UK Roundup 02/09/09

2 09 2009

The British Humanist Association has sparked a bit of controversy by attacking a creationist zoo called Noah’s Ark Farm, near Bristol. The BHA claims that the zoo misleads large numbers of visitors and wants the British and Irish Zoo Association and a number of other tourism agencies to delist them from their promotional material.

 Creationism - No. Tapirs - Yes

Creationism - No. Tapirs - Yes

It’s an interesting case because the zoo seems to be quite open about it’s stance and features a ‘creation research’ link prominently on it’s website, leading many to ask what the problem is. Personally, although I think the zoo’s owners are as mad as a box of frogs, I don’t really see why they can’t run their own private zoo in whatever way they see fit provided it’s quite clear to visitors what they’re in for, and as long as the government isn’t promoting it or paying for it. Hopefully people can see straight through attempts to equate creationism with science and concentrate on the animals instead. Apparently they have some nice tapirs.

Keeping on the theme of animals, a group of USA based atheists have come up with a terrific money making scheme involving post-Rapture pet care. Eternal Earth-Bound Pets offers pet care to those who believe that the worthy (ie those who believe in Jesus) will be swept up to heaven in what is commonly know as ‘The Rapture’. ‘You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind?’ the group’s website asks. Having signed up a number of certified blasphemers and sinners to act as animal minders, they are able to guarantee first rate pet care to those animals left behind post-Rapture – for a fee of course.

If you would like to cast your eyes over a truly bad piece of journalism, The Telegraph can help. This week someone called Lucy Pinney wrote a cringe-inducing article on the possibility of ‘remote viewing’ being useful in healthcare. Apart from being possibly the most credulous journalist in print, she was even criticised by her subject Andrew Usher (dean of British Institute Of Homeopathy), who took umbrage at an incorrect statement stating the NHS was investigating remote viewing. So not only does she write a piece free of any journalistic balance, she happily includes references to CIA studies on remote viewing (which found no evidence for it) as evidence, and on top of that misrepresents one of her main subjects. Way to go Lucy.

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