Local newspaper is extremely credulous. What a shock.
Posted: 05 October 2007 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was flipping through the local newspaper when I came upon a small column asking readers to write in if they believe they live in a haunted house. here’s a quote:

It’s that time of year when many of head to area haunted houses, looking for the fright of our lives. But some of us live in haunted houses year round. Do you think your house is haunted?

Do they? Really? I have my doubts. I just wanted to share this because reading it nearly ruined my Cocoa Puffs(TM) this morning, and misery loves company.

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Posted: 05 October 2007 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I realize that question was prompted by the impending Haloween holiday, but I think it would be more apropos to be in the newspaper for the holiday five months and twenty-six days from now.

Occam

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Posted: 05 October 2007 10:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I am shocked, shocked! to hear that journalists are credulous.

I majored in journalism in college, with a minor in astronomy. One of the women in my journalism classes (who now teaches journalism at the community college where we started) was offended when I dissed her new-age beliefs. I told her if she didn’t have the critical thinking skills to reject astrology and numerology she wasn’t qualified to be a journalist. Now she teaches at the same school. Sigh.

The biggest problem with journalism is the poverty level pay. Anyone with above-average intelligence and critical thinking skills will quickly move on to more lucrative professions. The saddest part is the general public also lacks critical thinking skills, and will believe this BS because they read it in a newspaper.

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Posted: 06 October 2007 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The biggest problem with journalism is the poverty level pay. Anyone with above-average intelligence and critical thinking skills will quickly move on to more lucrative professions.

You could say basically the same thing for teachers too, imho.

I would be tempted to write in and offer to perform a skeptical scientific investigation into any of the responder’s hauntings, but I haven’t anything close the necessary skills and qualifications to credibly do so. I don’t think listening to Joe Nickell talk about his job really counts in practice.

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Posted: 08 October 2007 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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In my Saturday newspaper (the Religion section), there was review of a book called The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existance of the Soul by Dr. Mario Beauregard.  The review was written by Bryan Appleyard of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  http://www.philly.com/inquirer/currents/10137792.html
  I haven’t read the book, but the complaint I have with the review is its tone.  He portrays us materialists as closed-minded zealots and “militant atheists” who ignore science in favor of our “faith”.

“Materialists have two problems.  Their certainty of victory is, for the moment, a leap of faith.” — “The strength of his [the author’s] position is the folly of the materialists.  He continually draws attention to the scientifically dubious basis of their leap of faith.” (Unfortunately, the reviewer doesn’t share this “dubious basis” with us.)  “The materialists, reductionists and militant atheists have not done what they claim to have done, and Beauregard performs an admirable service in explaining why.”  Just what is it we’re supposed to be claiming?  He finally throws out a red herring by mentioning how a computer which plays chess doesn’t prove that a machine can think, it only shows how good its programmers are.  Who said it did?

Strangely enough, in the last few paragraphs, the reviewer casts doubt on Dr. Beauregard’s own thesis.  Near-death experiences, so-called “paranormal effects”, and changes in brain chemistry during meditation don’t “prove” that the soul is separate from the body, either.  Both positions, materialist and “soulist”, rely on speculation.  But I notice he doesn’t criticize the author of the book nearly as much as he criticizes us materialists.

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