Citing media “intolerance and bigotry”, anti-science Canadian MP James Lunney has quit the government caucus to sit as an independent. Among Lunney’s claim to the crown as Canada’s least scientifically literate MP are:
He doesn’t believe in evolution He’s a chiropractor He’s claimed there’s a link between vaccines and autism He doesn’t believe the climate . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Lunney unleashed
Science Editor Jonathan Leake skewered Bryan Sykes in The Sunday Times today [paywalled] over bigfoot claims. Sykes is publishing a new book in which he’ll present the DNA evidence he claims to have for the existence of yetis and bigfoot. This claim comes despite the lack of any good photographic evidence in the era of cameras in everyone’s pockets.
. . . → Read More: Terahertz: Got DNA evidence of Bigfoot? Don’t peer review, write a book!
Some parents in Alberta are trying to get schools to ban wi-fi on baseless fears and scare-mongering. The kicker: these same parents are fine with wifi in their house.
It’s not so much the parents who bother me in this story as the Canadian Teachers Federation, the local school councils, and particularlu the Edmonton Journal . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Edmonton Journal grants space to debunked anti-WiFi conspiracies
Recently, I wrote about a ruling against APEGA, Alberta’s professional association for engineers, by the province’s Human Rights Tribunal.
Low and behold, the defendant in the case, Ladislav Mihaly, emailed me with a follow up request for help.
My name is Ladislav Mihaly, and I am the Engineer who won the case Ladislav Mihaly vs. . . . → Read More: Terahertz: I get email – Human rights and Climate change
Charities and non-profits operate under tough conditions. There is never enough funding, staff, or expertise to achieve perfection and the demands from clients, donors, and funders often force the charity to be more flexible than it might otherwise.
Because of these limitations, you can wind up with articles like “Energy-based therapies and cancer” from Macmillan . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Woo and health charities
Since moving to England, I haven’t been able to participate in Angus Reid surveys (their site only allows Canadian IPs to participate), so instead I’ve been getting my polling participation fix through YouGov.
The most recent one I completed was just released and is part of a UK-USA comparison of belief in the devil, demonic . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Brits and the Devil
I was asked at a talk I gave at Leeds Skeptics in the Pub on Monday what lesson I would import to the UK from Canadian skepticism. My answer was an effective science lobbying group like Bad Science Watch, which I helped announce last summer (and was initially involved until life took over).
. . . → Read More: Terahertz: Important Issues, Sound Science, Real Change
Seeing a gap in the Leed’s Skeptics in the Pub event for September, I volunteer to give a talk on the skeptical movement in Canada.
Here are the details if you want to come stalk me in person:
Monday, 23 September 2013 19:00 at the Victoria Hotel (28 Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3DL)
While . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Skeptic with an Eh?
Recently, numerous allegations have flown throughout the blogosphere (at least, the portion that I read), identifying numerous high-profile skeptics/atheists/scientists as varying degrees of creepy to rapist. Others have jumped to their defense, crying that we ought to be skeptical of anonymous accusations and that women ought to just drink less. (See the timeline for a . . . → Read More: Terahertz: A pox on (some of) your houses
Hopefully you took the time to read the article I just posted entitled “Skepticism and Gypsy Stereotypes.” I want to give some backstory to this piece, separate from the article itself.
After attending Imagine No Religion 3 this past spring, I had wanted to challenge the trope of Gypsy Fortune-Tellers that was tangentially brought up . . . → Read More: Terahertz: A note on “Skepticism and Gypsy Stereotypes”
By Ian Bushfield and Edwin Hodge
At a recent skeptics conference and during a discussion of the sorts of charlatans and frauds that are best known for peddling woo, a couple of speakers drew upon the image of the ‘conniving Gypsy fortune-teller,’ a stereotype that has frequently been used to describe – and villainize – . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Skepticism and Gypsy Stereotypes
You may have missed it, but Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday in what the media wrongly called a very close race. While Mitt Romney was able to score over 70% of the vote in Utah, he failed to achieve either the popular vote nationwide or the only one that matters – the electoral college vote.
