Episode 75: News Update

Episode 75: News Update

This episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a classic news update show! Greg Christensen and Gem Newman discuss the #HamOnNye debate, the (latest) snake-handling preacher to die of a snake bite, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s upcoming visit to Winnipeg, and much more!

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: The Creation of Debate: Should we engage anti-science? | Nye/Ham Postmortem: The Apologists for Religion | Answers for Creationists (Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy, Steven Novella’s Neurologica) | I Don’t Debate Science | Reality Show Snake Handler Dies from Snakebite | Snake Handling | Neil deGrasse Tyson “The Sky Is Not the Limit” in Winnipeg | Cosmos Trailer | Astronomers Discover Oldest Star | Denmark Bans Kosher and Halal Slaughter as Minister Says ‘Animal Rights Come Before Religion’ | Copenhagen Zoo Kills ‘Surplus’ Young Giraffe Marius Despite Online Petition

What Are You Reading? Bad Pharma, by Ben Goldacre | Half Empty, by David Rakoff

What Are You Listening to? Common Sense | Hardcore History | Quackcast

Correction: According to Bishop James Ussher, the universe was created on 23 October 4004 BC, which would make it approximately 6017 years, 8 months old, not the figure of 6016 mentioned by Gem. We apologise for this error. But when you’re already off by 13.7 billion years, who’s counting?

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Episode 67: An Evening with Ray Comfort

Episode 67: An Evening with Ray Comfort

It’s time for another movie review show! In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Greg Christensen, Richelle McCullough, and Robert Shindler discuss Ray Comfort’s most recent YouTube “documentaries”: Evolution vs. God and 180.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Evolution vs. God | Ray Comfort | The Atheist’s Worst Nightmare (The “Banana Fallacy”) | Crocoduck | PZ Myers on Ray Comfort (I Met Ray Comfort Tonight, Ray Comfort Confesses, Ray Comfort Sinks to New Depths of Pathos) | Jaclyn Glenn’s Rebuttal of Atheism vs. God | Rick Mercer’s Talking to American’s Special (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) | Bilateria (Animals with Bilateral Symmetry) | “Your Argument Is Invalid” | Biblical Contradictions | “180” | Godwin’s Law

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Episode 55: Day at the Museum (Rawr!)

Episode 55: Day at the Museum (Rawr!)

On this road trip edition of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Greg Christensen, Richelle McCullough, and Robert Shindler visit Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum and spend the afternoon with research scientist Dr. David Eberth, who takes them on a special behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. The entire LUEE crew would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the Tyrrell Museum and especially to Dr. Eberth for this wonderful opportunity.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: The Royal Tyrrell Museum | Dr. David Eberth | Dr. Eberth at Imagine No Religion 2: “Evolution vs. Creationism: Why won’t it go away?” | Dr. Ian Plimer Debates Dr. Duane Gish

Clarification: Explanation of the Global Temperature “800 Year Lag” (Potholer on YouTube, Skeptical Science)

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Episode 52: The Movie Review Show

Episode 52: The Movie Review Show

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Ashlyn Noble, Robert Shindler, and Laura Creek Newman review several recent films from a skeptical perspective.

Warning! We discuss plot points in Life of Pi, Source Code, Wreck-It Ralph, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Prometheus, Contagion, Looper, and the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise in some detail. There are several spoilers large and small, so proceed at your own risk. Also, this episode makes copious use of “air quotes” for some reason. So, there’s that.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Star Trek
Science Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: Medium

Source Code
Science Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: Maximum (All the spoilers!)

Life of Pi
Science Rating: ★★★☆☆
Spoiler Level: High

Wreck-It Ralph
Science Rating: ★★★★☆
Spoiler Level: Low

Contagion
Science Rating: ★★★★★
Spoiler Level: Low

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
Science Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: None

Looper
Science Rating: ★★★☆☆
Spoiler Level: Medium

Prometheus
Science Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Spoiler Level: High (But who cares?)

