Tag Archives: skepticism

Convergence 2011

Convergence 2011

We just got back from Convergence,
the biggest of the local SF cons. We have been going there for some years,
including 2010,
2009 , 2008,
2007 and

We actually did the full four days of the Con, staying over Thursday night as well as Friday and Saturday.
We need to be training for Worldcon in Chicago next year :-)> It was a good time for us. carpe_noctum_93
was able to join us Friday and Saturday in the early evening. Our son J was sick Thursday, but joined us on


What Vaccine Refusal Really Costs

Measles in Arizona

We can argue endlessly, and do, about people who refuse vaccination for themselves or their children. Under law, they have the right to take that risk. But what this Arizona outbreak makes clear is how many more people are forced to assume that risk without being consulted: not only the infants, elderly and immune-compromised among those 8,321 people exposed in this outbreak, but the hospital shareholders and taxpayers who paid the bill for it to be contained. Until we start counting up those costs as well, we won’t achieve an honest accounting of vaccine refusal’s true price.

How to argue with Birthers

From the Skeptical Teacher.

Now, if you are confronted by a birther and there is no way to avoid the conversation with them, how should you engage them? I have one piece of advice on this, and — thus far — it has never failed me. Tell them that in order for them to have a valid opinion on the issue of President Obama’s citizenship, they must first prove, using their own standards of evidence, their own status as a natural born U.S. citizen. In short, they must provide to you the following:

  1. Their original birth certificate.
  2. A newspaper clipping that highlights their birth.
  3. Records proving that their mother was present in America at the time of birth.
  4. Investigations from multiple fact-checking organizations that have held the documents with their own hands to verify that the documents from #1-3 exist and are authentic.
  5. A press release by at least two officials within the state of birth, verifying that these records are on file.

After the birther has provided said evidence, which seems to sum up the current standard of evidence which they demand that President Obama provide, then tell them they can go on and spin their claims all they want.