Purveyors of piffle, pseudoscience, woo woo and the SN

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Who is the biggest purveyor of woo woo for 2007?

Poll ended at Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:40 pm

Archbishop Seán Brady
9
14%
Mairead Conlon (Angel Lady)
2
3%
Tom Higgins (Irish Psychics Live)
11
17%
Cornelius "Neil" Horan (Dancing Priest)
0
No votes
Sean McCarthy (Free Energy)
3
5%
Willie McCrea (Singing Preacher)
3
5%
Brenda Power (Uncritical Journalism of woo woo - Newstalk 106)
6
9%
Una Power (98FM Psychic)
1
2%
Prof. William Reville
10
15%
Eddie Stones (Faith Healer)
1
2%
Robert and Patrick Wilson (Homeopathy)
0
No votes
David Quinn (Iona Institute Director and Religious Journalist)
8
12%
Tony Quinn (Health Pills)
0
No votes
Patricia McKenna (Green Party - Former MEP pusher of Homeopathy)
11
17%
 
Total votes: 65
CitizenPaine
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Post by CitizenPaine » Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:20 am

I was thinking of nominating Pat Kenny of RTE because there was a time when his shows had the most outragious wierdos on. However he seems to have gone back to fairly normal fare at present.

In the meantime I have decided to cast my vote for a late entrant, Patricia McKenna. Her ideas on homeopathy are bad enough, but when she was an MEP she had the amazing ability to divorce herself completely from reality to push some agenda that had form only inside her own head. Luckily the voters copped on to this the last time round.

CitizenPaine
The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald version)
bipedalhumanoid
Posts: 2675
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:32 am

CitizenPaine wrote:I was thinking of nominating Pat Kenny of RTE because there was a time when his shows had the most outragious wierdos on. However he seems to have gone back to fairly normal fare at present.

In the meantime I have decided to cast my vote for a late entrant, Patricia McKenna. Her ideas on homeopathy are bad enough, but when she was an MEP she had the amazing ability to divorce herself completely from reality to push some agenda that had form only inside her own head. Luckily the voters copped on to this the last time round.

CitizenPaine
Pat Kenny would have been a good candidate I think (him or whoever is responsible for the guests on the Late Late show). There were a number of frustrating shows this year. I recall one where they were discussing miracles and another where they were interviewing a psychic medium. In neither case were the issues critically examined. It was complete and utter fluff playing up to a credulous audience. On the other hand, he did bring Dawkins on the show. That's something... even though they couldn't find anyone capable of asking an intelligent question. they used to at least, on occasion, bother to invite Irish Skeptics to discuss their woo woo programs.
adamd164
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Post by adamd164 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:45 pm

Rather embarrassing that a lecturer from my own University is in the lead!

He also runs the UCC Understanding Science website, which may be of interest to some of you. Take a look at the scientific quotations section.
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:24 am

adamd164 wrote:Rather embarrassing that a lecturer from my own University is in the lead!

He also runs the UCC Understanding Science website, which may be of interest to some of you. Take a look at the scientific quotations section.
I'm sure it says nothing about his actual academic credentials. The problem is that when Reville and others like him start writing about religion, all of the usual standards they might adhere to are thrown out the window.

He's at it again today. While writing a perfectly good article about recent advances in stem cell research he felt compelled to add this...
William Reville wrote: I believe that full human life begins at conception. Each stage of subsequent development occurs on a continuum and each is the full expression of humanity appropriate to its stage. It is logical to choose conception as the instant when full human life begins because this event starts the continuum of life that ends only at death. To pick a later point as marking the beginning of full human life is, in my opinion, illogical and arbitrary.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/scienc ... 24271.html
FXR
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Post by FXR » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:57 pm

bipedalhumanoid wrote:
adamd164 wrote:Rather embarrassing that a lecturer from my own University is in the lead!

He also runs the UCC Understanding Science website, which may be of interest to some of you. Take a look at the scientific quotations section.
I'm sure it says nothing about his actual academic credentials. The problem is that when Reville and others like him start writing about religion, all of the usual standards they might adhere to are thrown out the window.

