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Pride and/or Prejudice

The big news lately is the raging debate over the Confederate (Battle) Flag. It is almost strange how it became an issue. Some presumably mentally unstable person, Dylann Roof, walked into a “historically black” church and shot nine people dead. His own reported reasons for the shooting were deeply connected to racism and white supremacy. Some might say that the debate that is happening is not the one that should be happening–perhaps something about gun control or access to mental health help? Be that as it may, this is the debate that is being had, and this is The Question–Should the Confederate (Battle) Flag fly above the South Carolina (or any other) statehouse?

Is the war still going?

Is the war still going?

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No True Muslim?

Yes, yet another “does ISIS represent Islam” article! So…does it? The members of ISIS would happily kill you if you said they didn’t, but of course, just because a person or group claims to be X doesn’t necessarily mean they are X. Read More…

The Crack-Baby Myth…Apparently

In an occurrence of “link drift”, I stumbled upon an interesting article at ThinkProgress. Yes, sites like that are usually heavily biased, but looking past that I found some very interesting research.

Tennessee Arrests First Mother Under Its New Pregnancy Criminalization Law“. Well, obviously, nobody makes it a crime to be pregnant, except maybe the Chinese because of their One Child policy. But this isn’t China, this is Tennessee, and a Conservative state like that is usually making laws against ending pregnancy, not being pregnant, so my curiosity was piqued. Read More…

Foundational Beliefs

I saw a news article today that got my skeptical juices flowing once more. It was a story about a clerk in Indiana who was refusing marriage licenses to homosexual couples because “the US was founded on the biblical principle of one man and one woman in marriage”.

There are two things wrong with that statement, and those two things get down to some foundational beliefs many have. This is a perfect example of how ignorance (not stupidity, simply “a lack of knowledge or information”) perpetuates prejudice and gives it “authority”. Read More…

Dr. Oz and the Senate Hearing

Wow, someone making loads of money selling bogus weight-loss products. How unsurprising. What IS surprising (to me, anyway) is that so many seem so very surprised by it. “Why would you do this?” asks Sen. McCaskill from Missouri. Ye$, I wonder why.

But why does it make so many people rich to sell bogus weight loss? Because, as Simon and Garfunkel said, “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest“. That’s why it is important to be skeptical and not engage in wish-thinking. How do you lose weight? Consume fewer calories than you take in. You don’t have to eat dramatically less, but you have to start doing more. Are there foods or products that will help with this? Undoubtedly. But when you’re hoping that a “magic bullet” will do all the work for you, that is wish-thinking.

While I’m happy that he is getting a chewing for knowingly selling bogus goods, yet he is not the only one to blame–not by a long-shot.

Facebook Fallacy #3 – Hungry Soldiers

This issue was actually in the comments on a previous post before I saw it on my fb.

Our soldiers are going hungry while Congress gets a pay raise!

It apparently ain’t so. The DOD (Department of Defense) and Snopes both clarify the exaggeration/misunderstanding.

Seriously–it is over a $600BILLION a year budget. I’m sure they can afford breakfast.

Skepticism Saves

I realize that sometimes skepticism may not seem practical–that it is a nice pastime for cranky old men and Armchair Philosophers, but really, what’s the point?

This is the point: the ADE 651  Read More…

Show Me

Note: This is an older post I wrote offline when this site was still in planning stages. It is no longer a “timely” post, as I was wanting it to be. Some things cannot be avoided. But just because it isn’t timely doesn’t mean I don’t like it. As for the subject of this post, the Amendment to the Missouri Constitution I write about has been passed.

We here at the Perpetual Skeptic tend to be skeptical. In true form, I am skeptical of this article I read in HuffPo concerning a proposed amendment to the Missouri State Constitution. No, not skeptical about the content, but rather skeptical about the issue. Read More…