Griffith University Skeptics and Freethinkers

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Preventable Measles Outbreak hits Tweed River High (my old High School).

In Helping our community., Responses to the media, Science, Uncategorized on August 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

My family still live in the Tweed Heads area where I spent my teens until I was old enough to escape to greener pastures. Although my Mother has some out there beliefs such as the reality of ghosts, psychics and varieties of magical thinking, thankfully our family are all vaccinated.

However due to the ignorance of people who maintain their ‘right’ not to vaccinate, we are all susceptible to a preventable disease that should be all but eradicated by now.

Diseases do not discriminate the informed from the ignorant, they just kill, not unlike bad ideas and persistent ignorance in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence. Combining these two blights is a sure fire recipe for needless suffering. It is completely irrelevant as to whether people ‘believe’ in the benefit of vaccinations, what matters is that they are safe, that they work, and that they save the lives of children, regardless of who their parents are, or what nonsense they happen to ‘believe’.

Jayson D Cooke

For further Info:
http://www.tweednews.com.au/story/2010/08/28/measles-tweed-disease/

http://www.tweednews.com.au/story/2010/08/28/pottsville-johnson-measles-disease/

Show your working people!!!

In GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Responses to the media, Science, Uncategorized on August 30, 2010 at 3:06 PM

If everyone possessed a rapier wit and the open mindedness to accept when they are wrong, perhaps it wouldn’t be a problem, but it’s easy to see how mocking peoples ideas to their face may be perceived as bullying to an audience and frankly who likes a bully?

It’s easy to simply mock what we know to be as absurd ideas and I’ll be the first to admit I’ve done it many times over many years but I found I got frustrated at how ineffective it all seemed when it came to encouraging others to think critically for themselves.

Personally I try very hard to not just flat out laugh at ideas and beliefs I disagree with on the outset, as the believer and audience may not appreciate that I am merely laughing at the belief, rather than believer. On a good day I encourage them to talk about what they believe, why they believe it and how those beliefs came about. It usually doesn’t take long for the ridiculousness to become readily apparent, whether to the believer or an audience. Also pointed and informed questioning tends to help that process along. I try to explain exactly what I think is wrong with their reasoning and lay out why I disagree, rather than simply disagreeing, but we all can easily slip into emotive ridicule, particularly when we’ve encountered the belief 1000 times before and are incredibly confident it’s mental!

I’m not saying do what I do or you’re a (insert trivial generalisation), or even that I’m consistent with this approach, but I try and I aim to be despite falling short on the odd occasion. However when I conciously attempt to do this I feel better and the entire interaction seems to have a better chance of fulfilling my goal of encouraging & fostering critical thought.

Jayson D Cooke

NSW Same Sex Adoption Update, (feel free to forward this).

In Helping our community., Modern Day Witchcraft, Responses to the media, Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 8:30 PM

From NSW MLC Penny Sharpe (please feel free to forward this).
“NSW Same Sex Adoption Update – so far state MPs have received 28 emails against same sex adoption. I have received 0 in favour. If you support the best interests of all children in NSW now is the time to let your MP know that you want them to support same sex adoption.”
Let your voice be heard and use this list of NSW MPs email addresses below:

