Rationally Thinking Out Loud

Just one guy thinking out loud on a the issues in religion, atheism, politics & science
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Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Every Trump Administration Official Accused of Using Personal Email for Work

Here’s every Trump administration official accused of using personal email for government work including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday expanded an investigation into personal email use by Trump administration members to include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, bringing the number of officials under scrutiny to eight.

Why vaccine opponents think they know more than medical experts

We wondered: Could the inability of anti-vaxxers to accurately appraise their own knowledge and skills compared to those of medical experts play a role in shaping their attitudes about vaccines? This inability to accurately appraise one’s own knowledge is called the Dunning-Kruger effect, first identified in social psychology. Dunning-Kruger effects occur when individuals’ lack of knowledge about a particular subject leads them to inaccurately gauge their expertise on that subject. Ignorance of one’s own ignorance can lead people who lack knowledge on a subject think of themselves as more expert than those who are comparatively better informed. We refer to this as “overconfidence.”

Why vaccine opponents think they know more than medical experts

One of the most contentious areas of health policy over the past two decades has been the safety of vaccination. Vaccines prevent the outbreak of diseases that used to be widespread, like polio, and scientific consensus strongly supports their safety.

Thoughts on a COVID-19 Vaccine

In a conversation last weekend I said despite my vaccine advocacy in the case of a vaccine for COVID-19 I said I would not want to be amongst the first to get vaccinated when “they’ come up with a vaccine because of how it is being rushed to market.

Thinking about it over the next few days I began to think or to realize “what the fuck do I really know about vaccines and vaccination?” While I am a science advocate and fan I AM NOT A SCIENTIST. WTF do I really know? Why should I be listening to the little voice inside my head? I am NOT that smart. I am changing my mind.

It was years ago but I still recall reading Dr. Paul A. Offit’s book Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases. Dr. Offit is is an American pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases, vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine and is arguably America’s leading expert on vaccines if not one of the world’s. PERIOD.

There is a great video with Offit from back in April where he interviewed by ZDoggMD (Dr. Zubin Damania) on COVID entitled The Reality About Coronavirus Vaccine and then there is this video I am linking to here…COVID-19 Symposium: Vaccine Development and COVID-19 | Dr. Paul Offit (July 10th 2020)

I will wait and pay attention to what Dr. Offit and experts like him say and follow their recommendations. PERIOD. I am NOT that smart.



And then there is this from yesterday…

You Must Not ‘Do Your Own Research’ When It Comes To Science

Arguably one of the most important lessons on critical thinking I have ever seen articulated! This is exactly what I mean when I say, when I come to the relazation, that I AM NOT SO SMART…

“…Even those of us with excellent critical thinking skills and lots of experience trying to dig up the truth behind a variety of claims are lacking one important asset: the scientific expertise necessary to understand any finds or claims in the context of the full state of knowledge of your field. It’s part of why scientific consensus is so remarkably valuable: it only exists when the overwhelming majority of qualified professionals all hold the same consistent professional opinion. It truly is one of the most important and valuable types of expertise that humanity has ever developed.”

You Must Not ‘Do Your Own Research’ When It Comes To Science

“Research both sides and make up your own mind.” It’s simple, straightforward, common sense advice. And when it comes to issues like vaccinations, climate change, and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it can be dangerous, destructive, and even deadly.

 

We Thought It Was Just a Respiratory Virus | UC San Francisco

We Thought It Was Just a Respiratory Virus

We were wrong. By Ariel Bleicher and Katherine Conrad UCSF Magazine Summer 2020 Illustration: Anna & Elena Balbusso In late January, when hospitals in the United States confirmed the presence of the novel coronavirus, health workers knew to watch for precisely three symptoms: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

 

On Astrology

There was a time in my life where I gave some credibility to Astrology but I think by the time I was in my 30s any faith I may have had in it was gone.

Last night with an open mind I engaged conversation with a brilliant and charming sincere believer in astrology and while I found the conversation and look at astrology entertaining I remain a skeptic and these links explain many of the reason why….

6 Quotes By Carl Sagan That Will Unravel Your Belief In Astrology

Who isn’t obsessed with the stars in the sky? They look as if they were a beautiful landscape made for us to observe and enjoy. While staring at their radiance, we feel like we know everything. They remind us of how small we really are when compared to the entire universe.


