Having dealt with the “atheism is a religion” trope twice in the last two weeks, it was great to see one of my fave thoughtful atheists, John Loftus, has weighed in on the matter (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/loftus/2011/12/29/atheism-is-not-a-religion-one-more-time-with-a-punch/):
Among other things atheism can probably best be defined as the view that there isn’t sufficient evidence to believe in any one or more proposed gods, such as Zeus or Hathor or Odin or Baal or Yahweh. Everyone can understand this definition quite easily since we all know what it’s like not to believe something that doesn’t have sufficient evidence for it. So how is atheism a religion? How is nonbelief a religion?
Christine, Haysn, Twyla and I got together last night to record our first podcast episode wherein we take on a local chapter of Big Placebo (Xerion Homoeopathie). We discuss homeopathy industry in general and how some try to rationalize why randomized controlled trials fail to demonstrate any efficacy of homeopathic preparations whatsoever. As a teaser, I’ll just say it involves quantum entanglement and the interference observed in the famous double-slit experiment. I kid you not.
In the grand tradition of the Merseyside skeptics and James Randi, I overdose on glonoinum – a homeopathic preparation of nitroglycerine – and spend the rest of the episode in grave danger of blowing up. Or not.
We also discuss the Government of Canada’s recent imitation of Stacy London declaring what is fashionable while taking the oath of citizenship – No burqas or nadiqs allowed. We present the reaction of a Calgary imam Syed Soharwardy (leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada) to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s edict.
Our Xerion Homoeopathie No Thanks (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/pages/Xerion-Homoeopathie-No-Thanks/269567389757714) Facebook page
Just in case you thought I was kidding about the claim that quantum entanglement nullifies the use of RCTs in assessing homeopathic treatments, here’s Lionel Milgrom’s paper (http://www NULL.ncbi NULL.nlm NULL.nih NULL.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1810362/pdf/nel062 NULL.pdf) in the ironically-named journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. There is no evidence for Milgrom’s model whatsoever, and in fact violates everything we know about quantum mechanics.
CTV Calgary News (http://calgary NULL.ctv NULL.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111212/CGY_burkas_veil_111212/20111212?hub=CalgaryHome) reporting of Jason Kenney prohibiting face coverings while taking the oath of citizenship and Syed Soharwardy’s over-the-top comparison with pre-Holocaust treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Podcast: Play in new window (http://media NULL.blubrry NULL.com/legionofreason/p/www NULL.legionofreason NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/LoR-001 NULL.mp3) | Download (http://media NULL.blubrry NULL.com/legionofreason/s/www NULL.legionofreason NULL.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/LoR-001 NULL.mp3)
I needed a MP3 to upload in order to get some practice in how to get an podcast out there. This is part 1. Part 2 will be getting it onto iTunes.
I had long wanted the name The Legion of Reason for a podcast and recorded a solo episode in October of 2010. I start off looking at homeopathy and then moved on to a something that really, REALLY pissed me off. CTV Calgary News – notoriously bad for reporting woo as if it were evidence-based medicine – presented a piece on Nambudripad’s allergy elimination technique. I criticize one of the most egregious examples of irresponsible reporting. Not only is woo being presented as if it were an alternative for getting rid of allergies, there was no representation of the medical community’s opinion on this.