Skepchick Quickies 6.24

  • Professor challenges homeopaths– “Edzard Ernst, who researches complementary medicine at Exeter University, is offering a cash prize to anyone who can prove that homeopathy can be successful.Prof Ernst says the £10,000 reward will go the first person who can prove that the treatment works better than a placebo in scientific trials.”  Thanks Kevin L.
  • Fred Phelps: even weirder than you thought– Emory says, “Fred Phelps, the notorious “God Hates Fags” preacher who protests at funerals, did a lot of valuable legal work for the civil rights movement, helping end discrimination against Blacks.  And, his extreme hostility to gays is actually tightly linked to his vigorous support of racial equality.”
  • UN classifies rape as a weapon of war-  “With a document detailing the use of rape as a tactic in war and a threat to global security, the United Nations Security Council this week voted unanimously to approve resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war.”
  • US religious landscape survey-  I know this is all over the news, so I thought I’d direct you to the lovely infographics at Friendly Atheist.  Ha, my state is blue in more ways than one!


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. The religious landscape one has some funny bits. After the flailing to define ID/TE/Whatever the other day I find it funny that something like one in five atheists/agnostic believe in God, while a similar percentage of Christians/Catholics don’t.

    God Bless
    Pat O
    Christian Skeptic

  2. Jerry Falwell also had some civil rights chops. After growing up a segregationist southerner he was fiercely critical of Martin Luther King, but later he changed his views and supported multi-racial congregations in Southern Baptist churches when it was still a brave position to take.

    No, this doesn’t mean I like either one of them, but people are complicated.

  3. The Big Money challenges don’t prove anything anymore. It was a useful tool once, but it’s been around too long for it to remain useful. It’s getting to be an old argument, which is why I’m sort of glad that the James Randi challenge is coming to a close in a couple years.

    This new challenge is just a variation on an old theme. Time to come up with something new.

  4. pdohara: “I find it funny that something like one in five atheists/agnostic believe in God, while a similar percentage of Christians/Catholics don’t.”

    You can certainly be an agnostic and theist. I also suspect that there are people who identify as Christian even though they do not believe in God, atheists in the pews and all that…though one in five seems rather high.

  5. Wow, I read the comments in the Phelps thing and apparently Nate, the estranged son (who knows if it’s for real) commented, pointing out that his father didn’t like teh blacks any more than one would think, but that the new anti-segregation laws of the time were a financial boon to a lawyer.

  6. I’m an areligious agnostic with a leaning towards believing in some sort of universal architect. You know, the guy who decided what the gravitational constant should be before flipping the “big bang” switch.

    Technically, I suppose you could be a follower of the philosophies of Jesus Christ without believing in God. There’s a lot of evidence suggesting that the whole “son of god” part of the new testament was added much later. Or you could just be the sort of person who attends church to appease a spouse or for other social reasons. I did that for a while. Unfortunately, my wife was unable to find a church where I didn’t frequently feel the need to hurl a hymnal at someone for spouting utter crap.

    As for people who label themselves “atheists” but say they believe in god… Well, there are a couple of possibilities. Maybe they didn’t know what the word “atheist” means. Certainly, the whole discussion DD started about defining terms shows that not everyone knows or agrees on what words mean. I thought that one was pretty basic, but then I have a college degree. Another possibility is that some people were just messing with the survey results for fun. “Sure, I’m a god-fearing atheist. How does *that* sit with your statistics?”

    At any rate, studies show that 80% of all statistics are made up.

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