About the Authors

Welcome to Evidence Based Thought, a collaborative blog that examines contemporary issues in skepticism in New Zealand and abroad.

Christiaan Barnard is a graduate from Victoria University of Wellington where he received a BA(Hons) in Criminology. His interest in rational thinking came about due to his life long interest in astronomy, and his awareness of organised skepticism was heightened by the broadcast of the moon hoax show Conspiracy Theory: Did We Really Land on the Moon? The discovery of Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy website ensued, which then led him to the skeptical community and the understanding of the importance of critical thinking.

Grae O’Sullivan works in IT and specialises in software testing. He is currently contracted to a retail bank and works in Wellington. He has long had an interest in learning about the world around us and the reason things are as they are. This has meant that he loves reading about History and Science. Although a naturally skeptical person, over the years he has steadily become more and more skeptically inclined until it got to the point where he just couldn’t help himself and had to start blogging about the topic.

Ian Luxmoore is a PhD student and lecturer at Massey University. He has been a semi-active sceptic for quite a while now and, while initially focusing on religion, has begun to spend much more time on other forms of pseudoscience and paranormal nonsense. He currently runs another blog predominantly about religion here but will post regularly here about non-religious issues. Ian’s PhD research is in the area of ecological economics, specifically in macroeconomic energy system modeling. This interest in energy systems has also led to a particular interest in the misuse of energy and thermodynamic concepts in pseudoscience, a common trait across many pseudoscientific claims.

Martin Gadgil, also a graduate from Victoria University, currently resides in Camden Town, London, UK where apart from composing electronic music and enjoying the British weather he keeps an eye on stories of interest to skeptics. He was led to his interest in skeptics groups by the egregious NZ TV series “Sensing Murder” which he considers a stain on humanity and was the only reason he left the country.

13 responses

18 07 2008
Kevin Owen

Hi Christiaan,

The program below may interest you. Cheers. Kevin.

CRIMINON INDONESIA• Recidivism Rate of Criminon Graduates is 1.25%. Of 300 Criminon graduates released, only 4 returned to prison. The success rate is 98.5%.
Indonesia has 365 prisons and after reviewing the success of the Criminon program in 6 of these, the Ministry of Justice has requested Criminon Indonesia’s cooperation in devising a roll out plan that will eventually bring the program to all of its prisons.
http://www.rehabnz.co.nz/pages/criminon-indonesia.html

20 07 2008
Christiaan

98.5% is an impressive result. Can you point me in the direction of the peer reviewed publication that this study appeared in?

23 07 2008
Pat

This site seems to have several authors, but the the authors name does not always appear with each article. Without the authors name, it gives the impression that each article is endorsed by all authors/contributors to the website (I think there is about 6 or 7?). I am sure that this is not necessarily the case (it flies in the face of skepticsm). You also run the risk of one of the authors presenting an article based on their own bias, but having the article look like it represents the collective agreement of the whole group. Please post the authors name.

23 07 2008
Christiaan

Yes it has been something that I have been conscious of from the beginning. I have been unable to find the option that automatically posts the authors name in the article. I have changed the widget on the side column so that the authors articles are listed.

9 08 2008
Mary Parsons

What do you make of the dust-up in the Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association about the legal letter that they were sent on behalf of the NZ Chiropractors’ Association following the publication of a couple of critical articles in a previous issue? (In essence, the NZCA is alleging defamation.)

Professor David Colquhoun of UCL has written about his part in it and he has posted copies of the articles that are the subject of contention- plus an admirably robust response from editor Professor Frank Frizelle to the legal letter.

Dr Ben Goldacre of Bad Science has commented on the affair: Silence Dissent!

So far, some UK sceptical blogs have covered the story and linked to others: Professor Frizelle’s Instant Classic: Lets hear your evidence not your legal muscle. It would be fascinating to have a NZ perspective on it.

9 08 2008
Ian

Thanks Mary – I’ll post my thoughts tomorrow in a new post.

11 08 2008
NZ Chiropractors vs NZ Medical Journal « Evidence Based Thought

[…] Chiropractors vs NZ Medical Journal 11 08 2008 Thanks to Mary’s comment and a few other sources for pointing out this interesting development in the New Zealand medical […]

26 11 2010
Chris (aka Skeptalk)

Can you please tell me how to access your RSS feed? I can’t access it on Shrook. Do you have one?

25 02 2011
A J

So none of you are biology/Chemistry/Physics graduates? That’s interesting. I have a BSc from Vic from the days when we did 9 hours of labs and four hours of lectures for each third year subject. Maybe it’s old-school and maybe it’s out of date – but it was a basic knowledge of graphs – and how to mislead with them that made me first suspect we weren’t getting ALL the truth when it came to vaccines. Of course that was a long time ago and things have changed, not all of it for the better – MeNZB anyone?

Please, you may think you’re highly educated – but you’re still young, and you don’t understand how significant cultural indoctrination can be and although you do seem to have a really good eye on the scams that are considered scams – almost anybody would agree with you – how about a challenge – how about finding out something that everyone “believes in” but is complete and utter rubbish. Now that’s real scepticism.

27 05 2011
julian white

Hi. I can’t access rogues gallery as it says I am forbidden. Why?

18 08 2013
Survey Template Directory - FluidSurveys

Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.

Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking
about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Thank you

20 08 2013
Trev A.

Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a
blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice procedures and we are looking to exchange methods
with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.

20 03 2014
Sakura

There’s a new facebook group for Kiwi, Aussie and Pacific atheists and skeptics. Feel free to join us. https://www.facebook.com/groups/OpinionatedAtheist/

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