R.S. Amery mountdruitt@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.T. Andrews gosford@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.J. Aplin albury@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J.J. Aquilina john.aquilina@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.J. Ashton alan.ashton@parliament.nsw.gov.au
S.L. Ayres Stuart.Ayres@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.B. Baird manly@parliament.nsw.gov.au
C.A. Baumann portstephens@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D. Beamer mulgoa@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G. Berejiklian willoughby@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.E. Besseling portmacquarie@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D.L. Borger granville@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.J. Brown kiama@parliament.nsw.gov.au
L.J. Burney linda.burney@parliament.nsw.gov.au
C.A. Burton kogarah@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D.A. Campbell keira@parliament.nsw.gov.au
S.R. Cansdell clarence@parliament.nsw.gov.au
B.J. Collier barry.collier@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.J. Constance bega@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R.D. Coombs swansea@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G. Corrigan camden@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.J. Costa wollondilly@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A. D’Amore drummoyne@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.J. Daley maroubra@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.J. Debnam peter.debnam@parliament.nsw.gov.au
V.M. Dominello ryde@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.R. Draper tamworth@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D.E. Fardell dubbo@parliament.nsw.gov.au
V.H. Firth balmain@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.R.G. Fraser coffsharbour@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R.A. Furolo robert.furolo@parliament.nsw.gov.au
T.R. Gadiel parramatta@parliament.nsw.gov.au
T. George lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.B. Gibson paul.gibson@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.J. Goward goulburn@parliament.nsw.gov.au
K.P. Greene kevin.greene@parliament.nsw.gov.au
S.E. Hancock southcoast@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D.R. Harris wyong@parliament.nsw.gov.au
C.P. Hartcher terrigal@parliament.nsw.gov.au
N. Hay wollongong@parliament.nsw.gov.au
B.R. Hazzard brad.hazzard@parliament.nsw.gov.au
K.A. Hickey kerry.hickey@parliament.nsw.gov.au
K.A. Hodgkinson burrinjuck@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J. Hopwood hornsby@parliament.nsw.gov.au
S.K. Hornery wallsend@parliament.nsw.gov.au
K.J. Humphries barwon@parliament.nsw.gov.au
V Judge strathfield@parliament.nsw.gov.au
K.K. Keneally heffron@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.J. Kerr cronulla@parliament.nsw.gov.au
N. Khoshaba smithfield@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.C. Koperberg bluemountains@parliament.nsw.gov.au
N. Lalich cabramatta@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.G. Lynch ElectorateOffice.Liverpool@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D.W. Maguire waggawagga@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.F. Martin gerard.martin@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.A. McBride TheEntrance@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.D. McDonald macquariefields@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J.L. McKay newcastle@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.E. McLeay heathcote@parliament.nsw.gov.au
L.A. McMahon shellharbour@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.P. Megarrity menai@parliament.nsw.gov.au
W.A. Merton baulkhamhills@parliament.nsw.gov.au
C. Moore sydney@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.A. Morris charlestown@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J.R. O’Dea davidson@parliament.nsw.gov.au
B.R. O’Farrell LOP@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D.L. Page ballina@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P.R. Pearce coogee@parliament.nsw.gov.au
B.M. Perry auburn@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A. Piccoli murrumbidgee@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.M. Piper lakemacquarie@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.K. Provest tweed@parliament.nsw.gov.au
N. Rees toongabbie@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.J. Richardson castlehill@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.J. Roberts lanecove@parliament.nsw.gov.au
F.E. Sartor rockdale@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.F. Shearan londonderry@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J.G. Skinner northshore@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.E. Smith epping@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G. Souris upperhunter@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.P. Stewart tony.stewart@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R.G. Stokes pittwater@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A.J. Stoner oxley@parliament.nsw.gov.au
C.M. Tebbutt marrickville@parliament.nsw.gov.au
F. Terenzini maitland@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.R. Torbay northerntablelands@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J.G. Tripodi fairfield@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J.H. Turner myalllakes@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R.W. Turner orange@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.J. West campbelltown@parliament.nsw.gov.au
S.J.R. Whan monaro@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J.D. Williams murraydarling@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R.C. Williams hawkesbury@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J. Ajaka john.ajaka@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R. L. Brown robert.brown@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A. Catanzariti tony.catanzariti@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D. J. Clarke david.clarke@parliament.nsw.gov.au
I. Cohen ian.cohen@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R. H. Colless rick.colless@parliament.nsw.gov.au
C. E. Cusack catherine.cusack@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G. J. Donnelly greg.donnelly@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A. R. Fazio amanda.fazio@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M. A. Ficarra marie.ficarra@parliament.nsw.gov.au
L. A. Foley Luke.Foley@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M. J. Gallacher michael.gallacher@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J. A. Gardiner jenny.gardiner@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D. J. Gay duncan.gay@parliament.nsw.gov.au
K. F. Griffin kayee.griffin@parliament.nsw.gov.au
S. P. Hale sylvia.hale@parliament.nsw.gov.au
D. T. Harwin don.harwin@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J. Hatzistergos office@hatzistergos.minister.nsw.gov.au
J. Kaye john.kaye@parliament.nsw.gov.au
A. B. Kelly sharon.armstrong@lands.nsw.gov.au
T. Khan trevor.khan@parliament.nsw.gov.au C.
J. S. Lynn charlie.lynn@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M. R. Mason-Cox Matthew.Mason-Cox@parliament.nsw.gov.au
S. Moselmane shaoquett.moselmane@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G.K.M. Moyes gordon.moyes@parliament.nsw.gov.au
F. J. Nile F.Nile@parliament.nsw.gov.au
E. M. Obeid edward.obeid@parliament.nsw.gov.au
R. M. Parker Robyn.Parker@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M.J Pavey melinda.pavey@parliament.nsw.gov.au
G. S. Pearce greg.pearce@parliament.nsw.gov.au
P. T. Primrose peter.primrose@parliament.nsw.gov.au
C. M. Robertson Christine.Robertson@parliament.nsw.gov.au
J. C. Robertson office@robertson.minister.nsw.gov.au
E.M. Roozendaal enquiries@treasurer.nsw.gov.au
P.G. Sharpe Penny.Sharpe@parliament.nsw.gov.au
M. Veitch mick.veitch@parliament.nsw.gov.au
L. Voltz lynda.voltz@parliament.nsw.gov.au
H. Westwood helen.westwood@parliament.nsw.gov.au
I. W. West ian.west@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Great parenting tips for helping little critical thinkers get started.

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2010 at 10:48 AM

“Teach your children how to find solutions to problems” by Judi Light Hopson, Emma H Hopson and RN and Ted Hagen PHD shows some really positive outcomes for starting early with problem solving tasks and critical thinking.

http://bit.ly/cPRqiz

Jayson D Cooke

Witchcraft in Africa needs to more widely publicised.

In Helping our community., Modern Day Witchcraft, Responses to the media on August 11, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Witchcraft is on the rise and it’s the year 2010. Erroneous beliefs are harmful. http://allafrica.com/stories/201008101070.html

Jayson D Cooke

The High Court Challenge against National School Chaplaincy announces its legal team.

In Creationism/ Intelligent Design, Ethics in Schools, GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Responses to the media on August 4, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Representing Ron Williams in the court action will be high profile barrister, Bret Walker SC (Senior Counsel). The importance of having the case represented by such a leading figure in Australian law cannot be overstated. Walker is …one of Australia’s leading barristers. He has been president of both the NSW Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia and Governor of the Law Foundation of NSW. He is Editor of the NSW Law Reports and Director of the Australian Academy of Law.

Walker will be supported by Gerald Ng, Barrister and the law firm, Horowitz and Bilinsky. The next step in the legal process is approaching, and further details will be released when it occurs.

People, this case is going to be huge and I’m expecting some jaw-dropping revelations to be made about our politicians and education systems. Be a part of it. Please donate whatever you can afford at the High Court Challenge website. Note – money raised goes into a trust for the payment of legal fees, not to Ron Williams and his family. Ron has put the financial future of his family on the line for this and really needs our support. Besides, for a small (or large) investment, this is a chance to be a part of Australian history.