In a band of what PZ called humorously the Creozergs, over 200 atheists visited the Creationist museum… that is if you could call it a museum. So, a few of his interesting posts on his visits includes: His own thoughts, a nicely done video, and links from other blogs. What I can say is that the museum is indeed truly bizarre. They purportedly claim their stuff being science, yet their answer to everything comes down to God did it because the Bible says so because it is the perfect word of God because the Bible says so, so God did it because… You know where this is going. In fact, their routine is pretending that their stuff is science when presented to policy makers, and then when they go to their audiences, their masks melt and it is immediately obvious their agenda is religious. The museum is a weird mish mash of cool graphic museum style and fairy tales, and trust me, the mix just doesn’t feel right. It is like adding salt on chocolate. Plus, for some reason, it seems like they are very insecure. From what I have read, they took an atheist outside because of “disturbances” even though all he did was wear a pro atheist t-shirt and engage in some conversations they spied on. Read the rest of this entry »
I just found a very funny video making fun of homeopathy and “alternative medicine” in general. (hat tip badastronomy) It is from a British program “That Mitchell and Webb Look.” The sketch is called Homeopathic A&E:
It basically shows how nonsensicall homeopathy is, which is basically water that has been superdiluted. According to homeopathy, diluting water with the same stuff that harmed the person can cure the person. I know, it doesn’t make sense no matter how you put it or twist it around. They also claim that water has memories so it remembers what it diluted, which if it were true, we would all get sick and died from all of the animal excrements dumped into the water. Unfortunately, some people are spreading such nonsense as fact. It is part of the larger problem called alternative medicine, which if it were real, it would just be medicine.
I have always wondered how people can be succeptible to something like that. I mean really, even if some of the alternative stuffs kind of make sense, a lot of them makes as much sense as claiming that the moon is a giant ball of cheese. Alth0ugh I see a pattern in that all of the alternative stuffs basically provide hope, and it is much simpler than reality itself. Think about it. In the dream world in which homeopathy works, all you have to do is drink water, instead of going through remedies, doctors, and annoying or invasive procedures. Personally, I would love it if any diseases I get could be gone just by drinking water. Unfortunately, the world is just the way the world is, and no matter how much one wishes it to be different, it will still remain the same: Medicine is rrreeaaallyyy complicated.
You might be wondering, what is that new banner of “keep libel law out of science”? Well, I will explain. Anyone who have looked at my previous posts knows that I care deeply about reality and science’s position, especially since it can do out lives a whole lot of good (or bad, if in the hands of evil). Well, in this case, Simon Singh has been sued for libel when he criticized the chiropratic association for being a bunch of baloney (well, he didn’t put it this way, but you get the general idea ^_^), which I showed and linked in this multi layered rant. Well, his initial ruling didn’t go well, but he is appealing, plus, he has the support of a whole lot of people.
Also, JREF has this to say:
We at the JREF support Simon in his quest for justice. It’s clear from his writing that his intent was not to claim that the BCA knowingly commits acts of fraud, but that the BCA is nonetheless incorrect in their claims of the efficacy of chiropractic. Simon is, of course, correct. Furthermore, the ruling, as it stands, would produce a chilling effect on the ability of journalists to question the claims of anyone, including pseudoscientists. Whatever path Simon chooses over this issue, the JREF will be there, and to the best of our ability we’ll have his back.
As you can see, this is very important. If this ruling passes, then a precedent would be created in which any criticism in the media can be taken as libel, including criticism on bad medicine, which makes this a science issue. Taking a position in an issue in medicine should be based on hard science, based on evidence and tough peer reviewed standards in scientific journals, not the guts and feelings of some random people claiming to be doctors, or in this case, dumb court decisions. I mean really, what is this “energy” that some of those bogus doctors claim? It seems like it has no specific property except that it permeates everywhere and it keeps your body going. Physics defines it as something that allows objects to move, but to them, it is something that can excuse their brand of idea that they want it to be true. Usually, you can tell something is bogus by the way they just come up with some phenomena that is not specific in its effect and seems unprovable. Even if they genuinely believe it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t made up, because it is.
In the end, if you can’t give evidence for the efficacy of some treatment, then too bad. That is reality, and don’t go around touting it off as if it were an actual treatment.
