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Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"You make an excellent point, Mrs. B. "
3 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"I did a DuckDuckGo search for Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney and found this:  The Secret…"
4 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"No, glorifying war is not something I willingly want to see. The way humans treat fellow humans is…"
5 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Chris B., I have 85 years of memories and the spirit of adventure. Couple these with a profound…"
5 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Obviously, Religion, gods, dogmas, and litanies grow out of the imagination of human beings. The…"
5 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Loren, I just now watch the MASH video you included and could not help but start crying. The year…"
6 hours ago
Chris B commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"I love your memories, Joan!"
7 hours ago
Chris B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Poor fox..."
7 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Very odd looking lot."
9 hours ago
Doone commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Gnathosaurus had needle-like teeth for catching small prey. (Credit:@JoschuaKnuppe )"
9 hours ago
Doone commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Artist's impression of a female Maiacetus and her newborn pup. Also known as the 'walking…"
9 hours ago
Doone commented on A Former Member's group Animal | Vegetable | Mineral | Fungus
"Sauropods of the Early Cretaceous. (Credit: Juan Carlos Alonso)"
9 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Couldn't see anything....too dark."
10 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"wild urban fox This three-legged Fox has been living in the area of my building for about a year or…"
10 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Which is why I don't care for programs concerning war....it's not entertainment to me."
11 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Joan. Wow what a story"
11 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Hope's group Imagine No Organized Religion
"In 1966, I think it was, Don, my dentist husband, who was in Viet Nam in a battlefield hospital…"
12 hours ago
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Great Daniel Dennett and Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney quotes. (I'd never heard of…"
15 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Ongoing nightmares."
17 hours ago
Loren Miller commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"It is said that men may not be the dreams of the god, but rather that the gods are the dreams of…"
23 hours ago

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Great article from James Randi, who is started a new blog, in Wired Opinion.

America, the Beautiful (And Nutty): A Skeptic’s Lament

Almost one-third of Americans believe the ancient Mayan prediction of global calamity this December are “somewhat true,” according to a recent National Geographic poll. The prediction is based on a huge stone calendar wheel but exact nature of the disaster — already the subject of major motion picturesand fodder for a Super Bowl ad of remarkably black humor — is an open question. Perhaps an apocalypse will be sparked by expensive gasoline or another Charlie Sheen tantrum. Or maybe those early Mexicans just ran out of stone.

I’m a magician by profession, now retired and dedicated to communicating the facts about the so-called paranormal and the occult, and the supernatural people, claims, and stories that abound. My organization — The James Randi Educational Foundation — serves as a source of information about what I call “woo woo.” We work with a large number scientists, statisticians, and experts to evaluate and debunk for the benefit of the media, scientists, writers, students, and the merely curious.

Our efforts have brought JREF to the forefront of the world skeptical movement, following in the footsteps of Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Martin Gardner, Richard Feynman, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, and so many others — and I’m proud to say that I knew them all well.

We do this day in and day out. And humans aren’t born crazy. But somehow nonsense science has what seems like a permanent foothold in our culture.

Not all dissonance is perilous. The general public accepts some obviously false beliefs: whales are fish, we only use about 10% of our brains, “free energy” is just around the corner for us all.

Wrong, but not nuts.

Not all dissonance is perilous. The general public accepts some obviously false beliefs: whales are fish, we only use about 10% of our brains, ‘free energy’ is just around the corner for us all. Wrong, but not nuts.

Now consider this: Some 70% of Americans believe in some aspect of the paranormal — ESP, devils, ghosts, homeopathy, and spiritual healing. More than 25% believe there are humans who can “psychically” predict the future. About 20% believe it’s possible to talk to dead people (and that the dead talk back).

In other words, a sizable portion of the U.S. population accepts as a given that an unseen world of magical paranormal power exists, and all that remains is to discover how to take advantage of it. Some pay handsomely in that vain — I mean this in both senses of the word — pursuit.

Personality traits, psychological motivation, flawed cognition, emotional instability, local demographics, social influences — all these could contribute to what might be called Lack of Reason Syndrome. Let’s add as well: basic ignorance. But experimental psychology has yet to fully explain why essentially rational beings seem to need to be at least a little irrational.

Read the rest here.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hmm, a conincidence maybe but did he say 70 percent?

Ha!

In Quebec, we pretty much got rid of religion in the public sphere, but woowoo has taken over big time.

What is the most popular woowoo belief in Quebec?

Céline Dion is the greatest singer ever. (Some even add that listening to her will cure your cancer.)

Hahahaha!

We don't need no education.

“Evolution is hogwash” will be the winner of Tuesday’s Mississippi Republican primary, followed by “Barack Obama is so a secret Muslim” according to this exciting new PPP survey. Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will all run a pathetic third through fifth place with only around 30% of the voters’ nods each. But try to feel a little understanding for these voters, really now. When was the last time anyone spotted even a tiny shred of evolution lurking anywhere in Mississippi?READ MORE »

This has to be among Republican voters, though, not among the general population, I hope...Please? Yes? Otherwise is too terrifying.

What a relief.

I must admit I hover between being a skeptic and a cynic...

The reason I most often see for believing in the ridiculous is what I term, "Willful Ignorance."  If it makes someone feel better abut themselves, they will accept it as true with no supporting evidence and even much evidence against it.  To me, this accounts for all religion, mysticism, the WWE, and maybe NASCAR/

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