Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Preying upon the gullible

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on March 19, 2009

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “PHARYNGULA”

Do you feel like you don’t pray enough? Are you too busy working, or playing golf, or fornicating to actually take the time out to get down on your knees and praise the invisible man in the sky? Well, there is a service for you: Information Age Prayer. For the low, low price of $3.95 a month, they will run your prayer of choice through a voice synthesizer every day, and allow the computer to speak to god for you. Is a loved one sick? For only $9.95 per month, the computer will beg god to help them 5 times a day! Throw enough money at this service, and you can just skip church altogether, not waste any time with the holy muttering, and get all the benefits of piety, every single one. Sign up today!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “PHARYNGULA”

New “Knowing” Film Based on Numerology and Bible Code Pseudoscience

Posted in Center for inquiry by Skepdude on March 19, 2009

In the new film “Knowing,” Nicolas Cage plays a professor who is given a piece of paper containing a mysterious number code taken from a time capsule at his son’s school. He decodes the message and realizes that the numbers accurately predicted past disasters—as well as an imminent apocalypse. That last bit, of course, makes it into an interesting movie. If he’d stopped at “discovering” the hidden code, the movie would end with him writing a best-selling New Age self-help book.

Though the plot is fictional, this scenario has occurred many times in the real world. In 1997 Michael Drosnin published a best-selling book titled “The Bible Code,” in which he claimed that the Bible contained a code (hidden in numbers and letters) accurately predicting past world events. Drosnin’s work was later refuted, with critics (including CSI Fellow David E. Thomas) demonstrating that the “meanings” he found were simply the result of selectively choosing data sets from a vast sea of random letters.

In psychology, the tendency for the human mind to find coincidences, patterns, and connections in random data is called apophenia. It is related to paredolia, the mind’s ability to find faces and images in ambiguous stimuli such as clouds, tortillas, food stains, and so on. In statistics, there is even a name for this type of thinking mistake: a Type I error. A common example of a Type I error is a false positive result on a medical test, for instance detecting a disease.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “CFI”

Ghost Repeller Now Available

Posted in JREF, Skepdude by Skepdude on March 19, 2009

While some may be “hunting” ghosts, or merely trying to decide whether they exist or not, one ambitious Thai company, Boondee Laboratories, has created a device that will force them away. They claim it works on devils too.

First, I have to comment on the language on the site. The authors are clearly not native English speakers, and as easy as it would be to poke fun at their phrasing and word choice, I’m going to refrain from doing so for one simple reason: I can’t speak a word of Thai that isn’t on a restaurant menu (I’m a big fan of Tom Kha Gai).

This electronic device sends out a “killer wave” that’s supposed to repel ghosts. From Boondee:

Video capture the invisible picture then convert to radio signal and sent to WAVE KILLER gernerated by complex electronic circuit.

READ THE REST OF THIS STORY AT “RANDI.ORG”

Killer Wave! KILLER WAVE..AAAAHHH! But the real money quote is in the FAQ’s if you ask me. Check this out:

  • What about my house has a good spirit of our ancestor protect my family, would this machine kill their spirit ?
      Ans. The machine can distinguist the phenomenon signal input, good spirit and bad spirit has its characteristic, the device will ignor or skip the good spirit.
  • What happen if we unplug the machine at later time, how can we sure the ghost won’t come back again with more angry ?
    • Ans. The machine is smart than ghost, fear and not return. You did not battle with ghost, the machine fight with ghost for you.

    Ha ha….ha ha  ha ha! I can’t believe they want to sell that cheap looking piece of crap!