This video has been doing the rounds again. It claims to prove human proclivity for herd behavior, while all it really shows is the urgent need for critical thinking, for understanding of the scientific method, for a sceptical attitude towards any claim, and most of all, for actual facts. Let’s break it down. The caption…

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British headmaster Graeme Whiting has gone on record claiming that fantasy books cause mental illness. Odd, that. I thought that mental illness causes fantasy books. But seriously: one of the greatest gifts parents and educators can give a child is the gift of an open mind. And imaginative stories–fantasy literature and fairy tales, but also…

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Misschien wel het belangrijkste nieuws van het nieuwe Millennium–volgens sommige criteria zelfs verreweg het belangrijkste nieuws sinds het begin van de Industriële Revolutie–lijkt veel minder indruk te maken dan ik had verwacht. Hoewel het op zich afdoende aanleiding is voor wereldwijde feesten, reusachtige vuurwerkshows (okee, die misschien niet), liters champagne en een geboortegolf over negen…

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Well, they did emphasize I would probably receive one more issue after I canceled my subscription to Scientific American (temporarily, to give myself a chance to catch up on two years of back issues). But I never expected to be the target of the far-from-hidden message contained in that issue…

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Pacifists, don’t ever again tell me that man invented war. Last night, in the Jungles episode of BBC’s Planet Earth series*, my wife and I watched in growing horror as a giant group of chimpanzees sent out an invasion army to occupy their neighbors’ bit of jungle, which happened to contain some fig trees the…

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How annoying. A Dutch Christian organization thought it necessary to distribute about 6,000,000 copies last week of a flyer arguing the relative value of creationism vs Darwinism. What a waste of paper, ink, effort, and energy! Not that I’m against the flyer per se. After all, everyone is free to say whatever they want. What…

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In a similar vein to my previous post, I’d like to rant a bit about the glaring idiocy of the so-called scientists who announced, a few years back, that they had calculated the chance that God exists*. Rest assured I don’t want to get into a discussion about the question of God’s existence. I’m pretty…

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In this month’s Scientific American, a book is reviewed in which yet another scientist makes a complete fool of himself by referring to […] the perplexing fact that many basic features of the physical universe seem tailor-made to produce life. Every time someone comes up with this amazing fallacy I want to weep and wail….

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