Daryl Ilbury

Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Next issue of Guru goes big!

In Science on September 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

Next issue of Guru goes big, and includes details of a competition to win $1 million. Here’s a sneak preview: http://bit.ly/peXOH2

Leading university to host a UFO conference

In Fools on September 28, 2011 at 6:56 am

As the protectors of higher learning, universities around the world host conferences designed to bring together great thinkers in fields of academic study. However, Wits University in Johannesburg – one of South Africa’s most esteemed academic institutions – has taken a turn that threatens to bring it ridicule from academia. It is to host, and therefore support, a UFO conference from 25th to 27th November.┬áLet me make this clear – this is not a UFO-themed student booze-fest, but a real conference with speakers addressing audiences of the faithful.

And what will they be talking about? Well, it’s been organised by a man who believes that humans were created by aliens for rather nefarious purposes. His name is Michael Tellinger and he’s written a book about it called ‘SLAVES SPECIES of god’ (sic). If you want to get an idea of the thread of belief running through this university-endorsed conference, you might want to check out his website. And if you want to see the calibre of those speaking, check out the official conference blog.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

What to say to climate change denialists (without punching them)

In Fools on September 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Climate change denialists all share one thing in common: they can’t see the evidence of climate change because their heads are so deeply embedded up their own butts. But if you do find one that’s willing to listen and engage in intelligent debate, they will throw various, seemingly logical, challenges at you. So what should you say to them? Coby Beck has put together one of the best breakdowns of logic in his excellent piece “How to talk to a climate skeptic“. It’s so beautifully logical and clear that I forgive him for misspelling ‘sceptic’.

So much for Intelligent Design

In Fools on September 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm

"...tag, you're it...!"

The Discovery Institute’s definition of Intelligent Design is the following: “Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”

So basically proponents of Intelligent Design believe a higher power (i.e. God) in its infinite wisdom had a hand in the design of life as we know it.

Okay….like you, I have a urethra, which removes waste from my body, and it’s positioned in exactly the same part of my body as that which is used for intimate intercourse. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty alarming design fault.

…and don’t even get me started on the Duckbilled Platypus…

But if you’d like to read an interesting piece on the confusion within the Intelligent Design delusion, read this wonderful piece by James Williams, a lecturer in Science Education at the University of Sussex, and his nasty brush with an ID devotee: Intelligent Design Creationism is not science.

I’m going to get clobbered for this…

In Eish! on September 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I can never win an argument with my beautiful wife; and science has just shown me why not…so, like any passionate journalist, I’ve shared it with the world. My column from today’s Sunday Tribune: Woman, explained.

…before you read it, perhaps I should put it into context. The column is in the magazine section of the Tribune, which is aimed primarily at women. I write under a floating column title called ‘Poison Pen’, and it is my brief to ruffle a few feathers.

What can I say…I embrace my brief.

A picture of two wails

In Eish! on September 4, 2011 at 7:38 am

Somehow I knew this was going to happen…my wife and son left Cape Town for Seattle on Friday 2nd September via OR Tambo (Jhb) and JFK (NY). On arrival in JFK, Mitch’s suitcase emerged unscathed but Chantell’s suitcase was nowhere to be seen. It contained important documents and all our adaptors and cables. More importantly for my wife it also contained her new moisturiser! Their flight ex-Cape Town was delayed because the Air Chefs catering staff were on a go slow and so the transfer to the JFK flight was tight. It was either not loaded, or it was loaded…into the back of an ACSA baggage staff pick-up truck!

Chants and Mitch are most upset.