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Last update: 2011-02-09

Defaulting to ignorance: What Bill O’Reilly and the Insane Clown Posse have in common

2011-02-09 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 154 Bill O’Reilly is a conservative political commentator who is best known for his TV show “The O’Reilly Factor” and its many associated books. Recently, he got into some hot water over comments he made about life, the universe and everything. This is the quote you’ll hear often regarding this [...]…

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The League of Scientists reviews from skeptic celebrities

2011-02-06 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 153 League of Scientists book reviews – the reviewers and you Many of you remember my associated project – “The League of Scientists” – a book series that stars a bunch of science geeks who use skepticism and critical thinking to solve seemingly-supernatural mysteries. Multiple people now have compared it [...]…

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The myth of military testing standards

2011-01-23 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 152 [Pretend you're hearing a bunch of click-clacky gun-loading noises right now. Shotguns being loaded, pistol slides being racked, ammo cartridges being slammed into place.] Anyone who’s seen a shoot-em-up Hollywood movie in the last 60 years knows: That is the sound of Awesome. You’ve got the sound of heavy [...]…

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Skeptical parenting: Critical thinking around the family dinner table

2010-11-21 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 17s

By Celestia Ward Article ID: 1414 Is skeptical fun possible with children? I have heard this question voiced by people who think childhood must be a sacred place, populated with Easter bunnies, unicorns, lollipops, Santa, fairies, dragons, and a complete lack of critical thinking. Basic rationality is the apple in that childhood garden of Eden, [...]…

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The Veil of Ignorance: Don’t confuse tools with the buildings they create

2010-08-13 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Navin Kumar Article ID: 1413 The “veil of ignorance” is a thought experiment: Imagine you have to design a society. You have to decide if slavery will be permitted or not. Are women supposed to stay at home? Are they allowed to work? Or must they do a bit of both? How high are income [...]…

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Research methods: How to find answers

2010-07-21 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 10s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1412 Here’s how you can research the answer to (almost) any question you can think of, and how you can be reasonably certain that the answer is correct. All research begins with questions. Researching a topic means you need to know more about it, which means that there is something you [...]…

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The myth of computer security

2010-05-31 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 14s

by Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1411 “The computer: an extension of the human intellect. …soon, the ultimate tool will become the ultimate enemy.” - Tron (1982) Greetings, programs! Let me tell you about a myth, a story, a fable that’s been concocted and perpetuated by certain groups in the media. It’s a story about how [...]…

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How to have an out-of-body experience

2010-04-17 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

by Kevin Bridges Article ID: 1410 What do you think of when you hear the words “out of body experience”? Perhaps you imagine an ill-fated victim of a car accident, a spirit floating inside an ambulance looking down at EMTs as they try frantically to revive his broken, unconscious body. Explore the wilds of the [...]…

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The League of Scientists officially knows a famous person

2010-03-28 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 149 You remember the book I’m writing, right? It’s “The League of Scientists”, about a group of science geeks who investigate supposedly supernatural mysteries. Well, the book publication process is moving along – we’re now in the final stages of proofing, finalizing the internal artwork, planning advertising, and I’ve also started [...]…

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What it means to be “Scientifically Proven”

2010-03-14 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 16s

by Nick Josh Karean from Science, Reason & Rationality Article ID: 148 “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” - Carl Sagan, American Scientist (1934-1996) How many times have you heard someone claim that their products, theories or beliefs are “Scientifically [...]…

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Anti-euthanasia… for the podcast

2010-03-02 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 4s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 147 Hi everyone, Andy Kaiser here. Okay, okay, okay! I hear you! I hear you… and you, and you and you and – don’t think I forgot – you! I wrote the previous podcast intending to stop publication of the podcast itself. And, well… I’ll just skip the detail and get [...]…

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Digital Bits Skeptic evolves

2010-02-21 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 6s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 146 Hi everyone, Andy Kaiser here. I’m making some changes. I’d like to tell you about them. What’s more important, I’d like to get your opinion. There are specific things in my mind, but I’d like to develop some of the details with you. I’ve got three things to talk [...]…

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Mental percolations on “The League of Scientists”

2010-01-31 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 3s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 144 As some of you know, I’m writing the first book in what will hopefully be a young adult mystery series called “The League of Scientists“. It takes place in the “real world” – it’s not fantasy or science fiction. It’s about the adventures of friends who use critical thinking and [...]…

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Modern-day miracles

2010-01-24 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 18s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 143 Can miracles occur today? Let’s look at the evidence by examining three kinds of miracles: One type is “Marian apparitions”. Another is the spontaneous remission of cancer, in which malignant tumors reduce or disappear, and can’t be attributed to any standard medical treatment. The final type is what I call [...]…

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Five habits of the skeptical mind

2010-01-17 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 142 In my journey of skeptical thinking, I have gradually realized the quirks in human thinking that so often lead me astray. I want to share these habits of good skepticism so others may have a better chance of finding truth. 1) Your belief will not change reality I have noticed [...]…

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Mistakes God made: Where is the Mongoose of Truth?

2010-01-10 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 10s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 141 imagine the Creation of the Universe watch a true God in His Act Of First Creation time is forever and never space is an infinite pinprick there is nothing except One who is Alpha and Omega the Creator gathers to Himself energy in an effortless collection of All That Will Be [...]…

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2009 Year in review: Authors, articles, 2010, and Muppets

2009-12-27 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 9s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1350 2009 has been an interesting year for skeptics. Our skeptical partners-in-crime are busier than ever: late in 2008, Phil Plait took over as president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, but after a presidency lasting about a year, Phil passed on the reigns to D.J. Grothe. The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe [...]…

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Advanced apologizing: Proof of the existence of God

2009-12-20 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1349 Let’s examine the evidence for a god’s existence. Some arguments are well-known and very well covered, like the Problem of Evil, the First Cause Argument, the Argument from Design. Instead, let’s look at four lesser-known, overlooked oddities. Welcome to the strange world of religious apologizing. 1) “The common consent to God” [...]…

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Water on the moon

2009-12-13 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1348 On October 9, 2009, NASA’s LCROSS mission (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) slammed a “Centaur” rocket into the moon, into a dark, ancient crater named “Cabeus”. After a silent explosion of moon guts, the rocket was destroyed. The resulting ejecta was huge, measuring six miles across. NASA then surveyed that [...]…

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Facilitated communication and Rom Houben

2009-12-06 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Sandra L Hubscher Article ID: 1347 Editor’s note: The author submitted this article with the following private message. It’s important enough that, with the author’s permission, I’m posting it here: “I enjoyed writing this article in that I enjoy writing, but other than that, really I hated it. The subject is so irredeemably sad, and [...]…

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A review of “On the Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin

2009-11-22 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 12s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1346 I have just finished reading what is now one of my favorite books. At the time of this writing, it was published precisely 150 years ago. Ever since, it’s been a brilliant, revolutionary, and even dangerous work. The book I read is “On the Origin of Species by Means of [...]…

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The Flight of Dragons movie: Magic versus science

2009-11-15 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 18s

Editor’s note #1: This article contains spoilers about The Flight of Dragons movie. Editor’s note #2: This article uses many audio clips from The Flight of Dragons. To fully appreciate this article, listen to the podcast or use the above audio player. By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1345 “Look down there, Gorbash my friend. On that [...]…

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The League of Scientists

2009-11-08 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 4s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1344 Hi everyone, Andy Kaiser here. The majority of people who visit Digital Bits Skeptic are – you’ll be shocked to know – mostly skeptics. Many of us here have related interests in critical thinking, in science, and in wondering about how the world works. This is just a guess, but [...]…

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IEDs and the futility of increased armor

2009-11-01 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 9s

By James Lochbaum Article ID: 1343 For the United States, there is probably no other weapon as symbolic of today’s conflicts as the Improvised Explosive Device, or IED. Up until 2007, IEDs were responsible for 63% of U.S. casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom (1).  They have also been implemented by belligerents in Afghanistan, a place [...]…

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Enemies closer: Why we should relocate terror suspects to the United States

2009-10-25 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By James Lochbaum Article ID: 1342 Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is a Naval base established at the end of the Spanish-American War. It has since become a sort of frontier outpost in a country that, while not openly hostile, is certainly not friendly.  Bagram Air Base is a lifeline between the United States and its far-flung [...]…

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What is faith?

2009-10-18 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 6s

by Jeff Kilroy Article ID: 1341 I attempt to have rational arguments with theists about their beliefs. I really do. Unfortunately, it seems that every time I present an argument that almost makes me shout “Checkmate!”, I get the dismissive reply of “You just need faith,” or “This is just MY faith”. In most religions [...]…

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What’s the real value of a college education?

