March 11, 2015

A Great Interview With Professional Debunker James Randi On Vice

James Randi, the world's most famous skeptic, was interviewed recently for Vice by Jules Suzdaltsev about his work and why so many people fall into the filthy traps of fraudsters. As always, the professional debunker who is just a few years shy from being a 90-year-old didn't mince his words when answering the queries of Suzdaltsev.

Among the things Randi talked about are three of his most well-known projects - the exposing of spoon-bender Uri Geller on national television, the humiliation of Christian televangelist Peter Popoff on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and the Carlos story he staged in Australia. Randi talked about how right after his expose of Popoff, a lot of people sent letters to The Tonight Show showing their support for the evangelist which is just one of the many signs of how gullible and naive people can be. They were just shown undeniable evidence that Popoff was a liar, a cheat, and a fraud. This didn't stop them from supporting the evangelist.
Randi had a profound answer to the question, "What's the media's part in misinformation?". Randi answered, "Well, the media is responsible for a great deal of misinformation because of the system it's based on. You have a newspaper, you have a television program, we go on at six o'clock, we gotta have some stories, get some stories together. And the newspaper is being printed and we need a headline. Anything that comes along that looks attractive, even if it's doubtful. That will go into print or get on the evening news so easily because they need something to scoop somebody else."

Read the full interview with Randi on Vice here.

March 9, 2015

Sorsogon City Declared As A Pro-Life City By Mayor Sally Lee

The Philippines is supposed to be a secular country. If you are a politician, you are not supposed to come up with laws and ordinances that support a particular religion while alienating other belief (and non-belief) systems. Sally Lee, mayor of Sorsogon City broke this rule by declaring her turf as a Pro-Life City through an executive order.

The declaration was first reported by the Human Life International (HLI), a religious organization that describes itself as "a Catholic apostolate seeking to respond to our calling as followers of Jesus Christ by building a Culture of Life and of Love around the world through education, outreach, advocacy, and service."

Ligaya Acosta of HLI writes in the group's website, "Mayor Sally Lee declared Sorsogon City a “Pro-Life City” on February 2, in honor of pro-life month in the Philippines. The executive order highlights pertinent provisions of the Philippine Constitution, which recognizes the sanctity of family life, the protection of the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception, and the role of the state to protect and promote the health of its citizens. 

Affirming the right to life, liberty, and security, the mayor also cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the “Magna Carta for Women in the Philippines,” which encourages the State to provide comprehensive, culture-sensitive, and gender-responsive health services and programs which cover all stages of a woman’s life."

So there you have it.
Image credit: Wikipedia.

March 7, 2015

A Video Game Partly Inspired By The Theory Of Biological Evolution

Hello Games, a game developer and publisher in England has come up with a game that enthusiasts of Darwin's theory of evolution might find interesting. Called No Man's Sky and set to be released sometime this year, the game was partly developed using concepts of evolution and creation.

The game will be initially available for the PlayStation 4 console with plans of bringing it to the PC later on. Here's the trailer for the upcoming game:

Christian Evangelist Ken Ham Talks About Charles Darwin And The Impact Of His Theory Of Evolution

Charles Darwin, the man credited for unleashing the theory of evolution upon this world, was born on February 12, 1809. In recent decades, people started celebrating February 12 as Charles Darwin Day. It was celebrated this year. And there are people who got upset because of it (religious folks mostly).

Ken Ham, the Christian creationist and evangelist behind Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum in Kentucky decided to go the extra mile and declared February 12 as Darwin Was Wrong Day. He also uploaded a video on the official AIG YouTube channel a 50-minute documentary titled The Evolution of Darwin: His Impact. In it, Ham basically blamed all the major ills of the world to Darwinian evolution. Darwin's impact, according to ham, include racism, abortion, school shootings, etc.

A blurb for a DVD copy of the video being sold in a creationist store has this to say, "Discover how Darwin’s beliefs have been used to justify policies that have resulted in terrible acts against humanity—and how those beliefs continue to harm societies today. Ken Ham’s practical, fast-paced presentation inspires and equips viewers to protect their families and reach their culture for Christ!"

Watch the video below:

March 6, 2015

Christian Evangelist Writes A Book Titled "Millions Of Miracles: The Evolutionist's Dilemma"

Rick Deighton, a Christian evangelist in the United States has written a book called Millions of Miracles: The Evolutionist's Dilemma. As the title suggests, it's another attempt to discredit Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Hundreds of books have been written by Christians over the years to attack evolution. Needless to say, they've all failed as far as proving that the theory is wrong is concerned.

Deighton has published an excerpt from the book on one of his blogs here. He offers nothing new. It's still the same arguments against evolution that we've heard for decades now. Arguments like an explosion in a junkyard can't produce a Boeing plane.

Here's the cover art for the book. Nothing. Boom. Everything.