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From Abracadabra to Zombies - 755 entries | View All

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Sample the Skeptic's Dictionary

The Top Five anti-GMO Tropes

frogappleGMOs are “genetically modified organisms.” They are plants or animals created through gene-splicing techniques that insert DNA from one species into another species. For example, in 1994 scientists at Calgene inserted a reverse copy of a gene in the Flavr Savr tomato. The gene makes the fruit soften; the reverse copy extended the tomato’s shelf life. This was the first GMO sold to consumers but it proved too costly and is no longer available. Another example is "golden rice," a variety of rice modified with genes from maize and a common soil bacterium. The result is rice with beta carotene, which the human body needs to make vitamin A. Most corn used for processed foods and animal feed over the last decade has been modified with genes from bacillus thuringiensis, a common soil bacterium that produces proteins that kill insects. Not toxic to humans, such proteins have long been used by organic farmers as natural insecticides.* The genetically modified corn produces its own proteins that kill insects, thus reducing the need for added insecticide.....>>more

sample Mysteries and Science (for kids 9 and up)


In a nutshell: A zombie is a mythical creature who is one of the walking dead. Zombies are not friendly and they don't like civilization.

zombie is a character in stories and movies who is shown as a dead person brought back to life—though not to a full and independent life—by witchcraft or sorcery. In some stories, zombies are monsters who like to eat human flesh. Zombies are usually shown as sleepwalking slaves of whoever brings them back to life. Zombies like to destroy things. They don't like civilization. If you ever meet a zombie on the road—which you won't unless one jumps off a movie screen!—and she says "Hi. I'm a zombie and I'm here to help," don't believe her.>>more

a blast from the past

Evaluating Evidence

5 Feb 2009. Of all the courses I taught in my 32-year career as a philosophy teacher, my favorite was the philosophy of law. I designed the course and called it Law, Justice, and Punishment(LJP). The course was for community college students, some with career goals in law or law enforcement. Most of my students, however, seemed to sign up because of the course title and the content it suggested. LJP students were my best students, too, which partly explains why it was my favorite class. What I really enjoyed about LJP, though, was the way I could teach critical thinking skills in a concrete way, as well as explore many interesting philosophical issues with my students.>>more

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