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Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Feb. 12: Happy Darwin Day

February 12 is international Darwin Day, the day when we collectively celebrate science and reason. And, of course, we recognize Charles Darwin’s birthday: February 12, 1809 (the same birthdate as Abraham Lincoln, by the way). If Collingwood made such declarations, I would propose we recognize the day in our municipality. Other Canadian municipalities have done . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Feb. 12: Happy Darwin Day

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Debunking the Adam Bridge

    A story popped up on the internet in late 2013, recycled in early 2014, claiming “NASA Images Find 1.7 Million Year Old Man-Made Bridge.” Claptrap. It’s not a bridge. It’s simply a natural tombolo: “a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Debunking the Adam Bridge

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: 2014 predictions always good for a giggle

I had barely finished writing my post on the failed 2013 predictions of the self-described “psychics” and “clairvoyants” who are the media darlings du jour, when the sorry lot of charlatans published their latest lot of flim-flammery and codswallop: predictions for 2014. These will, of course, prove as wrong as the predictions for 2013. And . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: 2014 predictions always good for a giggle

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Psychics 2013: the silly, the scams, the failed predictions

Action News, an ABC affiliate, ran a late-year story with the headline “Psychics interpret pets’ thoughts.” No, it’s not April Fools’ Day: this was December 26. Yet the reporter treated it seriously; just like it was a real story; actual news, rather than a steaming heap of superstitious dung. That reporters for any media outlet . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Psychics 2013: the silly, the scams, the failed predictions

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: American belief in evolution is growing: poll

A new Harris poll released this month shows that Americans apparently are losing their belief in miracles and gaining it in science. The recent poll showed that American belief in evolution had risen to 47% from its previous poll level of 42%, in 2005. True, it’s not an overwhelming increase, and it’s still less than . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: American belief in evolution is growing: poll

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Pyramids in the Ice: Hoax

What is it about pyramids that excites the imagination? Their shape? Their size? Height? Age? The complexities and difficulties in their building? Or the sheer grandeur of them? And what is it about them that get the cranks and conspiracy theorists so fired up? What is it about these constructions that convince some folks they’re . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Pyramids in the Ice: Hoax

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Burning Books, Burning Bibles

Pastor Marc Grizzard, of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, NC is back in the news this week, but I’m not really sure if it’s because of something he did or something that was dredged up online from a few years back and has just been regurgitated. This week, a story in The Telegraph about . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Burning Books, Burning Bibles

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Anti-Intellectualism: The New Elitism

There’s a growing – and disturbing – trend in modern culture: anti-intellectual elitism. The dismissal of art, science, culture, philosophy, of rhetoric and debate, of literature and poetry, and their replacement by entertainment, spectacle, self-righteous self ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. These are usually followed by vituperative ridicule and angry caterwauling when anyone challenges the populist . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Anti-Intellectualism: The New Elitism

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Why do so few Canadians get a flu shot?

That’s the headline for a recent Toronto Star story. It suggests that as few as one third of Canadians get a flu vaccine, and in some place the number may be as low as 20 percent. This despite Ontario having the world’s first universal free flu shot program, introduced in 2000. The 2013-14 vaccine is . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Why do so few Canadians get a flu shot?

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Poor Lao Tzu: He Gets Blamed for So Much

Poor Lao Tzu. He gets saddled with the most atrocious of the New Age codswallop. As if it wasn’t enough to be for founder of one of the most obscure philosophies (not a religion, since it has no deity), he gets to be the poster boy for all sorts of twaddle from people who clearly . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Poor Lao Tzu: He Gets Blamed for So Much

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Internet Surveys: Bad Data, Bad Science and Big Bias

Back in 2012, I wrote a blog piece about internet polls and surveys, asking whether internet polls and surveys could be – or should be – considered valid or scientific. I concluded, after researching the question, that, since the vast majority lack any scientific basis and are created by amateurs – often with a goal . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Internet Surveys: Bad Data, Bad Science and Big Bias

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The (sometimes violent) urge to write

As of this writing, I will have published 253 posts since I began this blog at the ending week of December, 2011. Two hundred and fifty three posts in 21 months. Just over one post every two-and-a-half days, on average. Plus 30 or so still in draft mode. Another half-dozen scribbled in word processing notes . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The (sometimes violent) urge to write

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Unknown Monk Meme

This pseudo-poem popped up on Facebook today. It’s been around the Net for a few years, without any source attributed to the quote, but it seems to be making its comeback in the way these falsely-attributed things do: When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Unknown Monk Meme

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Chemtrails redux: the attack of the tin-foil hat brigade

My earlier post on the nonsensical chemtrail conspiracy has generated quite a lot of activity recently (more than 1,000 views in a few days – thanks!). So much so that I decided to look online again to see why – had this silliness abated? Were people waking up and laughing at their former craziness? Or . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Chemtrails redux: the attack of the tin-foil hat brigade

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Creationism’s stench still lingers in American education

Creationism (and it’s dressed-up-in-drag younger brother, “intelligent” design) is the black mold of education. It’s an insidious infection of the mind, an intellectual parasite. And like real-life black mold, it creates a toxic environment – for learning and critical thinking. … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Quackery and Big Bucks Infect Health Canada

Health Canada has allowed an increasing number of useless “alternative” healthcare (alternative TO healthcare in most cases) products to be sold in Canada over the last decade, despite the lack of proper (or in some cases, any) research data to … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The Dreamtime

I don’t dream very much, Susan once said to me. We were having a talk about some crazy dream I was recalling. They’re always crazy, of course. But the conversation was about whether we dream – all of us – … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Enter Christopher Marlowe – Again

Back in the late 1990s, I wrote an essay about the “controversy” over who actually wrote the works of Shakespeare. I wrote, then, Not everyone agrees that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. The challenge to his authorship isn’t new: for the last … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Speaking with the dead

Can the dead speak to us from beyond the grave? No, of course not. But that doesn’t stop literally millions of superstitious people from believing they do. And some think they can use technology to facilitate the conversation. Of course, … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The Secret Teachings of All Ages

“When confronted with a problem involving the use of the reasoning faculties, individuals of strong intellect keep their poise, and seek to reach a solution by obtaining facts bearing upon the question. Those of immature mentality, on the other hand, … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: ID’s deep roots in creationism

Proponents of creationism often try to deny that “intelligent” design (ID) is merely creationism wrapped in a fake lab coat to make it look like it’s pals with science. It isn’t. They’re not buddies, didn’t go to school together, and … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The other conspiracy theories….

After writing about the nonsensical “chemtrail” conspiracy theory and its tin-foil-hat brigade believers, I amused myself by reading up on some of the other conspiracies-du-jour on the internet. And no, I don’t mean your garden-variety secret-mushroom-farm, PRA dome, lobbyists-and-rec-facilities, aliens-in-disguise-running-the-library, … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The chemtrail conspiracy nonsense

Scientists need not apply for membership in the Chemtrail Conspiracy. In fact, scientists will probably be booted out for even walking on the same street where the meeting is being held. That’s because scientists would shine a light into the utter … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Another day on the job in Paradise… chapter one

Mayor Ralph “Bosco” Hearne, whistling softly “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City” under his breath, gazed at the wood-and-polished-brass, 19th-century front doors of town hall and nodded slightly in approval. He stopped whistling, paused, and breathed out a gentle … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: What’s this nonsense about mushrooms?

In the middle of a video parody on YouTube that skewers council on our new rec facilities, there’s a comment about “the mushroom farm debacle.” It then goes on, rather erratically, to rail about “two yanks” and mushrooms growing in … Continue reading →