Other Links: Sir Ian McKellen to Marry Sir Patrick Stewart | Bad Astronomy Review: Star Trek | Rasplex.com | Ridley Scott Says Jesus Was a Space Alien, or Something Like That

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What Does Creationism Say About Our Culture?

Cross-posted from Skeptic North.

According to a 2007 Angus-Reid poll, 59% of Canadians accept evolution and common descent, while 22% are convinced that God created human beings within the last 10,000 years (with acceptance of evolution being correlated with youth and with higher levels of education, and belief in special creation being more prevalent on the prairies). While it can be tempting to dismiss those who claim that evolution is a religion or that there are no transitional fossils as backward or fringe, the truth is that the prevalence of these beliefs (even in high places) is actually an interesting phenomenon.

As any skeptic can tell you, simply correcting misinformation—supplying the relevant facts, highlighting a logical fallacy, whatever—is nearly never enough to dissuade a believer. Why? Because beliefs don’t stand and fall simply on their own merits. Understanding why people believe things that are sometimes downright odd can provide us with important insight. It seems to me that this sort of context can not only tell us how we might go about winning the argument, but it can give us insight into what the argument is really about.

Look, it can be great fun playing whack-a-mole with creationist claims (I’ve done it many times myself)—we can say that evolution is the cornerstone of modern biological sciences until we’re blue in the face—but when you get right down to it, belief in creationism seems relatively benign when compared to (for example) the conviction that lemongrass makes a good cure for pancreatic cancer. But it’s important to understand that pseudoscientific beliefs do not exist in a vacuum, that they are instead part of a larger cultural context: and that context should be of great interest to skeptics.

I’m sure that many of our readers remember that in a 2009 Globe & Mail interview Gary Goodyear (our Minister of State for Science & Technology, for those of you who were about to check Wikipedia) refused to answer a question about his stance on evolution, stating “I am a Christian, and I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate.”

While many people were justifiably appalled that Canada’s Minister of State for Science & Technology confused a question about his position on an important scientific issue with a question about his religion, I’m inclined to think that Goodyear may have simply been engaging in a rather artless attempt to dodge a question that he may have considered politically awkward (recognizing that his position is probably not in line with the overwhelming scientific consensus). Regardless, countless people swarmed to Goodyear’s defence, with National Post columnist Jonathan Kay characterizing the Globe & Mail article as a “witch hunt”.

So what does the prevalence of creationism (or at the very least, the hesitation to accept the strong scientific consensus) say about our culture?

When a person finds that an opinion (even if said opinion is a deeply held religious opinion) is contradicted by the scientific evidence, most reasonable people would probably agree that this person has two real options: to impugn the evidence or to change the opinion. The choice that an individual makes may be in some sense mediated by the answer to this question: Does this person think that the evidence is contradicting the belief, or do they think that the belief is contradicting the evidence?

However, there is a hidden third option: to blithely ignore the conflict. Whether it takes the form of treating science as just another social construct, no more valid than any other, or of simply denying the necessity of basing one’s beliefs on evidence, this seems to be an increasingly popular tactic for coping with cognitive dissonance.

The fact remains that we now live in a culture in which personal opinion and scientific evidence are, in the eyes of many, given equal weight. We live in a culture in which it is commonplace for a person, upon finding that established science contradicts their personal opinion, to say, “All the worse for science!” This is troubling.

It seems that many people treat their opinions about science (or politics, for that matter) in the same way they treat their preferred sports teams. These opinions are strongly influenced by social and geographical factors, but that doesn’t prevent anyone from strongly and cheerfully proclaiming the superiority of their side of the argument—and in both cases, people are unlikely to be swayed by the evidence (sorry, Maple Leafs fans).

In fact, for people who hold strong opinions on any subject, evidence that contravenes the opinion is actually likely to strengthen the opinion, rather than erode it. This phenomenon is known as the “backfire effect“. A widely reported study on the subject (as it relates to factual claims in politics) was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan and Georgia State University in 2006, and it concluded that “corrections fail to reduce misperceptions for the most committed participants. Even worse, they actually strengthen misperceptions among ideological subgroups in several cases.”

