Posts Tagged bbc

Answering The Big Questions – Atheist Groundhog Day

Alex Gibson,  friend of the MSS and board member of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies, drops in to offer his thoughts on the same old arguments faced by atheists:

Right, I’ve just finished watching Chloe’s sterling performance for AHS on the BBC’s “The Big Questions” (it’s on iPlayer) and am chewing my own arm in frustration. I am absolutely sick and tired of the sheer amount of time wasted on programmes like this dealing with basic, basic misunderstandings about atheism and weak poorly-reasoned arguments that have been bludgeoned to death about a million times in print and on television. Enough! From now on, if you ever want to discuss religion with me – or just generally – you should take these three points as read. They are done, over, talked to death, and repeating them will make you look like an idiot. Read the rest of this entry »

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UFOs Spotted Over Lake District. Really. UFOs. No Fooling. OK, Maybe SOME Fooling…

So the Lake District is the latest area of England to be visited by UFOs.  Following on from the ones spotted in Shropshire, Cambridgeshire, London and… erm, well… Merseyside.  Yes, Merseyside.  That sound you can hear is us, dropping the ball on that one.  Aliens in our back gardens, and there we were out ‘mobbing’ local ‘psychics’.  Boy were our faces red.

But as it happens, the Merseyside UFOs weren’t aliens, after all.  I’ll let you have a moment to stop reeling from that shock revelation.  Done?  Good.  They were countermeasure flares deployed in a navy training routine.  Even the woo-tastic Telegraph is happy to go with this explanation, so it must really hold water – give those guys half an inch of wiggle room and it seems they’re the first ones to don their tin-foil hats and hum the theme tune to the X-Files.  And the BBC are not much better – ‘Do-Dee-Derr-Derrr…Do-Dee-Do-Derr-Derr-Derr…‘   As it happens, I was half-way through an ‘it’s probably something straightforward’ type post when it emerged that it was, in fact, something straightforward.  ‘Oh,’ thought I, ‘that’s that then.  No need to write on UFOs, it’ll be ages before another one of those comes up.’  But UFOs, like buses and clichés, rarely come along one at a time… Read the rest of this entry »

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Measles Myths

Sir Sandy Macara, the former chairman of the British Medical Association, suggested last week that the MMR vaccine should be made compulsory in the UK, for children wishing to take advantage of a state education.  This follows a huge increase in measles cases, which is directly attributable to the decline in vaccination rates, in turn attributable to uncritical reporting of the discredited Wakefield study which linked the MMR vaccine to autism.

As part of their coverage, the BBC’s regular “Have Your Say” feature posed the question “Should the MMR jab be compulsory?”.  The comments which followed made my blood boil and my toes curl.  So, for your delectation, here is a list of myths I’ve picked up from HYS – with responses.

If it helps, I could hear Mark Crislip’s voice in my head as I wrote this.

Read the rest of this entry »

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