Forum

WE WERE skeptical. We demanded you respond to our clarion call for pithy pieces — but only a few of you pithed on us. For this we are grateful and we have sent suitable telepathic gifts to all of you, for which you should be grateful.

Continue reading

Beer and Skittles

John Riddell spends a lot of time in the pub. Ask his wife. Often, over a pint or two, some bloke or blokess spouts forth some new age dogma which naturally requires correction.. Now a seasoned debater, he this month begins a regular series sharing his collection of responses honed to the mental capabilities of your average bar-room intellectual.

Continue reading

The Bible Code: One more weird thing to believe in

THE BIBLE CODE, a new book touting the miraculous prophetic nature of the Hebrew Torah in which Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination was allegedly predicted thousands of years ago, has swept the national media. Time, Newsweek, Slate, and Charlie Rose explored the remarkable claims of this book, which also predicts a nuclear war that will end the world in 2000 or 2006. Warner Brothers is said to have bought the film rights. The Los Angeles Times ran a front page, above-the-fold feature article by their religion editor. And the Skeptics Society’s phone is ringing off the hook as observers ask “is this scientific proof that the Bible was divinely inspired?”

Continue reading

The Plimer Trial: After the Flood

AS MOST readers will now be aware, the Ian Plimer/Allen Roberts court case has been adjudicated, and the results for Ian were not as he had hoped. The case was brought under federal Trade Practices legislation and state Fair Trading legislation and concerned two issues. The first was a breach of copyright action, where Ian’s co-applicant, David Fasold, alleged that Roberts had used a diagram, Fasold’s intellectual property, without permission. The second issue alleged that, in his lectures and sale of tapes, etc, Roberts had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in pursuit of trade.

Continue reading

Creationists on the Move

IN THE United States, creationists have long waged a strong political campaign to have their ideas recognised by the courts and the educational authorities. But in this part of the world, it seems, their strategy is rather different. The Creation Science Foundation, the largest Australasian creationist organisation, regards the “top down” approach of their American counterparts as unproductive: it is more effective, says CSF’s Carl Wieland, to work first on developing a broad base of popular support. In an article titled “Linking and Feeding,” Wieland outlines their strategy of making contact with people (“linking”) through subscription to their magazine Creation, and then providing them with ongoing creationist material (“feeding”). This material is then read by the recipients’ friends and family

Continue reading