Archive for April, 2011

Goodbye CBC

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

As a complement to today’s federal leaders’ debate the CBC had a group of first time voters watch and comment. But while the clear majority felt that the NDP’s Jack Layton was the winner (as demonstrated by holding up pictures) there was no identification made for those that couldn’t clearly see and interpret the photos and the segment was edited so that the only leaders or parties mentioned by name were Harper and the Liberals. While this token item may be small in its actual impact, it may be one of the most blatant examples of media distortion I have ever seen in Canada and unless it is corrected I will no longer be a “Friend of the CBC”

Creationism at the Royal Society

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

This would be old news but for the fact that the Royal Society’s president at the time was Martin Rees – who might now be seen by some as finally getting his reward for letting it happen.  On the other hand, Rees does seem genuinely bemused about the award so perhaps, in his mind at least, there is no connection. Many evangelical atheists object that Reese’s accepting the Templeton prize lends credibility to the foundation – something I wouldn’t have given much credence to except for the fact that someone called Mark Vernon is crowing exactly that.

Retail Internet Pricing – Without Slogans

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

All sides in the debate on “Usage Based Billing” are off base. The issue is quite complicated and not helped by the use of simplistic slogans which often either ask for the impossible or run counter to the interests of those tricked into reciting them. (more…)

No Shades of Gray?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Sometimes I find PZMeyers over the top in his denunciations of religion (especially when he tars all with the same brush and goes on to demonize even those who merely point out that error), but this time he’s right on the mark and expresses it most eloquently.

However, although there are no shades of grey with regard to the abominable nature of what occurred in Afghanistan in response to Terry Jones grandstand play, there certainly are with regard to how Jones and others around him should be judged. (Or for that matter how Meyers himself might have been judged if more of the wrong people had paid attention to his acts of deliberate blasphemy.) (more…)

Where’s the Left Wing Science Denial? Alive and Well in Vancouver I’m Afraid

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Chris Mooney at Discover Magazine is optimistic, asking Where’s the Left Wing Science Denial? But in fact, although there are many reasonable voices (and even George Monbiot has belatedly changed his tune and is now quite critical of the anti-nuke crowd), the media is still full of knee-jerk scare pieces like Olson’s in the Vancouver Courier.
Other anti-nuclear voices, like this at the Huffington Post are actually somewhat more reasonable. But although there certainly are real risks (which I have experienced myself) those risks do need to be assessed fairly in comparison with the risks of whatever alternatives are being considered.

[Note: the last paragraph has been modified in response to the first comment below]

Legitimate Concerns and Overstated Rhetoric

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Colin Macilwain has unfortunately marred a reasonably sensible article in Nature News by adding unsupported inflammatory rhetoric in the opening and closing paragraphs. In between these he refers approvingly to a much better article by Charles Ferguson which appeared a week earlier, and makes some legitimate points of his own about real failings of the nuclear industry (and those that dictate the circumstances within which it operates).

The comments by tas yoto and Chris Phoenix both bear repeating. (more…)