No one can be completely immune to the backfire effect (or to any other cognitive bias). But if your primary conviction is to the method rather than to the conclusion, then perhaps you will be better equipped to recognise that it is your opinion that is in need of correction.

So what does creationism say about our culture? That, at the very least, we must remain vigilant.

Episode 36: Common Creationist Claims, Part 2

Episode 36: Common Creationist Claims, Part 2

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Ashlyn Noble, Greg Christensen, and Ian Leung provide more evidence for evolution, and discuss some of their favourite silly creationist arguments.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: On the Origin of Species | Index to Creationist Claims (Full Index, Giraffe’s Circulatory System, Paluxy Footprints, Fossil Sea Creatures on Mountaintops) | Evidence for Common Descent (Talk Origins, Wikipedia) | Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve | The Problem of Induction | Dear Emma B | Species Distribution via Plant Rafts and Tree Bridges | Point of Inquiry: The Debunking Handbook | Feakes’ Pamphlets | Neo-Darwinian Synthesis | The Lapine: Atheist Suicide Bomber Kills Eighteen Agnostics | John Scalzi Visits the Creation Museum (Part 1: The Photographic Tour, Part 2: On the Creation Museum)

What Are You Reading? The Wheel of Time Series | A Memory of Light, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson | Have a Nice Day!, by Mick Foley | Foley Is Good: And the Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling, by Mick Foley | Chronicles of the Shadow War | Shadow Moon, by Chris Claremont | On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin | Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein | Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

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Episode 34: Common Creationist Claims, Part 1

Episode 34: Common Creationist Claims, Part 1

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman discusses and rebuts common creationist arguments with the help of Ashlyn Noble, Greg Christensen, and Ian Leung.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: On the Origin of Species | In the Beginning | TalkOrigins.org | An Index to Creationist Claims | Neo-Darwinian Synthesis | Debating Creationists | The Evolution of the Eye (Wikipedia, Dawkins Explains Here, and Here, and Here) | Irreducible Complexity (Iron Chariots, Wikipedia) | Examples of Transitional Fossils (Tiktaalik, Archaeopteryx, Eohippus/Hyracotherium, Ambulocetus)

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Creationism Makes for Antisocial Networking

Cross-posted from Startled Disbelief.

A few weeks ago, Nathan Hatton, a friend of mine from the Winnipeg Skeptics, posted a link to an Examiner.com article that discussed a Tennessee bill that aims to promote “critical thinking” with regard to evolution, global warming, and other scientific subjects that “can cause controversy”. Anyone with a passing familiarity with creationist propaganda should be able to spot the red flags a kilometre away. (This is HB 368/SB 893, which recently passed into law through the cowardly inaction of Governor Bill Haslam, in case you’re wondering.)

Image by Randall Munroe from the ever-awesome xkcd. (CC BY-NC 2.5)

Nathan quoted from the article: “Science is rigorous… Scientific theories must provide natural and testable explanations. Creationism and intelligent design provide neither.” Many of his friends were rather upset by this, as it turns out, and the comment thread began to rapidly balloon in size. At his request, I took the time to respond to several of the claims made by pro-creationist commenters.

Comments are full and unedited (I have screencaps to settle any disputes that may arise), but are in some cases rearranged slightly to allow responses to directly follow claims, making the conversation a little easier on the reader. I won’t reproduce every one of the 108 comments here, but I’ll present both sides of this argument as fairly as I can. Spelling and punctuation as in the original.

Commenter 1: wow, Nathan! There are some serious statements in there like teaching creationism is likened unto child abuse?!?! ! really? There are many scientists that have found Christianity to be the actual answer while trying to prove evolutionism. To think that teaching children to have faith in things that humans may not be able to “scientifically prove” is child abuse doesn’t leave much hope for us, does it? Sorry brother, I can’t say that I agree with that whatsoever..