I don’t like Oprah. And if you looked at a previous post of mine, I think she has no redeeming quality. Sure, she helped out a few people. But when she endorsed Jenny McCarthy, leading antivax celebrity figure, which I am holding her partly responsible for the partial resurgence of some diseases that were supposed to be long gone. Unfortunately, the mainstream media hadn’t made this easy at all. Not only is Oprah one of the queen hive overlord of the media, no one else dared to question her particular brand of idiocy. The credulous media and general population just sat there like a bunch of drones sucking up to her. Well, in the case of general population, it depends on the group of people, of course. But in the case of the media, well, it did not stay quiet anymore. Finally, there is one that is willing to look at Oprah in a magnifying glass, burning away her layer of popularity and examine what she is claiming. Newsweek, you just gained my admiration. And trust me, that is not something I really have said ever before, except once or twice or thrice in my life. Indeed, when I read about this, I thought I was dreaming a place where all of my hopes and aspirations came true, where everything was flowers and butterflies, and that there were unlimited supplies of chocolate, apple pies, and cheesecakes. Either that, or the apocalypse had come. Now, if the rest of the credulous media followed… But if they would have, the Death Star would have destroyed the Earth, leaving only Earth dust behind.
In the end, there is one message, from Newsweek that I would like to leave behind:
At some point, it would seem, people will stop looking to Oprah for this kind of guidance. This will never happen. Oprah’s audience admires her as much for her failings as her successes. In real life, she has almost nothing in common with most of her viewers. She is an unapproachable billionaire with a private jet and homes around the country who hangs out with movie stars. She is not married and has no children. But television Oprah is a different person. She somehow manages to make herself believable as a down-to-earth everywoman. She is your girlfriend who struggles to control her weight and balance her work and personal life, just like you. When she recently related the story of how humiliated she felt when she arrived for a photo shoot to find that she couldn’t fit into the clothes she was supposed to wear, she knew she had every member of the audience in her hand. Oprah’s show is all about second and third and fourth chances to fix your life, and the promise that the next new thing to come along will be the one that finally works.
Hat tip: respectful insolence
Hmmm… In the last few issues, they have been displaying the usual telescope ad. Not the quack physics turd Our Undiscovered Universe they had been displaying lately. Maybe their contracts expired or something… I don’t know. Whatever. But if it comes back, I swear, I am going to throw fits. Jeez, a science mag advocating the very antithesis of what they are hoping to inform the public about. I mean really, don’t they have a million of those telescope ads? I would really like to know the decision behind it. But just so you know, it was an ad on a book that was supposed to be the beggining of a paradigm shift. Null Physics supposedly proved the Big Bang wrong, or so the ad says in an Expelled (don’t watch the whole thing unless you want to lose your brain) style kind of way. Anyways, the guy who supposedly disproved conventional physics, well, ain’t really a physicist, nor is he great at it, and he gets a LOT of things wrong, including the amateurish mistake of using infinity as an actual number and making things up. So yeah, my opinion on it is this:
From respectful insolence.
Nothing more to be said. No mercy.
There is a nice list in Skepchick about 10 idiots who spread idiocies without any human decency. Indeed, these people deserve the worst mockery that the human race can provide. Unfortunately, they are not getting mocked often enough, so it is the blogosphere’s job to do it, since no one else will do it. Out of the list, the one I hate the most is Kevin Trudeau. He is a definite con man who sells his so called “Cures THEY don’t want you to know about.” If you have seen his informertials, his claims are absolutely preposterous, saying basically that he can cure pretty much every disease in the world. I REALLY hate this guy. Now, out of the list, I think George Bush did worse things (like condone torture), but seeing the infommercial directly sucks the humanity out of you. Anyways, he has done other fradulent things, and the worst part is that desperate people actually fall for it. For his part in using desperate people’s need in order to gain money, he deserves a nice kick on his testicles. Actually, he deserves more than that. He deserves to have time slowed down so that one second is 50 seconds for him, and then kick his testicles, so that every second is like an agony of infinite density. At least he got fined 5$ million dollars, but I think he deserves jail (and the punishment I mentioned above). ^_^
Because I once suffered through his informmercial, I decided that you have to suffer through it too. Watch it, and fill your hearts with hate and spite (and go to the dark side of the force).
I never talk much about politics, since it isn’t my specialty. I felt, though, this was way too important to pass over. Over the years, I have known of some of the political idiocy going around in Bush’s administration. Especially when it came to supressed research. I have heard throughout these 8 years that Bush have been around about reports being modified to fit the administration’s point of view about “reality.” (whatever reality means for them) Seriously, if one subjected them through an hour long session of how things work, I bet they would get brain hemorrhage. I have heard of many such incidences, but I hadn’t realized there were a LOT, until now.
Behold, tens of articles containing chronicles of “crimes” against science. The good thing about them is that they are cited, so you can check out whether they are reliable. These rats from the white house, in my mind, have already reached to the levels of the lowest common denominator of foolishness available. They only care about their stupid ideology, never putting them into real practice. It has to be THEIR way, otherwise it is “immoral/stupid.” At the beginning, I was sympathetic. Now, even the remaining sympathy I have left for them is disappearing. A new president will be like a breath of fresh air. (unless it is McCain, he looks like he is scratching the current president’s butt)
In a more lighthearted, tension breaking news, I have been linked by a guy from Sci Blog, yaeh, recognition!!