Critical Thinking

Carl Sagan’s thoughts on Socialism

While being interviewed back in 1989 Carl Sagan was asked “Are you a Socialist?” You can almost hear Ted Turner treating the word “socialist” as an almost derogatory term, and so this was perhaps tossed at him as if he was being asked if he was a child molester. The answer Carl gives reflects his character and gives us a glimpse, not just of his politics, but of the insights that he brought to any and every topic he turned his mind […]


Weird Claim of The week : “I believe because science has not disproven it”

I often trip up over some rather strange claims being promoted by people who are in reality both decent, reasonable, and intelligent. This week’s example comes from a piece written by Jerry Fogltance, a retired Air Force chaplain and lieutenant colonel. Within his column he writes …  Atheists take pride in claiming that what they believe is based on scientific evidence while religious dogma is based on myth. I’m not convinced that “take pride in” is correct, nor is “believe” really […]


Pushing the envelope of gullibility

Since we are deep into the working week, I’ll lighten up a bit today and have a bit of fun. Humans generally tend to not simply take what we find asis, but also often can’t resist the urge to tweak and improve things, and apparently the Nigerian 419 guys are not immune to that urge. To illustrate that, here is a rather enjoyable variation on the old theme designed to snare the gullible. You just know that anything that starts “Dear […]


Bill Maher promotes a HIV Cure quack 1

The very short TL;DR; summary is perhaps “yikes”. So I sat down to enjoy the latest episode of Real Time with Bill maher, and was totally floored when he wheeled on Charlie Sheen’s HIV Quack, “Dr.” Samir Chachoua, and then proceeds to interview him. What then emerged were some totally unfounded claims, and so here is that 10 minute clip from the show … Sorry, the quality is not great, it is not the official clip, but given the rather embarrassing […]

Why did NCESS really disinvite @RichardDawkins ? 2

I was blogging about this a couple of days ago, and reported the rather bizarre story of how Richard Dawkins, who had been invited to a science and skeptics conference to be their keynote speaker on what is the wholly appropriate 40th anniversary of the publication of his highly influential book, The Selfish Gene, and was then disinvited due to just one tweet. Later when Richard learned that the clip he tweeted targeted specific individuals, he removed it, but then the […]


Why is pseudoscience so enticing?

We are awash with pseudoscientific claims that look scientific, dress scientifically, sound sciency, but in reality are not. We need never look too far nor too hard to find an example, and so clearly such public popularity should perhaps cause us to pause and wonder why it is like this, why do so many cling on vigorously to ideas and claims that simply do not withstand any serious analysis because they don’t have any real evidence to back them up. Dr. […]