Claim: “God is outside our universe, hence is beyond science”

Adam Ericksen, the Education Director for The Raven Foundation a religious group that promotes non-violence, has recently blogged the rather common claim that God is not part of this universe. My intent here is not to specifically criticise Mr Ericksen nor the Raven Foundation, but to instead highlight it because it is simply one example of … Read more

Is the Shroud of Turin really Jesus?

Within a previous posting from a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the supposed reconstruction of the face of Jesus, and that was shared on Facebook. There one commenter suggested … The only real picture of Jesus son of Mary is the one imprinted upon the linen cloth popularly known as the holy shroud kept in … Read more

Claim: “There is empirical evidence for God”

In response to an article published on Oct 19 entitled “Separation of church and fate”, the Rev. Dr. Richard L. Shaw has written a letter to the Asbury Park Press in which he claims … The Oct. 19 article in the @issue section of the Press, “Separation of church and fate,” by the public relations director for American … Read more

What would a believer tell an Atheist who asks for evidence?

It is always interesting, or perhaps entertaining is a better word, to browse the Christian Post and see if anything catches my eye. Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence, and are their credible arguments lurking in some dusty long forgotten corner? (I suspect you can guess the answer). Why? Well … Read more

Praying the gay away is now an official GOP policy in Texas

One kind reader (hat tip to Kathy) pointed out a bit of utterly insane GOP policy that perhaps ticks a few boxes for the religious and leaves the rest of us truly wondering what on earth is going on inside their heads, and so as reported by CNN, the news is that the Texas Republicans have … Read more

Bullshit Detection – “Evidence not Credentials”

As far as Bullshit Detection goes, I appear to be on a bit of a roll at the moment. I blogged here about spotting woo words a week ago, and that resulted in some interesting debate in reddit, so I’ve added an update to that original woo-words posting.

OK then, so what else can we add to our “Bullshit detection kit”? Well how about developing a healthy respect for evidence and learning to be skeptical about claims that are backed with nothing except credentials.

You do of course appreciate that you can obtain a degree in just about anything without actually studying or passing any exams; just pay the appropriate fee and become instantly accredited. A great example is Thunderwood college. This is a site run by Brian Dunning of Skeptoid and offers you free instant degrees. Brian is not attempting to con anybody, he simply designed the site to drive home the point that many credentials are bogus and meaningless. The mainstream academic community will of course issue valid degrees as proof that the recipient has acquired a specific level of knowledge. Unfortunately, there are also thousands of others churning out worthless credentials not recognized by the academic community, so unless the credentials are from an institution that is recognised by the mainstream academic community as an accredited organization, its meaningless.

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