Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origin, by Robert M Hazen. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DC, USA. Reviewed by Bernard Howard.
A knockout blow for evolution turns out to be nothing of the sort AS JBS Haldane famously said, God must have an inordinate fondness for beetles, he made so many of them. Of all the tens of thousands of the horny-winged horde, the creationists have chosen, as the absolute knockout anti-natural selection example, the bombardier […]
“There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents and only one for birthday presents, you know.” A quotation is always a useful heading to an article, and one from ‘Alice’ always lends an air of paradox and profundity. Christchurch Skeptics, and some fellow-travellers, met recently to celebrate TWO birthdays; Charles […]
Debunked! by G Charpak & H Broch, translator BK Holland. Johns Hopkins University Press, Reviewed by Bernard Howard.
“There’s no need for your organisation. We’re all skeptics nowadays.” Anthroposophy in Darmstadt Children’s Hospital The Darmstadt Children’s Hospital in Germany has acquired an “Anthroposophical Ambulance” thanks to the efforts of a fully qualified medical doctor who has extended his healing abilities by embracing Steiner principles. This hospital is a teaching hospital attached to the […]
The medical community in Britain is suffering a severe attack of lèse majesté, and it is feared some distinguished heads will roll on Tower Green. Prince Charles, in his untiring care for the health of his future subjects, has set up The Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Integrated Health, and, with the help of several […]
A widely publicised trial which appeared to show prayer was effective in enhancing fertility now appears to have been fraudulent. In 2001 an extraordinary paper, from the highly regarded Columbia University Medical Center, New York, appeared in the also highly regarded Journal of Reproductive Medicine. About 100 women in South Korea who were undergoing in […]
A French test of a therapeutic touch practitioner generates sympathy, but no positive results We have recently received a message from OZ. Not transtasman Big Brother, but the cousins in France. OZ stands for Observatoire Zététique, a group of skeptical investigators (Zetetic is much the same as skeptic, as every Victorian schoolboy knew. The Greeks […]
It began like any other Saturday morning, out of bed even later than on weekdays, a leisurely breakfast, dismembering the 10 sections of the Press, and settling to a good long read. It was then that the pain began, and intensified until something had to be done. No time to send for homoeopathic medicines, no […]
“Energised Water” turns out to be much the same as the other kind Grander water indeed, than the ordinary stuff from the tap; Europeans are paying more than the equivalent of $NZ20 per litre for it. Punning aside, Johann Grander is a Tyrolean man who has “discovered/invented” a wonderful but secret way to “energise” water, […]
The universe we live in is vast, in both space and time, so vast as to be beyond human comprehension. Mathematicians have devised a way in which the large numbers involved can be manipulated, the “exponent”1, but it can mislead us into thinking we comprehend more than we really do. It can blind us to […]
A DEVIL’S CHAPLAIN: Selected Essays. Richard Dawkins. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003. ISBN 0 297 82973 4. We Dawkins fans have been waiting since “Unweaving the Rainbow” in 1998 for this. Unlike its predecessors, it is not written around a single theme, but is a collection of Dawkins’s comments and reviews of the past 25 years, […]