Congratulations, Dr Ken Harvey

10 August, 2016

(reposted from AUSTRALIAN SKEPTICS INC website)


The Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded Dr Ken Harvey the 2016 ANZAAS Medal.

The medal is awarded annually for services for the advancement of science or administration and organisation of scientific activities, or the teaching of science throughout Australia and New Zealand and in contributions to science which lie beyond normal professional activities. Previous winners of the medal include Sir Gus Nossal, Sir Mark Oliphant and Harry Messel. Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Census

31 July, 2016


August 2016 Puzzles

31 July, 2016

August’s Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” Questions  are at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE ;

August 2016 Skeptical Crossword Puzzle revisits Chiropractic ;

and there’s a set of August 2016 Logic & Maths Problems .


A Skeptic’s Guide to Life In the Universe

9 July, 2016

This article first appeared as a Vic Skeptics discussion pamphlet and again here in December 2010.
The full range of our discussion pamphlets can be downloaded from our  USEFUL INFO  page.

 by Peter Barrett, (Canberra Skeptics), updated 2016 by Ken Greatorex

It’s one of the great questions: is there life elsewhere in the universe, apart from the Earth? Skeptics would say, “Almost certainly, but at the moment we don’t know how likely it might be.”

Life thrives on Earth, particularly in the tropical and temperate latitudes. Life exists even in the harsh desert and polar regions. But most importantly, life has been found to exist in places previously thought inhospitable, such as inside rocks in the dry valleys of Antarctica or around geothermal vents, where the water is boiling hot. The fact that life can survive in such unlikely places dramatically increases the range of potential habitats for life elsewhere. So are there places where life could exist elsewhere in our own Solar System?

Read the rest of this entry »

July 2016 Puzzles

30 June, 2016

July’s Picture Puzzles, “Mixed Bag” Questions and a new word puzzle called AddScrabble are at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE 

July 2016 Skeptical Crossword features Famous Skeptics.

July 2016 Logic & Maths Problems is the 48th set in the series. If you’d like to try the other 47, they start in August 2012 – see PUZZLES ARCHIVE 3;


2016 Australian Skeptics Convention – Latest

29 June, 2016

Aus Skepticon2016 Try booking banner V2 900W (1)

is at The Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne from 25-27 November,

with the annual Dinner at

The Leopard Lodge, Melbourne Zoo on Saturday evening 26 November.


Early-bird ticket sales will cease on June 30.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Skeptic’s Guide to Dowsing

20 June, 2016

This article first appeared as a Vic Skeptics discussion pamphlet and again here in 2010.
The full range of our discussion pamphlets can be downloaded from our  USEFUL INFO page.

Dowsing, (also known as Divining) is widely practised in Australia. Dowsers claim the ability to detect useful substances in the ground using processes which are not able to be explained by current scientific principles.

The most frequently dowsed substance in drought-prone Australia is water. Many Australians can claim a friend or relative who is a water-diviner.

Australian Skeptics have long been interested in dowsing. It clearly lies within the range of paranormal activities which come under scrutiny. Australian Skeptics offer a sum of money, (currently $100,000) to anyone who can demonstrate paranormal ability of any kind. Our only stipulation is that candidates must pass a proper scientific test, the protocols of which have been agreed upon by all parties before the test commences. Most acceptors of this challenge have been water-diviners; probably because they are genuine people who believe in their abilities, and are as interested in being tested as we are to test them.

Read the rest of this entry »


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