SGU Episode 213

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SGU Episode 213
August 18th 2009
Aquatic ape.jpg
SGU 212 SGU 214
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
There is no other species on Earth that does science. It is, so far, entirely a human invention, evolved by natural selection in the cerebral cortex for one simple reason: it works. It is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything.
Carl Sagan
Links
Download Podcast
Show Notes


Introduction[edit]

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

News Items ()[edit]

Battery Update ()[edit]

Super Planetary Nebulae ()[edit]

Adopt a Star ()[edit]

UFO Spikes ()[edit]

Science Headline of the Week ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question # 1 - Aquatic Ape ()[edit]

Hi SGU, Love the show. My only complaint is that it only comes out once a week! I was wondering what you all thought about the aquatic ape theory - the theory that humans in their past have an ancestor that spent time in the water as a way to explain our subcutaneous fat layer, our hairlessness, our ability to control our breathing, etc. all of which differentiate us from other apes. Is it pseudoscience? If not, why doesn't it have broader acceptance and/or inquiry? Thanks, Coire (pronounced like 'Cory') ____________ Scientific Aquatic Ape Resource: http://www.aquaticape.org/

Question # 2 - Caffeine Tolerance ()[edit]

I was hoping that Steve could clear up a discussion some fellow skeptics and I were having on twitter. Can you build up an immunity to caffeine over time? I am 23 and have been drinking coffee/tea for 10 years and I now don't have any trouble getting to sleep after having a late night coffee, whereas when I was younger I could have considerable trouble. Is this just a factor of age or a build up of resistance to the affects? Cheers, Rhiannon McKeon Sydney P.S Why is American coffee so bitter compared to the superior Australian baristas product?

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item # 1: A new report in Cancer Research indicates that US cancer death rates have increased in the last decade. Item # 2: A survey of 1000 low income children aged 11-16 found that 25% have been sexually active, beginning at an average age of 12, and as young as 8. Item # 3: A new study finds that cannabinoids, active ingredients in marijuana, can prolong and exacerbate chronic pain.

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Dara O'Briain

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

There is no other species on Earth that does science. It is, so far, entirely a human invention, evolved by natural selection in the cerebral cortex for one simple reason: it works. It is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything. - Carl Sagan

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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