Origin of Species Signed by Skeptics Charity Auction

December 2, 2009

they scribbled all over it!

Skepticon II was such a mind blowing experience, and now that the Skepticon 3 main site is up it’s probably worth noting that we are trying to raise money by auctioning off a copy of Origin of Species signed by many of the speakers!

On the cover page I was able to get signatures of DJ Grothe, Rebecca Watson, Dan Barker, PZ Myers, Joe Nickell, JT Eberhard and Richard Carrier. My heart will sink a bit to see this leave my apartment, but with all the money going back to Skepticon I feel it’s worth the despondence.

All the speakers for Skepticon came to the midwest to speak for little more than travel costs and booze (which we supplied aplenty), and all the volunteers that organized the event pulled it all together from cash out of pocket. The event was offered to all attendees for free of charge, with free condoms and pirate swords also available. This meant all 13 hours of lectures were played to a packed house. Hundreds of people in attendance and everybody had a blast.

Video of all the lectures are going up, for free mind you, on youtube via Hambone Productions.

I’ll have to do a write up soon about my experience at the event, but the short of it is that it was an absolute blast and really energized me about the skeptic and atheist movement.

Hopefully my enthusiasm will spread.

Edit: Here, for everybody’s amusement, is the email I penned to Ray Comfort on the matter:

Happy Holiday!

I’m in the midst of a charity auction, which is hoping to raise some funds for a nonprofit out of southern Missouri that is using your copy of the 150th Anniversary Edition of The Origin of Species to raise awareness of the Evolutionist and Atheist Agenda.

From the sound of your stirring introduction, I feel that you would be most interested in publicizing our little auction for us. Here is a linky:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260516601473

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Rom Houben and Facilitated Communication

November 29, 2009

I think the media is pulling my leg again with this Rom Houben bullshit. I mean, facilitated communication has been a con for quite a long time, and even viewing the video it would absolutely amaze me if anyone actually believes that a man who can barely twitch his eyes and has been in that condition for 25 years can type that fast. I mean, take a look at the communicator, she is clearly just moving his hand and banking in on this poor man’s condition.

This is possibly one of the most deplorable things I’ve ever witnessed and I’m stunned that the media has picked this up and ran with the idea that Houben can actually communicate this well. Dr. Steven Novella has more on his Nuerologica Blog, and it gets me more and more angry as I read about this sort of bullshit.


Same Old Intelligent Design Arguments

November 24, 2009

Skepticon II had a huge turn out and was a total blast for everybody involved, so it pains me to articles like this one on over at National Geographic entitled, “Evolution vs. Intelligent Design: 6 Bones of Contention.” As had come up during Skepticon, articles like these mislead the public into believing there is actual debate among the scientific community about Evolution vs Creationism. But there isn’t, the community at large is in consensus that evolution is most certainly true.

The good news is that at least the article has the common sense to have every one of the claims shot down. I swear, if I hear that the eye is Irreducibly Complex or that Whales couldn’t have evolved I will choke somebody. Don Prothero does a very good job with quick responses and I’m sure his book, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters, would be an incredible read. I’ll have to pick it up some time.

Right now I’m in the midst of a back log of Sagan, Dawkins and Calvino.