Cork Skeptics

Promoting Reason, Science & Critical Thinking in Cork City & Beyond


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Conspiracy Theories with Dr Robert King

CONSPIRACY THEORIES

QAnon and the Radicalisation of Uncritical Thinking

Friday 11 December on Zoom


In this talk, Dr Robert King will examine the psychology behind conspiracy theories, with a particular focus on QAnon.

About the Speaker: Robert James King, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, in Ireland.


This talk will take place via Zoom at 8.00pm on Friday 11th December. Simply follow the link below or use the Meeting ID and Passcode:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81099276340?pwd=bld0M0Zla056ajkxSU03N0sxNCt0dz09

Meeting ID: 810 9927 6340 • Passcode: 568970

We look forward to seeing you there!


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Dr Paul Deane

On January 17th last, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr Paul Deane to talk about Ireland’s energy futures.

Paul’s talked about nuclear energy, classical fossil energy and renewable energy, and what decisions lie in store for Ireland in the coming decades.

As Paul was eager to point out, there are no silver bullets. Even a best case scenario will not rid us of fossil fuels entirely, but there is an imperative to reduce our dependence on fossils fuels, given the dire impacts on health and the environment.

Paul is a passionate speaker and it was a terrific talk all round. Our thanks again to Paul for enlightening us.

Paul has graciously shared his slides with us. I am attaching the slides here, along with some photos from the meeting.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fo6lg7m0p1qe83i/Nuclear%20in%20Ireland.pdf?dl=0

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Image 01-02-2020 at 20.52

 

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Wildlife Myths with Rob O’Sullivan

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SEPARATING THE BULL FROM THE BS

Wildlife Myths And Why They Matter

Thursday 27 June at Blackrock Castle Observatory


If you’re worried about the hordes of killer spiders invading our shores, or the swarms of seagulls reigning death from above, this talk is for you. Science Communicator, Rob O’ Sullivan, separates the fact from the fiction and shows you how to do the same.

About the Speaker: Rob O’Sullivan is an Irish Zoologist turned Space Nerd.

He knows far too much about animal sex, and nowhere near enough about Space. Rob has received glowing recognition for his Science Communication work including an award of a SMASH Fellowship and getting called a pervert by Phill Jupitus.

You can find Rob by day pottering around CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, and after dark on Twitter @Rob0Sullivan.

Please note: Due to the nature of this talk, some sections may not be suitable for a younger audience.


The talk will begin at 8.00pm on Thursday 27th June. It is free to attend, and we welcome anyone with an interest in the topic to come along on the night. For directions to Blackrock Castle, see our Skeptics In The Castle information page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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The Baloney Detection Kit returns to DeBarras

West Cork Skeptics return to DeBarra’s Folk Club, Clonakilty this month to discuss a current issue from the perspective of scientific skepticism. This month’s presentation ‘The Baloney Detection Kit’ by Colm Ryan.

In a wide-ranging talk, Colm explores the world of strange beliefs and discusses some ways to distinguish between good and bad ideas.

The meeting takes place this Wednesday, October 17th, at 8pm.


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Homeopathy in Organic Farming

Name a country where the Law prioritises Homeopathy over Medicine?

Answer: Ireland (and the UK … and everywhere else in the EU.)

European Council Regulation 834/2007 (Organic Production) Article 14 Clause 1 (e) (ii) states

‘disease shall be treated immediately to avoid suffering to the animal; chemically synthesised allopathic veterinary medicinal products including antibiotics may be used where necessary and under strict conditions, when the use of phytotherapeutic, homeopathic and other products is inappropriate. In particular restrictions with respect to courses of treatment and withdrawal periods shall be defined;’

This Regulation requires that ‘phytotherapeutic (plant remedies), homeopathic (like cures like) and other products (insert whatever takes your fancy)’ must be used by Organic Farmers in the first instance and thereafter, unless they are ‘inappropriate’. Presumably, only when they have failed may medicinal products be applied though it is especially nonsensical to try to determine when homeopathy, etc becomes ‘inappropriate’ for an animal.

Anyone seeking training in the use Homeopathy on Organic Farms could sign up for the 4-day European Advanced Course on ‘Quantum Agriculture’ currently promoted by Ireland’s National Organic Training Skillnet. In addition to homeopathy this course also covers biodynamics (the incorporation of astrological and spiritual principles into farming) and radionics (disease can be diagnosed and treated using ‘energy’/’frequencies’).  Fortunately, the €460 course fees (along with full board €90/day) is 25% subsidised by Skillnets, funded from the National Training Fund (NTF), funded through a levy on Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI).

A few thoughts ….

1. Why was Organic Farming singled out by the EU for this special measure as Homeopathy and Organic are not related?

2. How was Homeopathy levered into the EU Organic Farming Regulations?

3. If this is such a good idea then why should Non-Organic Farmers not be subject to a similar stipulation?

4. On observing symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB) in cattle should Organic Farmers apply a homeopathic remedy such as Tuberculinum (C12 should do it, no need to go mad!) and wait for it to take effect?

5. What pseudoscience is being contemplated for the next revision of the Regulations?

Author: Vic.


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Help needed: Proposed bill to crack down on fake cancer treatments

Irish patients have completely inadequate legal protection from fake cancer treatments or quack “cures”. Many people have fallen foul of snake-oil peddlers and alternative medicine healers, promising to cure them of their ailments in a “natural” or “side effect free” manner. Such promises rarely work, and vulnerable patients can be diverted down costly blind-alleys, while time ticks away on their treatment options.

Ireland is a hotbed of phoney healers luring vulnerable people into alternative medicine

A new bill is being proposed by Kate O’Connell TD to address this problem. She is getting a huge amount of push-back from various alternative medicine lobby groups, who are  raising all kinds of spurious objections to the proposed bill. Some of the methods used verge on intimidation and bullying. They are clearly worried.

TD says she has received ‘stratospheric’ levels of online abuse after new law proposal

For instance, we have heard that Claire Byrne Live will be discussing the new proposed anti-quack bill tomorrow (Monday) night on RTE1 at 1030pm. We have learned that the Irish Society of Homeopaths are appealing to their members to attend the show and to tweet during the show, so as to make it seem that homeopathy is a legitimate treatment, when it is nothing of the sort. We are asking our skeptically minded friends to please see if they can attend in person or if they can tweet during it to show support for evidence based medicine and a degree of legal protection that may help to alleviate the pressures that affect people with cancer.

Alternatively, please call or email your TD or local representative to show your support for this proposed bill.

Please feel free to share this message. While alternative cancer-cure practitioners have many supporters in Ireland, they work under loose or non-existent regulatory regimes. We are also aware that many people’s lives have been turned upside-down by the actions of unscrupulous healers and alternative practitioners. Now is a chance to take action and to address the imbalance this has caused.

Claire Byrne Live contact details:

  • To book your seat….. CALL the office on 01-2083494 or E-MAIL us on ClaireByrneLive@rte.ie
  • Web page : https://www.rte.ie/tv/programmes/913596-claire-byrne-live/
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClaireByrneLive