- One of the regular criticisms made by the anti-skeptical subset of skeptics is that we don’t do enough outreach to schools in between all our constant back-slapping and self-congratulatory champagne-slurping. I’ve moaned about this cynicism before, and Steven Novella has expressed things far more clearly than I managed to. Kash Farooq also wrote about what he sees as the point of these skeptical get-togethers, and defends the idea that we can’t all be working on exciting new projects to reach new audiences all the time and constantly be out making a difference in the world. There’s room for both approaches.
And the JREF will hopefully soon be doing even more to undermine the irritating notion of skeptics as an isolated, exclusive in-group unconcerned with getting things done in the real world, with their new Education Advisory Panel. It’ll be a while before we can see how it’s going to work in practice, but the names of the panel members that I recognise are good people, and its stated aims are exactly what skepticism could do with more of. I’ll be following this one with interest.
- Jen McCreight announces the winners of her Atheist Christmas Carol competition. There’s some fantastic creativity in there, well worth a read. I might have to try something like that for this year’s festive season, what with the poetical mood I’ve been in lately.
- The latest Carnival of Evolution is up, with more excellent biological science-writing than you’ll know what to do with. (By which I mean, more than I had time to read while I was at work today.) The three carnivals I used to regularly submit to (and hosted) all seem to have dissolved into the void now, but it’s good to see some science round-ups still continuing.
- The latest episode of DJ Grothe’s excellent For Good Reason podcast finally turned up this week. For what it’s worth: I, too, do not accept the existence of contra-causal free will. I’m not going to reason all the way through meanings and implications of this right here. Maybe later. But listen to the show.
Cubik’s Rube quickies: Education, celebration, evolution, automation
November 3, 2010 by James