Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Please do not eat a live frog

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 12, 2010

If you want to have fish eat your skin, fine. If you want to stick burning sticks in your ears and eyes, fine again. You can even drink cow urine if you feel like it, but don’t, DO NOT EAT A LIVE TREE FROG. Seriously, skip to picture 19 and be converted to a skeptic instantaneously. Sometimes pseudoscience and woo kill, sometimes they ruin people financially. Sometimes they are just, really, incredibly, unbelievably, fucking gross and out of this world stupid.

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The hammer keepeth comming down on AVNeth

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 4, 2010

The AVN’s troubles don’t seem to end, all deserved of course.  If you remember, the AVN (Australian Vaccination Network which should really be Australian Anti-vaccination Network) recently got slapped hard by the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission, which issued a Public Warning about the Australian Vaccine Network (AVN), hammering them among other things for distributing information which is “solely anti-vaccination” and “incorrect and misleading”.

The HCCC advised the AVN to place a public disclaimer on their website, saying that its “purpose is to provide information against vaccination” and that the  “information provided by the AVN should not be read as medical advice”, which the AVN promptly ignored, thus leading to the HCCC publishing its public warning.

Now, though the AVN faces new troubles.  According to this article by the Sydney Morning Herald, it risks loosing its charity status:

THE Australian Vaccination Network has three weeks to show why its charity licence should not be revoked after an audit revealed it was soliciting donations without permission.


A spokeswoman from the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing said the audit had detected a number of breaches of the charity fund-raising law. They included: fund-raising without an authority; unauthorised expenditure; and failure to keep proper records of income and expenditure.

She said other possible breaches of the Charitable Trusts Act 1993 had been referred to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Hm, so not only does the AVN provide information that has been deemed to be incorrect and misleading, but they have bene raising funds without a proper license. And not only that, but there are allegations that funds raised for specific purposes were never used for the purpose for which they were raised.

‘And in 2009 the AVN solicited donations to place an autism advertisement in a magazine. Despite raising thousands of dollars from the general public, these ads were never placed. We are not aware of these donations being refunded,” the service’s website says.

Oooops; that Meryl!

Tajikistan polio outbreak halted via vaccines

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 2, 2010

Originally posted by Skepdude at Vaccine Central

An outbreak of polio in Tajikistan has been halted thanks to vigorous vaccination efforts by 1,000 teams of doctors and nurses. The effort took three months to bear fruit, and was sponsored jointly by USAID and the Tajikistan Ministry of Health. The outbreak infected a reported 430 people, with 19 fatalities,  before it was brought under control. The most recent round of vaccinations was conducted on 15–19 June . Preliminary data report coverage of 99.3, with coverage higher than 97% reported from all regions and in the groups aged 0–6 and 7–15 years. Correspondingly, no new cases of infection have been recorded since June 21st. International travelers to this area, and other areas where polio is present, are advised to check with their health care provide to ensure that they are properly vaccinated against the disease.

Stupid quote of the day

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 31, 2010

I have been accused of harassing this grieving family by making this call. It is my assertion however that the official from the NCAHS has not only committed a serious breach of confidentiality by informing a third party that I had contacted him; he in fact, has harassed the McCafferys by calling a grieving family to tell them that I had asked for confirmation of Dana’s diagnosis. What possible reason could he have had for taking this action?

Meryl Dorey, AVN

Why this is stupid

Firstly, because it is stupid to claim that a phone call to Dana’s doctor, by an unrelated 3rd party is in any way “confidential”; and it is even more stupid to imply that by informing Dana’s parents that some person is asking for confidential information regarding their baby’s death in any way constitutes breach of confidentiality. Meryl is forgetting that the doctor she called was not her doctor and she was not discussing issues of her health. That would fall within the area of professional doctor-patient confidentiality.

Secondly, it is stupid to claim that the doctor informing the parents of such attempts to get confidential information about their baby’s death by a 3rd party, constitutes harassment. In fact, it is an ethical requirement for the doctor to disclose who he is discussing the details of Dana’s death to her parents; matter of fact he should ask for permission before disclosing this actual confidential information to outsiders. But then we’re talking about ethics and I don’t expect anti-vaxxers to be very well versed in that area.

That Meryl!

Update 8/09/10 – It has been brough to my attention that the official contacted by Meryl Dorey was not Dana’s doctor, but a high ranking official in the institution where Dana was diagnozed with pertussis. Furthermore, he apparently did not contact the McCaffery’s to inform them about the inquiries. It was the McCafferys who contacted the institution to ask if anyone had been poking around, after being harrased by the AVN thugs after their daughter’s death.

Did you know that?

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 28, 2010

Also posted at Vaccine Central

  1. Measles is one of the leading causes of death for children around the world.
  2. In the year 2000 only 72% of children worldwide had received the first dose (of two) by their first birthday
  3. In the year 2000 an estimated 733,000 people died of measles worldwide
  4. In the year 2008 about 83% of children worldwide had received the first dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday
  5. In the year 2008 an estimated 164,000 people died of measles worldwide, a net gain of over 550,000 lives from 2000
  6. As high as 10% of measles cases result in death among populations with high levels of malnutrition and a lack of adequate health care.
  7. More than 10,000,000 people are affected by measles every year
  8. 1-2 out of every 1,000 children that get measles will die
  9. Measles can make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely
  10. There are people who claim measles is not a big deal and “natural immunity” via actually getting the disease is to be preferred to vaccinations. Really? When was the last time the measles vaccine caused 733,000 deaths?

