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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…

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.

Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math

Dogma and unquestioning belief, whether in religious, philosophical, political, or economic principles is what holds humanity back. Stay Perpetually Skeptical, my friends.

Grist

Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly. But perhaps we don’t realize how bad the problem actually is. According to a new psychology paper, our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.

The study, by Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues, has an ingenious design. At the outset, 1,111 study participants were asked about their political views and also asked a series of questions designed to gauge their “numeracy,” that is, their mathematical reasoning ability. Participants were then asked to solve a fairly difficult problem that involved interpreting the results of a (fake) scientific…

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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…