Skepticism

Category archives for Skepticism

2012 Enlightener & Deceiver Awards

The Swedish Skeptics have announced their annual awards for 2012. Both the Enlightener award and the Deceiver award are given to the editorial staff of programmes on Swedish national radio. Medierna is a weekly media criticism show. They roast journalists in an excellently skeptical fashion and have during the year touched upon mistreatment of subjects…

Swedish Skeptics 30 Years

Today is the Swedish Skeptics Society’s 30th birthday! It was started in 1982 on inspiration from the American organisation CSICOP (est. 1976). I’ve been a member since 1996 and now I’m the society’s sixth chairman. So, what does a skeptical society do? We’re a science-friendly resistance movement. We fight quack medicine, newspaper horoscopes, spiritualist mediums,…

All the monotheistic religions have a problem known as Theodicy or The Problem of Evil. Simply put, it’s the question “How can there be evil and suffering in the world?”. The religions in question posit that their god knows everything that happens, so he isn’t ignorant of the shit that’s going on. And they posit…

The former Swedish state church has been reasonably independent for twelve years. Now Juniorette’s school plans to send the kids walking in festive procession with flaming torches to the Swedish church’s local branch for an “Advent gathering”. Good fun no doubt, and Juniorette would probably be most displeased if I made her stay in school…

Let’s make a list of religious prophets! But only the ones who, having convinced their faithful followers that they spoke the word of God, suddenly received revelations to the effect that God totally wanted them to fuck children or adolescents. I know of three to start with. Let’s have some more, with references! Muhammad, Islam’s…

Hubbard’s Caveman

Kai gave me this lovely piece of old Scientology propaganda. The 1968 book Scientology: A History of Man is a re-titled edition of something L.R. Hubbard completed in 1951-52 and disseminated under the title What To Audit. After the formerly secret teachings about Xenu the evil space emperor etc., this is probably the most widely…

Sixth World Skeptics Conference

I’m at the Sixth World Skeptics Conference in Berlin, co-organised by the German GWUP and the US CSI. These conferences have been going on biannually since the mid-90s with a recent hiatus. It’s the first time I’m at a skeptical event in Continental Europe. With only 300 seats it’s not quite as planet-spanning as its…

Harry Martinson Talk

The Swedish Skeptics have received the 2012 Harry Martinson Memorial Prize from his birth municipality Olofström and the Harry Martinson Society. Martinson, a Nobel laureate, was a poet and prose writer who is particularly well known for his book-length science fiction epic poem Aniara. As chairman of the Swedish Skeptics I was invited down to…

Soul Warrior

This past weekend the Swedish Skeptics celebrated our 30th anniversary with a two-day conference in Gothenburg. It included the annual business meeting of the society at which I was reelected as chairman for a second year. And at dinner, I sang a song about how I view my role in the society, and the Swedish…

Scam Publisher Fools Swedish Cranks

Perennial Aard favourites N-A. Mörner and B.G. Lind have published another note in a thematically unrelated journal. It’s much like the one they snuck past peer review into Geografiska Annaler in 2009 and which Alun Salt and I challenged in 2011. The new paper is as usual completely out of touch with real archaeology, misdating…