Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Moral Disgust Linked to Primitive Emotion

Posted in News by Skepdude on February 26, 2009

Feb. 26, 2009 — A new study reveals insights into the ancient roots of our modern-day sense of moral disgust.

Research from the University of Toronto suggests that our sense of right and wrong appears to be directly linked to a primitive survival instinct that caused our ancient ancestors to find foul-tasting, poisonous foods disgusting.

The study appears in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal Science.

“These results shed new light on the origins of morality, suggesting that not only do complex thoughts guide our moral compass, but also more primitive instincts related to avoiding potential toxins,” principal investigator Adam K. Anderson, PhD, says in a news release.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “WEBMD”

Popular Pastor Encourages Child Suffering

Posted in Unreasonable Faith by Skepdude on February 26, 2009

A popular Christian pastor, John Piper, thinks spanking is okay. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. He’s really excited about spanking.

He believes God makes us suffer, so we should imitate him and make our children suffer by spanking them.

No, I’m not kidding, and no, this isn’t a parody.

Here are some quotes from “Would Jesus spank a child?“:

If Jesus were married and had children, I think he would have spanked the children.

Actually, I think the wonder-working Jesus would have been able to control his kids without hitting them, don’t you? If he could walk on water and rise from the dead, it seems doubtful he’d need to spank his children to keep them in line.

But why would someone think it’s a great idea to hit children? For Piper, it’s a view of God who hurts his children because he loves them:

Deep down, does this person believe that God brings pain into our lives? Because … God disciplines every son whom he loves, and spanks everyone that he delights in (my paraphrase). And the point there is suffering. God brings sufferings into our lives, and the writer of the Hebrews connects it to the parenting of God of his children….

God uses suffering to discipline his children. So do we.

Oh, so God’s like an abusive husband who hits his wife because he loves her! I get it now. He’d be gentle and kind, but that just wouldn’t be as effective, you know?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “UNREASONABLE FAITH”

Pure Water Fetishists

Posted in Thinking is dangerous by Skepdude on February 26, 2009

What is it with Complementary & Alternative Medicine communities and their crazed fixation on only ever coming into to contact with absolutely, scrupulously and perfectly pure water? And why does no-one ever point out that the minute they pour it into a glass, kettle or pot of dried lentils, all the effort to purify it has gone out the window?

The company I’d like to introduce you to is PureH20. Alas, the interweb has ensured that ‘2’ rarely gets to be subscript.

The website has a myriad of bullshit, fear-mongering, pseudoscience and amazing state-the-bleedin-obvious facts like

Water is absolutely vital for health

I would honestly like to know if there is anyone to whom that comes as a revelation. And I mean anyone in the whole world.
Did you know that

most of us have lost our proper thirst reflex by the end of our childhood?

or that

Bottled and tap waters contain many impurities like heavy metals and inorganic minerals that are likely to have an adverse effect on your health

So no shortage of bullshit to keep you entertained. Their purification system is definately a first in chemical synthesis though:

Water filtered using our patented system removes all the chemicals and impurities, both organics and inorganics, to provide you with one hydrogen atom and two oxygen atoms

(my bold)

Oh. I assumed they were selling water rather than HO2, who’d have thunk? As if all the sillyness wasn’t enough we get:

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

No, I’m not angry at God

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on February 26, 2009

[Originally posted at: That Guy From China]

This last week, I was talking with a fellow (quite a nice guy), and the topic of religion came up.  He’s a born-again Christian.  I’m an ex-Christian, atheist, and Humanist.  We talked and debated our beliefs, and for the most part it was quite amicable, but there was one part that really kinda’ pissed me off.  It’s a pet peeve of mine.  That is, whenever Christians realize that I’m an ex-Christian who’s rejected Christianity and become an atheist, the immediate response is A) “Why are you angry with God?” or B) “Why are you rebelling against God?”.

