Difference between revisions of "5X5 Episode 109"

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== links ==
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* [http://www.theskepticsguide.org/archive/podcastinfo.aspx?mid=2&pid=109 Show Notes]
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* [http://media.libsyn.com/media/sgu5x5/SGU5x52012-04-04.mp3 Download Podcast]
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* [http://sguforums.com/index.php?topic=41237.0 Forum Topic]
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== Skeptical Rogues ==
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* S: Steven Novella
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* E: Evan Bernstein
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* J: Jay Novella
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* R: Rebecca Watson
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* B: Bob Novella
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== Cancer Cure ==
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You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide 5x5, five minutes with five skeptics, with Steve, Jay, Rebecca, Bob and Evan.
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S: This is the SGU five by five and tonight we're talking about celebrity pseudoscience.  Quite often, a celebrity will promote a belief or claim that is not generally accepted by the scientific community, that may be outright pseudoscientific.  Of course they get more attention for their beliefs because they are celebrities.  And one might argue that this carries with it a greater responsibility to vet their oppinions to make sure that what they're promoting is reasonable, given that they have a wide audience, that their celebrity gives them a tremendous amount of access to the public.  And people will listen to them for whatever reason, because they're celebrities.  For example, recently Donald Trump, while being interviewed on Fox News, decided to put forward his own theory about what is causing the increase in the number of autism diagnoses in the last decade.
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J: oh boy
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S: and he said that he thinks it's the vaccines.  And then he essentially put forward a number of standard ant-vaccine talking points, that children are getting too many too soon, he called them monster vaccines and emphasising the fact that these "monster vaccines" are being given to little children.  A lot of frear mongering that we hear from the anti-vaccine community.  And he offered, as support for his theory, an anecdote.  That he knows someone whose child was, you know again the simplified version of the story, their child was perfect, they got a vaccine and two months later they had a serious neurological issue.  Now this not the first conspiracy theory that Donald Trump has espoused in the public.  And he does have connections to people in the anti-vaccine community so I don't think he's coming up with this on his own.  But he is using the fact that he's someone who gets interviewed on Fox News to promote ideas which he acknowleged were not accepted by the scientific community.  And you have to wonder how much damage he did to the vaccine program, to public health, by doing that.  It was arguably tremendously irresponsible.
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R: yeah, you know Trump is not the only celebrity out there that's promoting anti-vaccine nonsense.  One of the first celebrities to give anti-vaxers mainstream credibilty was Jenny McCarthy who was famous for being a playboy model and also for being a really popular gameshow host on MTV among other things.  She claimed that she had a son with autism and she also claimed that it was vaccines that caused that autism.  Of course, prior to her anti-vaccination spiel, Jenny claimed that her son was not autistic, but actually was a magical psychic angel.  She believed that she was something called an indigo child, and that her son is something called a crystal child, and Jenny contributed to a website called indigo moms that you can still find on, if you go and look at the wayback machine on the internet, you can find that still, and it's got some really absurd claims, things about how these children are psychic, have tapped into some special all-knowing soul, that they're part of the universe, that indigo children and crystal children are basically better than other children.  And eventually her sone was diagnosed with autism and she sort of left all that indigo child stuff behind and I'm sure if you were to ask her about it today she wouldn't even acknowlege it because she's moved on to a new, hotter, slightly more believable pseudo-science.
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B: Well, obviously celebrities aren't just focussed on vaccines and autism.  Joe Rogan was one who I decided to tackle.  He's a psudio-celebrity of sorts, known mostly I'd say for hosting a fun show called fear factor.  But he's also a comedian, martial artist and actor of sorts, and he's also unfortunately, a pseudo-scientist.  His pseudo-scientific bent is conspiracy theories, adn he doesn't seem to discriminate much whether it's the roswell conspiracy or the 9-11 terrorist hoax, or of course what he's most well known for, the alleged moon hoax.  I've recently come across a quote of his that was kind of a little bit surprising.  He said, "there's no way man went to the moon.  It's impossible today."  So therefore, he not only thinks that we didn't do it, but he actually thinks that it can't be done, period, which I found a lit
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... still working on it
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S: SGU 5x5 is a companion podcast to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, a weekly science podcast brought to you by the New England Skeptical Society in association with [http://skepchick.org skepchick.org].  For more information on this and other episodes, visit our website at [http://www.theskepticsguide.org www.theskepticsguide.org].  Music is provided by Jake Wilson.

