THE SKEPTIC ARENA


3/6/15

Brigitte Gabriel shows us how to deal with those who resort to the tactic,
"Not all Muslims are violent - most are peaceful" (4:51)



Beautiful.

Now let's take a look at the other side ...

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks questioned Gabriel's claims and sources (8:47)

So, who's got their facts straight?
And who's playing loose with the data?



(Evaluation of this data by J.T. Eberhard)

It looks like Gabriel is the one who knows what she is talking about.

Cenk Uygur managed to demonstrate just about every logical fallacy in Wikipedia
in that 9-minute hack job. His best line was:

"It's amazing what happens when facts run up against prejudice"

That was a classic example of being completely oblivious to the fact that,
Cenk wasn't describing Gabriel ... he was describing himself.

Elliot Spitzer also took Gabriel to task (11:54)

When Spitzer asked, where Gabriel got her information about radical Muslim infiltration in the U.S., Gabriel gave him a detailed answer, including several names. Spitzer ignored the names she gave, and then tried to make it appear as though she had evaded the question. So Gabriel then gave him another name, and all Spitzer could do was say "we will follow up on that."

So, all that line of questioning got Spitzer was egg on his face,
since Gabriel provided a name and he had no reply.

Next Spitzer shows tape of Gabriel speaking.
He then takes her words out of context
and spouts the usual "are you saying all Muslims are evil" Straw Man argument.
Gabriel immediately set him straight about whom she was referring to
(and it wasn't all Muslims).

Her reply to Spitzer about the Arab Spring events proved prophetic as the Egyptian military would soon have to remove the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood leaders when they tried to destroy Egypt's fledgling democracy and replace it with a Muslim theocracy. I loved it when Spitzer said "history will tell us 10 years from now who is right."

Well Mr. Spitzer we only had to wait 2 years to get the answer ...
and it was Gabriel who was right - not you.

Gabriel then specifically differentiated between radical Muslims and moderates,
making it clear to everyone (except those like Spitzer)
that she does not consider all Muslims terrorists.

Since this contradicted the picture that Spitzer was trying to paint of Gabriel,
he defended his mischaracterizations of Gabriel's comments
by claiming that he was judging her by "the entirety of her comments."
So since Spitzer couldn't defeat her on an actual point-by-point basis,
and her replies disproved his Straw Man argument,
Spitzer was forced to throw his hands up and refer to a vague generalization
in a desperate attempt to save face.

Spitzer closes by again accusing Gabriel
of painting all Muslims with one broad brush,
basically ignoring her detailed explanations to the contrary.

So Spitzer has failed as a governor
(forced out over a prostitution scandal while married)
and now he has failed as an objective journalist.
Hopefully, Elliot will someday find ...

something that he is good at



3/5/15

Alabama Supreme Court bans gay marriage, defying the Federal government



I wonder why Judge Roy Moore is standing in front of an American flag
instead of the flag he actually honors and supports ... the Confederate flag.

Fundamentalist Christians continue to prove that
"hypocrisy" is a synonym for "Christianity"



3/4/15

Cell type changed in a single process.

Transcription Factor ELT-7



3/3/15

Republican representative from Idaho fights to protect religious parents who ...

let their children die from preventable diseases

Finally we have found a Republican woman dumber than Sarah Palin. My proof?

"Reformers want to act as if death is an anomaly. But it’s not - it’s a way of life."

Death is a way of life.
Even Sarah Palin would be rolling on the floor in hysterics from that one.



3/2/15

Remember last month when the Senate voted 98-1
that global warming was not a hoax but an actual problem?

That one nay vote was not James Inhofe.

But watch Inhofe a month later in the Senate

So what the hell is he doing with the snowball?
Why has he gone back to climate denial?
Was he lying then ... or is he lying now?

What this does show is that these goofballs
have so little respect for their base
that they know they can lie their asses off
and freely contradict themselves
without fear of losing their jobs.

(something Fox News has already taught us)

Remember that most of their constituents don't believe in evolution,
but do believe that the sun stopped in the sky for a whole day
because an invisible man told it to.

This is what makes our task so difficult:
evil people playing morons for the fools that they are,
all for the purpose of making the rich ... richer.
Yet somehow, we have to figure out how to get through to them.

No, I wasn't talking about getting through to the evil ones ...

