In the news

A few quick stories of note recently:

  • A whooping cough outbreak is occurring in the BC West Kootenay region because woo-woo parents think vaccines are evil and now their children are at risk of dying. And some people ask what’s the harm in letting people believe in alternative medicine.
  • Speaking of unfounded woo, NDP MP Denise Savoie has claimed that evil “toxins” are to blame for NDP Leader Jack Layton’s recently diagnosed prostate cancer. Throw out the fact she doesn’t state what specific toxins cause cancer and implies all chemicals are evil. Perhaps cancer is more frequent now because we’re living longer and are better at detecting it.
  • Further to the Jack Layton story, it’s commendable to see everyone setting aside partisanship to wish him the best for a speedy recovery.
  • The BC Civil Liberties Association is rightly backing the right of University of Victoria’s Your Protecting Youth pro-life student group. While I disagree with the groups stance, they do have a right to exist and organize and pushing them aside is the wrong thing to do. If the group crosses the lines of civil discourse and propagates falsehoods, then there may be a case for disbanding them, but the same ought to apply to any and all campus groups.
  • The Kamloops Atheists report that the local “Daily News” paper refused to publish any atheist material in their religion page since “the rest of the paper was for atheist material.” They subsequently didn’t publish the request article anywhere in the paper. Further they note that the Kamloops Christian School is teaching Biblical Creationism with equal time to the “theory” of evolution.
  • Finally, to end on a positive note, the Centre for Inquiry Vancouver has just hired Radio Freethinker co-host Ethan Clow as their new Executive Director, making him the third paid CFI employee in Canada. I look forward to see continued success for CFI and wish Ethan the best of luck. Further to that, I’ve accepted a position as CFI Canada’s Campus Outreach Director, and hope to continue the success of the dozens of student groups across the country.

2 thoughts on “In the news”

  1. What does Denise Savoie think about the chemicals that are used in chemo therapy? Are they evil too?

  2. I think people go a bit overboard on the critique of alternative medicine. Not everyone who believes in alternatives medicines is a whacko. After all, various native groups distilled asprin long before Bayer ever did. And though Edward Jenner was the first to actively use vaccinations (for smallpox) in the late 18th century, vaccines go back to Chinese doctors 2000 years ago. And these Chinese medical practitioners who used many non-western methods are part of the traditional of alternative medicine. More recently the philosophy behind Eastern thought has inspired the whole new field of neuroimmunology. I think there is some balance to be sought here.

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