Skepchick Quickies, 5.19


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. $600,000 for a “witch” to conduct a review of the city council?! For half that much I could’ve told them that they’re gulible.

  2. That Geeks and Guiness thing just floored me. If we had something like that in Milwaukee, I’d be there every night.

  3. Russell Blackford has more on the “human dignity” business, here. Oh, and Oxford University Press sent me a copy of Dawkins’s new science-writing anthology, which I reviewed here. Enjoy!

  4. Been having a lot of debates on the Pinker article back at my blog and elsewhere. I think the general takeaway is that Pinker is abrasively unfair in some of his characterizations, but that he has some decent points that most of the critics are using his tone as an excuse to dodge.

  5. re: psychic consultant

    “I’m a student of, you know, what life is. How does matter form? Why are we here? You know, philosophical issues.”

    Call me narrow-minded, but that doesn’t sound like the qualifications of someone who should reorganize part of a local government.

    Although this story is about a “psychic”, it could apply equally well to any number of freelance consultants or even CEO’s who get hired because of their charm and reputation rather than because of their demonstrated ability to do a job.

    Skepticism shouldn’t be limited to personal lives, it should be exercised in boardrooms and executive suites, too.

  6. The background on the bioethics report is pretty scary stuff. Here’s a snip that really sums it up:

    In his speech announcing the stem-cell policy, Bush invited Kass to form the Council. Kass packed it with conservative scholars and pundits, advocates of religious (particularly Catholic) principles in the public sphere, and writers with a paper trail of skittishness toward biomedical advances, together with a smattering of scientists (mostly with a reputation for being religious or politically conservative).

    Not that it matters at this point in the lame-duck administration. But these people came within spitting distance of greatly expanding federal control over scientific research.

  7. I bet the toothpick trick he did is the one Criss Angel taught his television audience.

    Maybe instead of being fired for wizardry, he was fired for being a hack?

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