Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘university’

Radio Freethinker Episode 170 – Korean Fail Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 12, 2012

This week:

South Korea removed evolution from schools,
– Belief in god relies on thinking like god,
Reproductive music,
The real cost of secondary education (Part 1 of 2 interview with Iglika Ivanova)

Download the episode here!

South Korea removed evolution from schools

Under pressure from religious groups in South Korea, publishers of science textbook have removed any reference to evolution.

Find out more:

Belief in god relies on thinking like god

Resent studies into Autism spectrum have shown that an ability to ‘think like another’, called mentalizing, maybe one of the factors leading to a (false) belief in a personal god.

Find out more:

Reproductive music
(Sorry folk, ran out of time. Look for this story on the next show)
Research has shown the obvious that sex sells but how it manifest itself in different genre of music and the dubious link to evolutionary advantage make it an interesting topic for the show.

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The real cost of secondary education

Don’s sits down with Iglika Ivanova in the Radio Free Thinker virtual studio and discusses Tuition fees and university funding.

Iglika Ivanova is a research economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for BC.

Find out more:

Skeptical Highlights:

Why Do Religions Endure?

Another Philosophers’ Cafe forum where Charles Marxer ponders why religions endure and why anyone would imagine they wouldn’t.

When: June 13 at 7pm
Where: White Rock Central Library
Cost: Free

Ethics & the Marijuana Business: Why We Need to Make Pot Legal

As part of the Workplace Centre for Spiritual & Ethical Development’s Ethics for Breakfast Series, legal-affairs columnist Ian Mulgrew leads a discussion about the legal and ethical implications of legalizing marijuana.

When: June 13 from 7:15-8:30am
Where: BC Hydro Building – 333 Dunsmuir
Cost: $10

SlutWalk Vancouver

SlutWalk Vancouver is a satellite event of SlutWalk Toronto. The original SlutWalk event was organized in 2011 as a response to a comment made by a Toronto Police officer who suggested to York students that they could prevent being assaulted if they avoided dressing like “sluts”. The organizers of SlutWalk Vancouver recognized that the culture of victim blaming and sex shaming that this officer’s comments represent is very much alive in Vancouver. Our aim is to confront “common sense” notions about victims – which we believe is aptly captured in how “slut” is used to degrade and devalue women. We believe we can challenge the culture of victim blaming by creating a safe space to start a thousand conversations about ending the blame.


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Oz Universities Defend Alternative-Medicine Teaching

Posted by Don McLenaghen on February 17, 2012

Friends of Science in Medicine — a recently formed group that includes more than 400 prominent scientists, doctors, academics and consumer advocates from Australia and overseas — wrote to the vice chancellors of Australian universities last month. They outlined their concerns about what they called the “diminishing of the standards applied to the teaching of science in our universities” and “the increased teaching of pseudo-science.

“Such courses involve so-called ‘complementary or alternative medicine’ masquerading as, and sitting side-by-side with, evidence-based health-related science courses,” the letter said.

In response to this, the Universities have pushed back. Nick Klomp, Dean of the Science faculty at Charles Stuart University, agreeing with some points of the letter continued to state that the degree offered at his university, a Bachelor of Health Science (complementary medicine) for example, was based on science.

He said the course was designed to impart evidence-based science to people who already had a qualification, like a diploma, in alternative health care. The course includes such subjects as biology and physiology.

Those behind the letter said “For many of us, we’ve been concerned for a long time that in this most scientific of all ages, pseudoscience seems to be flourishing,”

David Colquhoun, a Professor of Pharmacology at University College London has called for the ending of alternative-medicine programs in Britain, a member of the Australian group had some of the harshest words in the article I read when he said “Courses in alternative medicine are dishonest, they teach things that aren’t true, and things that are dangerous to patients in some cases,”

Logical does not mean rational

Now, I don’t think I have to take a survey of RadioFreeThinker to know we support the Friends of Science and would be glad to see all CAM programs ended in higher institutions with the caveat, made by the Friends group as well, that research into CAM, if warranted should not stop. That said, one thing Klomp said made me pause.

“I could ignore them or I could train them better,” Mr. Klomp said, adding that a majority of the university’s students were already practicing. “We actually create graduates who are much better health care providers. It’s all about evidence based, science based.

So, that argument is, I think, is even if you think that CAM is all fake, there is here an aspect of harm reduction. That these people would be practicing their pseudo-science regardless, this way they at least have an understanding of what real medicine is and the ethics attached to it. We often say that many CAM practitioners are not frauds but misinformed, this seems one way to at least reduce the potential harm they could do to their patients accidentally via ignorance.




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