Monthly Archives: April 2010

So Conroy; What can you get on DVD?

We have all seen Senator Conroy harp on and on about how you can’t get certain content on DVD and so that makes censorship ok. Well I would like to point out that hardly anything is available on DVD these days. The vast majority of content is available online only. Content delivery via physical mediums is dead; very little content ever makes it to DVD or Print in comparison to the wealth of information available online.

Can you hold a conversation on DVD format?

Can you organise highly controversial but legal events such as “The Rise of Atheism” using DVDs?

Can you organise political action via DVDs?

No, physical mediums are useless for all of these things. The Internet has given us the greatest freedom imaginable; the freedom to communicate. Before the rise of the Internet people had to rely on the corporate media for information. Today anyone can be a Journalist; everyone can access and distribute information, there are no barriers. Unless of course Conroy gets his way and and this newfound freedom is revoked and Conroys secret committee, Immune to Freedom of Information Requests steps in as the Gatekeeper. 

The Internet is much more than simply another form of Media. It has taken on a life of it’s own and now serves as a primary communication in our society. It’s time to start calling Conroy out on his false analogies.

This Video highlights the Web 2.0 Phenomenon.

Terrorists strike fear into ComedyCentral

Comedy Central has censored the latest episode of South Park amid fears of reprisal from Islamic terror groups. The shows 200th episode depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammad wearing a bear costume the result of which is a death threat from Islamic Extremists warning that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be murdered.

So much for the “Religion of Peace”

In the 200th episode of South Park, which was broadcast last week, a proposal to bring the Prophet Mohamed to town is met with short shrift at a community meeting. “Are you nuts?” one character says. “If Mohamed appears in South Park we get bombed!” “We don’t know that,” another replies. “Maybe enough time has passed that now it’s OK to show Mohamed.”

As it turned out, that hope was a forlorn one. The American broadcaster Comedy Central this week censored the programme after the episode’s depiction of the Prophet Mohamed dressed as a giant teddy bear drew a warning on an Islamist website that the show’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, would be murdered. The Independant

There seems to be a new trend of terrorism popping up in the western world where anything that might offend Muslims needs to be censored for fear of reprisal. This is by it’s very definition an act of terrorism.



the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

Blogging; some brief opinions.

Are you good in blog? A calling for all Skeptical bloggers; this is my response to an idea put forward by

How to start a blog? This question has replaced the old “what should my website be about?” and although it is easy to setup a blog with services such as,, ect. Actually “starting” the blog is another thing all together. The truth is that blogging is not for everyone, it is a personal thing and you need to find a topic that you are interested in and be willing to state your opinion on them. If you are at the point where your seriously considering a blog then you already fill this prerequisite. If you want to write about something then the best advice I can give is to just do it, write something; anything. You don’t need to be perfect or even good because your can always improve in the future, however you can never succeed if you do not start.

Dealing with Trolls. There is an old Usenet saying “Please do not feed to trolls” and it still holds true to this day most trolls are seeking attention and will give up when they do not receive the attention they are seeking. The best thing to do is ignore them don’t take the bait they lay. If you must take on the trolls do so with reasoned debate and any onlookers can draw their own conclusions. The Troll will most likely show themselves up early on; especially if they are anonymous and too cowardly to stand behind what they say.

Why blog at all? As I said before, blogging is a personal thing and it is not for everyone. Some people prefer to spend their time in silent observation, for every blogger there are hundreds more people participating in discussion forums such as SGU-Forums and many thousands more silent observers. But the primary idea behind blogging is to voice an opinion and doing so has opened public debate in ways that where unimaginable only 10-15 years ago.

How has the recent UK libel case vs Simon Singh changed blogging? The recent victory of Simon Singh over the British Chiropractic Association has sent a strong message to suppressors of free-speech that criticism cannot be silenced with lawsuits. I find that when people go running to their lawyers rather than public debate it is because they nearly always have something to hide. Never trust anyone who chooses to file lawsuits rather than addressing their critics; they are hiding something. Fortunately the Streisand Effect ensures that it does not remain hidden for long.

Should the pope be arrested?

Pope Benedict XVI formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger has been implemented in the rape of children by the Catholic Church. Noted atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging the Pope for for his involvement in covering up numerous cases of children being raped by Church officials.

Should the pope be arrested for playing his part in child rape by the Catholic Church?

