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Monthly Archive: December 2010

Dec 31 2010

Movie Friday: What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

I occasionally make reference to my life and work as a scientist when discussing the various skeptical topics that come up on this blog. I’ve been told that approaching some of these topics with a scientific eye helps make them more easily comprehensible to those of us who are more academically-minded, rather than invoking legal …

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Dec 30 2010

Something cool happens in Poland

As you’re reading this, my vacation time is officially over. I’m back in Vancouver, and depending on what time it is right now I’m either having breakfast, sitting at my desk working, or at band practice getting ready for CROWN’s New Year’s Eve gig in Kits. At the time of writing this, however, I am …

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Dec 29 2010

And sometimes racism isn’t subtle

I have, on occasion, waxed on at great length about how most racism in society today operates behind the scenes. While we’ve pictured it in our minds as flaming crosses and jackbooted police officers beating up black men on the freeway, it usually tends to happen in much more insidious ways, percolating behind the veneer …

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Dec 28 2010

Awww… adorable!

From time to time I like to post pictures of otters. There’s no good reason, I just think otters are cute. This is cuter: Young Andrew Pendergraft is playing in the sprawling grounds of his family’s country home. Like any other active ten-year-old, he loves running through the fields and splashing about in the river. …

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Dec 27 2010

What would happen if… (evolution vs. creation)

I sometimes forget that not everyone gets into fights on the internet about stuff. While I’ve been observing the debate over climate change and evolution and the existence of God and alt-med pseudoscience and any other number of skeptical hot topics for a while now, I often make the faulty assumption that other people are …

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Dec 24 2010

Movie Friday: Merry Christmas!

There is, underneath all the eye-rolling stupidity, a point to the annual debate in the atheist community about the celebration of Christmas. Yes, it has become so mainstream as to have its religious significance diluted. Yes, it is so pagan in its celebration as to strip it almost entirely of any overt Christianity. Yes, it …

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Dec 23 2010

Vancouver does something good

I was poking around the archives from the past few weeks, as I do from time to time, and I realized I haven’t done a “good news” segment in a while. I started hunting for good news segments after it got back to me that a friend of mine thought the blog was too ‘ranty’. …

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Dec 22 2010

Israel doesn’t have a race problem

Okay, this one is admittedly stretching it a bit… Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has criticised rabbis who issued a statement saying it is a “sin” for Jews to rent or sell property to non-Jews.¬†About 40 rabbis, many employed by the state, signed the statement, citing concerns about potential mixed marriages and falling property values. I …

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Dec 21 2010

Why separation of church and state is important

Canada does not have an explicit legal separation between religion and government, which is obviously cause for concern for me as an atheist. However, whatever your beliefs, this kind of thing should concern you too: A senior Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, has suggested that opposing the country’s supreme leader amounts to a denial of …

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Dec 20 2010

Backfilling – when to ignore someone (pt 3)

Back in September I unveiled my first takedown of arguments that I see popping up in online discourse – namely, appeals to “my own research” and “common sense”. I followed that up by expressing my scorn for any assertion that begins with “I believe…”, a statement that is simply a declaration of personal preference and …

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