Mystery image of 'life on Mars'

That's a headline of a recent article on BBC News covering this early image from the Spirit rover. An image of a mysterious shape on the surface of Mars, taken by Nasa spacecraft Spirit, has reignited the debate about life on the Red Planet. A magnified version of the picture, posted on the internet, appears to some to show what resembles a human form among a crop of rocks. It goes on to say....

Wednesday, 23 January 2008 · 3 min · Paul Smith

Sceptics needed - Yeovil Psychic Society stumbled upon

Incredible, just tonight I stumbled upon the Yeovil Psychic Society's website. These people claim they are "Challenging the Accepted". Apparently these guys have been around for 30 years now. I wish they came upon my radar sooner. I say we get some rational people together and found a Yeovil Sceptic Society, we can claim we're "Challenging the Bullshit". Just a few things they've got wrong as I quickly went through their latest newsletter....

Wednesday, 12 December 2007 · 2 min · Paul Smith

Only using 10% of our brain, psychics and Father Christmas

So I ran into this nonsense again, someone saying that we only use 10% of our brain. *Sigh*. To anybody who actually sits down and thinks about it for a while, it is obviously false. For example, how many times have you heard of somebody having a stroke, in the part of the brain they don't use and therefore being unaffected, or how many times have you heard of somebody having a brain injury, but being unaffected by it....

Monday, 10 December 2007 · 8 min · Paul Smith

Homeopathic mumbo jumbo needs to be booted out of the NHS

The Guardian published an article written by Jeanette Winterson (not a scientist), on why she thinks homeopathy is wonderful. Another reason why topics like this should be covered by dedicated science writers. Dedicated science writers would not base an entire article on one anecdotal experience. Picture this. I am staying in a remote cottage in Cornwall without a car. I have a temperature of 102, spots on my throat, delirium, and a book to finish writing....

Wednesday, 21 November 2007 · 3 min · Paul Smith

Religious fundamentalists and anti-homosexuality nonsense

So the religious lunatics are at it again. The rise of fundamentalism in the United States is a real problem and needs to be stamped out. This time Reverend Ken Hutcherson and his (to quote the Telegraph) "evangelical megachurch has vowed to take over Microsoft by packing it with new shareholders who will vote against the company's policy of championing gay rights." Microsoft is fairly well known in the United States for supporting a solid policy of employee diversity....

Saturday, 17 November 2007 · 4 min · Paul Smith

I feel more religious book burnings coming on

Dumbledore, the old guy in Harry Potter is gay. From the BBC: Harry Potter author JK Rowling has revealed that one of her characters, Hogwarts school headmaster Albus Dumbledore, is gay. You know it was bad enough with religious fundamentalists in the United States trying to get the Harry Potter books banned (here, here etc), for evil witchcraft and the like, now they'll be at it in full force again....

Saturday, 20 October 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

So long Perry DeAngelis

I checked my feeds this morning to see that Steven Novella posted the sad news about the loss of Perry DeAngelis. Perry's popularity was easy to understand – Perry had presence. The power of his personality went into everything he did, and every relationship he had. He made his opinions known and actually delighted in not sugar-coating them. Truth and reason were very important to him, so much so that he felt the truth had to be brutal....

Monday, 20 August 2007 · 2 min · Paul Smith

The Daily Creationism the third

Well I stumbled across my old friend, TheDailyCreationism. On a new website, again claiming to do daily updates but failing to do regular posts. Quite disappointing I have to say as I'd love to read a creationist blog that is well, up to date with fresh arguments not those stale things from a hundred years ago. Anyway one of the posts on this blog featured Mr Kent Hovind's $250,000 offer. He presents it like James Randi presents the $1 million paranormal challenge, prove evolution and you get $250,000....

Friday, 27 July 2007 · 3 min · Paul Smith

Blinded by faith (literally)

Jesus is well known for "curing" the blind, in this case the irony is overwhelming when a christian goes blind while searching for the Virgin Mary in the Sun. Amal Nassif believed 17-year-old Francesca Zackey when she said the Virgin Mary would appear if Nassif gazed into the sun. Now 37-year-old Nassif, a devout Catholic, may be blind for life. She went to Zackey - the Benoni girl who claims to have repeatedly seen the mother of Jesus - to receive a blessing....

Monday, 23 July 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Bogosity, debunking creationism

I stumbled upon this guy's YouTube videos thanks to Phil Plait. Here he is taking on a few creationist claims, mainly from the damn evolution vs. creationism video that's been floating around for ages on many internet video websites, it's the one with the annoying host, with far too much money wasted on flashy graphics, yes that one, the one set in studio, made up to look like a court room....

Wednesday, 27 June 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith