SGU Episode 187

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SGU Episode 187
February 11th 2009
Evolveholster.jpg
SGU 186 SGU 188
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition in having two layers. Like the latter, it passes on its theories; but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them. The theories are passed on, not as dogmas, but rather with the challenge to discuss them and improve upon them.'
Karl Popper
Links
Download Podcast
Show Notes


Introduction[edit]

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

News Items ()[edit]

The Pope and Darwin ()[edit]

Ben Goldacre vs The Media ()[edit]

Healing Laser ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Starseeds ()[edit]

First of all, I'd just like to say thanks for a great show. I came to the podcast about a year ago, and have recently been working my way through the old episodes, and enjoying them all a lot. If you'd welcome one person's constructive and subjective criticism, I wish you'd pushed a bit harder to nail Neal Adams down in his interview (either metaphorically or literally would have been equally good), and possibly spent a bit more time screaming at the 'brain's a receiver, dualism rules' guy 'Are you fucking crazy?', but, of course, this is just one listener's opinion in a griwing sea of thousands. Given the rate at which much of the population of the internet seems to be pushing back the enlightenment, I suppose that I should not be surprised at all when I come across a new piece of craziness, but I must admit, I am often still stunned when one person's really off-the-wall delusions seem to catch the mood of a group and are taken up as genuine beliefs. An example that I came across today is (are?) the self-titled 'Starseeds'. It appears that there are a good few people who genuinely believe that they are aliens, sent here with alien DNA for a higher purpose, and to help humanity. Here is a typical site; http://spiritualnewearth.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-are-starseeds.html Given the quality of some of their output, I think that the most help that they ever give humanity is bringing their curly fries at the same time as their burgers, but hey, who am I as a mere human to comment on their purpose. I suppose that I am supposed to tag on a question, to make this something other than a pointless stream of consciousness post, so, er, how about them Mets, eh? Mainly, I did just want to say hello, and to say thanks, again, for the podcast. I really do enjoy it, and appreciate all of the hard work that you do, for no pay, just to bring a little more reality to a world sorely needing it right now Tony Potts London

Question #2 - The eHolster ()[edit]

I guess we can forget about the utility belt, this is los mas macho! http://www.eholster.com/ Richard Drumm The Astronomy Bum Richard Drumm

Interview with Angie McQuaig ()[edit]

  • Angie McQuaig is the Director of Camp Inquiry and a member of ScienceDebate 2008. She has a PhD in educational leadership and discusses her thoughts on science education.

Randi Speaks ()[edit]

  • James Randi returns to give his skeptical commentary in his own unique style. This week's topic: A Homeopathy Challenge

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item # 1: Researchers find that not only do experience gifts give longer-lasting happiness than material gifts when they go well, but they produce longer-lasting unhappiness when they go bad. Item # 2: Research involving comparing surnames and Y chromosomes estimates that as many as 10% of the population in the UK is illegitimate. Item # 3: Genetic analysis shows that human ancestors contracted pubic lice from gorilla ancestors about 3.3 million years ago.

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

    Quote of the Week ()[edit]

    'The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition in having two layers. Like the latter, it passes on its theories; but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them. The theories are passed on, not as dogmas, but rather with the challenge to discuss them and improve upon them.' Karl Popper:

    S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation and skepchick.org. For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. For questions, suggestions and other feedback, please use the 'contact us' form on the website, or send an email to 'info @ theSkepticsGuide.org'. 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.

    References[edit]


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