Nathan: The “actual answer” to what? Whether a person is converted to Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, or any other faith while investigating evolution (I am sure that there are examples of each) is irrelevant to the point that “creationism” is not science and should not be part of a science curriculum. When it comes to the origins of species, a person does not need “faith” because it is something that we can “scientifically prove.” Evolution is one of the most robust scientific paradigms we have. I’m all for religion classes and actually feel that students should be MORE educated on religion than they are now, but the place is not in the science classroom.

Commenter 1: You don’t think there may be a small, even tiny possibility that science as we know it may actually opne day findc the truth to be that Creationism has a place? To ignore any path is to render ourselves ignorant of what it could possibly bring. We shouldn’t take anything off the table if we are truly open to whatever the truth may hold. We all know my take on faith in God, but wouldn’t it be silly to totally ignore the millions of people and artifacts that we have? Science should be embracing this to grow so we can all grow in understanding, I would think. Then again, who am I?….lol

Gem: In response to [Commenter 1]’s early comments, I’ll quote Stephen Jay Gould, as I think that he said it best: “In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.” Scientists aren’t denying the possibility the universe may have been created, but there is overwhelming evidence in support of evolution, and a dearth of evidence to support creation. In science, we keep an open mind, but that doesn’t mean that, given our current state of knowledge, all possibilities are equally likely, or merit equal consideration.

Commenter 1: we’re debating theoretical data that, as far as we know, the government has altered so as not to alarm us of catastrophic events that have already begun to take place. This debate could easily go on forever. We’re debating theories derived from findings, whether correct or not, based on man and his/her interpretation, and limited to what we believe we can or cannot prove according the the knowledge and understanding we have as of now. Something I learned from a very wise man was this. What I learn today will be wrong tomorrow. We’re always discovering new things. The fact is, Christianity is what the new world known as the western hemisphere has derived it’s laws and foundations upon.

Commenter 2: What that very wise man was describing was science. The book on religion never changes.

Gem: I would also dispute that the laws and foundations of the western hemisphere are derived from Christianity. I would argue that instead they are founded in the European Enlightenment. Regardless, this is irrelevant. We’re talking about science, not law.

Commenter 1: That man was referring to something that had absolutely nothing to do with this topic at all. Do you seriously believe we have discovered all the secrets? That we truly understand everything? Not possible my friend. Unless you have a time machine it simply seems ridiculous to discount anything that offers us substancial information and there is an unbelievable amount of information to support faith.

Commenter 2: Now you’re describing science. If in the very minute chance that the beginning of existence is ever traced back to an omnipotent higher power, it will be science that proves it, not the bible. And it will be the working theory of evolution that gets there.

Commenter 1: and if it all points back to the Bible? what then, would your argument be?

Gem: To ask, repeatedly, if we “seriously believe we have discovered all the secrets” is a ridiculous straw-man. You are disingenuously misrepresenting our position, for no scientist or science enthusiast would propose such a thing. Instead, we recognise the limits of our understanding. We teach that which is established on a strong theoretical and empirical foundation. As we collect more data, we further fine-tune the models to ensure that they reflect reality as best we can.

Gem: You ask, “and if it all points back to the Bible? what then, would your argument be?” Then we would gladly reevaluate! Science is not ideologically dedicated to any conclusion; belief in a proposition should be proportional to the evidence that supports it. But you’re proposing contrafactuals, here—there’s no reason to believe that “it” will ever point back to the Bible.

Commenter 1: you can’t disprove it and that information has been around longer than most of the things that we can date and use as fact. it’s hypothetical to say the world has been here for millions of years, theoretical at best. Proof has not been provided except for what we can fathom.

Gem: [Commenter 1] keeps harping on about “proof”: that’s a red herring. Science doesn’t deal in proof: it deals in theory and evidence. While some scientists may use “proof” colloquially, I would refer you back to the Stephen Jay Gould quotation that I posted a few minutes ago. All conclusions are provisional.

