father’s day 2008

happy father’s day!  i would like to say that i’m with my daughter right now but her grandma has taken her from me!  for three hours.  to church.  …so i’ll see her in a few hours.  anyways, here is some cool stuff to check out:

today, steven novella (pres. of the skeptic’s guide to the universe), has revealed his definition of a modern skeptic:

A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, and therefore rigorously and openly applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims, especially their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves. Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion.

he continues on as to why he, sagan, and shermer have adopted this term to describe themselves over other terms.

skepchic has some funny drawrings of the do’s and don’ts of parenting (i saw this book at sundance the other day coincedentally).  there is also a new video by brian dunning (skeptoid) on critical thinking, called Here Be Dragons: An Introduction to Critical Thinking.

check out these great shirts on teaching the controversy.

dallas r., on this issue of the new yorker: Continue reading

10 songs- no cheating

well ned challenged his readers to post the next 10 songs that come up at random on you iPod. here go mine:

1. Sleazy (Mr. Timothy Remix)- by Dirty south. Found on DJ Solyn’s album Sunset Deluxe. I like to listen to good House music while i drive, and especially while working out. this is a pretty decent song that came up randomly (out of a thousand House tracks). [4 out of 5 stars].

2. If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time– by R. Kelly. this song was okay like 10 years ago. not so into it now. [3 out of 5 stars]. Continue reading

Bob McCue on Fundamentalist and Mainstream Mormons

former mormon bishop, Bob McCueAccurate information is like sunlight – it stops most kinds of rot while encouraging growth.

-Bob McCue

With the FLDS (fundamentalist mormons) continuously in the news this month, the LDS attempts to distance themselves from these “splinter groups” and the doctrine of polygamy. President Hinckley, in an interview with Larry King attacked polygamy 10 years ago on television. He said:

I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal.

[Current polygamists in Utah] have no connection with us whatsoever. They don’t belong to the church There are actually no Mormon fundamentalists.

we have nothing to do with it. We’re totally distanced from it.

Michael Nielsen, writing for the Salt Lake Tribune, tries to remind the church and its members of their ties to the doctrine and practice (albeit in the afterlife) of polygamy. (See http://www.sltrib.com/Opinion/ci_8923…)

Bob McCue, formerly a mormon and bishop, comments on the article:

Michael Nielsen is always worth listening to – carefully – in my view and I am glad that he has chosen to publicly weigh in on the connection between Mormonism and FLDS polygamy. His analysis sets FLDS polygamy in its Mormon context and gently (that is one of his many strengths) reminds the Mormon faithful of their polygamous roots, polygamous afterlife, and the way in which both influence contemporary Mormon reality in many respects. I think his public relations advice is excellent, and will be surprised if something like that does not already hold sway within the Mormon leadership cadre. Those folks receive some of the best corporate communications advice on the planet, and much of that is drawn from Dr. Nielsen’s area of speciality – social psychology. Continue reading