The lawyers believe they can ask the Crown Prosecution Service to initiate criminal proceedings against the Pope, launch their own civil action against him or refer his case to the International Criminal Court. Times Online

Nobody would get away with rape in any other organisation and the Catholic Church should be no exception. Most decent people to have the moral standing to report such matters to the authorities.; unfortunately the Pope is not one of them.

Dawkins and Hitchens believe the Pope would be unable to claim diplomatic immunity from arrest because, although his tour is categorised as a state visit, he is not the head of a state recognised by the United Nations. Times Online

I have always strongly opposed diplomatic immunity, since no civilised nation would grant criminals a free pass. But regardless it is good to know that the Pope is not eligible to even claim such special status. To me it would seem that the Pope is stuck in a very tight spot; if he travels to Britain he faces possible prosecution, and if he cancels his trip there will be much speculation as to why. Even attempting diplomatic immunity will raise the question of why he needs it if the charges are untrue.

In the case of a guilty verdict I would expect the usual barrage of bullshit excuses from true believers in particular “God forgives those who repent”. How I would love to see that excuse tried out in a court of law.

Mike Adams can't be serious; can he?

Some of you may be familiar with Mike Adams over at Those of you who aren’t soon will be. Mike Adams is into selling quack remedies and opposes Science Based Medicine. He is a believer in “Big Pharma” conspiracies and perpetuates many bogus claims himself. His newest article is titled. “If mainstream medicine really works, why are Americans so unhealthy?” I really wish I was making this up but unfortunately this is the type of crap Mike produces.

Did you ever wonder why such an alarmingly high percentage of Americans are obese, diabetic, depressed and suffering from cancer, heart disease, kidney disorders and skin problems? Now consider the fact that Americans pay more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world. Americans pay the highest prices, by far, for medications, medical imaging scans, blood work, surgeries, chemotherapy and hospital stays. And yet what does America have to show for it? The most universally diseased population in the world — and a nation on the verge of bankruptcy caused in part by mainstream medicine. –Mike Adams

It is true that Americans spend an insane amount of money of health but here Mike is confusing association with causation. While Americans may pay more for their health care there are many economical factors why this is the case. The biggest of which is their lack of unified health care. Medicine is expensive, due to the extensive research and development that goes into Science Based Medicine. All those extensive clinical trials that medicine must go though in order to prove it’s effectiveness are not cheap to perform and someone has to pay. Unfortunately in the United States there is no socialised health care and so patients must foot the bill themselves. Americans do not enjoy services such as the UK’s NHS. The fact that Americans pay more for health care is nothing more than a Red Herring. It has no relevance.

Mainstream medicine says poison is medicine (chemotherapy) while teaching people that nutrition is useless. This is the system of medicine that dismisses the value of sunlight, colon cleansing, acupuncture and juice cleansing, but it firmly believes in toxic vaccines, chemotherapy, cancer-causing mammograms and dispensing a lifetime of poisonous medications to little babies who are now being diagnosed with depression before they’re even old enough to speak! Mike Adams

Chemotherapy is a proven treatment for cancer and has had great success. It’s side affects are well documented in Medical Literature and while it is far from an ideal solution, as it makes the patient very sick and can even kill them. It has been proven to work but is used as a last resort. Doctors can sometimes cut the cancer out but when all else fails Chemotherapy may save the patients life.

Yep, out of all the hundreds of other systems of medicine practiced around the world — most of which are based on medicinal herbs and natural remedies, by the way — the arrogant, ignorant promoters of mainstream medicine have no shame standing in a room of chemo patients (most of whom are dying from the chemotherapy) and proclaiming, “This is the ONLY system of medicine in the entire world that has any merit whatsoever!Mike Adams

Really? I can’t say I’ve ever seen a Doctor do this. That sort of sales pitch belongs to the “Alternative” Medicine crowd; not real medical practitioners. But wait Mikes claims get even more bizarre.

When it comes to whether mainstream medicine really works, here are ten important “reality check” realizations to keep in mind:

#1) If mainstream medicine really worked, then drug companies wouldn’t have to commit scientific fraud to fake their clinical trials, would they? Mike Adams

I don’t know where the Alt Medders get their information from but all Scientific Journals are peer reviewed to prevent Scientific Misconduct. There was the case of Dr Andrew Wakefield falsely linking the MMR Vaccine to Autism in children but fortunately such fraud is a rarity in legitimate scientific literature and is amended when found.

#2) If mainstream medicine really worked, then doctors, drugs companies and the FDA wouldn’t be afraid of competition from nutritional supplements and natural remedies, and they wouldn’t keep trying to censor or outlaw those natural remedies. Mike Adams

So we should sit back and allow fraud to take place because it’s the consumers fault for being so ignorant? Sorry, this is such a stupid statement. I’m sure many people who read this will be able to think up a much better response than I can.

#3) If mainstream medicine really worked, drug companies would gladly test their drugs side-by-side with nutritional remedies to see what works best. –Mike Adams

Legitimate medicine has to undergo extensive clinical trials and face ruthless scientific scrutiny. Many natural remedies have never undergone clinical trials or failed the trial and nearly all of them collapse under scientific scrutiny. This is why you won’t find them in medical literature.

#4) If mainstream medicine really worked, health insurance costs would be extremely low. The only reason health insurance costs so much is because mainstream medicine doesn’t cure anybody, and patients stay sick, which costs more money to keep treating –Mike Adams

Natural remedies are cheap because they don’t work. Medicine is expensive because a huge amount of resources that goes into producing, testing and approving each drug, even the peer reviewed journals are expensive to produce and just about every publication requires a payment of some kind. Natural remedies are not peer reviewed and much of their literature is found for free, it happens to be worthless but that is at least one victory Natural Medicine has; cheap literature.

This is the furthest I can go without supplying an email address to but you can read another brilliant master piece by Mike Adams What ‘skeptics’ really believe about vaccines, medicine, consciousness and the universe and the response by Dr Steven Novella “Mike Adams Takes On “Skeptics” It does not take much to see Mike Adams for the nutjob that he is.

Theres a point to Homeopathy?

I just read a very unprofessional article titled “Pill protesters are missing the point on homeopathy” written by one Clodagh Sheehy. Of course being a news site there is little if any avenue for feedback so I will make my quick reply here.


Swallowing a pile of homeopathic pills to prove it does not work is a bit like standing in hot sun for two minutes and concluding it does not cause sunburn.

To start off this is an absurd analogy, overdosing on magic water is nothing like short term exposure to the sun. When you consume a substance it remains in your system for as long as it takes for the body to process; whereas short term exposure to the sun is just that (short exposure). If you absorb too much sun especially thousands of times more than normal you will be lucky if a sunburn is all you get. Not only is this a silly comparison but it is also an obvious false analogy.


The protesters say the remedies are just sugar pills with nothing in them — hence the overdose to prove their point. Homeopathy does not work the same way as conventional medicine and so they are not proving anything.

We know Homeopathy doesn’t have any active ingredients, and the overdose shows this. Homeopathy works as a placebo which does not work that same way as conventional medicine. Add to the fact that different medicines work differently and you can quickly see how foolish the statement “does not work the same way as conventional medicine” really is.


If homeopathy is a con involving sugar pills why does the Irish Medicines Board, the regulating body for all medicines in this country, recognise and regulate homeopathic medicines?

Why is homeopathy incorporated into mainstream medical systems in many countries including Britain, which has specialised homeopathic hospitals? Why do health insurers in this country like Quinn Healthcare and Aviva offer cover for their clients for homeopathic treatment?

Just because something is accepted it does not mean it is automatically true. For example the Earth was once thought to be flat without any evidence to suggest that it was. We all know the fate of that belief. My point is that acceptance does not prove that something it true. Most of the Scientific community will tell you that you cannot dilute a substance beyond avagadros number. Widespread acceptance does not constitute evidence you also need to backup your claims.


If they were protesting about some kind of poisonous substance or dangerous drug ruining vulnerable people’s health, their indignation would be justified, but this is not the case. If they are concerned that the public is being conned, they are insulting the intelligence of the 30 million people across Europe alone who regularly use homeopathic remedies.

Again with the bandwagon. Unfortunately those 30 million people are being conned through their own ignorance, fortunate we have skeptics to point out the fraudsters who profit by exploiting the sick.


The demonstrators argue that patients with a serious illness might shun doctors and rely instead on homeopathy. Are they suggesting that a sizeable group of Europeans, not to mention millions of others worldwide, are incapable of taking proper responsibility for their own health?

I wrote about this in my article titled “Whats the harm in Alternative Medicine?“. Unfortunately it happens to be true not only do unethical practitioners lighten their victims wallet but can also cause serious harm to innocent people who genuinely believe they are being helped.

People should listen to their Doctors who know infinity more than they do when it comes to health. Listening to the professionals is always the most sensible option. Don’t like your Doctors opinion, seek a second opinion from another Doctor just don’t listen to the snake oil salesman who is trying to sell unproven treatments.