I meant the morons



3/1/15

This week's show was:

"Franklin Graham says that secularists now control the government"

The Science Segment was:

"The Methuselah Fly"

Listen (16:05)
OR
Read (8 pages)

To participate in the live debate, go to:
Talkshoe.com   on any Saturday night at 8pm (Eastern time)
and click "join a call" - then select "The Skeptic Arena" (ID#45435)
You may either listen, type in comments, or debate by phone (724-444-7444)



2/28/15

Humans are advancing into the future ... by baby steps.

Lawsuits filed to grant personhood to certain animals

I like some of their ideas but I think "personhood" is going a little overboard. Also, it is naive to believe that animals in the wild are better off than their counterparts in zoos and those kept as pets. Most 'kept' animals are the luckiest that have ever existed in Earth's history. Freedom is great - but is no match for security, food, and love. Watch videos showing how most animals struggle for survival and the violent end that is guaranteed for most of them and you should be able to understand just how fortunate most 'kept' animals are.

However, the above does not apply to mistreated pets, laboratory animals, and other animals who suffer at the hands of humans. Those are the ones that this group needs to be concentrating their efforts on.

Leave the lucky ones ... alone



2/27/15

You might recall that in Egypt a couple of years ago

Muslims surrounded a Coptic Christian church to protect it

Now a "similar" story out of Norway



Those Egyptian Muslims were brave. They risked their lives to stand against their fellow Muslims who had recently murdered Coptic Christians, and were threatening more churches.

But this is not the same situation at all. These Muslims weren't protecting the synagogue from other Muslims. This is Norway where only 2% of the population is Muslim.

Religion in Norway

Their true motive is to be found in their own words:
"No to anti-Semitism and No to Islamophobia."

What Islamophobia?

A Muslim killed one victim at a conference on free speech and then killed a Jew. There was no Islamophobia in any of that. So their words make no sense unless you understand what they are really saying. They are really asking Norwegians not to lump all Muslims into the same category as the murderer. They are motivated by a desire to avoid retaliation and prevent a violent backlash in a predominantly Christian nation.

The Muslims who surrounded the churches in Egypt were true modern heroes.

These guys ... not so much



2/26/15

One of the leading scientists promoted by global warming deniers

goes down in a ball of flames

I love the part about this "expert" not even being an actual climatologist.
This guy is just an aerospace engineer - and a crook.
The good news is: it sounds like he may be sending out resumes soon.
I'm sure the Koch Brothers can find a nice position for him
in return for all the services he provided for them.

I like this definition from Wiktionary:
"shill": A person paid to endorse a product favourably ...

while pretending to be impartial



2/25/15

DNA analysis indicates America was colonized by Siberians ~20,000 years ago (1:20)





2/24/15

Remember this picture from a few years ago?

Kirk Cameron was doing his imitation of Stephen Hawking ...
just the way that Jesus taught him



Last night, the actor who portrayed Hawking
in the movie "The Theory of Everything"
received the Oscar for Best Actor.

So how did Cameron and his movie "Saving Christmas" do?

Cameron slaughtered Hawking by winning FOUR awards!
(1) Worst Movie               
(2) Worst Screenplay      
(3) Worst Screen Combo
(4) Worst Actor                

(Oh yeah, I guess I forgot to mention that Cameron's awards were "Razzies")

And just to add insult to injury, the internet movie database (IMDB)
rated "Saving Christmas" as the worst movie of all time.

Let's put that in perspective, shall we?

Here is part of Kirk's acceptance speech:

"And I would like to thank Jesus, without Whom,
none of this would have been possible"



2/23/15

John Fugelsang on hypocritical Conservative Christians (4:12)





2/21/15

Liberal icon Bill Maher bitterly disappoints the skeptical community
with his anti-vax nonsense (12:30)

But Orac takes him, and his panel, down
point by point


Now THAT ... was a beautiful read



2/20/15

A man gets angry during a conversation with a stranger
and begins stabbing the man.
A good samaritan tries to intervene and is also stabbed.

First watch the video (1:06) and then read the story

The CNN news report never once mentioned Islam
even though that was the reason why the suspect attacked the victim.

