2 December, 2013
By Ken Greatorex
This article was first posted a couple of years ago. As we keep getting inquiries about the spelling of our name, we’ve dusted it off and brought it to the top of the blog.
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Vic Skeptics received this via email a few months ago.
Hello, I’m interested in your organisation but wonder why you choose to use the U.S spelling of sceptic? Surely, this is not the norm in Australia and for pedants such as myself is quite off-putting.
The following is based on the considered replies that the question prompted.
Read the rest of this entry »
1 December, 2013
Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” Questions are in their usual spot at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE
December’s Skeptical Crossword is our largest yet. It’s theme is Alternative Healing Practices, and you have your choice of “straight” or cryptic clues. DECEMBER 2013 SKEPTICAL CROSSWORD
And finally, there’s DECEMBER 2013 LOGIC & MATHS PROBLEMS
30 November, 2013
This weekend in Melbourne the Science Technology Future conference is on. It features a great range of speakers, some of whom have previously spoken at our Skeptics in the Cafe third Monday events – such as Professor Peter Doherty and Tim van Gelder. Quite a few regulars from the skeptics community will also be in attendance. Please go to the conference website for full details.
Tickets are still available.
20 November, 2013
by Terry Kelly
For the 11th consecutive year the Australian Skeptics have sponsored the Science Talent Search (STS) run by the Science Teachers Association of Victoria (STAV). The awards have been going for 62 years and many prominent Scientists have benefited from the encouragement these awards gave them when they were at school - Tim Flannery, for example.
More Photos of STS Below
This year there were almost 2000 entries and 584 Bursaries were awarded. Australian Skeptics sponsored 65 of these Bursaries (one in nine) making us one of the major sponsors, alongside such large and respected organisations as the CSIRO, BHP Billiton, The Royal Society of Victoria, Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria University and the University of Melbourne. It’s one of the best things the Australian Skeptics do. It’s a great boost for the students and priceless publicity for us.
The awards ceremonies, and displays of the entries, were held at La Trobe University on November 6th. Categories were : Creative Writing; Experimental Research; Inventions; Working Models; Science Photography; Video Productions; Games; Computer Programs; and Posters and Scientific Wallcharts.
We had 5 of our Victorian Committee attend the ceremonies which gave us a wonderful opportunity to meet many of the students we sponsored, and their families. They seemed to Read the rest of this entry »
11 November, 2013
Before his appearance as keynote speaker at the Australian Skeptics National Convention in Canberra, Professor Chris French will speak:
- at Vic Skeptics Café, 140 Lygon Street Carlton on Monday 18th November from 6 pm;
- at Mordi Skeptics, Mordialloc Sporting Club 528 Main St, Mordialloc, Tuesday 19th November 7.30 pm (after a meal from about 6.30). Please RSVP on-line at http://www.meetup.com/Mordi-Skeptics-in-the-Pub/
- and at Borderline Skeptics at Wodonga in The Carrier Arms Hotel, Corner of South and Church street, in “The Courtyard” dining/stone grill section from 6:30 pm, Wednesday 20th November.
Title: Weird Science: An Introduction to Anomalistic Psychology
Summary: Ever since records began, in every known society, a substantial proportion of the population has reported unusual experiences many of which we would today label as “paranormal”.
Opinion polls show that the majority of the general public accepts that paranormal phenomena do occur. Such widespread experience of and belief in the paranormal can only mean one of two things. Either the paranormal is real, in which case this should be accepted by the wider scientific community which currently rejects such claims; or else belief in and experience of ostensibly paranormal phenomena can be fully explained in terms of psychological factors.
Read the rest of this entry »
1 November, 2013
By Mal Vickers
I’m not necessarily anti-religious. However, when a religious issue crosses into something so thoroughly against reason and potentially dangerous to human life, I think it’s time to speak out.
Melbourne is scheduled to play host to a Nigerian pastor named Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye who will speak at two evangelical events on 12 & 13 November 2013. The visit to Melbourne is part of a tour of other Australian cities and the Pacific Islands.
Pastor Adeboye (via Wikipedia)
A pastor visits Australia; no big deal, you might think. Pastor Adeboye has 98 thousand followers on Twitter, 1.2 million ‘likes’ on Facebook, is head of a church that claims to own 14 thousand branches in 160 countries and owns a private jet.
Now, add some interesting comments about homosexuality and the existence of witches and you have some understanding of why I’m concerned.
This is a skeptic blog; however, I’ll try to work through the evidence and apply some critical thinking.
Here’s a comment attributed to Pastor Adeboye:
“Same-sex marriage is an anathema to the will of God for human beings to be fruitful, replenish and multiply on earth. Anything contrary to that is evil….If this evil is allowed to stay, there will not be newborns again in the world. As the older generation dies, will there be a new generations to succeed it? Even plants and animals have new generations to succeed them.”
How does this claim stack up against the evidence?
One of the premises behind this statement is that Read the rest of this entry »
31 October, 2013
There are seven brand new Picture Puzzles
thirty “Mixed Bag” Questions
at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE.
and also NOVEMBER 2013 SKEPTICAL CROSSWORD, which has Conspiracy Theories as its theme;
not to mention NOVEMBER 2013 LOGIC & MATHS PROBLEMS