Griffith University Skeptics and Freethinkers

Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Football and Science: Another case of NOMA?

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2010 at 10:14 AM

The most convincing argument against an intelligent designer could very well be retired Australian Football League player Gary Ablett Snr for plagiarising this diatribe. Ablett seems to be attacking everyone who does not prescribe to his belief system as immoral. Way to lead by example Gary!
I have let the ABC’s Media Watch team know that the article was plagiarised so perhaps this will get allot more coverage in the mainstream media 🙂

Jayson D Cooke


Updated statement of Aims and Goals 2010

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2010 at 10:54 PM

The Griffith University Society of Skeptics and Freethinkers has been an affiliate of Griffith University Gold Coast campus since the 7th of August 2007 and is now also operating on our Nathan and Mt Gravatt campuses.
Our aims are:

To educate and share skills and information in critical thinking and scientific skepticism.

To investigate and explain claims of the paranormal scientifically.

To create a community for skeptics, freethinkers and anyone and everyone with a rational and/or curious world view.

To further the acceptance and application of science, reason, and critical thinking in all areas of human endeavour.

In fulfilment of these aims we pursue various goals:

• Advance the public understanding and appreciation of science and reason.

• Exploring pseudoscience topics, paranormal beliefs and the supernatural from a scientific perspective.

• Engage in scientific investigation and journalistic research to investigate claims and where possible, draw public attention to the results from a natural, scientific perspective.

• Be constantly vigilant of the ethical consequences of skepticism and aware that people hold their beliefs and opinions sacred. We aim to educate, not coerce, understand rather than ridicule and we are open to anyone and everyone, the more the merrier!

Just last week we were featured in an A Current Affair investigation of “faith healer” John Mellor and are seeking to expand on this by providing information and resources to media outlets on request as well as providing resources with each talk or article detailing what the public can do about it, i.e. which regulatory board may be able to help( I just received a lovely reply email from ABC’s Media watch thanking me for referring them to Gary Abblett Snrs recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald) .

As well as this we strive to have representatives at every creationist talk, every psychic fair and at every health and/or wellbeing expo to ask the right questions at the right times and do what we can to sort the facts from the opinions dressed as facts. We will also inform all members of any lectures or events that might be of interest on educational terms outside the confines of skepticism but are fascinating examples of human endeveour. In this regard we will be promoting the events of the Briscience Talks as well as every QSkeptics talk via our Blog, facebook and Meetup group.

We will be holding very regular meetings, workshops on critical thinking, skeptics in the pub events and much more as well as continuing to host and promote as many great events as we can!
Since forming our group, members have been fortunate enough to attend talks by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Dr Michael Shermer, Professor Ian Frazer, Dr Jay Browning, Professor Richard Dawkins, Professor K. Barry Sharpless, Professor Bill Phillips, Professor Alister McGrath, Professor Harry Messell, Richard Saunders begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Peter Booth, Margaret Kitson, Dr Norman Doidge, Professor Matt Trau and many more, but we have plenty left still to come so join today to make sure you don’t miss out!

Jayson D Cooke
Founder and acting President of the GU Skeptics and Freethinkers
0432 039 122 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0432 039 122      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Biotext writing and editing courses 2010

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Biotext writing and editing courses 2010

Would you like to be able to communicate complex information clearly and accurately? Would you like to be able to use editing skills to improve your own and other people’s work?

Biotext, a leader in the field of science writing and editing, is offering the highly acclaimed Successful science writing and editing course in Brisbane and Canberra in 2010.

Cost: The cost is $480 including GST, and includes course notes, lunch, and morning and afternoon tea. A discount of 10% applies to full-time students.

Registration: Positions are limited, so please register your interest soon.
Brisbane: 20 April and 8 September
Canberra: 4 May

Workplace training: If you have a number of staff who need to improve their writing skills, Biotext can provide tailored training at your workplace for up to 15 participants.

What participants say
– Best writing course I have ever attended. Scott, Brisbane.
– Has helped immensely by providing a clear outline of what to be aware of when writing and editing. Katherine, Brisbane

Contact: If you have any questions about the course or would like a quote for workplace training, please contact Kylie Evans.

Meg Heaslop AE

Senior science information consultant  |  Biotext

14 Horan St

West End Qld 4101

PO Box 374

South Brisbane Qld 4101

p 07 3844 4004  |  f 07 3846 7144


skype biotext.meg

Biotext is a science information company offering research, writing and editing services, specialising in health, agriculture and environment.

The biggest disappearance since Harold Hold???

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Hi everyone! I thought I perhaps owed an explanation for my seemingly mysterious disappearance, despite my having no doubts whatsoever that any rumored explanation would be entirely rational in nature 🙂

When last most of you saw/heard from me I was ridiculously over loaded with responsibilities not limited to parenting and working, studying etc and when the work and shared custody situation etc got more complicated, my studies and this group suddenly went from being my top priorities to a distant memory, a luxury even.

I did definitely feel like I dropped of the face of the earth, suddenly forced to use all of my time on endeavors that weren’t at all what I had enjoyed and that seemed hopeless for a long time.

Anyway that all (for the most part) is behind me and things have improved more dramatically than anything Shakespeare (or Francis Bacon?) ever came up with. With ongoing mediation finally started my parenting responsibilities are in tact and I’m no longer at risk of losing access to my daughter (which was threatened by her mother but it turns out was never legally possible…phew). The Friday before this semester started I enrolled in this semester and consequently am back at Griffith, back working towards my Bachelor of Psychological Science and back at the Gold Coast campus (three days a week)!

I’m split between the Nathan and Mt Gravatt campuses on Mondays and Tuesdays, then here on the Coast for the rest of the week. I’m finally taking Martin Bridgstock’s class at Nathan, “Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal” and not surprisingly am really enjoying it! I’m writing a paper on “Can Education solve the “Problem” of widespread paranormal belief” which is my seminar topic I’ll publish it after its marked etc. My research so far has found some really interesting and unexpected implications.

Anyway I really just wanted to let you all know I’m ok, and let you all know you are very much appreciated and well done for everything that has been accomplished in my absence! Kylie Sturgess has a new podcast which is awesome! The Skeptic Zone is still great and betters every episode! There are heaps of new podcasts which are all great and well worth listening to if your even slightly interested and no, I STILL don’t have an iPod…
It seems Atheism was this months buzz word which has led to some interesting conversations. Oh and a huge thank you thank you, thank you to Steph Gilmore for taking over the on-campus duties of the GUSSF, not easy is it,? But you survived so well done and I really, really appreciate it and I’m sure everyone else does as well. Unfortunately/fortunately I’ve finally figured out that I have great difficulty doing things by halves and my time is greatly taken up by my responsibilities to my family and my studies, not leaving enough time /energy to fully participate in group activities this semester. Saying that, I’d be happy to help out if anyone wants to take over this semester and carry the group for a couple of months. At this stage I can definitely take place in off campus stuff, just when I’m on campus I really have to be studying this semester.

However if we all want to make the most of this break to come back bigger and better than ever next semester then that’s great news to me! I would love to get everything started up again next semester, it’s really just a matter of whether anyone wants any activities this semester It’s a trade off for future skepticism, but definitely a worthwhile one so let me know your thoughts, preferences and such. Next semester I’m thinking of starting a few different and fun as on campus activities but I can definitely not do it alone so I’m going to need all the help I can get. If anyone thinks this group is a worthwhile enterprise let me know, and just as importantly let other people know. Spread the word, diversify the audience and so on and so forth Anyway thank you for reading my waffling, I’ll try to post here weekly at the most and hope I’m not the only one 😀

Jayson D Cooke