15 June, 2011

Altruistic ape

In case anyone thinks that altruism is only a human trait, watch how the orangutan in the below video saves a small duck from drowning. The video was shot in 2008 in Dublin Zoo but has only recently appeared on the internet.

Since humans share a common ancestor with other apes, it makes sense that we should find supposedly 'human traits' in orangutans, chimpanzees and gorillas (and we do). But what sense does this make in a Creationist worldview?


Edit: A copyright row has emerged from the above video going viral. It seems that the Daily Mail bought the clip from News Team International, and not from the original cameraman who actually owns the copyright. He'll surely get a nice few quid out of it now.


08 June, 2011

Psychic wastes police time, as usual

It turns out there was no mass grave in Texas. Of course, the police had no choice. They have to follow up a 'lead' when it involves the possible murder of children, because if they don't and it turns out to be true, then there will be a massive public outcry. But I wonder, has a psychic ever actually been shown to have provided a significant case-solving piece of information?

No, according to this article:

What appears to be most annoying to police officers is that when crimes happen—especially high-profile crimes—psychics call in offering information—sometimes hundreds of them. Regardless of whether the information is even acknowledged, the psychic claims that the police consulted him or her on that case. This appears to have been the MO of more than a few famous psychics, whose cases numbered into the hundreds and thousands. How many they actually worked on, let alone were invited into, is anyone's guess.

Often on any given case, no two psychics agree, so which one is to be believed? Even if one is singled out, the information that psychics give is typically too vague and impressionistic to narrow down the field of search, and it looks impressive only in retrospect.

Joe Nickell asks psychics to step forward and solve the great mysteries, such as where is Jimmy Hoffa? Or who killed JonBenet Ramsey? So far, psychics have tried but none has succeeded.

Says debunker Gary Posner, who criticizes the lack of controlled studies of paranormal phenomena, "There has not been a single iron-clad case, bulletproof case that has been convincing."

In addition, no psychic has ever stepped forward to try for the million-dollar reward that James Randi's educational foundation offers (nor any other financial award from other agencies) for proving their psychic powers in controlled conditions. This certainly baffles the average person.

Thus far, a psychic's reliability for law enforcement has not been established. Anecdotal information is sometimes impressive and even surprising, but nothing can be concluded about using psychics as resources in solving a crime.


01 June, 2011

Obama leaves his mark on Ireland


In case you hadn't heard, Obama's indestructible, missile-proof, bullet-proof super car, nicknamed the 'Beast', met its match in the form of the ramp outside the US embassy in Dublin. Check the video below to see the beached Beast:

Well, I happen to walk past the very spot it happened every day, so I took some photos (click to enlarge)...

And a close up of Obama's mark...

Ha ha!!