2009-10-11 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By David Annis Article ID: 1340 Today I heard an advertisement on the radio urging me to go back to college.  “College graduates make a million dollars more over a lifetime,” the advertisement said. It directed me to a website where I could find a college to attend.  South Dakota State University has a page that [...]…

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Hidden dangers with ibuprofin, Motrin and flu treatment

2009-10-03 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 12s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1339 Let me tell you about an adventure my family had a few weeks ago. I should also say that I’m not a doctor, and nothing you read here is official medical advice. This is my understanding of what happened in this specific case. I have to lead with this [...]…

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Modeling population and technology: Why haven’t you starved to death?

2009-09-24 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Navin Kumar Article ID: 1338 Of all the interesting, insightful models produced in the last two or three hundred years of economics existence (I’m not including the models of financial markets: those are neither interesting nor insightful) few have achieved more long-range influence than the population model of Thomas Malthus. The model (and the idea [...]…

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Global warming and climate change: Why they’re so hard to get right

2009-09-20 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Navin Kumar Article ID: 1337 1.8 trillion US dollars. That’s the cost that Climate Change will inflict upon the United States by 2100 . But there is a problem with the 2008 NRDC report that generated this figure: it’s based on 2008 technology. One of the oldest problems facing long-term forecasters is that no one [...]…

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Pagan parallels to Jesus: the forgotten sons of God

2009-09-13 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 18s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1336 “And when we say also that… [Jesus] was produced without sexual union, and that He… was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.” “…And if we even affirm that He was [...]…

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Episode 100: Big round numbers, false modesty and a big, false interview with James Randi

2009-09-06 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 9s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1335 This is it, everyone! Digital Bits Skeptic episode 100! And to start things off, I’d like to make the following point: A 100th episode means nothing. That’s right – I’m going to be skeptical about myself. About Digital Bits Skeptic. About big round numbers.  What does 100 mean to me?  [...]…

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Jesus’ resurrection and mass hallucinations

2009-08-16 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 15s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1334 Abstract: This article is a rebuttal to Gary Habermas, who defends the Jesus’ resurrection appearances against the hypothesis that these appearances were simply hallucinations.  A plausible natural explanation of the facts concerning the origin of Christianity is presented and compared to the traditional Christian explanation (that Jesus was raised from [...]…

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Synchronicities and “the odds”

2009-08-02 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

by Kevin Bridges Article ID: 1333 A synchronicity is another word for coincidence.  The difference between the two is that, with a synchronicity, there is more to the event than mere coincidence.  Events in a synchronicity are said to be a part of a deeper framework. Everyone who uses this word has their own share [...]…

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Andy Kaiser interviewed by “Warning: Radio”

2009-07-25 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 3s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1332 Hi everyone, Andy Kaiser here. I’m interrupting the normal podcast with a public service announcement. And by “public”, I mean “Digital Bits Skeptic”. And by “service announcement”, I mean, “shameless self-promotion, though I honestly think you might be interested”. I’ve been interviewed by our skeptical friends at “Warning: Radio“. Done [...]…

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Ice cubes, cornflakes, inflation and what caused the sub-prime lending crisis: Why theories are so hard to get right

2009-07-19 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By Navin Kumar Article ID: 1331 The Phillips Curve is possibly the biggest blow-up in economics that ever happened. Economists – and just about every class of social scientists – are frequently (and rightly) accused of being so infatuated with a theory, that they ignore data if it doesn’t fit in with their model. The Phillips [...]…

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In defense of Oprah Winfrey

2009-07-12 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 9s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1330 Oprah Winfrey was nothing more to me than an unseen TV show. I knew she was there, but never wanted to watch. Why would I? Her show was usually about clothes and cooking and redecorating and various “women’s issues” that I just didn’t care about. I didn’t have time for [...]…

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How to be a fakir

2009-07-05 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 12s

By M Parrott Article ID: 1329 In a previous article, I covered “How to be a psychic“, telling how to recreate common psychic supernatural abilities. But there are more important problems in the world. Not a politician’s expense claims, but fakirs. Fakirs convert people to religions by performing supposed miracles that people assume would otherwise be [...]…

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Was life on Earth an alien creation? A critical look at “directed panspermia”

2009-06-28 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 9s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1328 Life may have been the result of intelligent aliens sending bacterium to Earth. This theory is called “directed panspermia”. It was proposed thirty-five years ago by Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, and Leslie Orgel, a highly respected British chemist. I found the original paper they published. Here I examine it [...]…

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Can safety regulations kill you? How safe are seatbelts and seatbelt laws?