Scientists, at one point, believed the world was flat but as their knowledge improved they realised they were wrong. It is likely that in the future, quantum physics will deliver the scientific proof for homeopathy. As a gentle system of medicine, without toxic side effects, homeo-pathy is used by thousands of Irish people for both acute and chronic conditions. No one is suggesting that it is the only system of medicine.

This is the “Ad ignorantiam” the most common Logical Fallacy used by purveyors of Woo. It basically goes “We don’t know it does not work, so it must be true” see how illogical that is?

The whole purpose of the ten23 campaign was to raise public awareness that there is Nothing in Homeopathy. We can just as easily prove this fact with Mathematics but the average layperson on the street would not understand as easily as when it is done right in front of them. The ten23 campaign was a practical demonstration that Homeopathy contains no active ingredient.

You can find out more about the ten23 event here: The 10:23 Campaign

Clodagh Sheehy also draws a poor conclusion.

Maybe instead of opening their mouths to swallow a pile of homeopathic pills, these protesters could open their minds to possibilities.

Science is open to knew ideas. Scientific knowledge is constantly advancing and moving forward with new discoveries. But all these discoveries are evidence based, you cannot just invent anything you like and expect it to be accepted. Evidence is a requirement of Science and for Homeopathy there is none.

Do Christians think life is worthless without god?

I’m sure we have all seen this common argument used by Christians to attack Atheists.

Without God in your life, you have nothing to look forward to. Atheism leads to hopelessness and despair. Life for atheists must be depressing and meaningless.

When I was in Melbourne last moth all the Atheist’s seemed very happy; especially in the pub. Hardly anyone attending the convention seemed to think that life was meaningless. In fact this argument would be better applied to a theistic world view. God does not exist so by their own “reasoning” it is their lives as Christians that are worthless and not the lives of the Atheists. Since these people choose to base their lives around the existence of a fictional being; they are the ones who cease to have a purpose when the creature they have devoted their life to is nowhere to be found. So by their own “logic” (not mine) life must be empty and meaningless. 

Now you can start to see how foolish that argument really is.

Homeopathy needs a fanbase?

Have you ever noticed how much marketing hype exists around Homeopathy?

At first I thought is was all a joke. After all we don’t have fansites for Aspirin or Antibiotics. Homeopathy even has an Awareness Week. I have been asking the Homeopathy fans to provide some proof that Homeopathy works, however no such proof seems to exist. I once posted the following in a facebook thread “Since Homeopathy is diluted far beyond avogadro’s number non of the remedies contain any active ingredient as they are just water.” To which the response was

If you are not a believer, please move on… Let the people who believe in it practise it. -Satish Kethineni

I thought this was a fairly bizarre and non-sensical answer. All I asked for was some evidence to support the claims made by Homeopathy. Since when do you hold a belief in Medicine? However the most foolish response I have seen comes from Vikas Verma who writes.

I would suggest dear fellows not to divulge in any controversy , we don’t need to prove it , it is being practised in almost 88 countries with satisfactory results . Lets do our work with full commitment and let others waste their time in analysing our work if they wish so . Lets do the best & leave the rest . -Vikas Verma

My response if perhaps a bit brash

You don’t need to prove it because the scam is successful? Do you know how stupid that sounds. The fact remains that you con-men CANNOT prove any of your claims. Quit try to make pathetic excuses for you unethical business practices. Dan Buzzard

To which Vikas Verma responds

U keep on analysing our success , we The homoeopaths will keep on moving forward and always thanks you for postive criticism .Your criticism helps us do even better .Thanks Buddy -Vikas Verma

The only success I acknowledged was their ability to defraud sick people. Did Vikas just acknowledge this. His English doesn’t seem too good; perhaps it’s a second language. So it’s difficult to 100% certain for what such a response might be implying. Even so such a response seems rather baffling, I expected him to at least provide some poor evidence for Homeopathy. Instead he claims skeptical scrutiny is somehow beneficial despite the fact that he is being exposed by it, this is a common response I get from people who are trapped in the corner without a rebuttal.

If homeopathy actually worked it would not need fans to defend it so rigorously. Real Medicine stands up to Scientific Scrutiny, it does not require a fanclub, it works. Homeopathy on the other hand does not stand up to scrutiny. It requires constant defending from fans and the frauds who use it. I invite everyone and anyone to email me with evidence that Homeopathy works and I will gladly retract all previous criticisms. 


Thanks Bronwyn; that comeback made my day.