All Posts for jorchard


Hitchens vs. Brummett: the un-debate

04 June 2011 by Jeff Orchard

I just attended a debate between Christopher Hitchens and Prof. Barry Brummett at the university of Waterloo. The topic, “Religion has been a positive force in culture.” It was moderated by Jian Ghomeshi. So, why am I calling it the “un-debate”? One of my hobbies is to listen to debates between religious folks and science […]

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Posted in Culture, Reviews, Skepticism26 Comments

lead singer

Reverse Speech: Hear what you want to hear

11 January 2011 by Jeff Orchard

Remember those warnings about satanic messages hidden in rock music, revealed when played backwards? For years, I wasn’t sure what to make of them. Now, I have a much better idea. I was recently listening to an episode of The Conspiracy Show entitled “Richard’s Subconscious Mind Revealed”, in which Richard Syrett talks to a “certified […]

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Posted in Skepticism4 Comments

Nasal Cavity

John of God – brought to you by Oprah

22 November 2010 by Jeff Orchard

OK, let me start off by saying that I think Oprah does a lot of good in the world. She gets millions of people to aspire to make the most of their lives by following their passions. But Oprah and I don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to spiritualism and the like. She promotes magical, […]

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Posted in Alternative Medicine, Skepticism1 Comment

Being Right is Not Enough

Being Right is Not Enough

08 November 2010 by Jeff Orchard

Perhaps you’ve experienced this… you’re talking to someone who believes in ESP, or homeopathy, or some other irrational woo. You lay out a logical argument, complete with evidence, that deconstructs their belief and exposes it to be irrational and unscientific. Then your friend says, “You’re right, I was wrong. Thanks for showing me the error […]

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Events, Ontario, SkepticismComments Off


Pampers Dry-Max: a follow-up

24 September 2010 by Jeff Orchard

Remember the hysteria last May?  Many vocal parents were convinced that Pampers Dry-Max diapers were causing their babies’ rashes.  I blogged on it. Well, on September 4, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada published a statement regarding the alleged link between Pampers Dry-Max diapers and baby-bum rashes.  You might be […]

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Posted in Health, Medical Conditions, SkepticismComments Off


Book Review: “On Being Certain” by Robert A. Burton

20 August 2010 by Jeff Orchard

Note from the Skeptic North Team: Beginning today, and continuing for the next several weeks, Skeptic North contributors will be writing about the skeptical books that are important to them. Look for a new book review every Friday. Jeff Orchard kicks off the series: The book: “On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When […]

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Posted in Cognition, Reviews1 Comment


Looking under the hood of intelligent design

11 August 2010 by Jeff Orchard

There is a cultural debate going on, intelligent design versus the theory of evolution.  But some are adamant that it’s a scientific debate.  Is it?  Let’s look at the details. What is evolution? The theory of evolution was initially proposed in 1859 by Sir Charles Darwin in his book “On the Origin of Species”. The […]

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Posted in Evolution, Skepticism15 Comments

Pampers gets a bum rap

11 May 2010 by Jeff Orchard

I have a son who is about to turn two. He still wears diapers. Pampers Cruisers with Dry-Max, to be precise. Over the past 4 months or so, he’s been fighting this chronic bum rash (WARNING: for those who don’t have kids, graphic bum and diaper discussion ahead). His bum would often be red and […]

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Health, SkepticismComments Off

The Deluded Mind: A review of “The Divided Mind”

26 March 2010 by Jeff Orchard

I just finished listening to an audio version of the book “The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders” (abridged) by John E. Sarno. In the book, Dr. Sarno decrees that many — even most — physical ailments are induced by the mind to distract attention away from painful or objectionable thoughts or emotions. That’s […]

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Posted in Reviews, Skepticism10 Comments


03 February 2010 by Jeff Orchard

Ever received an e-mail like this? Please read the attached warning issued today. PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS: You should be alert during the next days: Do not open any message with an attached filed called “Invitation” regardless of who sent it . It is a virus that opens an Olympic […]

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Posted in MediaComments Off

  • Jeff Orchard

    Jeff Orchard is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He has degrees in mathematical nerdism from Waterloo and UBC, and got his PhD in computing science from Simon Fraser University in 2003. Jeff is 99% atheist, 1% agnostic, and is passionate about teaching critical thinking. One of his research goals is to understand how the brain works (and then use that knowledge to take over the world). He has published academic papers in image processing, and is also an evolution buff.