Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Pope urged to admit common ground

Pope urged to admit common ground (BBC News, Tuesday, 4 November 2008)
When 138 senior Muslim scholars and clergy tried to establish the common ground between Islam and Christianity last year, they said the very peace of the world hung on the outcome.

So we're all doomed!

The idea that we should look to religion as the source of world peace has lost its last shred of credibility a long, long time ago, and the opposite seems much closer to the truth. The alleged motives behind the creation of a body claiming to represent all Muslims in Europe should receive a fair amount of scepticism, whether one represents the Pope or whether one is an atheist in possession of full mental faculties.

See also:

Is Europe Trying to Build a Fundamentalist Islam? (by Prof. Philip Jenkins, Pennsylvania State University;, 04.11.2008)
When governments recognize particular clerical and religious groups as the official spokesmen for their communities, they are treating ordinary people as members of collective religious/cultural entities, holding rights as members of those groups, not as citizens and individuals.

Prince hopes to pass on charities

Prince hopes to pass on charities (BBC News, Wednesday, 12 November 2008)
He said he hoped one day people would realise "that some of the things I've been trying to do aren't all that mad".

That a toxic substance would obtain medicinal value when it is diluted to such an extent as if it were one pulverised grain of rice in a sphere of water the size of the solar system (including Pluto), and this repeated two billion times, this idea is not stark raving mad. I repeat: not stark raving mad. Because Prince Charles said so.

Heartily recommended viewing:

James Randi explains homeopathy

which is part of:

James Randi Lecture at Princeton 2001


Not to be missed:

Richard Dawkins interviews Prof. Michael Baum (, December 22, 2008)

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Out of body or all in the mind?

Out of body or all in the mind? (BBC News, Friday, 24 October 2008)

There we go again. The last article on this topic didn't include enough woo-woo yet.
He explained: "We know that in the sub-atomic world, smaller than atoms - things behave in really bizarre ways we don't understand, they call it quantum physics.

For any responsible journalist with a little knowledge of science and non-science, alarm bells should start ringing at the first mention of quantum physics in a context where it has no business. But no, phrases such as:
but dealing with these patients when he worked in an intensive care unit, has forced him to challenge his own scepticism.

are used to try to pull down any natural defences that BBC News readers might have against supernatural claptrap.

To the BBC's credit, they do cite Susan Blackmore, world-renowned skeptic and expert on near-death experiences. But woo-woo must prevail, so the final words are:
"When I die I'm going to go somewhere else. I'm 110% what I saw is what I saw."


Redneck support for Obama (BBC News, Sunday, 2 November 2008)

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, via


n. Offensive Slang
  1. Used as a disparaging term for a member of the white rural laboring class, especially in the southern United States
  2. A white person regarded as having a provincial, conservative, often bigoted attitude.
I can see the interviewee has tattoos, but why does he deserve to be called a redneck? Several royalty, such as Harold II of England, Edward VII, and George V all had tattoos. Were they rednecks? And why is it 'news' if one person with ink in his dermis hands out bumper stickers in favour of Obama?

As so often, it appears the BBC have recruited too many 'journalists' who will produce any rubbish to reach their quotas.