Skeptify this poll

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 27, 2010

This poll needs skeptifying; it’s been pharyngulated but I think we can skeptify it a bit more. Have a blast.

Do you think The Ten Commandments should be displayed in government buildings?




Christian doesn’t like the idea of free choice

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 22, 2010

…when it comes to euthanasia that is. Below is a video about a “controversial” billboard which advocates patient’s right to choose euthanasia when medical circumstances are hopeless. Of course, some douchebag christian must take the “moral” stance against such ghastly idea. Coming from a religion whose deity voluntarily chose to kill himself, this desire to deny suffering patients the right to end their pain sounds a little bit hypocritical of course. Take a look at the video and let us deconstruct this bag-o’-douche’s “arguments”.

Let’s get to it.

“from the catholic perspective, and from people of faith is that life is a gift from god, and that we as human beings are required and have a responsibility to help safeguard and guarantee the dignity of life, no matter how someone may be ailing”

Isn’t that nice? Don’t you just feel the christian love oozing out of the good ol’ christian? I do, especially when he ends his “argument” by basically saying he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the pain the person may be going through! Moving on, the “catholic perspective” only comes into play when the person considering euthanasia actually gives a shit about said perspective, in which case he wouldn’t go though with the plan. Furthermore, the “catholic perspective” only applies to catholics, euthanasia doesn’t, or is he implying that The Perspective must be forced unto all, regardless of religious orientation?

“Life is a gift from god”

I see, god gifted some with a long life full of misery and pain, and apparently has instructed his people to ensure, at all costs, that these poor souls live as long as possible, so that their pain and suffering may be prolonged to the maximum, all for some mysterious, divine purpose I assume. He is a loving god after all, no? If life is a gift from god, then for some people it is a horrible gift that this beacon of christian morality wants to forbid from returning.

And what can ensure the dignity of one’s life more than horrible, unimaginable, never-ending pain and misery? Why more of the same of course, so keep the sucker alive, don’t allow him a rest, don’t give him respite, he must go on living “no matter how someone may be ailing“. What a loving sentiment for fellow human beings. Is this the new golden rule?

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Welcome to this world

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 18, 2010

If Christianity was explained to a child honestly, as it is taught in the Bible, this is what it would sound like.

The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 18, 2010

Via Crispian Jago. Enjoy.

Creationist revolutionizes physics ….NOT (probably)

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 16, 2010

At the considerable risk of becoming a “genius-crucifier” I am calling bullshit. A creationist over at the ever-more-scientific Answers in Genesis (hey, they have a “peer-reviewed” journal right?) is claiming that soon enough he’s going to publish earth-shattering research on, get this: light traveling instantaneously, INSTANTANEOUSLY, to Earth from any point in the universe. Take a moment to digest that; a moment and an indigestion pill.

I have been working for some time on solving the “distant starlight problem.” This is the issue of how starlight from the most distant galaxies is able to reach earth within the biblical timescale. Although light is incredibly fast, the most distant galaxies are incredibly far away. So, under normal circumstances we would be inclined to think that it should take billions of years for their starlight to reach us. Yet, the Bible teaches that the universe is only thousands of years old. Solutions have been proposed by creationists, but we haven’t had a definitive answer . . . until now.

I have to hang on to something! This is gonna blow me away! Blow me it will….it will blow!

It has taken a lot of time and effort, but I have found a solution to distant starlight which allows light to reach earth virtually instantaneously. Moreover, I have found both Scriptural and scientific support for this solution. This has led to the development of a new cosmological model which makes testable predictions. I have nearly finished writing a technical paper on this topic, which will shortly be sent to various experts for qualified peer-review. If it passes peer-review, we will publish the paper in the Answers Research Journal. This is our free, online journal. So be watching for it. If the paper gains the support of experts in the field, I may later write a non-technical article that summarizes the model.

No shit, it’s taken a lot of time; if true this will turn all of physics, and astronomy, on its head; and that is why I am inclined to call bullshit on it. I predict his theory will turn out to be wrong. We’ll see. One thing I wonder: How many of these so-called experts over at Answers Research Journal ar astrophysicists? Or physicists? Or astronomers? May I suggest you send your Earth-shattering paper to an, oooh say astronomical journal? Or a physics one? You know something to “balance” the inherent bias of the ARJ?

Scientific research takes time—a lot of time. A full-time research scientist might spend half a year or more working on a particular project, in order to write one technical paper about it. But that’s the way it has to be. Research must be thorough and rigorous; otherwise we may overlook an important fact that disproves the hypothesis in question. Peer review is just as important for the same reason. When other qualified scientists with a correct biblical worldview offer constructive criticism, it can be very helpful in refining an article or technical paper. So, keep an eye on the ARJ website for the latest research on distant starlight and cosmology from within the biblical worldview.

Wow, a half a year or more…to overturn all of known astronomical and physics knowledge. Wow! I call bullshit and would be delighted to be proved wrong. Can you imagine what that would mean. Faster than light travel. I fail to see how that would support the “few thousand-year old” hypothesis anyway, if anything it would just as well support the infinite universe hypothesis, but we’ll discuss that after Dr. Jason has proved faster than light travel. Ball is on your court doctor. Me, I propose an easier solution to your problem: the stars only appear to be far away, when indeed they’re very close. God is testing our faith by making them appear far, the same way he make the fossils appear to be very old.