The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Archive for March 9th, 2010

Skeptical Teacher Displays Awesomeness at Skepchicamp!

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 9, 2010

Well, I’ve had a couple of days to process all that took place during the first Chicago SkeptiCamp, also known as Skepchicamp. In addition to outlining what I contributed, I’d also like to provide some of the thoughts & feedback from others in attendance…

My presentation, titled Bringing Skepticism into the Physics Classroom, was a display of my belief in “sacrificing myself for science” whereby I perform a variety of extraordinary and dangerous demonstrations in the hopes of dispelling any notions of paranormal woo.  Specifically, I performed three impressive physical feats: walking barefoot on broken glass, breaking five wooden boards with my fist, and laying between two beds of nails while a concrete cinder block is crushed on my chest. Talk about fun times! :)

As I told the audience, when I perform these demos for my students I’m not proving that there is no such thing as chi/ki/qi or whatever other New Age “life force” paranormal woo-woo is often invoked to explain these phenomena.  Instead, what I’m encouraging my students to do is simply apply Occam’s Razor to the scenario: their understanding of basic physics is all that is necessary to explain things… no woo required.

For a fuller view of the awesomeness I displayed, check out this great footage shot during my presentation (hat tip to the Bolingbrook Babbler)…

… and here’s another one from a fellow Skepchicamp organizer…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in physics denial/woo, skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Updates From the Evolution & Creationism Battle Lines

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 9, 2010

There’s been a lot going on lately on the battle lines concerning evolution & creationism. In fact, there’s so much happening that I just wanted to provide a quick summary of all that’s been transpiring lately.  Some of it is funny, some of it is sad, some aggravating, but it’s all informative and worth reading.  So, with that, read on…

1. First Annual UpChucky Awards Announced

Our friends over at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have been having a little bit of fun pointing out some of the most recent and egregious errors & misrepresentations by creationists…

Which creationist was the most nauseating?

When it comes to dissing evolution (and science in general) there’s no lack of volunteers. How to decide which among them is the worst?

Enter the intelligently designed UpChucky Award, which recognizes supreme achievement in the field of persistently rejecting evolution in the most stomach-turning way imaginable. This crown of cluelessness, this diadem of density, this badge of bullpucky isn’t awarded to just any Darwin doubter. The UpChucky is bestowed on that one creationist whose efforts in the preceding year would inspire Darwin (or any rational person) to “drive the porcelain bus”.

Read on for more details…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in creationism, global warming denial | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Homeopathic A&E: A Must-See Youtube Video!

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 9, 2010

Every now and then a little nugget of skeptical humor comes my way, and I simply must share it with others.  Many times on my blog I’ve exposed various forms of medical pseudoscientific woo, and one of my favorite targets is simultaneously one of the most ludicrous & popular – homeopathy.

To give you an idea of just how silly the whole notion of homeopathy and their mantras of “like cures like” and “dilution is the solution” really are, check out this quick Youtube video by “That Mitchell and Webb Look” :)

Posted in humor, medical woo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


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