SGU Episode 154

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SGU Episode 154
July 2nd 2008
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 153                      SGU 155

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

'I can't believe it. Maybe there is a God after all. Herbal supplement sales only grew 1 percent last year. The years before, it was 17 percent, 12 percent, 18 percent.'

Dr. Dean Edell

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

News Items ()[edit]

Darwin-Wallace Anniversary ()[edit]


100 Years After Tunguska ()[edit]


Report from TAM6 ()[edit]


Louisiana Creationist Bill Signed ()[edit]


Nanowire Battery ()[edit]


SGU on Youtube ()[edit]


Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Plural Skeptics ()[edit]

The UK-Skeptics forum has been having a little fun with suggestions for a collective noun for skeptics. Some of the suggestions so far have been:

A doubt of skeptics
A pub of skeptics
An inquiry of skeptics
An argument of skeptics
An inquisition of skeptics

... to name just a few.

If there is a little time on the podcast, the rouges might want to extend the fun across the Atlantic. Come to think of it, how about a rouge of skeptics?

All the best and keep up the inspirational work.

Graham Lappin
Harrogate UK

Body Veggies ()[edit]

So, I love working for my boss, but occasionally I get to hear about her latest adventures in drinking from the well of woo. She has rejected contemporary medicine in favor of a 'naturopath.'

Today, I heard the most ridiculous thing:
She was telling me about how walnuts are wonderful for brain health, tomatoes for heart health, and celery is good for the bones. The reason: tomatoes have four chambers, just like the heart, walnuts look like brains and celery looks like bones.

I immediately thought this might be something you guys would be interested in. I did a bit of Googling, and found this website, featuring a chain email:

This nonsense seems almost homeopathic in its logic.

Anyway, I love love love the show, and I have gotten several friends addicted to it as well. Keep up the good work!

Patrick Orlob
Salt Lake City, UT

Interview with Dr. Dean Edell ()[edit]


    About Dr. Dean

    Dr. Dean Edell, one of the first physician broadcasters in the nation, is the host of America's second most popular syndicated radio talk show, The Dr. Dean Edell Show, heard in more than 400 radio stations, as well as the anchor of Medical Minutes, a series of ten weekly radio medical reports. He is also the host of the daily 90-second Medical Report seen in 75 television markets. Dr. Edell is known for translating complicated medical information into concise, easy-to-understand reports and for tackling topics that are obscure, unusual and often controversial.

    Dr. Edell began his career as one of the first 'media doctors' in 1978 on KGO Radio in San Francisco. He has been the host of numerous television series on health, including programs for Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and national syndication, and was the author of the Edell Health Letter, published from 1982 until 1994. Over the past 20 years of broadcasting, he has won numerous media awards for his on-air work, including the C. Everett Koop Media Awards competition, the Edward R. Murrow Award, a national Emmy, the American Cancer Society recognition award, the American Heart Association award, and other prestigious medical and media awards.

    A native of New York, Edell studied zoology as an undergraduate student at Cornell University and then earned his M.D. at Cornell University Medical School in 1967. Edell moved to California to do his residency at the University of California at San Diego. An ophthalmologist and surgeon, he set up private practice in San Diego and served as an instructor of Anatomy and a clinical instructor at the Department of Surgery for the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

    Edell gave up his private practice to pursue personal interests and eventually moved to Sacramento where he served as medical director of the County Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Center. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1980.

    In his personal life, Edell has designed custom jewelry, collected antiques, and been involved in organic farming over the years. He studied Fine Arts at the New School in New York City and has lectured on the subject at U.C. Davis. Edell's paintings and drawings have been exhibited at art galleries in Manhattan and elsewhere.

Randi Speaks ()[edit]

  • The Uncompromising Observations of a Veteran Skeptic

    James Randi returns to give his skeptical commentary in his own unique style.

    This week's topic: Speaker Cables

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Question #1: A new study finds that the recent increase in caesarian sections is due largely to concerns of pregnant women about the effects of vaginal delivery on sexual function. Question #2: Researchers have found evidence that strongly supports the theory that a large comet or asteroid exploded over Canada 12,900 years ago, triggering a mass extinction in North America. Question #3: Researchers find that when communicating with hand gestures people do not use the word order typical of their native language but rather a universal order common to all people regardless of the grammar of their native tongue.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'I can't believe it. Maybe there is a God after all. Herbal supplement sales only grew 1 percent last year. The years before, it was 17 percent, 12 percent, 18 percent.'- Dr. Dean Edell

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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