He's at it again today. While writing a perfectly good article about recent advances in stem cell research he felt compelled to add this...
William Reville wrote: I believe that full human life begins at conception. Each stage of subsequent development occurs on a continuum and each is the full expression of humanity appropriate to its stage. It is logical to choose conception as the instant when full human life begins because this event starts the continuum of life that ends only at death. To pick a later point as marking the beginning of full human life is, in my opinion, illogical and arbitrary.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/scienc ... 24271.html
It seems his emotions are trying to manage his logic. One wonders if it occurs to him that it is also illogical for organised religionism, totally dominated by men, to be dictating to women in a matter (pregnancy) that mainly concerns them alone.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:32 pm

FXR wrote:
It seems his emotions are trying to manage his logic. One wonders if it occurs to him that it is also illogical for organised religionism, totally dominated by men, to be dictating to women in a matter (pregnancy) that mainly concerns them alone.
I responded with a letter. Not much chance of it being printed though due to the length...

Madam,

Prof. Reville (Under the Microscope 29/11/2007) in an otherwise perfectly good article, about the recent advances of stem cell research, felt compelled to add the following:

"I believe that full human life begins at conception. Each stage of subsequent development occurs on a continuum and each is the full expression of humanity appropriate to its stage. It is logical to choose conception as the instant when full human life begins because this event starts the continuum of life that ends only at death. To pick a later point as marking the beginning of full human life is, in my opinion, illogical and arbitrary."

While I am happy that stem cell research may be on the verge of escaping the moral dilemma of the religious, there are major problems with the professor's argument.

The problem here is that what you have at the early stages of development is little more than a set of instructions for how to make a human being. To suggest that the zygote is a human being is like saying a cake recipe is a cake (or a seed is a tree).

But even if you accept that a zygote should be referred to as 'human life' it doesn't mean that that life should have the same rights and respect as further developed human life such as a foetus with a central nervous system and functioning brain.

I suspect that Prof. Reville's argument is merely a rationalisation of a view he holds for religious reasons. In reality, if you don't believe in the soul there is no reason to afford legal rights to zygotes… and given that human embryos have a habit of splitting and even, on occasion, refusing during early development, one must question the efficacy of claims that embryos have souls anyway.

Yours,
FXR
Posts: 3176
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Location: Dublin

Post by FXR » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:03 pm

Excellent stuff Bip. applause all round. :lol:
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
sharon
Posts: 151
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Post by sharon » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:46 pm

I voted for Patricia McKenna. Anyone with the public's ear who chooses to try to link the MMR and autism after all the evidence dismissing this, is a worthy winner of any woo award.

I am particularly sick hearing about this thourougly discredited theory. (That link is to my blog.)

As for her support of homeopathy, I have recently become more aware of the dangers posed by homeopaths and their magical thinking. It's not all about water, sugar pills and treating self limiting aches and pains, these people actually think they can get involved in treating infectious diseases and developmental conditions.
Martha
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Post by Martha » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:15 am

sharon wrote:I voted for Patricia McKenna. Anyone with the public's ear who chooses to try to link the MMR and autism after all the evidence dismissing this, is a worthy winner of any woo award.
I'm not a fan of Patricia McKenna, but why do YOU think the link between the MMr vaccine and autism should be so summarily dismissed?
Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.

Woody Allen
bipedalhumanoid
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Post by bipedalhumanoid » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:22 am

Martha wrote:
sharon wrote:I voted for Patricia McKenna. Anyone with the public's ear who chooses to try to link the MMR and autism after all the evidence dismissing this, is a worthy winner of any woo award.
I'm not a fan of Patricia McKenna, but why do YOU think the link between the MMr vaccine and autism should be so summarily dismissed?
Soon after the allegations arose there was a very comprehensive study conducted which showed negative results to the claim. Of course the anti-science whack jobs will continue their campaign to set us back to an era where kids were dying from polio...
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