2009-06-21 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 9s

By Navin Kumar Article ID: 1327 Seatbelts save lives, right? They secure people to the vehicle so that if an accident occurs, passengers are prevented from being thrown around and hitting interiors of the car and breaking their necks. They prevent passengers from crashing into each other or being thrown out of the car. Given [...]…

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The ideomotor effect

2009-06-12 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By M Parrott Article ID: 1326 The ideomotor effect is a psychological accident that spans many new age traditions, séances, and other “woo-woo” practises. I must emphasise that these practises aren’t faked intentionally. People delude themselves into believing they are true. Examples of the ideomotor effect cover a wide range of supernatural games, from Victorian-era séances [...]…

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Answers to objections about atheism and evolution

2009-06-07 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By David Annis Article ID: 1325 Atheism and evolution are two topics that I write about and discuss with my religious friends. I encounter the same objections for both. Repeatedly. Myth: “If you do not believe in God, you have no basis for morality.  Anything is permissible.” I can and do have a system of [...]…

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“Death from the Skies!” promotion is ended

2009-05-31 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 5s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1324 Thanks to everyone who contributed to the “Death from the Skies!” promotion. Per my request, you DID generously help me to run out of supplies! Sadly, all the books are gone – there’s no more to give out – but you can still purchase “Death from the Skies!” at this [...]…

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Lotteries: A sucker’s game or a rational choice?

2009-05-31 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By David Annis Article ID: 1323 I enjoy playing the lottery. But I often hear it described as a tax on those who can’t calculate the odds.  I think that view is wrong for four reasons. The first reason that the lottery is worth paying money for is because of the highly positive-skewed outcome. The premise [...]…

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Evolution, the genetic code, and ‘message theory’: A response to Walter Remine

2009-05-24 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 17s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1322 [Editor's note: This article and its comments are here in entirety, but a continuing response by the author can be found at this link.] This article is a response to a blog post at Uncommon Descent by Walter Remine[1]. I will begin by quoting part of his essay: “Life is [...]…

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The meaning of life (and podcasting)

2009-05-17 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1321 I have no idea how I first started listening to the deò’s Shadow podcast. But there I was. A skeptic. A secular humanist. An atheist. And I was listening to and enjoying a podcast that targeted pagans. Pagans! Nature-communing, naked-fire-dancing, tarot-card-reading, Winter Solstice-celebrating pagans! Many pagans believe in multiple gods [...]…

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The swine flu crisis

2009-05-10 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 15s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1320 The news lately has been buzzing about the swine flu. Excuse me, I mean the “H1N1 virus”. Or the “2009 H1N1 influenza virus”. Or the “H1N1 swine flu”. You know what? I’m going to forego the medical designation and just call it “the swine flu”. It’s less technical yet more [...]…

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Anti-depressants and the placebo effect

2009-05-03 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 6s

By M Parrott Article ID: 1319 It’s a growing trend to believe that a pill can cure anything. Any aches, any pains, any sores. It’s a big reason why people are still looking for a pill to make you thin. While I think we have become far too reliant on pills, I’m not saying to scrap [...]…

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Problems with prophecy from the Bible and Koran

2009-04-26 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 10s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1318 Most world religions, especially the Abrahamic faiths, promote the idea that God has spoken to man in the past and present. If they are right, we should find strong evidence that future knowledge was handed down to man in the form of prophecy. God may also have spoken scientific facts [...]…

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The Drake Equation

2009-04-19 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 13s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1317 I’m about to prove to you that aliens exist. I’m talking space aliens. Whether they’re the traditional Little Green Men, bug-eyed monsters, or something incomprehensible to the human mind, they exist, they’re intelligent, and they’re trying to find us. I’m going to prove this to you by using the most [...]…

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Trading my fingers for aliens

2009-04-12 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By Nick Farrantello Article ID: 1316 I don’t believe in anything. UFOs, Bigfoot, ESP, the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts, you name it.  In my mind it’s all a bunch of hooey.  Despite that, I still consider myself very open-minded.   The reason for this is nothing revolutionary.  It’s a reason that other skeptics cite as to [...]…

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Sugar, acid and teeth

2009-04-05 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 17s

By Andy Kaiser Expert analysis by Diane Johnson Article ID: 1315 I like to multitask. When I listen to other podcasts, I’m not simply staring at my computer speaker or glazing over as my headphones talk to me. I do other things. I browse the web. I drive my car. I may eat, and, as what [...]…

