Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

by Herb Masters

Hello Science Based Thinkers and Readers,

Let’s make this 2nd week of February a week to celebrate skepticism , reason and evidence.   I say this because the second Thursday is generally the day for the Bay Area Skeptics Skeptalk.   “What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists?” is the talk this week.   If you haven’t seen Eugenie Scott speak you really owe it to yourself to catch this talk.   Yes there are many who still think evolution is wrong and the earth is only a few thousand years old and may not be spherical.

I find that I’m on a bit of a single topic binge recently.  This is because after all these years we are still faced with outbreaks of very preventable diseases.  I’m sure that some will disagree with me but, despite all of the emotions, the evidence is in.  Vaccines save lives and keep most people healthy and safe.   You may have heard of the outbreaks of measles recently.  It is truly horrible that people are unnecessarily becoming ill and worse.  There is a history of great information and misinformation about vaccines.  I’m not here to rehash it.  I only hope that reason, science, and good health practices prevail and the current outbreaks subside before too many are hurt or even die.  I will say though that the list of recommended vaccinations for a child from the CDC is pretty daunting.  (Full disclosure, I don’t have any kids!)  Here are a couple of articles that I think are worth a read including one that, depending on your perspective, you might find entertaining in a sad sort of way…  Measles: Why It’s So Deadly, And Why Vaccination Is So Vital, Vaccinations Soar by 500% in US County Where Measles Is Out of Control, how to protect an unvaccinated child

Here are a few more skeptical articles on what we put in our bodies…   The paleo diet isn’t just for cavemen, People Strongly Against GMOs Had Shakier Understanding Of Food Science, Study Finds

Of course there are plenty of opportunities to chat with scientists about many topics coming up right here in the SFBA.  Here’s a few that I think warrant your attention and maybe attendance!

  1. Food Politics 2019: Nutrition Science Under Siege  6:00 Tue  Berkeley
  2. After Dark: Chocolate  6:00 Valentine Day SF
  3. Lectures & Lasers – ‘Kevin Deer & the 12 Mistresses of the Zodiak’  6:30 Fri Oakland

Don’t forget What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists? is on Thu as well.
There are many drugs in the world but caffeine is certainly a wonderful one.  Here are two articles that any tea or coffee drinker, or soda drinker as well, may very well enjoy…  Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, the godfather of caffeine  Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge’s 3 Greatest Discoveries Are Still Around Today

I’m not a golfer at all, Bob Siederer the man behind the calendar is.  It is hard to believe that this never took off…. only 48 years ago…  Golf on the Moon   Here’s a related moon story you may have seen firsthand if you were really lucky… A meteorite hit the moon during Monday’s total lunar eclipse

Have a great week.  Learn something new.  See if you can learn something that will change your belief.  After all we are all wrong about something!

herbert a. masters III
ScienceSchmoozer and a shameless promoter of:
the SciSchmooze email list: 

“If you Google some sites about the link between vaccines and autism, you can very quickly find that Google is repeating back to you your view about whether that link exists and not what scientists know, which is that there isn’t a link between vaccines and autism. It’s a feedback loop that’s invisible. “Eli Pariser

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