31 January, 2016
We are proud to announce that Melbourne will host the annual Convention in 2016.
The main venue will be the Carillo Gantner Theatre in the University of Melbourne’s Asia Centre.
Lawrence Krauss and Edzard Ernst have accepted our invitations to head up a great range of speakers.
We will be setting up a dedicated website for this event: More details soon!
31 January, 2016
This month’s CROSSWORD is about Frauds and Scams.
There’s a new set of LOGIC & MATHS PROBLEMS, While a fresh monthly injection of PICTURE PUZZLES and “MIXED BAG QUESTIONS” can be found at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE.
10 January, 2016
This article first appeared as a Vic Skeptics discussion pamphlet;
(See the “Useful Info” link at the top of this page.) A version also appeared on this site in 2010. However, we’ve had a few celebrities come and go since then, including several Australian Prime Ministers; so an update seems indicated.
People are all different, with different personalities, talents and desires. Numerology probably harks back to pre-Christian Hebrew mystic writing. That’s not surprising, as back then, the first letter of their alphabet also stood for the number one, and so on. Read the rest of this entry »
31 December, 2015
This month as a bonus we’ve given ten pre-loved code-type puzzles for you to solve (see left)
You’ll find the answers HERE
The JANUARY 2016 SKEPTICAL CROSSWORD is about job titles and descriptions. It features job titles related to the paranormal, high-falutin’ job titles found on the internet and other interesting, lesser-known job titles.
There’s the JANUARY 2016 LOGIC & MATHS PROBLEMS
and new sets of Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” questions have found their way to the top of the PUZZLES PAGE
22 December, 2015
We seem to be riding a wave of mainstream support for a Skeptical / rational view of health policy. The following is an editorial from The Age Newspaper of 22/12/15. The highlights are entirely down to us!
Well done, THE AGE !
You cannot argue against the science
The science is clear. It is beyond argument. It is accepted. For hepatitis C sufferers, there is no dispute, only relief. The federal government announced yesterday that drugs to combat the disease will be placed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The drugs can cost a patient $100,000 but, for Australia’s 230,000 sufferers, they will now be accessible for the PBS co-payment cost of $37.70, or $6.10 for concession.
According to Health Minister Sussan Ley, 10,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. She hopes that the drugs will not only halt the spread of Hep C, an infectious virus that attacks the liver, but in the long term eradicate it.
It is a welcome, and enlightened, move to alleviate suffering.
And then we move, in a historical paradox, from the enlightenment to the dark ages. The science is still clear. It is still beyond argument. It cannot be repudiated. And yet it is. The subject, of course, is the vaccination of children.
Read the rest of this entry »
22 December, 2015
FRIENDS OF SCIENCE IN MEDICINE
We’re pleased to re-post, with the kind permission of the authors, the following letter. It was published in The Australian newspaper on 18/12/15.
[We note with interest that at the time of posting The Australian is running with this issue on the front page.]
The government is struggling to find savings and about to make real inroads into pathology services, prescriptions and other valuable medical benefits of proven effectiveness. The Treasurer asks for suggestions as to where alternative savings might be made, so here are three. Read the rest of this entry »
30 November, 2015
This article first appeared as a Vic Skeptics discussion pamphlet, and was previously posted on this site in 2010.
The full range of our discussion pamphlets can be downloaded here: http://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/educational/
or by clicking on the “Useful Info” link at the top of this page.
Have you ever bought something that you didn’t really want, because the salesperson was so nice, so persuasive, so helpful? Chances are that the salesperson (whether they knew it or not) was using some of the techniques of a skilled Cold Reader.
“Cold Reading” is a term invented by stage magicians. It refers to psychological techniques used by certain people to influence the beliefs and behaviour of other people. Read the rest of this entry »