SGU Episode 159

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SGU Episode 159
August 6th 2008
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 158                      SGU 160

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

'Science is the poetry of reality.'

Richard Dawkins

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

News Items ()[edit]

The Engines Canna Take It, Captain! ()[edit]

Solar Power Breakthrough ()[edit]

China Weather Control ()[edit]

The Montauk Monster ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Where did matter come from? ()[edit]

Hello Steven and Skeptical Rogues.

Ok… firstly let me do the fan-boy thing and say how much I love your show. I discovered your podcast maybe 6 months ago and have been working my way forward through every episode to catch up to the present, which I have now finally done. I travel a lot as part of my job and have the luxury of being able to listen to you in my car all the time, which was great while I was catching up but now I have to be satisfied with just one show a week, so I am having skeptical withdrawals and exploring other podcasts to keep the symptoms at bay while I wait for your next show.

Anyway, I have a question for you which I hope you will be able to shed some light on as this has been messing with my head since I was young boy. It is a question concerning the origins of the universe….yes, just a small matter, which I am sure you can clear up in no time J

The question is……When I consider the origins of 'life, the universe and everything', when you go back as far as you can go, it seems to boil down to two simple options……either 1) Matter has always existed or 2) Matter somehow has been created out of a complete vacuum/nothingness.

Now I am certainly no astrophysicist, and maybe I am being too simplistic here but either of these options seems impossible to me and I have always wondered at the resolution to this problem, if indeed there is one.

You may not want to spend any time on this on your podcast, but I would appreciate if you could guide my thinking or tell me where to look in order to get my head around this better.

Yours in anticipation

Craig Bishop
Lismore, Australia

Interview with James Randi and Phil Plait ()[edit]

  • Interview with James Randi and Phil Plait

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: A new study suggests that the cores of Jupiter and Saturn contain liquid metallic helium. Item #2: By analyzing anatomical and biomechanical information, researchers conclude that the great white shark has the greatest bite force of any animal ever to have lived. Item #3: Researchers find that as many as 1% of the population may experience auditory synesthesia – they hear visual flashes or movement.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'Science is the poetry of reality.'- Richard Dawkins

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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