Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Skeptics

I cancelled my Showtime a while ago but the Penn & Teller show almost made it worthwhile. Check out this review in Slate and for more debunking fun, see the website for the Amazing James Randi, who has dedicated his life to debunking the “paranormal” and the “supernatural.” Today he handed out a short list of his “Pigasus” prizes:

For the government official who said or did the silliest thing related to pseudoscience or the occult in the year 2003, goes to South African Minister of Health Dr. Manto Tshabala-Msimang, who claimed, and continues to claim, that treatment with "garlic, herbs, and liver" is not only most efficacious in the treatment of HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, and other deadly diseases, but is far superior to Western medicine. She also believes, in agreement with Thabo Mbeki, President of the African National Congress and President of South Africa, that AIDS is not caused by the HIV virus. The death rate in South Africa has soared, with an estimated 5.3 million of its 45 million people (12%) now HIV-infected.

James Randi and Penn & Teller (and, I must add, John Stossel) use science and logic over propaganda and superstition.

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