Excellent conversation between Dawkins and Boghossian. Covers subjects such as delusions, drugs, the cowardly LSE, Doctor Who and Christopher Hitchens. Good stuff.
Jerry Coyne has a justified pop at Rupert Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra and the uncritical support from the BBC on woo:
- The BBC and Chopra buy into woomeister Rupert Sheldrake’s “Galileo syndrome”
A quote from Carl Sagan comes to mind:
The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
David Colquhoun’s damning indictment of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and certain other organisations:
- Yet another incompetent regulator. The General Pharmaceutical Council is criminally negligent
The main conclusion from all of this is that the General Pharmaceutical Council is almost criminally negligent. It continues to allow pharmacists, Anthony Pinkus among them, to endanger lives. It fails to apply its own declared principles. The members of its Council are not doing their job.
Individual pharmacists vary a lot, from the superb to those who believe in quackery. Some, perhaps many, are embarrassed by the fact that their employer compels them to sell rubbish. It’s too much to expect that they’ll endanger their mortgage payments by speaking out about it, but the best ones will take you aside and explain that they can’t recommend it.
The GPhC itself is regulated by the Professional Standards Authority, the subject of my last post. We can’t expect anything sensible from them.
In the USA there is a shocking number of pharmacists who seem to believe in quackery. In the UK. nobody knows, though judging by their failure to vote against the daftest of all scams. homeopathy, there is no cause for complacency here.
It seems that there will have to be big improvements in pharmacy education before you can have much confidence in the quality of the advice that you get in a pharmacy.
It seems to me that society, in general, is not informed and that various businesses push their agenda to generate more revenue and increase profit. This has created a weak and flawed regulator.
I’ve come across quite a few presentation by Richard Carrier over the last couple or so years so I was quite interested in this interview by Scott Burdick. Again, another sharp-as-a-laser performance by Carrier. Worth it if you’re interested in reason, and also if you’re interested in some of Carrier’s thoughts on very early Christian documentation. In Burdick’s own words:
Here’s a one and-a-half hour interview I conducted with noted historian Richard Carrier that explores the latest scholarship regarding the evidence of who, when, and where the Gospels were written as well as the historicity of Jesus. We also discussed Dr. Carrier’s views on God in general, as well as his recent clash with historian Dr. Bart Ehrman.
An interview with Marwa Berro (a blogger at Between a Veil and a Dark Place) is available at:
- Listen and judge: An interview with Marwa Berro
Do also check out her blog at Between a Veil and a Dark Place; it’s powerful stuff and beautifully written.
This article at SBM clearly explains the mistakes that some people make with regards to understanding what treatments work, and the delusions that seem to consume them.
- Yes, Chris beat cancer, but it wasn’t quackery that cured him
It’s a long article but it is extremely important for those who care about truth and rationality.
The LSE Student Union is wrong. This blog at the forum for the “Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain” explains why, and it also has an interview with the author of “Jesus and Mo” (and that’s pretty cool).
The LSE Student Union is basically equating criticism of Islam with racism, but then fails to mention any linkage of racism for criticism of Christianity…don’t forget that the context is on the Jesus and Mo cartoons. You can see the game that the LSE Student Union is playing.
The Hindu reports on the European Parliament resolution that recognises and condemns cast-based discrimination globally.
- Caste discrimination a global evil, says European Parliament
Resolution points out various forms of violence against Dalits, especially women
Caste discrimination continues to be widespread and persistent, affecting an estimated 260 million people worldwide, despite the governments of some affected countries taking steps to provide constitutional and legislative protection
It is telling that a significant proportion of The Hindu’s reader’s comments try to deflect criticism by stating that there are other forms of discrimination elsewhere. Oh, well that makes it all OK then.
Razib Khan (Gene Expression) and Christopher Chabris (The Invisible Gorilla) are not impressed with Gladwell’s latest work “David and Goliath“. Further info at:
- The Emperor Gladwell is naked
A few years ago I tried to read Gladwell’s book “blink” but I didn’t get past the first few pages; I’m obviously not the target audience. And that’s quite ironic considering the premise behind “blink“!
The interesting thing about the articles from Khan and Chabris is it’s clear that, although Gladwell does not have good evidence for a lot of things he promotes, it does provoke debate. Perhaps Gladwell just needs to be a bit more transparent to his readers that his conjectures are not supported with good evidence, but are worth exploring. But then what do I know? I couldn’t get past the first few pages of “blink“!