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Sam Harris and Bill Maher Discuss Religion PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Monday, 24 August 2009 08:49
On a recent "Real Time with Bill Maher," guest Sam Harris discussed – as you may have guessed – religion. It's an interesting exchange, you can watch it here through the wonders of YouTube.
A Major Victory for Reason PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K Thorp   
Sunday, 23 August 2009 00:00

The World Health Organization [WHO] has responded to a call from young medics and said that it DOES NOT recommend the use of homeopathy for treating HIV, TB, malaria, influenza and infant diarrhea. In an open letter to the WHO in June of this year, the group of early career medics and researchers from the UK and Africa asked the body to make clear that homeopathy cannot prevent or treat these serious diseases despite its growing promotion by manufacturers and practitioners. The Director General's office has confirmed that the responses from WHO departments (below) "clearly express the WHO's position." Today the Voice of Young Science [VYS] network, who coordinated the letter, has written to the health ministers of all countries to publicise the WHO's position, asking them to combat the promotion of homeopathy for these dangerous diseases.

The Dark Side of Religion PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bart Farkas   
Saturday, 22 August 2009 00:00

Without question most religions function within a framework that is fundamentally good, with much of the focus of teachings boiling down to being good to your fellow man (or woman) and being a decent person. But one has to be either naïve or in deep denial to think that there isn't a dark side to religions. Indeed, those jets flying into the twin towers had a religious component, and the Olympic bombing in Atlanta had a religious component, as did the tragedy in Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing, scores of abortion clinic bombings and nearly all of the conflict in the Middle East. To be sure, I'm not blaming these actions exclusively on religion, because it's people that do these things, not the religion itself. That said, religion does play a role in these events and the problem occurs when people interpret religion in such a way that it denigrates a particular group of people or encourages violence.

Skeptics with Appeal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Phil Plait   
Monday, 24 August 2009 00:00

We've had some wins and losses in the past year for skepticism. Some of these -- on both sides -- have been pretty big. Two of our big losses, for example, were Simon Singh's denial of his appeal to overturn an absurd UK libel ruling, and the firing of Chris Comer who did the horrifying act of trying to alert people about a science talk in Texas.

It turns out, the news may yet turn around for our two allies.

It Just Won't End PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 21 August 2009 00:00

I continue to be appalled at the American Cancer Society [ACS] embrace of quackery. This is a gentle, somewhat tentative embrace, but any seeming acceptance by authority lends validity to any form of nonsense, and medical science - which the ACS purports to represent - is poorly served in sites I have been looking into.

I have before me literature from the ACS which provided me with a phone number whereby I could obtain more information on subjects that interest me. I called that number and spoke with a very pleasant and cooperative woman who referred me to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network [NCCN] where I found, the "Consumer website of the NCCN," and a current article headed, "Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation."

I must explain.

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