SGU Episode 135

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SGU Episode 135
February 20th 2008
SGU 134 SGU 136
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
'I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.'
Albert Einstein
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

News Items ()[edit]

Quack Silences Web Critic ()[edit]


Greatest Scientific Challenges of the 21st Century ()[edit]


My Fight with Dr. Egnor over Dualism ()[edit]


Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Naadi Palm Leaf Reading ()[edit]

Hey guys.

I've got a great discussion topic for you.

At work, we have a motley crew consisting of a super right-wing Republican, an atheist skeptic (me), an atheist-wanna-be-religious person, and a few Indian consultants. Needless to say, our lunchtime discussions tend to get rowdy.
Especially since I seem to be the only skeptic in the bunch, and boy do I have an opinion on everything! :)

An interesting topic came up today - Naadi palm-leaf astrology. You MUST look this up, because you're definitely going to think I'm making this stuff up. I certainly thought that my lunchtime buddies were.

Apparently, a few thousand years ago a group of enlightened yogis wrote down the life story of EVERY HUMAN BEING (across time and across the world, mind you) on strips of palm leaves!! If so drawn by destiny, you would find your way to India where your thumb print would be taken. A search is then conducted to find 'your personal' palm leaf among the thousands of leaves (I would think it would be billions of leaves, but whatever) that apparently has a pattern on it that matches up to your thumb print. This palm leaf (or set of leaves) contains the full and 100% accurate account of your past, present and future.

Of course, there is no guarantee that your leaf will be found, what with all the ones that were lost or destroyed over the millennia, etc. And the ancient writings can only be deciphered by a trained reader, AND in particularly troublesome cases it may take months for your leaf to be found.
It does not take a genius to see this for what it is - yet another crackpot scheme to hasten the divorce between a gullible fool and his money. :)

Here's one site that describes this lunacy -
David Alexis
USA/New York

Interview with Robert FitzPatrick ()[edit]

  • Robert L. FitzPatrick, Pres.

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Question #1: Biologist Kenneth Miller, during a lecture at the recent AAAS meeting, argued that biologists should acknowledge that there is design in nature. Question #2: A new study shows that Estrogen in municipal waste is causing sex changes in some fish species, devastating their populations. Question #3: New Data from the Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer Satellite indicates that gamma ray bursts contain a previously undetected type of neutrino.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.'- Albert Einstein

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation and For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at For questions, suggestions and other feedback, please use the 'contact us' form on the website, or send an email to 'info @'. If you enjoyed this episode, then please help us to spread the word by voting for us on Digg, or leaving us a review on iTunes. You can find links to these sites and others through our homepage. 'Theorem' is produced by Kineto, and is used with permission.


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