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How to be a psychic

2009-03-29 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By M Parrott Article ID: 1314 It is my belief that self-proclaimed psychic Uri Gellar has been deluding people for several decades by bending spoons, stopping watches, changing the movement of compasses and making predictions as to what is on a piece of paper. I am a magician and I can replicate each one of these. [...]…

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A shocking lesson in human nature

2009-03-22 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 6s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1313 Hi everyone, this is Andy Kaiser. I’d like to share an interesting experience. I have a unique perspective on the Digital Bits Skeptic website, because I’m the administrator. I edit and post all articles. Some of those I write myself, and my articles interest me, no matter how odd they [...]…

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A critical examination of the Kalam Cosmological Argument

2009-03-15 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 10s

By Nicholas Covington Article ID: 1312 The Kalam Cosmological Argument was popularized by the Christian philosopher William Lane Craig, and it has become the most widely discussed argument for God’s existence in contemporary philosophy[1]. These three points make up the Kalam: 1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. 2. The universe began to [...]…

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Bless me father, for I have sneezed

2009-03-08 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 6s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1311 “Oh, excuse me.” …and that’s all that should have to happen. Yet, in the United States, if I sneeze, someone around me will inevitably say, “God bless you.” Sometimes they leave out the “god”, and you get the more concise and cooler, “bless you”. I’d like to know: what exactly [...]…

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Spontaneous human combustion and “the wick effect”

2009-02-28 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1310 Imagine you’re sitting at home on your favorite overstuffed armchair. You sink down in the stuffing and relax. You’ve got a cigarette in one hand, a drink in the other. You smoke and drink. You’re sleepy, and the lazy trail of cigarette smoke is a gentle hypnosis. It lulls you [...]…

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Anti-Republican sentiment – and not Barack Obama – gave the Democrats the Presidency

2009-02-22 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 6s

By Navin Kumar Article ID: 139 Barack Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. He won by an impressive margin. But a question is worth asking: why did he win? Finding the cause is an unusually difficult task: people are emotionally invested in Obama and really, really want to believe [...]…

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Orgone chips review: New Age tech versus the scientific method

2009-02-14 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 17s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 138 Orgone is a magical energy force that’s inside and outside our bodies. You can think of orgone as the Chinese culture’s “chi” or any generic “life force energy”. It permeates us and everything around us. Using special devices that manipulate orgone energies can change your life for the better. What [...]…

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The skinny on the Body Mass Index (BMI)

2009-02-08 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 6s

By M Parrott Article ID: 137 Round up a group of ten-year-old children. Put each one on a scale. One third of those children are overweight. Expand your view, and you’ll see that 23% of school children are overweight. So says the British government. They also state that within four years, one out of three adults [...]…

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Why pick on religion? Why religion matters to the non-religious

2009-01-31 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 5s

Author’s note: This article was written in response to reader comments from article ID 1237: “If you can’t prove God doesn’t exist, why not believe?“ By David Annis Article ID: 136 I have been asked why I bother trying to convince people that the God they choose to believe in does not exist.  There are many [...]…

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Put your money where my mouth was

2009-01-26 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 4s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 135 Hi everyone, Andy Kaiser here. I’ll make this short and hopefully sweet: Digital Bits Skeptic loses money. This is okay – and planned for – because it’s a labor of love. But for obvious reasons, I’d rather pay as little out of pocket as possible. Long-term plans are to make [...]…

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Religious misconceptions are in the details

2009-01-25 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By M Parrott Article ID: 134 This article, instead of a long essay, is a series of short blurbs about religious misconceptions. I’ll be honest; I don’t believe any of this. I’m not a religious man. But it is important to know what you don’t believe. Or know what you do believe if you are religious. [...]…

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DRM is failure in action

2009-01-18 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 8s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 133 I was born in 1975. The media of my childhood consisted of cassette tapes and VHS tapes. Only years later did I get to play with CDs and DVDs. I was also born during that magical time when one could still find a functioning 8-track cassette player, or cumbersome 8-inch [...]…

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Getting dirty with bacteria panic and unjustified sterilization

2009-01-10 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 5s

By David Annis Article ID: 132 Recently I was watching The Today Show.  During one segment, they cultured swabs from what looked like clean kitchens and bathrooms.  I watched as they swabbed sinks, microwave ovens, and toilets.  Imagine my shock when they found all sorts of bacteria.  I was even more horrified when I found out [...]…

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A Fire Officer’s Guide to Disaster Control: An expert works outside his expertise, and is attacked by UFOs