(No. This was not similar to the Chapel Hill murders)



2/19/15

Classic Emails (4 pages)

After an Atheist murdered 3 Muslims in North Carolina ...

some writers got it wrong

Her essay generated over 1,000 comments
many of which, tried to tell her the same thing I did.
(maybe that's why she got so "touchy?")



2/18/15

Bad news for Ayn Rand's Objectivists

The more gray matter you have, the more altruistic you are

And before you Ghost Worshipers try to jump in on this one,
altruism doesn't apply when you give money to your ghost.
That's because you are expecting a return on that investment.

As the article points out, altruism is done out of empathy for others.
It applies when you have nothing to gain, and it may even cause you to suffer ...

by sacrificing your own welfare to help others



2/17/15

Even in ancient Egypt, before anyone ever imagined inventing Christianity or Islam,
religion was still screwing up the place and ruining lives.





2/16/15

Canada legalizes euthanasia

Which groups opposed it?

Who else ... religious groups



2/14/15

In 2003, judge Roy Moore was removed from office in Alabama
over his refusal to remove the 10 Commandments from public property.

But in their infinite wisdom, Alabama voters put him back in office
and he is now the chief justice of the state supreme court.

In a display of unmatched egotism, Moore has again defied federal orders
by directing Alabama judges to refuse to honor the federal order
that removed the ban against gay marriage.

Judge Roy Moore defies federal orders ... again

Someone needs to inform this treasonous little bastard that ...

The Confederacy lost



2/13/15

For years I've had to bite my lip every time a study came out
touting the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Now ...

it looks like my intuition may have been right



2/12/15

Atheist nutjob murders 3 Muslims over a parking dispute

If there is a silver lining in this horrific tragedy
it is that the incarceration of this craphead
will nearly double the number of Atheists in prison;
something that Christians have been hoping for ...

for a long, long time



2/11/15

Science proves itself to be stranger than fiction ... once again

Baby girl is born (yay!) ...
pregnant with 2 fetuses (uh, say what?)




2/10/15

Republican Conservative Christians went nuts at the "National Prayer Breakfast"
when Obama hit them with historical reality.

Imagine the uproar if Obama had shown them ... this picture

Did you notice the tree full of loving Christians in the background
trying to get a better view of the murder?

ISIS has nothing on Christians



2/9/15

This is what happens when society
sets higher standards and requirements for hairdressers ...

than it does for politicians

Remember her bizarre speech after her teleprompter malfunctioned last week?
She couldn't even string together coherent sentences.
This is the same person who, like a little kid,
wrote on her hand with a magic marker
to remind herself what she wanted to say in a speech.

Is this really the person we want to have ... with her finger on the button?



2/7/15



And I thought I had some bad dates



2/6/15

Sometimes we win ... and sometimes we lose

Ghost Worshiper gets down payment on a house for winning an insane case

(It sounds like the O.J. Simpson jury got together for a reunion)



2/5/15

Paris mayor threatens to sue Fox News

Am I the only one who sees the irony here?

"When we're insulted, and when we've had an image, then I think we'll have to sue, I think we'll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed. The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced."

Is there anything Mayor Hidalgo said
that couldn't have been said by radical Muslims
during the Charlie Hebdo incident?

It's amazing how blind she can be to her own hypocrisy.

Also, before going into court ...

Hidalgo may want to straighten this out first (4:40)



2/4/15

Chicken Pox Parties

My official statement: Any parent who intentionally gets their child infected with chicken pox, or any other communicable disease, should have their children taken from them, and then be sent to Federal Prison. After their release, they should be prohibited from ever raising children again.

(Unofficially ... you don't want to know what I really think should be done to them)



2/3/15

"Better" News Clubs

I already have my introduction speech written
for when schools invite me to be a guest speaker for the Better News Club:

Ahem ... Uh ... So ... Their club tells you that you were born a worthless piece of shit, deserving of eternal torture. Our club gives you the truth: that you are one of the most amazing creatures to have ever existed on this planet.

Their club gives you fairy tales and tells you they are true.
We give you cool scientific facts ... which actually are true.

At their club, you will spend spend a lot of time talking to yourself with your eyes closed, and pretending that an invisible ghost is listening. At our club you will close your eyes and imagine a universe filled with all kinds of marvelous wonders.

At their club, you will be taught whom to hate.
At our club, you will be given the skills to battle the haters,
and to contribute to making this world a better place.