Nathan: The thing is, no matter how much evidence is put forward for evolution, the answer will never be “revealed” to theists who refuse to look at what overwhelming evidence there is. Same as the people who say the earth is flat. Or that rabbits don’t chew cud.

Nathan: Above it should say “Or that rabbits chew cud.”

Nathan: Evolution provides models that can be tested and falsified.

Commenter 1: To return to the point that began this conversation, I think we should be worrying about much more pressing matters than whether or not faith is introduced to the science classroom as we’ve already conceited, it may well be the truth that science is looking to prove in trying to discover how we came to be who and whaty we are today

Commenter 2: But… it’s not. There’s no evidence of it. And evidence is the root of all facts, and science. So it doesn’t belong there, until there’s something that leads it in that direction. That’s like saying the flying spaghetti monster should be taught in classrooms, because you can’t prove it wrong. The flying spaghetti monster MIGHT be the answer. But is it? Well no, probably not. So science wouldn’t work with that theory.

Commenter 1: Prove to me that you love your parents…

Commenter 1: proof of what has happened, especially if it be by an all-knowing God as I and many others believe cannot be proven by a single train of thought. To discount things outside of what we know would be to prove ourselves ignorant

Gem: That old canard of “you can’t prove love” was brought up. Again, this is absurd. I could provide you with ample evidence that I love my wife, and that she loves me. If my wife had no evidence that I loved her, I would hope that she would investigate the issue, and if she discovered sufficient evidence that I had been unfaithful (for example), I would hope that she would leave me.

Commenter 1: So when science opens our eyes to understand that 2000 year old book, after having to go through the trials and failures, what then will you say?

Nathan: Right. So the next time someone gets sick, I won’t suggest anti-virals (developed with the help of evolutionary theory). I’ll kill some doves and burn them on the altar. one works just as well as the other, right?

Commenter 1: prayer heals my friend…

Commenter 1: Faith healing, not as seen on tv, but true fith healing does exist. Ahh, but it takes absolute faith

Nathan: Again, no evidence for that. And they’ve done tests.

Gem: The proposition that faith healing works (but only for those whose faith is pure!) is clearly designed to be unfalsifiable. It is therefore scientifically useless.

Commenter 1: plenty of tests that cancers have disappeared, but with no explanation. Mysteries out there that we will all be happy to see

Nathan: Even if they have disappeared with no explanation, it does not mean that prayer did it.

Commenter 1: I’ve seen and been witness to healings that couldn’t scientifically be proven

Commenter 1: Doesn’t mean that faith in God and His work didn’t heal, either, my dear friend

Nathan: healing could have come from many things. Why attribute it to the prayer?

Commenter 1: If science can’t prove or disprove yet recognizes things claimed to be of God, how can we turn our backs on that?

Commenter 1: there are holes in scienced, it was developed by humans

Nathan: Ah, the ‘God of the gaps’ argument.

Commenter 1: you can’t disprove it… nor can science prove the lack of existence of God. What we do know is there is an entire world beyond our imagination that we have no idea how to understand

Gem: [Commenter 1] asks, “If science can’t prove or disprove yet recognizes things claimed to be of God, how can we turn our backs on that?” Science cannot disprove the existence of leprechauns or pixies, either. That doesn’t somehow make them plausible or likely to exist.

Commenter 3: I have to say also that perhaps leprachauns do exist, as was said science should be testable, I am saying Creationism is. In this life there is known fact and there is faith. both are good

Gem: I see no reason to believe that faith is good or useful.

Commenter 3: creationism in true form IS scientific, has natural and testable theories

Gem: Such as?

