SGU Episode 231

From SGUTranscripts
Jump to: navigation, search
  Emblem-pen-orange.png This episode needs:  transcription,  time-stamps,  formatting,  links,  'Today I Learned' list,  categories,  segment redirects. How to Contribute

SGU Episode 231
December 21st 2009
SGU 230 SGU 232
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
'The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.'
George Bernard Shaw
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


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

News Items ()[edit]

Dark Matter Wimps ()[edit]

Synaesthesia ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question # 1 - The Future of Skepticism ()[edit]

I realize your show is significantly news oriented; however I feel like you've never really talked about how you see the future or skepticism or the future of the 'movement' (if it can be called as such) in general. For instance, do you feel that as new generations roll around society will grow increasingly more skeptical, or more favorable toward science? From my perspective, the new media out there - video games in particular - are overwhelmingly skeptical. There are few religious or kooky games out there. One of the best selling series is the well known Grand Theft Auto series, which is, in a word, cynical, and takes no prisoners in pushing a skeptical message, making a South Park-esque mockery of religion and pseudoscience. Then, of course, there are many science-based games such as Half-Life (which you have in fact mentioned on your show before in relation to the Coast to Coast hoax where somebody pretended to be the game's protagonist). Looking at this, is it too hopeful to say that Western society will grow increasingly more skeptical as the years pass? All the best. Matthew Floratos New Zealand

Question # 2 - LHC Risk ()[edit]

You guys are the best! What would happen if a person was standing in the path of a proton in the Large Hadron Collider? Damon McClain Mill Valley, CA With Special Guest - Brian Cox

Interview with Michael Specter ()[edit]

  • Author of the book Denialism

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item # 1: The spine tick attaches to the base of a vertebrate's spine where it digs down through the meninges to feed off the glucose in spinal fluid rather than blood. Item # 2: Cymothoa Exigua is a fish parasite that eats the tongues of fish down to a nub, then latches onto that nub, living in the fish's mouth as a replacement tongue. Item # 3: Sacculina Carcini is a crab parasite that enters into the shell of a crab, then its root-like extensions enter the crab's organs and nervous system. The crab is then helpless as the parasite lives out its lifecycle in the crab's shell.

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week - sounds from the Voyager probe

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.' - George Bernard Shaw

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 'info @'. 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.


Navi-previous.png Back to top of page Navi-next.png