Revision as of 22:10, 13 April 2012

links

Skeptical Rogues

  • S: Steven Novella
  • E: Evan Bernstein
  • J: Jay Novella
  • R: Rebecca Watson
  • B: Bob Novella

Cancer Cure

You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide 5x5, five minutes with five skeptics, with Steve, Jay, Rebecca, Bob and Evan.

S: This is the SGU five by five and tonight we're talking about celebrity pseudoscience. Quite often, a celebrity will promote a belief or claim that is not generally accepted by the scientific community, that may be outright pseudoscientific. Of course they get more attention for their beliefs because they are celebrities. And one might argue that this carries with it a greater responsibility to vet their oppinions to make sure that what they're promoting is reasonable, given that they have a wide audience, that their celebrity gives them a tremendous amount of access to the public. And people will listen to them for whatever reason, because they're celebrities. For example, recently Donald Trump, while being interviewed on Fox News, decided to put forward his own theory about what is causing the increase in the number of autism diagnoses in the last decade.

J: oh boy

S: and he said that he thinks it's the vaccines. And then he essentially put forward a number of standard ant-vaccine talking points, that children are getting too many too soon, he called them monster vaccines and emphasising the fact that these "monster vaccines" are being given to little children. A lot of frear mongering that we hear from the anti-vaccine community. And he offered, as support for his theory, an anecdote. That he knows someone whose child was, you know again the simplified version of the story, their child was perfect, they got a vaccine and two months later they had a serious neurological issue. Now this not the first conspiracy theory that Donald Trump has espoused in the public. And he does have connections to people in the anti-vaccine community so I don't think he's coming up with this on his own. But he is using the fact that he's someone who gets interviewed on Fox News to promote ideas which he acknowleged were not accepted by the scientific community. And you have to wonder how much damage he did to the vaccine program, to public health, by doing that. It was arguably tremendously irresponsible.

R: yeah, you know Trump is not the only celebrity out there that's promoting anti-vaccine nonsense. One of the first celebrities to give anti-vaxers mainstream credibilty was Jenny McCarthy who was famous for being a playboy model and also for being a really popular gameshow host on MTV among other things. She claimed that she had a son with autism and she also claimed that it was vaccines that caused that autism. Of course, prior to her anti-vaccination spiel, Jenny claimed that her son was not autistic, but actually was a magical psychic angel. She believed that she was something called an indigo child, and that her son is something called a crystal child, and Jenny contributed to a website called indigo moms that you can still find on, if you go and look at the wayback machine on the internet, you can find that still, and it's got some really absurd claims, things about how these children are psychic, have tapped into some special all-knowing soul, that they're part of the universe, that indigo children and crystal children are basically better than other children. And eventually her sone was diagnosed with autism and she sort of left all that indigo child stuff behind and I'm sure if you were to ask her about it today she wouldn't even acknowlege it because she's moved on to a new, hotter, slightly more believable pseudo-science.

B: Well, obviously celebrities aren't just focussed on vaccines and autism. Joe Rogan was one who I decided to tackle. He's a psudio-celebrity of sorts, known mostly I'd say for hosting a fun show called fear factor. But he's also a comedian, martial artist and actor of sorts, and he's also unfortunately, a pseudo-scientist. His pseudo-scientific bent is conspiracy theories, adn he doesn't seem to discriminate much whether it's the roswell conspiracy or the 9-11 terrorist hoax, or of course what he's most well known for, the alleged moon hoax. I've recently come across a quote of his that was kind of a little bit surprising. He said, "there's no way man went to the moon. It's impossible today." So therefore, he not only thinks that we didn't do it, but he actually thinks that it can't be done, period, which I found a lit


... still working on it


S: SGU 5x5 is a companion podcast to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, a weekly science podcast brought to you by the New England Skeptical Society in association with skepchick.org. For more information on this and other episodes, visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. Music is provided by Jake Wilson.