THE SKEPTIC ARENA


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




1/25/15

This week's show was:

"Christian Exodus.org"

Featuring: "Keith"

The Science Segment was:

"Solar energy that doesn't block the view"

Listen (13:57)
OR
Read (7 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 just listen, type in comments, or you can debate by phone (724-444-7444)



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





1/6/15

I thought I had a great story to post:
"According to a court's verdict, while Fox News admitted to lying to its audience,
the court agreed with Fox's claim that it had the legal right to do so."

I bought it: hook, line, and sinker.
So I put the story in my queue.
Fortunately, before the story got to the front of the queue ...

I happened onto this

Between the time I put the story in the queue
and the time it was due to go up,
Snopes debunked it and saved me a ton of embarrassment.

Sometimes you just gotta admit: if you can't be good ... be lucky



1/5/15

The "Greedy Rich" have found yet another way to stick it to ...

the most vulnerable Americans



1/3/15

Richard Feynman destroys Determinism
while explaining the "double-slit experiment" (56:09)





1/2/15

No matter how bad things get here in the States,
you can always find other places that make this seem like paradise.

Afghan women jailed over "moral" crimes





1/1/15

Move over T-Rex ... or else



12/31/14

Democrats get their asses handed to them ...

by their supporters



12/30/14

Detailed studies of the Russian meteor that exploded in February of 2013
yield valuable information that could be used in the future defense of our planet.





12/29/14

Filed under "Be careful what you ask for"

A family of Christians pray for resurrection ... over a decomposing body

Think about it. What if they miscalculated and this guy didn't make it into Heaven like they thought. Perhaps he was into some serious sin that none of the family members knew about. That might explain why God didn't want to return to them ... a burned-out piece of charcoal.



12/27/14

This video from Aron Ra on Abiogenesis
should be required viewing for every high school student in America (11:34)





12/26/14

Venture capitalist Dave Cowan looks at Christianity from ...

a business perspective



12/25/14

Science fiction is becoming reality

Helicopter controlled by thought (2:29)



12/24/14

With the passage of next year's budget,
Congress has handed over to the rich
the final nail to be hammered into the coffin of Democracy.



We've all heard about the twin disasters:
cuts to Dodd-Frank and the deregulation of Wall Street;
but how did Science fare?

And the light for humanity just keeps getting dimmer and dimmer

There is no time in human history - that I would rather live in;
and no place I would rather be - than right here and right now.
This is what I was born for - this is where I need to be.

Set phasers to ... Vaporize



12/23/14

Just how hardy is life?

Read this from NASA



12/22/14

Christian leaders always trumpet the 10 Commandments ...

and then just ignore them and go right on killing

ISIS has nothing on this guy



12/20/14

A scientific study proves, what most of us have already figured out ...

Dr. Oz is a quack

And the show "The Doctors" isn't much better



12/19/14

A member of "Open-Carry Texas" has been charged with double homicide.
Did she kill a "bad guy with a gun" and save a bunch of people?
Not quite ... she gunned down her own husband and step-daughter.





12/18/14

Genetically speaking, Neandertals were our brothers and sisters (53:07)

Yes we mated with them, so in a sense,
all non-African modern humans are the product of incest.

Look on the bright side ... it's no worse than the biblical version.



12/17/14

Just when I thought Buddhism was above all those other religions,
they have to go out of their way to prove ... that they aren't



Well okay, Buddhism is certainly far more moral than the Abrahamic religions,
but stories like that one demonstrate the weaknesses inherent in all religions.



12/16/14

Louisiana is disappearing slowly ... but surely





12/15/14

The Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky loses tax breaks
because they will only hire Christians.



The thing to keep in mind here is, that these are the same people (Conservatives)
who try to claim that they are totally against government handouts ...

yet they are always the first ones in line - with their hands out



12/14/14

VIDEO

Anatomy of the Republican party (6:31)

Or if you prefer, you can just read the script (3 pages)



12/13/14

CSICOP sent a petition to journalists
requesting that journalists restrict their use of the word "skeptic"
only to those in the skeptical community (as defined by csicop)

My email to CSICOP (1 page)

On a similar note, chiropractors are demanding
that journalists stop referring to gynecologists as "doctors."



12/12/14

Recently I pointed out that Republicans now control the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, most state governor's offices, and most state legislatures.

Now, for the first time ever, they control most state Attorneys General

There is only one prize left that the rich have yet to capture
before they obtain complete control ... the presidency.

After the amazing abandonment of Obama by the Democratic party in the Midterm elections (which cost them everything), it looks like a complete Conservative conquest of America is only 2 years away.

Today the House passed the spending bill to keep the government functioning. It deregulated the banks and allowed individual campaign contributions to increase ...

10 FOLD!

And if the Senate rejects it, they will be the ones accused of shutting down the government.

The Plutocracy's victory over Democracy is virtually complete. The only way this can happen in a Democracy, is with the help of the ignorant masses. They are doing far, far more damage to America than any foreign enemy. We must increase our efforts to spread rational thinking skills. Deprogramming brainwashed Americans will be an incredibly difficult task. Anyone who has "Fox Friends" already knows this.

But it's not like we have a choice



12/11/14

Is it getting hot in here ... or is it just me?





12/10/14

Posting to Facebook can get you executed



Now you know what Christian life was like for centuries



12/9/14

The scientific mechanism behind global warming (4:44)





12/8/14

Jonathan Gruber's mouth has Democrats embarrassed.
Let's review a few of his 'gems'

"The stupidity of the American voter"

Oddly, the comment above which brought him the most criticism ...
is the only one he got right.

Now you know where they got the term "educated idiot"



12/6/14

Here's an interesting appraisal of the Midterm elections ...

from a Republican journalist

Fascinating.

However, the journalist underestimated the power of the rich.
Without rational thinking skills, many people (regardless of education), are just ...

Sitting Ducks



12/5/14

Christians are attacking America from every angle

Texas textbooks ... again

School boards are too important for us to continue to allow morons to run them.
All boards should be filled by professionally trained teachers and educators,
not by elected dentists and preachers.

Oklahoma's school board went even further.
Fortunately, more rational thinkers prevailed ... this time.

Hobby Lobby's Evangelical owner, Steve Green,
loses his bid to force his beliefs into the public school system


Here's more news from the education battlefront

In Kansas, Citizens for Objective Public Education
was sent packing in its attempt to fight evolution and climate change science


I couldn't resist the opportunity to rub it in, but ...
at least I gave them some hope




12/4/14

Here is an excellent analysis of the Michael Brown shooting
written in, what I would call, an unbiased manner.

The audio recording contradicts Wilson's version of events

Based on this article, the audio contradicts Wilson.
Other forensic evidence contradicted the witnesses, and,
they contradicted each other.

What a friggin' mess.

But this next case is straightforward

Skip ahead to 7:00 ... or you'll fall asleep and miss the whole thing

The driver, a 46-year-old veteran officer, is responding to a call of a 'guy' pointing a gun at people. The dispatcher failed to notify the officers that the gun might be a fake, so they had to assume that the suspect was pointing a real gun. So what does this veteran officer do?

Dumbshit drives to within two feet of the suspect where his rookie partner finds himself staring at a suspect who might kill him any second.

What department in the country would train an officer
to approach an armed suspect like that?
(not one)

Even the lamest officer on the planet would have had better sense, than to do what he did. That little kid is dead because of this veteran officer's incredibly stupid decision.

Between these two shootings ... I would be protesting the second one



12/3/14

Faith healing laws in the U.S.



The most ironic thing about this story is that those people ...
are all "pro-life."



12/2/14

See if you can spot the error in this article ...

New approach to explaining quantum physics


I sent this email to the author

I expected at least a 'Thank You'



12/1/14

The price for wearing a loose-fitting hijab in Iran?

acid in the face

I wonder how long Miley Cyrus would last on the streets on Tehran?



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