Commenter 3: carbon dating, a man had his tooth pulled and carbon dated it. I don’t remember the exact age it dated at but it was apparently thousands of years old. There are some creatures from dinosaur age that still exist which are listed in the Bible. The Bible supports dinosaur theories. I did not see the presentation myself or I am sure I could tell you alot more

Gem: First of all, those aren’t testable claims made by a “creation theory”: they are attempts to poke holes in evolutionary theory. Even if evolution were “proven” false, it wouldn’t make Biblical creation any more plausible.

Gem: I cannot speak to your specific tooth example, but radiocarbon dating is only accurate for items that are between 150 and 50,000 years, for several different reasons (significant increases in carbon production since the industrial revolution and atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1950s, for example). There are several other types of radiometric dating, which work for various periods of time (due to the varying half-lives of the isotopes in question). These forms of radiometric dating are calibrated to each other (the isotopes used are valid for overlapping periods of time, which allows for such calibration) and to other forms of dating, such as sedimentary dating, tree-ring dating, and the known dating of archaeological objects whose provenance is well documented. They match, within known error bars. (More info here: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD011.html)

Gem: I’m not sure how creatures from the “dinosaur age” that still exist (e.g., crocodillians?) are relevant. Evolution does not predict that all creatures from the Cretaceous period would now be extinct. Would you mind clarifying this point?

Commenter 3: I believe that Christians came to North America because they weren’t allowed to practice their religion freely at the time. Guess what? They aren’t again

Gem: No? I find that claim laughable, given the fact that 84% of Americans are Christian (2005 estimate), 73% of Canadians are Christian (2010 estimate), and 96% of Mexicans are Christian (2005 estimate).

Gem: Christians can’t practice their religion freely? Of course they can! They simply aren’t allowed to impose it on others quite so much as they used to be able to.

Commenter 3: Christians have scientifically studied the dinosaur age and is not just a fly by theorie

Gem: “It is not just a fly by theorie”? I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

Commenter 3: for one thing it would be nice if you would give me time to respond

Commenter 3: I am done for now, look that stuff up on the computer if it interests you,

Commenter 3: and i think it was lakonian

Gem: You haven’t given me anything to look up.

Commenter 3: then go away, I can’t think anymore right now

Nathan: Well, whadda ya know, a “science versus religion debate” involving theists and methodological naturalists wasn’t put to rest once and for all on my facebook page.

I believe that the last commenter meant “Laconian”, but given that Laconia is a region of Greece, I wasn’t able to determine what argument this person was trying to make. With so little to go on, Google was unhelpful. I tried!

Episode 14: A Creationism Primer

Episode 14: A Creationism Primer

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Robert Shindler, Laura Targownik, Richelle McCullough, and Greg Christensen define creationism and discuss several key points relating to intelligent design, evolution, and the scientific method.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Quebec Kids Cannot Opt Out of Religion Course (CTV, Global) | Hyperbaric Chamber Explosion Kills Horse and Employee (Eventing Nation, Chronicle of Horse, Chronicle of Horse Followup) | Hyperbaric-Oxygen Therapy | An Introduction to Creationism | TalkOrigins | Index to Creationist Claims | The Winnipeg Skeptics Visit the Creation Museum | The Counter-Creationism Handbook

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Episode 9: Communicating with People Who Believe Weird Things

Episode 9: Communicating with People Who Believe Weird Things

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Ashlyn Noble, Anlina Sheng, and Greg Christensen discuss how to approach someone with odd beliefs and whether or not it’s okay to be a dick in the name of science.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Legal Challenge to Catholic Schools’ Taxpayer Funding | Phil Plait’s “Don’t Be a Dick” | Greta Christina’s “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” | Intelligence2 Debate: “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World” | The Winnipeg Skeptics Visit a Creation Museum | Gem Newman’s “I Don’t Debate Science” | Cut Onion Contamination on Snopes

Also on this episode, the first instalment of Where’s My Jetpack? This week, Old Man Newman demands to know, “Where’s my jetpack?”

Where’s My Jetpack? Links: Soar Over Water on Your Hydro Powered Jet Pack | Man with Jetpack Races Actual Jets | Jetpack (Wikipedia)

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