SGU Episode 151

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SGU Episode 151
June 9th 2008
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 150                      SGU 152

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

'If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.'

Lord Byron

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

News Items ()[edit]

NPR Psychics ()[edit]


Mars Phoenix Update ()[edit]

  • First microscopic views of the Mars regolith:
    and - trouble with the arm:

Petaflop Supercomputer ()[edit]


Optical Illusions ()[edit]


Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Casey Predictions ()[edit]

Dear Skeptics,
Let me just say that I love your show. I'm so addicted that I've listened for an average of two shows per day over the last few weeks. My trouble is that I have a room-mate that believes in such 'Theories' as the Mayan 2012 apocalypse, Atlantis, and 911 Conspiracies. He is so well studied that in our arguments about these subjects, he beats me every time.

I am so resolute in becoming a full fledged skeptic, that I've been studying the science of skepticism more passionately than I have with my current college courses.

Today, I looked into Edgar Cayce (whom you guys mentioned in episode 68). I fist researched evidence against his medical and social claims, and found a lot of data. Then, as a true skeptic, I visited his website to get a positive view of his teachings (so as to understand the Pro, in addition to the Con, arguments).

What I found was a big disappointment: There is such a large body of evidence to support Edgar's claims that I was overwhelmed with trying to combat it with my meager anti-edgar data. This means that I have to do more research.

Visit, and click on his '7 prophecies that came true'. Now go onto Youtube and type in 'Legacy of EDGAR CAYCE PART 1', or visit this link

I thought this would be a good example of how there are soooooooooooooooo many institutions and soooooooooooooo much skewed data against us skeptics that it is unbelievably hard to go through all of the back-breaking research to fully disprove a single psychic-crazy person. Could you record play a bit of the youtube video on your podcast to show people
a) What we are up against as skeptics and
b) With, your well-refined skeptical tools, debunk a few of the harder to debunk myths surrounding the Cayce?

Thanks, and
Forever a Fan,
Benjamin Shumway

Interview with Jon Blumenfeld ()[edit]

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Question #1: Examination of the brain of the world's oldest woman, who died recently at age 115, was completely normal, without the expected signs of advanced age. Question #2: Scientists have discovered for the first time a quasiparticle that has only 1/4 the electrical charge of an electron. Question #3: New study shows that modern seaborne pirates have a 20% incidence of having lost a body part through trauma.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.'-Lord Byron

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 If you enjoyed this episode, then please help us 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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