Now, the two young men from those stories, Aaron Smith-Levin and Nick Lister, are teaming up to create a new YouTube channel that will feature the stories of other young Scientologists who grew up in the church and believe they have a unique view of it.
In Texas, two church members have fled to Mexico after an anonymous tip was called into the local police that church members had been trying to resurrect a child from the dead.
The child reportedly died a week earlier according to NBC News.
You know what you call someone who makes sweeping generalizations on billions of people based on the extreme actions of a few? A bigot. Bill Maher, for example, is a bigot. And if you’re a fan of his smug, dismissive shtick, you’re a bigot too.
I’ll let you guys argue about this one amongst yourselves.
You learn a lot about campaigns when you read their strategy memos. WikiHow contributors have put together a page on How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian, and it’s probably a little more revealing than they intended.
The article referenced in the link above, written by the Science Babe, appears here. If you’re a Food Babe fan, please read it. Sorry guys, but she doesn’t know what she’s talking about and her campaigns are actually hurting the quality of the foods she targets, not helping them.
The skeptical community is abuzz with the announcement by the FDA’s announcement that they are reviewing the “regulatory framework” of homeopathic products and are open to public input. We have written about this at Science-Based Medicine, and as you can imagine, this is a serious topic of discussion among the editors.
Not unlike the Food Babe, homeopathy is full of shit.
Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it. It is information you’ll never see in your “newspapers” or “network news” or any other place overly concerned with verifiable “facts” and reliable “sources.” It will not come to you through a university “study,” peer-reviewed “article,” renowned “expert,” government “agency” or any other such traditional bastion of authority.
But, as Offit’s story suggests, the fact that a child became sick after a vaccine is not strong evidence that the immunization was to blame. Psychologists have a name for the cognitive bias that makes us prone to assigning a causal relationship to two events simply because they happened one after the other: the “illusion of causality.” A study recently published in the British Journal of Psychology investigates how this illusion influences the way we process new information. Its finding: Causal illusions don’t just cement erroneous ideas in the mind; they can also prevent new information from correcting them.
This one is both for ex-Witnesses and atheists, really.
A biology professor is speaking out, demanding an apology and calling for an end to attempts to “perpetuate lies against evolution” after a statement from him was taken out of context in a creationist article in Awake!, a Jehovah’s Witness publication. He says that a portion of his statement was picked from the whole, leaving a completely different impression from his actual statement.
What? The Watchtower Society misrepresent someone’s point of view? I mean, they’ve been doing that for over a century, so why assume they’d stop now? Wait, that’s totally consistent. Sorry.
Dutko only recently found his way onto my radar. But I thought this interview with AronRa (pronounced AR-ren-rah, not Aron-rah) was interesting. Especially with regard to conversations about whether atheists believe there is no god or whether we merely withhold belief in one. I think the key issue is how you use the word believe. It can be used to describe an opinion as well as a conviction. Most atheists don’t have a strong conviction that there is no god.
This video addresses issues Dutko raised when a YouTuber posted a video criticizing Dutko. It doesn’t matter if you know anything about Dutko or not. The points apply to many conversations like this one.
One thing is certain—the distortion of the facts about vaccines could have dangerous consequences for public safety and public health. In this post, we’ll cover some basic facts about vaccines, their significance, their contentious history and their recent misrepresentation by the anti-vaccine movement.
You know how there are lots of anti-vaccine people who say that vaccines give their kids autism? Well, that’s not true. It’s been thoroughly discredited. But former Republican Congressman Dan Burton believes that the mercury in vaccines can cause autism in children, and faced off against Anderson Cooper last night over that very subject.
Merry Christmas to all my fellow geeks and heathens. As a (sort of) gift, I am providing links to some of my YouTube playlists for you to ignore or enjoy. Note that I would like to edit the start and end times for some of these, but it seems that YouTube (aka Google) has decided to take this feature away. For some reason.
I maintain all these playlists to varying degrees.
Canada’s Worst Driver is probably my favorite reality TV show. And most episodes are available on YouTube! The last 6 seasons are at least. I maintain this playlist because my wife and I like to go back and watch it from time to time. As more episodes become available, I will add them.
Canada’s Worst Handyman is another good reality TV show from Canada. It’s also very Wintery, so it feels like Christmas.
Here is a playlist featuring movies, TV shows and other videos for geeks. Many of these are anime. Note that some of these get deleted from time to time and I have no control over that.
This is a playlist of standup comedy in no particular order.
Secularism, Atheism, and Skepticism
Conspiracy Roadtrip is a BBC show that takes true believers in various conspiracy theories, including the idea that evolution is a scientific conspiracy, on a bus throughout the United States to show them the evidence that their belief is wrong and to see if they can change anyone’s mind. Note that the host of the show is a nonbelieving comedian, but he seems to treat the people pretty respectfully.
This is a collection of secular and atheist videos I’ve found across YouTube in no particular order.
Below are two playlists of my favorite Atheist Experience episodes and clips.
Here is a small list of ex-Jehovah’s Witness videos. Note that it includes the one about Kissing Hank’s Ass.
But I keep coming back to my original impression of “Dianetics,” and the sobering realization that one man’s personal damage can, if transmitted with sufficient charisma and intuitive skill, infect tens of thousands of people, many of whom believe they’ve been helped by it.