At their club you will be taught to worship
an evil invisible monster who murders, enslaves, and tortures.
At our club you will learn how to free yourself
from the threats of their invisible monster ...

forever



2/2/15

Classic Emails (1 page)

I sent the following email to a long list of global warming deniers
after Senate Republicans voted to finally admit
that climate change was real and was not a hoax:

TITLE: Nearly every Republican Senator admits to lying about climate change

Senate Republicans abandon climate denialists

Now what are you reality-deniers going to do?

Nearly 100% of scientists were against you.
Now nearly 100% of Republican senators are against you.
They abandoned ship and left all you freaks to drown in a sea of humiliation.

Now, who have you got left on your side?
Religious nutjobs? That one senator who voted nay? Sarah Palin?

Hey, I know ... how about Bill O'Reilly?
He still hasn't figured out what makes the tides go in and out.
But even he knows better than to make a complete ass of himself:

Bill O'Reilly - not a global warming denier

And when even Republican senators
don't want anything more to do with you,
and are willing to admit they've been lying to the public,
rather than continue to be associated with you ...
that pretty well tells you where you stand in society.
You people have always been, still are, and always will be ...

the biggest idiots in America



1/31/15

So just how stupid are Americans when it comes to science?

Embarrassingly stupid

But the stupidity of some scientists, who should know better ...
is even more embarrassing



1/30/15

Here is a perfect example of the law of "power" which states:
"it's never about being right or wrong; what matters is ... who you are."

ESPN reporter punished for defending evolution

If we ever become a rational society, then
it will be about right and wrong ... and not about power



1/29/15

Boy admits that when he was involved in a terrible car crash
that left him a quadriplegic at age 6,
he made up the story about dying and returning from Heaven.

It's been a hot Christian propaganda item for 5 years.
Many bookstores are now pulling the book.
But for all those millions of Ghost Worshipers who were tricked by a little boy
who told them what they desperately wanted to believe,
we now have an answer to the question:

Are you smarter ... than a first-grader?



1/28/15

The sad state of freedom of speech from around the world

Like most Ghost Worshipers, the Pope allows his zombies to express their freedom of speech by insulting nonbelievers with the most vile threats imaginable. They can call non-Christians evil sinners who deserve eternal torture (in fact, that is exactly what they do say).

But if someone dares to point out the insanity of believing in his delusional little fantasy world, or says something derogatory about his mother, this "gentle" Pope is ready to punch them.

What a hypocrite.

Freedom of Speech goes both ways, Pope. You can't claim it for yourselves while simultaneously denying it to others.

(Well actually, they've been doing just that for centuries.
So I had better hope they don't track me down through my ISP)



1/27/15

The perception of time (3:06)





1/26/15

So where is all the outrage over the Charlie Hebdo slaughter
from the Muslim community?

C.A.I.R. (the Council on American-Islamic Relations)
has issued statements condemning the Charlie Hebdo slaughter.
In France, Muslims have also condemned the killings.

So what are Muslim leaders, who live in Muslim countries, saying?

Let's ask them

In Muslim dominated nations where they don't have to fear reprisals,
we get to see the true feelings of Muslims.
I especially found the statement from Iraq's prime minister to be 'instructive':

“offensive words might lead to further bloodshed.”



Yeah, that's right: they can utter the most vile disgusting speech at others
and feel perfectly within their rights.
But if you hurt their feelings ... it's off with your head.

Here's more evidence of how Muslims really feel ...
when they aren't outnumbered




1/24/15

Scientists jump the gun for the usual reason ... instant fame.
And science magazines jump the gun for their usual reason ...
sensational headlines sell.

Scientists slow down the speed of light travelling in free space

The first point is that the headline is incorrect.
Scientists didn't claim to slow down light but the actual photons themselves.
That is a Nobel-worthy accomplishment if true.

While it is true that light waves can be slowed down by water, glass, etc.,
individual photons have never been proven to travel at any speed other than C.

Second, the last paragraph of the article holds the key.
This work will be peer-reviewed in "Science Express."
If it survives (highly doubtful) THEN it will be published in "Science."

Sometimes our science community pisses me off
almost as much as the anti-science community.