Now, I understand…I grew up indoctrinated to think that those who abandoned Christianity were doing so out of rebellion and/or anger (and if confronted with an atheist, I would have responded in the same manner).  And certainly, there are plenty of ex-Christians who are quite angry at their previous religion (often for very justifiable reasons).  But this automatic assumption that it must be an emotional or personal reaction against something in Christianity really irks me.

I have tried in the past to explain this, but have generally not done a very good job.  However, after my discussion with him, while thinking about this, I came up with what I thought was a very good illustration of my ‘conversion’ to atheism (or my rejection of Christianity, however you want to look at it).

[Read the rest of this post at: That Guy From China]

Skepquote of the day

Posted in Skepquote by Skepdude on February 26, 2009

Normal people, faced with such an unrelenting stream of scientific and other evidence strongly refuting their beliefs, would start to think that maybe their beliefs need readjusting. Not Generation Rescue. The reality warp field surrounding J.B. Handley, Jenny McCarthy, and their Kool Aid drinkers is too strong. Given their cultish certainty that, no matter what the science says, it absolutely, positively has to be the vaccines causing autism, they can never retreat, never surrender, and, above all, never, ever even entertain the possibility for a minute that their most fervent belief is based on on the scientific equivalent of smoke and mirrors.

………………………………………………….

If stupid were a poison, all life on earth would be dead and rotting from the emanations of the two articles contained under the above link. And if stupid really did burn, the surface of the earth would consist of nothing more than charred rock, with the oceans themselves vaporized.

Respectful Insolence

Hitchens vs. D’Souza 01/2009

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on February 26, 2009

I just got done listening to the debate between Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D’Souza they just had this January. The video is available here. I suggest anyone interested in the God issue needs to listen. Hitchens is simply fantastic and besides the pre-writen opening and closing statements, D’Souza comes across as a illogical, babbling, incoherent, defensive, My-god-is-greater-than-your-god-cause-the-bible-says-so, pathetic looser really. Hitchens in my opinion completely overshadows him on the head to head and the audience Q&A portion. I only managed to listen to the audio during my daily commutte, but I must make time to watch the video, I think the body language and facial expressions will make me enjoy it even more.

In addition to the Holocaust, we’re responsible for this, too?

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on February 26, 2009

Anytime something wrong happens, there is a Christian who will blame it on atheism and evolution. The latest is the case of the foolish woman who kept an adult chimpanzee as a pet, and got badly mauled for her trouble. This, of course, is Charles Darwin’s fault.

How is it that we live in a culture where people think it’s safe to have a chimpanzee as a pet? Where do people get the idea that we ought to take a wild animal and treat it like a human being? The chimp owner treated the animal like a son who ate at her table, slept in her house, and even drove her car.

Last week the world celebrated Darwin’s 200th birthday. Universities placed tributes to Darwinism on their home page (examples include Oxford and Cambridge) and major networks such as BBC ran extensive programs devoted to Darwin’s great contribution to the world.

Yet, ironically, this week we witness a brutal act that seems to logically follow from Darwin’s ideas. You may be wondering how I can possibly link Darwin to this atrocious event. But think about it, if humans are deeply related to chimps then why not expect them to act that way?

“…seems to logically follow…” — I don’t think that Mr McDowell understands that word “logic” very well.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “PHARYNGULA”

TAM 7 website now open for business!

Posted in Bad Astronomy by Skepdude on February 26, 2009

I am very pleased to announce that registration for The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 is now open!

TAMs are the premier conferences for critical thinkers across the globe. Hosted by the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF), it always features great speakers, good times, and a warm and wonderful community. TAM 7 will continue that tradition.

TAM 7 logo

This year, our keynote speaker is Bill Prady, the executive producer of The Big Bang Theory. Suh. Weet. We also have Randi, of course, My Close Personal Friend Adam Savage™, Jennifer Ouellette, Joe Nickell, Michael Shermer, Emily Rosa, and a passel of other great speakers. I guess that means me, too.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “BAD ASTRONOMY”

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