Life on Mars, racist architecture, and the Pope vs evolution. The best of rbutr #10

Welcome to the 10th edition of the Best of rbutr email! Click here to subscribe to receive The best of rbutr via email.

The idea behind rbutr is to fix the Internet so that it no longer just passively presents information, but instead actively teaches critical reflection on the information presented, while also ensuring the user has access to all relevant information.
Source Articles Response Articles
Space
Does image taken from NASA’s Opportunity Rover Mean There was Life on Mars?
NasaMarsSpace
NASA Rover Finds ‘Celtic Cross’ On Mars – neonnettle.com Debunked: Celtic Cross on Mars [Impression from Screw Head on X-Ray Spectrometer] – metabunk.org
Does the image described as a “Celtic Cross”, captured by NASA’s Opportunity Rover, indicate there was life on the red planet? The image described by many websites and alien enthusiasts as a “Celtic Cross” and proof of alien life, is actually an impression from the head of a screw.
Society
http://blog.rbutr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/NY-Times-Wellesley-Men.jpg
What is the Role of Trans-Gendered Men in Women’s Colleges?
SocietyTransgenderCollege
When Women Become Men at Wellesley – nytimes.com TransFusion: Who Belongs in Women’s Spaces, Again? Women’s College Edition – blogspot.co.uk
When Wellesley transgendered student “Timothy” ran for a seat in student government, some classmates began a campaign to abstain from the vote, to ensure she (who now identifies as he), was not elected. The dilemma faced by female colleges is, “As a marginalized group fighting for respect and clout, how could women justify marginalizing others?” The author questions the wording and content of the NY Times story and the opinions expressed by “Timothy” as biased and contradictory. Who really does belong in women’s only spaces, who makes the decisions, and what is really fair to all parties involved?
http://blog.rbutr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/DN-Mumia-600x318.png
Protecting Victim’s Rights or Denying the Right to Free Speech?
Free SpeechLawPolitics
Pennsylvania: Governor Signs Law to Help Protect Crime Victims – NYTimes.com A New Way to Silence Mumia Abu-Jamal – fair.org
A law is passed in Pennsylvania allowing prosecutors or crime victims to seek an injunction against an offender on grounds of “mental anguish”. Governor Tom Corbett signed the bill after convicted Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of murdering a police officer, recorded a commencement address for a graduating class. Is new law protecting victims or silencing Mumia Abu-Jamal? What are the implications of the Revictimization Relief Act on the first amendment?
http://blog.rbutr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Union-Station-Hotel-Exterior.jpg
Can Architecture be Racist?
SocietyRacismArchitecture
Did diversity miss the train in Union Station’s architecture? – denverpost.com Is Architecture “Racist”? – powerlineblog
The author completes an informal visual survey and finds that 98.2% of people in Denver’s reopened Union Station are Caucasian. He questions the lack of representation by visible minorities and blames the old world architecture, elitist choices and high prices for creating a culture of alienation and exclusivity. The validity of the argument is challenged as promoting stereotypes and bias and states that perhaps the minorities described as alienated might be “too smart to patronize mediocre, overpriced restaurants”.
Environment
What is the Impact of Education on Perception of Climate Change Risk?
Climate changeEducationSociety
Overcoming skepticism with education: interacting influences of worldview and climate change knowledge on perceived climate change risk among adolescents – springer.com Unconfounding knowledge from cultural identity–as big a challenge for measuring the climate-science literacy of middle schoolers as grown ups – culturalcognition.net
Worldview rather than scientific understanding largely drives climate change risk perceptions. How do adolescents fit into this? “The problem, in my view, is that the measure of climate-science literacy that SPBMC constructed fails to address what existing research teaches us is the biggest challenge in measuring public understanding of climate science.”
Health
Homeopaths vs Science-based medicine, will either of them win against Ebola?
EbolaHomeopathyQuackery
The Ebola Crisis & the Homeopathic Community – homeopathycenter.org Here they come to save the day! Homeopaths vs. Ebola, again – scienceblogs.com
Homeopathy has a history in successfully treating a wide variety of epidemic diseases, and the Homeopathic community has ample reason to believe a remedy for Ebola can be found. While the author recognizes how serious the Ebola outbreak is, he clearly does not take the Homeopathic community, or their
“magic water” very seriously. There is no evidence that treating a symptom with something that caused the symptom, or diluting a remedy, is an effective treatment for Ebola.
Religion
Does the Pope support evolution? And did God use a magic wand?
Pope Francis I ReligionEvolution
No, the Pope doesn’t support evolution – freethoughtblogs.com Yes, the Pope does support evolution, PZ Myers – wordpress.com
While the Pope does claim that evolution is consistent with biblical teachings, the author challenges his theory on how human life began and evolved, saying he does not actually support the evolution theory, but a Catholic Church’s version of evolution. While the Pope does not accept the evolution theory as an explanation for the existence of humans, he does believe the Church’s version of evolution. It appears that PZ Myers, science, and the Pope, may all have different definitions of ‘evolution’.
rbutr
A book about fighting untrue beliefs

That’s it for this week’s Best of rbutr. If you haven’t already seen it, make sure you go and read the post I made about changing tack in reaching new audiences with this idea of transforming the Internet into a system which teaches people critical thinking while providing access to the full story from any given starting point – ie: the aims of rbutr. I’ve decided that I need to write a book about it.

Go read it, share it, and let me know your thoughts about it on our Facebook page, over Twitter, or by simply emailing me.

See you next week.

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