1/23/15

Here is a major news story ...
that you will NEVER hear on Fox News




1/22/15

Neuroscience is learning the basis for social decisions in the brain

The article stated:
"Primates employ three different parts of the prefrontal cortex
in decisions about whether to give or keep prized treats.
These findings illuminate a poorly understood brain circuit,
and offer possible insights into human sharing and other social behavior."

(neo: finally, a scientific explanation for Conservatives:
they were probably dropped on their heads as babies)



1/21/15



I think this next guy pretty well expresses my opinion
about the Pope's recent comments on the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Fuck the Pope (4:19)

My sentiments ... exactly



1/20/15

Neuroscientists find an area in the brain responsible for decision-making.



If Determinists were correct that "Free Will is just an illusion"
then there wouldn't be an area in the brain responsible for decision-making,
because according to them ... "we" don't make decisions.



1/19/15

In the last few years, 35 states have legalized gay marriage.
Close to 60% of all Americans now support gay marriage.
Since 75% of Americans are Christians,
this would not have been possible without major Christian support.

So the losing side, Evangelical Christians,
respond in the only way they know how:
by using their political power to overrule the democratic process.
Yes, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide the issue ...



The 5 Conservative judges answer to a "higher power."
Their sworn oaths mean nothing to them; as they have proven ...
time, and time again.



1/17/15

The evidence is weighing in against
calcium and vitamin D supplementation




1/16/15

The T.V. news has lost all integrity. Each station is competing with other stations for survival. So don't expect that truth will be very high on their priority list. T.V. news is now nothing more than entertainment that panders to the largest possible audience.

"The Power of Prayer"





1/15/15

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections
are powered by Magnetic reconnections (1:42)





1/14/15

What will happen if the Supreme Court guts Obamacare?

(this map shows the countries that provide universal health care
to their citizens; which is far more than Obamacare provides)



You'll have to give the U.S. a little more time.
We are still recovering from a couple of very expensive wars.
But we plan on helping the poorest and sickest Americans just as soon as
our stock market, housing, gas prices, employment situation,
and our national debt ... all improve.

Oh, that's right - they all already have.
Well, we plan on helping them as soon as Hell freezes over.
(there ... that should hold'em for awhile)



1/13/15

Neutrino astronomy is up and running



1/12/15

Terry Firma says that he is an antitheist.

Naturally, I had something to say about that (2 pages)



1/10/15

I have corrected one of my misunderstandings in particle physics

Some hadrons (mesons) are bosons

"If there is a silver lining to my seemingly neverending series of screwups,
it is that, there is no better path to humility."

neo
2015



1/9/15

Classic Emails (2 pages)

After the U.N. came out with its latest report on Climate Change, I contacted climate deniers like "The Heartland Institute" to rub their noses in it. Joseph Bast made the mistake of replying.

Climate change deniers continue to block humanity's attempts to defend itself

Why do they do it?

For money.
99% of the time, you will likely find your answer at the end of the money trail.

Why aren't these people sitting in prison?
Because it is nearly impossible to incarcerate wealthy people.

Money ... it's always the answer
(well, almost always)



1/8/15

Centuries of observations by everyone on Earth
led us to the belief that colds were caused by cold
which is why we called them "colds."

Then we learned that colds were caused by viruses.
But many, in their zeal to bang everyone over the head
with their newly-found knowledge,
claimed that colds were not affected by temperature,
which contradicted centuries of observations.

Now researchers have shown that the observations were correct,
and that, while it is true that colds are caused by viruses,
it is also true that temperature does play a role
in whether or not we succumb to the viruses (1:04)



A few years ago I discovered that,
when a viral infection first began to irritate my throat,
if I donned a surgical mask before bedtime,
I had a good chance of preventing the cold by morning.
The mask worked better than aspirin.

I surmised that it might have something to do with the fact,
that by slowing down my breathing,
that perhaps that was enabling my immune system
to better defend against the virus
which was trying to speed up my heart rate, etc.
(similar to how hyperventilating people slow theirs
by breathing into a paper bag)

Well, it seemed plausible anyway.

Now, as the video showed,
science explains what the real mechanism is
behind the mask's success ...

Rhinoviruses prefer cold noses



1/7/15

Radical Muslims murder 12 in France with automatic weapons
in response to satire directed at their "Prophet"

Their prophet would be ... this guy





Stories older than 2 months can be found in the Arena Archive
(categorized by topic)