Welcome to the sixth edition of the Carnival of the Africans. This month marks my turn to browse the buffet of African science, scepticism and academic blogging, and then to pile my plate high with the tastiest morsels. This blogging carnival was initiated by Michael Meadon of Ionian Enchantment in August 2008 and has grown steadily since then.
I would like to thank all of you who were kind enough to submit your work to me this month, you really made this process a lot easier! I will honor your diligence by covering the work in your blogs first (who said I wasn’t diplomatic?).
I have a lot of ground to cover with this edition of the Carnival, so lets get started, shall we?
First out of the blocks for this month is Dr Spurt from Effortless Incitement. The Doctor introduces us to a new form of “life energy” based pseudoscience as well as taking an in depth look at how a persons moral values can influence their perception of taste.
Owen Swart of 01 and the Universe tackles Homeopathy head on with two excellent posts. In Back to Basics: Homeopathy Owen takes a critical look at the principles behind the practice as well as highlighting the dangers therein, the second post touches on The activities of Jeremy Sherr, I shall come back to this guy later. Owen also highlights the reality behind a newspaper headline declaring the discovery of Life on Mars.
Next up is Ivan at Subtle Shift in Emphasis as he carefully examines the likelihood that Danie Krugel is using a dowsing rod in his quantum location device. This is a thoroughly researched and very entertaining look at the magic behind the man. Ivan also takes us on a personal journey as he describes how he came to be an atheist.
Amanuensis completes our tour of the submissions for this month as Simon Halliday gives us his take on the neuroscience of love and then rounds out the month with an indepth look at the science which influences how rhesus monkeys make a choice between three kinds of juice.
Richard at Botswana Skeptic begins 2009 with a look forward at a few rational milestones he would like to see achieved during the year and posts a thought provoking article on the death of Christine Maggiore.
Michael kept us enchanted in January with a provocative response to a claim by Matthew Parris that Africa needs God. The comments thread of that post is well worth a read. Mike then gives us a glimpse of how easy it could be to form supernatural beliefs when he describes Richard Neuhaus’ encounter with hypnogogia.
I would like to highlight the response of the South African community to the activities of Jeremy Sherr as I believe that we have come out rather strongly in defense of evidence-based medicine in this case. Sherr came to our attention in mid-January and we were outraged by his peddling of sugar-pills to treat AIDS in Tanzania. Owen Swart, Michael Meadon, Ivan and even myself all wrote about this charlatan. I can only hope that our response helps to shed light on the dangerous and dishonest work which Sherr is doing.
Finally I would like to introduce you to a few new bloggers on the African science/scepticism landscape;
- Rolled I & Neuro-Sly combines highly ammusing commentary with thought provoking subject matter to make for a very promising blog.
- thinktoomuch.net takes a balanced look at our culture.
- andrewdotcoza provides an entertaining and sceptical look at South Africa.
There are a huge number of excellent posts which I have not been able to include in this month’s carnival. The African bloggosphere is teaming with scientific and critical thinking. I hope that having read this post you will click through some of the blogs in the blogroll and discover how deep our batting order goes.
That a wrap folks, if you enjoyed it please join us for February’s Carnival at the Lay Scientist.