. . . → Read More: Terahertz: California Rejects GMO Labeling, and why I approve
I don’t get much email (perhaps luckily) but I still get the occasional crank.
Floride is poison to ingest and bath in.What part of” fresh, clean water” do they not understand. Mike
I’m not entirely sure what provoked this. I only have two posts that mention fluoride – an article I wrote for The Peak . . . → Read More: Terahertz: I get email
The promoters of science-based policy in Canada have a new defender.
Bad Science Watch, a new Canadian science advocacy group, has issued a challenge to the Canadian government: stick to the science in the development and implementation of important policy decisions. This group will work diligently to ensure Canadians are protected from exploitation by . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Announcing Bad Science Watch
Today was a very good day.
This morning the trend of increasingly successful BCHA meetings continued, with just over thirty humanists gathering at the Oakridge Seniors’ Centre for a discussion on Neuroscience and Memory. Four-year-old Addysen was perhaps one of the youngest attendees to one of our meetings yet – although I think she was . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Vancouver’s Freethought Movement Grows
Richmond’s city council recently approved a motion to ban genetically-modified crops from being planted in their municipality. Richmond is likely the largest municipality in BC to pass such a ban and is one of the few with a large area of agricultural land. The motion was largely symbolic, as crop seeds are regulated federally.
Last . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Quacks invade Richmond City Council
Look at this photo.
What do you see?
I see the moon, some clouds, a tree, and an over-exposed light post in the foreground.
The Calgary Herald wants to know if you’re as pareidolia-susceptible as their reader L. Wolanski and see Jesus in the clouds.
Nevermind how angry this story about the supermoon will . . . → Read More: Terahertz: No, I don’t
I was sent this neat info-graphic that discusses the need for comprehensive sex ed in the USA. We can be a bit more smug here in Canada, but we must remain eternally vigilant that our education system relies on the best available information.
Created by: PublicHealthDegree.com
. . . → Read More: Terahertz: Teach safe sex
I’m not found of believing in miracles, but imagine for a second that one happens and after 2015 we have either a NDP or Liberal majority, or even some coalition arrangement of the two.
Either case will be better then what we have now, obviously, but in either case we’re still stuck with these schmucks . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Canada is screwed in the long term
Dan Gardner’s latest article compares the success of the Conservatives and failure of the Liberals in terms of their basic branding message.
He argues that one of the keys to the success of the Conservatives is that they have identified and sold their brand as “small government and individual liberty.” He rightly notes that their . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Brand politics
At some point near the end of last semester I checked out Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton from the SFU library.
As a graduate student I had access to term loans from the library so I took the book out knowing that at some point I’d . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Management for skeptics
I wrote this morning’s post last night and scheduled it, assuming in part that it would be a few weeks to never when I received a reply (as if often the case with many politicians).
It was to my surprise then that one of the first emails I read this morning was a reply from . . . → Read More: Terahertz: John Horgan on Smart Meters
Inspired by the success of the No HST campaign that saw British Columbians of all stripes push back against a government bent on implementing policies against the popular will of the people an with no mandate, some fear mongers are hoping to repeat that success in the hopes of banning smart meters.
I almost want . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Putting conspiracy theories to the vote
I have a huge 3000+ word post over at Canadian Atheist on drama at CFI Canada. If you dislike the messy underbelly of egos and in-group politics, take a pass.
Related to the entire theme though is a recent Dan Gardner article on leadership in isolation. In it he discusses recent studies that have found . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Skeptical leadership and CFI drama
School bullying, especially bullying targeted against LGBTQQ children, is finally getting the attention it merits. Rick Mercer’s viral rant on teen suicides (see below) has been viewed nearly half a million times in a mere week. This morning on the radio, Mercer discussed the video with local indie rock station The Peak, and admitted he […] . . . → Read More: Terahertz: Is Zero Tolerance the best response to bullying?