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The Skeptics’ Circle: Dedicated to Carl Sagan

Yes, I know that skepticism and Christmas don’t exactly mix. After all, most people, even highly skeptical and unreligious ones, tend to enjoy at least a few, if not many, of the myths that accompany the season, myths such as Santa Claus. But we won’t let that stop us from having a bit of skeptical fun next week on Thursday, when the next Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle lands at Humbug! Online on December 21.

A while back PZ pointed out that December 20 just so happens to be the tenth anniversary of Carl Sagan’s death at the too young age of 62 and that a memorial blog-a-thon is being promoted, an idea that Carl Sagan’s son Nick has endorsed and for which he has even provided an update and a link to an article about it that appeared in the Cornell Chronicle. PZ thought that there might be some synergy there, and I agree. So I e-mailed this week’s host host Theo and asked him what he thought about it. This was his response:

So as was suggested, and hosted here, this Circle is going to be somewhat of a tribute to Sagan. I’ll figure out how to make it a tribute later – just send any skeptical posts my way: [email protected]

In other words, if you want to submit posts about Carl Sagan and skepticism or something related to his critical examination of pseudoscience, that’s great, but it’s just as fine if you want to submit the usual posts about anything skeptical. I’m sure Carl would have wanted it that way. I’ll also make sure to include a link to the blog-a-thon in the announcements I routinely post for the Circle, both here and on the main Skeptics’ Circle site.

And, as always, if you you’re a blogger who tries to follow in the footsteps of the late, great Carl Sagan (or at least emulate his scientific and skeptical world view), why not volunteer to host a future edition of the Skeptics’ Circle? The schedule and guidelines are here, and additional information can be found here. Just drop me a line at [email protected]

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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