2010 This Year In Skepticism – February

January 5, 2011

Here is the second part of my look back at the big skeptic-related news stories from last year. I just reviewed last January here. And here’s February. Hopefully, I’ll cover more than one month of the year in the next installment.

Homeopaths admit their products have no active ingredients – The 10:23 homeopathic overdose campaign has driven the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths to admit that their products do not contain any “material substances”:

Council spokeswoman Mary Glaisyer admitted publicly that “there´s not one molecule of the original substance remaining” in the diluted remedies that form the basis of this multi-million-dollar industry.

Lancet retracts1998 Wakefield study

Motivational speaker James Arthur Ray, guru of The Secret was officially charged with manslaughter – This earns him a nomination for biggest douchebag of the year.

Kevin Trudeau pissed off the wrong judge – This earns him a nomination for biggest douchebag of the year.

The Desiree Jennings case may have been exposed as a fraud, though the damage was already done

Andrew Wakefield booted out of Thoughtful House

The Secular Coalition met with the White House

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Secular Coalition to meet with Obama Administration

February 26, 2010

Can atheists ever get their concerns listened to by the federal government? The Obama Administration has now answered this question with a resounding, “Yes We Can!”

Tomorrow may mark a new chapter in American history, one where the White House officially takes an interest in atheists. Although they don’t just represent atheist organizations, the Secular Coalition for America is fighting to protect the wall separating church and state. And now the Secular Coalition is meeting with White House officials to discuss those issues of particular importance to the secular community. This has never happened before and hopefully it’ll set a precedent for all future presidents.

Particularly, they plan to discuss religious exemptions for parents who mistreat their children (i.e. kids with medical issues), military proselytization, and fixing Faith-Based Initiatives.

Dr. Ed Buckner, President of American Atheists, said “We are delighted that we will get the chance to speak to and to hear from the Obama administration at the briefing with the Secular Coalition for America tomorrow. We will not be seeking support for Atheism from the federal administration, because we know they must be neutral and because we are confident that our conclusions can compete and win in the marketplace of ideas, unaided by government. We seek an end to special rights for religious ideas and beliefs–in all regulations, laws, procedures, and pronouncements. The privileging of religiosity violates the First Amendment and good sense.”

Here’s the official press release (PDF).

Mr. Mehta Goes to Washington

June 27, 2009

Chalk this up as yet another thing that simply would have never happened during the Bush Administration. The White House Office of Public Engagement called the Friendly Atheist to discuss possible collaborations with the Secular Student Alliance (SSA). That is un-fucking-believable! Great job everyone!

And speaking of the Secular Student Alliance, please help Ashley, aka Healthy Addict, raise money for the SSA: