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Aggregating Skeptical Thought

Is It Real?

If you get a chance to check out National Geographic’s Is It Real? program you should. It’s a great example of skeptical investigation. It is not like those crappy History channel-token skepticism UFO specials. This is a show that sets up the paranormal claims and then gives skeptics a decent platform for explaining not only their position but how they come to their positions.

They frequently have James Randi as a guest and the last one I saw involving hauntings featured Richard Wiseman.

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Filed under: Psychics, Skeptic, , , , ,

Help The Skepchick get on NPR

If you are not aware Rebecca Watson of Skepchick and Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast fame entered an NPR contest and won her own pilot NPR show called Curiosity, Aroused. The pilot is currently being shopped around. Why don’t you help her out and send the following link to get your local NPR station to begin carrying the series. Read more about in on skepchick.org.

 http://www.prx.org/pieces/22589

Filed under: Internet, Psychics, Reviews, Skeptic, , , ,

Is there a pill for that?

Apparently I suffer from Chronic Skepticism (and so does Michael Shermer). I wonder if there is a pill for that?

The author writes about the recent Larry King Live free-for-all Are UFOs Real? She bemoans that fact that anytime a paranormal or UFO crazy gets themselves on TV whether for some ratings stunt like this or one of them has a new outrageous claim about Atlantis or secret gubament conspiracies the producers of these shows have to have a skeptic. She even goes on to whine about how the same skeptics always seem to show up on these shows being big meanies to average people who want to share their stories (and by average she means someone selling a book).

She laments the fact that her beloved paranormal topics constantly have some skeptic debunking every last one of them except when someone makes a religious claim or mainstream religion speaks no skeptics are to be found. Huh? She is obviously watching the wrong shows. Anyway, even if her claim is true, the problem with not finding a skeptic is not the skeptics or atheists who are dying to have their voices heard its with the producers of these shows. She seems to half get that point but continues to whine about always have a someone with the capacity for critical-thinking interrupt her fantasy-fest.

I can assure her that if an atheist or skeptic could get on these shows where some preacher or priest is allowed to just endlessly spew their version of reality unchecked they would.

Filed under: Atheism, Internet, Psychics, Religion, Skeptic

Skeptiko?

I wonder if the person behind Skeptico.com (an excellent skeptic blog) knows about this cleverly named podcast/blog (plog?).  Here’s a link to a press release about an interview at Skeptiko.com with Raymond “Near-Death Experience” Moody.

The About Skeptiko section tells us that

Skeptiko is the first scientifically oriented Podcast exploring new research in controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death-experience, reincarnation, and after-life encounters.

Except if you actually poke around their site and listen to the podcasts they are clearly advancing a very un-skeptical viewpoint. In fact, if you read their Agenda they are pretty clear about what they are trying to do.

Explore the possibility that the existing materialistic paradigm might be overturned (and may already be at a tipping point).

Maybe I’m reading that wrong but Materialistic Paradigm sounds like Reality to me.

Filed under: Internet, Psychics, Religion, Skeptic

Oprah’s Secret to child abuse

I stumbled across this extraordinarily sad example of damage that can be done to someone from believing that “The Secret” and the Laws of Attraction are anything but a load of psychobabble and lies. This stuff just enrages me, especially when it comes to child abuse. Oh and guess who is promoting this stuff, Oprah!!!

The “author” of this post on youtube has forbidden embedding (in the interest of spreading the “word”, no doubt). But here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU0gRSaP8w0. This is an excerpt of an interview with Esther Hicks (channeling Abraham or some crap like that) on Oprah’s XM channel.

Oprah at one point asks the question, “how an innocent child attracts being raped, an innocent child attracts being abused, an innocent child attracts being kidnapped and butchered”. Esther (or Abraham or whatever) answers that just because they don’t have language doesn’t mean they aren’t “attracting”. Or maybe this is a little cynical and I am paraphrasing but it sounds like just because a 2-year-old can’t speak it doesn’t mean that they aren’t “vibrating” and “attracting” molestation (or “asking for it”).

Oprah like all rational people says, “huh?, that didn’t make sense that a child vibrates to be raped”. Just kidding (and I wish I weren’t). She accepts this non-answer without condition and moves on. Start at the 4:00 minute mark.

This is ridiculous!!! If this isn’t Blame-The-Victim and opens the door for some wicked justification, I don’t know what is. And just to hammer the point home, here are comments from a sadly deluded person named jaguarnoelle

I thought myself about the question of how a child could attract abuse. Personally I feel that on some level before I came to this body I chose to undergo abuse in order to make me stronger and more compassionate. I know though that beyond that, as a child I believed myself subject to the will of my parents.

Coninued…
It was my parents that allowed such abuse. I was not protected from it. Not knowing that it was me who could protect me meant that I was unable to for many years until I changed that belief.

Here is a person that claims to have been abused and has found a way (like many abused children) to blame themselves but now they have quantum physics and Oprah to back up this position.

Technorati Skeptic

Filed under: Psychics, Religion

Sylvia Browne expose on Anderson Cooper

Another one from the archives via YouTube and includes an interview with James Randi

Technorati Skeptic

Filed under: Internet, Psychics, Religion

Carlos Castaneda exposed, for the millionth time.

Great story, The dark legacy of Carlos Castaneda, about the New Age guru/cult leader/con artist Carlos Castaneda over at Salon.

Technorati Skeptic

Filed under: Psychics, Religion

James Randi’s mystery object deciphered

Uh-oh, James Randi might be in trouble. Apparently somebody reverse engineered the secret number sequence James Randi used to identify the object in his box in his office that Randi setup as a remote viewing challenge. Clearly an exercise in cryptography and not parapsychology so I think Mr. Randi is safe. What’s more disturbing is the possibility of being able to interpret the number sequence so that different objects could be proven to be in the box.

Technorati Skeptic

Filed under: Internet, Psychics

The Truly Amazing Randi via YouTube

 Watch the Amazing Randi debunk Uri Geller and Peter Popoff. I love James Randi.

Technorati Skeptics

Filed under: Psychics

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