SGU Episode 174

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SGU Episode 174
November 18th 2008
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 173                      SGU 175

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

'I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.'

Pearl S. Buck

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Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

News Items ()[edit]

First Picture of Exoplanets ()[edit]

Neuroscience of Telepathy ()[edit]

Jonestown 30 Years Later ()[edit]

  • Jonestown 30 Years Later

Science in the UK ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 Sperm Follow Up ()[edit]

Guys, I love the show. I think you are doing a great job for the cause of science, rationality and critical thinking. Most of all respect for the huge amount of effort you must all put in.

So, a point you missed about the shortage of sperm donations in the UK discussed in last week's science or fiction. True, the regulatory issues put a lot of blokes off (i.e. having to be traceable etc.) but did you know that to donate you are supposed to not have sex or wank for 2 months before the donation is given? Do any of you know any blokes capable of abstaining this long? Basically there are two sorts of blokes in the world...those who can't abstain that long and those who lie about being able to

Phil Thompson
Towcester (say it like a toaster)

Question #2 Sleep Walking ()[edit]

Hi I love the show and I was wondering if you could answer a question I have.

My friend recently mentioned that if someone was sleep walking you shouldn't wake them up because they could go into shock. I thought this didn't sound right and I couldn't find anything about going into shock. I was wondering if you knew anything about this and if you could tell me about it. Thanks.

Ryan Lawson

Question #3 Global Warming ()[edit]

Hi Dr. Novella,

Last week, Global Warming/Climate Change came up on the podcast. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive, but it sounded like people who are trying to be skeptics of the whole 'CO2 causes the world to heat up' were retarded. I exaggerate for effect.

Is there a one of you who doesn't know about the DHMO experiment? How CO2 has been subjected to the same treatment, is something to boggle the mind. CO2 is the ideal outcome of combustion. CO2 is the ideal food source for most plants. Without CO2, we die. When we build a colony on the moon which grows its own plants, guess what they are going to have to create? CO2. Greenhouses quite often up the CO2 concentration in order to improve output.

This ignores the dubious quality of the 'warming' signal. (See for a long list of the truly odd data collection methods).

Add to this the fact that if the data doesn't match the models the data is scoured to find out why. The data is scrubbed to MAKE if match the models.

How the heck do a bunch non-believers like you all start believing?

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: The pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Item #2: Suicide rates are typically higher during the holiday season. Item #3: The Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony in today's Massachusetts did in fact share a meal with the Wampanoag Indians in the autumn of 1621. Item #4: The traditional daily garb of the pilgrims was mostly black.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.' - Pearl S. Buck

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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