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Too much credit February 21, 2011

Posted by Ian in Religion, Science.

Science is often given far too much credit for offering understanding of the world.  What science is very good at is describing the world we see around us in almost incomprehensible detail and while we have a long way to go to fully describing it, we have done a very good job of this so far and science should, in my view, be regarded as the systematic method we have adopted for managing this process.  If you want to know how things are, ask science. (more…)


Rights and Insults September 9, 2010

Posted by Ian in Morality, Skepticism.

I’m way overdue to write something on the blog so here is a little rant about rights and insults that’s been circulating in my mind the last few days.

One thing that I find myself differing with a lot of fellow skeptics and atheists is notions of rights and insults.  A lot of this has come out of the discussions about the proposed mosque at ground zero but it seems to me skeptics have a blindspot when it comes to talking about rights to free speech, rights to avoid harm, rights to shelter and so forth. (more…)

Skeptical Analysis of the Woolrest Biomag June 29, 2010

Posted by Ian in Pseudoscience, Skepticism.
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Just over a year ago I had an article published in the New Zealand Skeptic magazine about the Woolrest Biomag underlays.  I found the original that I submitted on my harddrive today, which is longer and more detailed than the published version.  It is an opinion piece based on my analysis and follow up of the claims made about the Woolrest Biomag on their website as of January 2009.  I have not updated it in any way other than to recheck the links from the original (and added a couple of notes in orange relating to these).  A quick look at their website suggests little has changed since January 2009.  I emailed this article to the Woolrest Biomag people twice and got no response. 


What we know June 23, 2010

Posted by Ian in Science.
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Our knowledge of the world around us comes from observing what we see around us.  These observations can be anything from noting that we happen to think about something through to specially set up  scientific experiments to observe something.  Each time we observe something new we add to our knowledge.  (more…)

Influences in the header image June 22, 2010

Posted by Ian in Miscellaneous.
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As promised earlier, a list of the people in my header image and why they are there.  The images are in no particular order in the image (I don’t think it would make sense to order them really) but they are listed below left-to-right: (more…)

Change of focus June 21, 2010

Posted by Ian in Skepticism.

Up until now I have focused this blog almost exclusively on atheism related topics despite holding a broader skeptical viewpoint of the world.  However in recent times I have found my priorities shifting towards skepticism in general and away from religious issues.  I have decided that in order keep the blog going I would be better off expanding the topic base and to talk about other skeptical topics in addition to those relating to religion. (more…)

God’s Outside the System March 1, 2010

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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A common argument defending God’s existence is that god somehow transcends the normal bounds of existence, which is to say that god exists beyond existence.  I think this argument is weak and fails in several ways. (more…)

Bus Campaign Hits NZ December 11, 2009

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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The atheist bus campaign has finally made New Zealand after it’s high profile beginnings in the UK and subsequent uptake across the US and other countries.  I am in support of the campaign in New Zealand.  Many religious opponents claim it is proselytising but it is more about bringing the debate to the surface in a country that is largely secular. 

The ad says “There is probably no god.  Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” (more…)

The Nature of Morality November 25, 2009

Posted by Ian in Morality.

Continuing on from my previous post I thought I’d offer my thoughts on the nature of morality.

Often discussions of morality focus on whether or not morality is objective or subjective but I am starting to realise this discussion is poorly framed.  We need to approach morality with a robust understanding of exactly what we are talking about and not just with vague nebulous concepts.  (more…)

Why don’t atheists kill? October 17, 2009

Posted by Ian in Morality.

Wow it has been a chaotic last 2 months!  This post has been in the back of my mind since I got back from my trip and that was a long time ago – a lot longer than I thought actually!

In this post I want to address one of the common arguments about morality against the atheistic position.