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Can You Apply Too Much Critical Thought? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Saturday, 16 May 2009 00:00

pressurecookerReaders of this site, by and large, already accept the idea that applying critical thought is good for you. But can you apply too much?

Consider the purchase of an automobile. You have a long commute, so you want the most fuel-efficient car possible. The dealer in the area has a model that gets 40mpg, and meets all your criteria. He has two of these cars on the lot. One of them is white, and the other is black. Which car do you pick?

Actually, the proper question is: how do you decide which car you’ll pick? A skeptic might make a list of pros and cons over the colors. White cars have a higher resale value and hide dirt and blemishes better. Given those facts, it seems the obvious choice is white.

A friend of mine answered this by saying “I’d never buy a white car. I think they’re ugly. Only the black one could work for me.”

Was she exercising critical thinking in her decision? I may surprise you by saying yes, she was.

A Small Move Forward PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 15 May 2009 00:00

Did you see that General Mills has been scolded by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] for having dared to advertise for two years that their product Cheerios lowers cholesterol, and for twelve years that it is “heart healthy”?  FDA authorities are pondering what action they’ll take at this grave infraction… Didn’t anyone ever tell them that the homeopathic industry has been luring the naïve away from effective life-saving medicines that actually work, while legally selling them pills and drops with ZERO content - for 70 years longer than General Mills has existed, and they've been around since 1866?

Don't Want Our Money? Take Theirs... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Thursday, 14 May 2009 00:00

Attention Astrologers - many of you have refused to take the JREF $1,000,000 Challenge, often citing spurious excuses such as "the money isn't real" or "the tests are rigged." You're wrong about those things, but no matter... there is other money waiting for you:

(Published at and )

INR 25,00,000 challenge to all astrologers to forecast result of Parliament Election 2009

May 11th 2009

Science and Rationalists’ Association of India (Bharayatiya Bigyan o Yuktibadi Samiti) challenges all astrologers to forecast following results / information regarding Parliament Election 2009:--

  1. How many seats will be acquired by Congress, BJP, TMC, CPI(M), BSP, RJD, Samajbadi Party, DMK, AIDMK?
  2. How much differences in votes will remain to win/lose for Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Lalkrishna Advani, Mamata Bandopadhyay, Laluprasad Yadav, Rambilas Paswan from their respective nearest opponents?
Heavy Event! PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Tuesday, 12 May 2009 10:44

Our friend Scot Morris refers to numerology as “the one true pseudoscience,” and alerts us that Mr. Jerry Slocum – prefacing it with “I had a deep feeling that you just needed to know this” – has discovered that at 5 minutes and 6 seconds after 4 a.m., on the 8th of July, this year, the time and date will be:  04:05:06 07-08-09! This will not happen again until the year 3009!

TAM London Sold Out! PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Phil Plait   
Monday, 11 May 2009 09:53

tamlondonsmallWe are pleased - though a little shocked - to announce that tickets for The Amaz!ng Meeting London have sold out... in an hour! Tickets went on sale at noon London time today, and before we could even announce here on Swift that registration was open, tickets had sold out.

This is very exciting news, for many obvious reasons. But I think the most important one has to do with critical thinkers in UK themselves: we knew there was a thriving skeptic community there, but this clearly indicates it's really active and engaged! Many of us have seen first-hand how outgoing our British friends are - Skeptics in the Pub brings in hundreds of attendees, for example - and it's simply terrific to see them so excited about TAM London.

So on behalf of the JREF, our speakers, and everyone else involved, thank you for your enthusiastic and warm welcome for our first international TAM, and we'll see you in October!

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