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. 🙂
Can you believe it – AtheistTV! I just found out about this yesterday.
If you have a Roku, they are starting the Atheist TV Network at 7:00 PM tonight. If not, you can watch Atheist TV Live through their live stream with the rest of us. It appears to be produced by American Atheists. Here’s what the site says about the new network:
We have partnered with content creators in the atheist community to bring engaging and entertaining content to AtheistTV. We are working with experienced producers to develop new, original programming that will launch soon.
If you are interested in developing content or submitting existing content to AtheistTV, please contact us.
Current content partners include: the Richard Dawkins Foundation, the Atheist Community of Austin, American Atheists, The Friendly Atheist, and Keith Lowell Jensen.
So if you have an atheist or skeptical YouTube channel or just want to create a show of your own, now might just be your chance. 🙂 I hope everyone will watch it and give Roku a reason to keep this network going.
Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder!