THINKING IS DANGEROUS”

#53 Disney World

Posted in Fun, Humorous, Stuff God Hates by Skepdude on November 17, 2008

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “STUFF GOD HATES”

Prepare thyself, he who reads this, to tremble and quake before the Incredible Word of God, as written by THE LORD HIMSELF!

Today I, The Almighty Lord, would like to talk about the evilest place on earth – Disney World.

Disney World was created by a greedy fascist, is run entirely by anal-loving queers, is populated by satanic singing robots, and is visited by hordes of depressed peasants.

I hate Disney World and I have always wondered, why is it necessary? Is the world that I have created not good enough for you ungrateful sods? It is as if you have tried to create your own pathetic little version of Heaven on Earth. And while getting to Disney World is almost as expensive as getting to Heaven, I assure you that Heaven never has any lines and is never sticky and hot. Heaven also has a way better selection of roller-coasters.

Fat people love Disney World.

Fat people love Disney World.

No, Disney World bears a much closer resemblance to hell – always burning hot and always overcrowded with disgusting fatties.

In design and function it is so similar to hell, there is no doubt in My Mind that Satan partook in the creation of Disney World. It is meant to distract humans and make them happy without Me, and it uses a constant barrage of magical midgets and supernatural homosexuals to do so.

Just look at the different parks they have there. ‘The Magic Kingdom’; it has blasphemy right in the name! Magic is inherently Satanic! Only I, and My Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who are all One Person, are capable of performing any supernatural feats such as appearing as fire or walking on water or destroying the world.

Then there is Epcot, which celebrates the technological and scientific achievements of mankind. Sin! Sin! Pride-sin! I WILL SMASH YOUR STUPID SCIENCE BRAINS INTO MUSHY BITS!

At Epcot, they go so far as to have that smarmy bitch Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye the science jerk teach children about dinosaurs and evolution. I tell you, they are practically begging Me to destroy the place with a volcano.

There is also ‘The Animal Kingdom.’ Again, the blasphemy is right in the name. This clearly violates what I declared in My Book; man shall rule over the animals. They shall not have their own kingdom. In this park, there are areas representing both Africa and Asia. Although I will say the rollercoaster in Asia was decent, the Disney people are clearly trying to piss Me off.

There were also some other parks, I’m sure they were all blasphemous and evil in their own right – but I didn’t have time to visit them all.

Anyway, if all that’s not enough, at Disney World, they actually tell humans that it’s a place where all their dreams and wishes will come true! LIES! Hear Me, and hear Me well mortals: your dreams will not come true there. Unless your dream is to pay twice as much for rice with shrimp poo and get blisters on your feet.

And that’s another thing! On My recent exploratory visit to the most blasphemous place on Earth, I was enraged to hear a recorded announcement tell the masses (after a paltry display of fireworks), that Disney “hopes all your dreams come true.”

Oh really? You just can’t encourage humans that way! What if their dream is to assassinate the president?! Or conquer and enslave all of Europe?! Disney supports those dreams.

I, The Almighty Lord, have spoken.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “STUFF GOD HATES”

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