2009-01-04 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 11s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 131 The Fire Officer’s Guide to Disaster Control is a massive, 600-plus page book detailing various emergency scenarios and how to respond to them. As the Fire Department is the first service to arrive at many emergency situations, the book is a quality guide for crisis response and management. It’s co-authored [...]…

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2008 Year in Review: Authors, articles, statistics and planning for 2009

2008-12-28 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 15s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1266 So how was 2008 for Digital Bits Skeptic? You tell me. But first, let me start you off with some helpful information (be sure to listen to the podcast for more information than what you see below): Authors and Articles In 2008, Digital Bits Skeptic published 65 articles from [...]…

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In defense of murderous humans: Animals at steak

2008-12-21 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 5s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1265 “Puppies.” Even the word is cute. With just a few very oddball exceptions, you’d agree with me that puppies are adorable. But at what point do people stop using the term “man’s best friend”, and start saying “pass the salt”? I’m talking about the inherent differences between humans and every other [...]…

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Christmas traditions revealed

2008-12-14 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 13s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1264 It’s the middle of December. In the northeast United States, snow blankets our houses, and ice and slush cover our roads. People curse and sweat as they shovel and salt and sand, all futile attempts to keep the frozen pestilence at bay. Our economy is sinking with the inevitably of the [...]…

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Funny underused crude knowledge: A vulgar examination of profanity

2008-12-07 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By M Parrott Article ID: 1263 [An editor's note to parents and teachers: This article contains words considered offensive to a large portion of the sixteenth century English-speaking world. Proceed with caution.] Profanity is an interesting subject, particularly in today’s over-sensitive culture. Some say that profanity is a big problem. They claim it can ruin a [...]…

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Party politics and the false dilemma logical fallacy

2008-11-30 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 7s

By Joshua Walker Article ID: 1262 I’m an American. Just a few weeks ago, the United States elected a new President for 2009. This is the first election that I decided to forgo party politics – I voted for the person I think was best for the job. I voted based upon my political principles, [...]…

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A skeptical analysis of “There are no atheists in foxholes”

2008-11-23 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 10s

By Navin Kumar Article ID: 1261 The phrase “there are no atheists in foxholes” has been around for a long time. It’s used with phrases like “there are no atheists in a crashing plane” or “there are no libertarians during a financial crisis”. It’s a way of saying that even those who claim to be very [...]…

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More original versions of classic fairy tales

2008-11-16 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 25s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1260 [This article is a companion piece to "Original meanings of classic fairy tales".] Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he live, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread. It’s a cool speech. But when you think about its literal meaning [...]…

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The God confusion

2008-11-09 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 10s

by Science, Reason & Rationality Article ID: 1259 “It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men.” ~ Carl Sagan Hello. My name is God, and I am an atheist. I don’t believe in gods because there are no gods who created me [...]…

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Evolutionary science and creationism: A skeptical response to Duane Gish’s “Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics”

2008-11-01 :: Andy Kaiser
Length: 21s

By Matthew Green Article ID: 1258 Controversy over creation and evolution persists. For most secularists, the battle was won long ago. It began with the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species and the ensuing debates between Darwin’s defenders and his opponents. Creationism persists today for a simple reason: fundamentalism persists today. Creationism is nothing more than [...]…

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Original versions of classic fairy tales

2008-10-27
Length: 15m 13s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1257 - [This article is a companion piece to "More original meanings of classic fairy tales".] "Oh Grandmother, what big ears you have!" "All the better to hear you with, my dear." "Oh Grandmother, what big eyes you have!…

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Political science and skepticism: Politics needs critical thought

2008-10-20
Length: 8m 59s

By Jason Y Article ID: 1256 - When someone thinks of the word "skeptic" or thinks about the movement in general, they get ideas about exposing Bigfoot hunters and cracking down on pseudoscience.  Although issues like these are a part of the skepticism ...…

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The undecided voter: An appeal to rational voting

2008-10-15
Length: 7m 45s

By Andy Kaiser Article ID: 1255 - Approximately one month from the writing of this article, the United States is going to have a major election. We're getting a new President! And the campaigns on all sides have overspent and probably overpromised.…

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Where meat meets metal: How acupuncture works. Or doesn’t.

2008-10-11
Length: 8m 23s

By Thomas Gentry Article ID: 1254 - Right down the road from my house, there's a store selling and promoting homeopathy and acupuncture. I've spent a couple dozen hours collecting information about the place and what it sells so that I can give an accu...…

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