Vatican Creates Rules for Virgin Mary Sightings

Posted May 24, 2012 by Victor
Categories: Sketicism, Superstition in the Modern World

According to Religions News Service, the Vatican has all it can take with all the “bogus” Virgin Mary sightings, and is creating a set of rules and guild-lines to authenticate future visions.

The Vatican has published rules to evaluate the authenticity of the dozens of apparitions of the Virgin Mary reported each year.

The rules also require an evaluation of the “personal qualities” of the alleged seer, including his or her “psychological equilibrium,” “rectitude of moral life” and “docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority.” The contents of the “revelation” must be “immune” from theological error, and the apparition must bear “abundant… spiritual fruit,” such as conversions.

The authenticity of the vision should be rejected if, among other factors, the alleged seer shows “psychological disorder” or “evidence of a search for profit.”

Ah, come on. If you’re going to rule out people with psychological disorders and those seeking profit, who’s going to be left? That’ll wipe out  pretty much all of them.

God of the Week: Toutatis

Posted May 21, 2012 by Victor
Categories: God of the Week

05/21/2012: Toutatis

Toutatis was a Celtic god worshiped throughout ancient Gaul. Victims were sacrificed to him by being plunged head first into a vat of liquid. He was associated with the gods Mars and Mercury by the Romans.

God of the Week: Chaos

Posted April 30, 2012 by Victor
Categories: God of the Week

04/30/2012: Chaos

Oceanus was an ancient Greek god, a formless void that preceded the creation of the universe. 

The Hesiodic story is different in many points and is much less satisfactory as a philosophical explanation of beginnings. First there was Chaos,

“… the vast immeasurable abyss, Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild.” 1

Then came Gaia, gloomy Tartaros (the dark “Underworld”), and Eros as the moving force within and about all things. Chaos brought into being Erebos (“Lower Darkness”) and Nyx, and these in their turn begat Aither (“Heavenly Light”) and Hemera (“Earthly Light,” i. e. “Day”). Mother Earth bore Ouranos (star-sown “Heaven”) to be a helpmeet to herself and at the same time a secure dwelling-place for the blessed gods. Now appeared the rugged mountains and the wild stretches of the sea. In their relation of husband and wife Ouranos and Gaia became the founders of what one might call the first royal house of the gods.

-Mythology of All Races, Vol 1, Greek and Roman

God of the Week: Oceanus

Posted April 23, 2012 by Victor
Categories: God of the Week

04/23/2012: Oceanus

Oceanus was an ancient Greek god, a titan, personification of the ocean. 

They [Ouranos (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth)] became the first pair of parents and brought into the world Okeanos(“Ocean”) and Tethys(“Nurse”). These in their turn became a parental pair, begetting Kronos, Rhea, Phorkys, and the other Titans

-Mythology of All Races, Vol 1, Greek and Roman

God of the Week: Mot

Posted April 16, 2012 by Victor
Categories: God of the Week

04/16/2012: Mot

The creator of apple sauce? No, Mot was a Semitic god of death. He is mentioned in the texts found in the ancient city of Ugarit.

The Miracle of the Leaky Pipe

Posted April 14, 2012 by Victor
Categories: Superstition in the Modern World

In March, a Jesus statue in front of the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni in Mumbai started dripping water. The church, unable to imagine a source of water other than god, quickly hailed the wet statue as a miracle. Until, that is, famed Indian Skeptic Sanal Edamaruku showed up to investigate and quickly discovered the water source to be … a water pipe. He is now being threatened with Article 295 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code (blasphemy).

Story on Rational International 

Story on Boing Boing 

Ben Radford at MSU Mankato Tonight

Posted April 12, 2012 by Victor
Categories: Mobile Update

Reknown Skeptic Ben Radford will be making an appearance at Minnesota State Universtity Mankato tonight to discuss physic detectives.

Thursday, April 12, 5 PM

MSU Mankato Campus

Ostrander Auditorium

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SMART meetup page for the event: Link

Interesting Links: Skepticality 11/15/2011: Ben and Alex Tsakiris from Skeptico discuss the merits of psychic detectives (it gets a little heated1). Download MP3