Astrology

Astrology, better known as “Asstrology”, is the mass cultural delusion that the apparent position of the sun and planets relative to arbitrarily defined “star signs” at the time of your birth somehow affects your personality and future.


A Skeptic’s Guide to Astrology

This is an edited repost of an article which first appeared here in August 2010. You can also download a similar classroom discussion pamphlet (and a lot more) from our USEFUL INFO page. The basic proposition of Western Astrology is that your personality and fate are influenced by the apparent positions and motions of heavenly bodies….


astrology

“It should not be considered unbelievable that one can retrieve useful knowledge and sacred relics from astrological folly and godlessness. From this filthy mud one can glean even an occasional escargot, oysters or an eel for one’s nutrition; in this enormous heap of worm-castings there are silk-worms to be found; and, finally, out of this foul-smelling dung-heap a diligent hen can scratch up an occasional grain-seed — indeed, even a pearl or a gold nugget.”


Astrology | The NESS

Sections: Astrology refers to a number of ancient systems of belief that relate the positions of the planets and constellations to events on Earth. In Western culture, the Zodiac is central – twelve constellations that the apparent position of the sun moves through throughout the year – Cancer, Leo, etc.

The truths ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ tells about white people – The Washington Post

Perspective | The truths ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ tells about white people

I was probably 15 or 16 when I first read Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.” I may have seen the movie before then (one I have watched countless times since). The story, one of my favorites of all time, solidified Lee’s unwavering status as one of my top-five authors.

How to talk to conspiracy theorists—and still be kind | MIT Technology Review

How to talk to conspiracy theorists-and still be kind

On May 4, a slick, 26-minute video was released, alleging that the coronavirus was actually a laboratory-manipulated virus deployed to wreak havoc so that a resulting vaccine could be used for profit. None of that was true, and Plandemic’s claims were thoroughly, repeatedly debunked. Still, it went viral, getting liked on Facebook 2.5 million times.

Fox News pushed coronavirus misinformation 253 times in just five days | Media Matters for America

Fox News pushed coronavirus misinformation 253 times in just five days

Fox News repeated coronavirus misinformation 253 times in its weekday coverage from July 6 through 10, including claims that undermined scientific research about the pandemic, eroded trust in public health experts and policy recommendations, called for reopening schools and businesses without regard to public health precautions, and politicized the country’s response to the virus.

Inside the Cult of Trump, His Rallies Are Church and He Is the Gospel | Vanity Fair

Jones only recently became one of those children. “I’ve been on the side of evolution my whole life,” he confesses. Not so much the science end, he wanted me to understand. His had been the partying wing of agnosticism. Then his fiancé persuaded him to start attending a fundamentalist church, not long before Trump was elected, and the veil was lifted. For instance, he says, now he can see the “gay agenda” of the Democrats. “Actually, they’re pedophiles.”

…I spoke with dozens of Trump supporters who believe that the Democratic establishment primarily serves as a cover for child sex trafficking. Some were familiar with “QAnon”—the name claimed by believers in a host of conspiracy theories centered around an alleged “deep state” coup against Trump and his supposedly ingenious countermeasures, referred to as the coming “Storm,” or “Great Awakening”—but most were not. It was, they told me, simply known. “Perverts and murderers,” said a woman in Bossier City. One man, a Venezuelan immigrant, explained that many socialists are literal cannibals….

…In the books he claims to have written, Trump invokes a personal trinity: his father, Fred, who taught him strength; his mentor, the red-hunting mafia lawyer Roy Cohn, who taught him cunning; and his childhood pastor, bestselling Christian self-help author Norman Vincent Peale, who taught him The Power of Positive Thinking. Believe in it, preached Peale, and it can be yours. Quid pro quo, a deal with God: affluence (or the dream of it to come) in return for unquestioning loyalty. Trump’s campaign channeled a convergence of conservatisms: Fred Trump’s brutality, Cohn’s corruption, and the cross wrapped in a flag preached by Peale.

“He’s the Chosen One to Run America”: Inside the Cult of Trump, His Rallies Are Church and He Is the Gospel

Trump’s rallies-a bizarre mishmash of numerology, tweetology, and white supremacy-are the rituals by which he stamps his name on the American dream. As he prepares to resume them for the first time in months, his followers are ready to receive.

 

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