SGU Episode 236

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

SGU Episode 236
January 20th 2010
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 235                      SGU 237

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

“One special advantage of the skeptical attitude of mind is that a man is never vexed to find that after all he has been in the wrong.”

William Osler

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

News Items ()[edit]

Dead Bodies ()[edit]

Warrior Blonds ()[edit]

Trees on Mars ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: William Lane Craig

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Correactology ()[edit]

Lately there has been a lot of discussion in my office about 'Correactology'. This new 'effective and non-invasive approach to alternative health care. The technique begins with individualized patient assessment for the purpose of therapeutic treatment. Full body corrections are accomplished without the use of force, drugs, surgery or instrumentation.' Apparently, my co-workers visit this person's office and he claps and snaps his fingers over them and they leave feeling cured. Of course they have to continue visiting him weekly. This seems to be a new form of medical hocus pocus and it alarms me greatly. Take a look at the website for the list of ailments 'treated' I've had co-workers explain that 'people they know have cancelled surgery because this was so effective'!!! What is this woo? How can it be stopped?? Can you investigate this bizarre practice? I just had to get this off my chest before I scream at a colleague and lose my job. Oh and I work as a HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER - I am afraid for the next generation. If my employer hadn't blocked Science Based Medicine, maybe my co-workers wouldn't be so moronic. Also, Please don't reveal my name (if for some reason you might want to), since I would like to continue working as a high school teacher. Keep up the good fight! Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Canada

Question #2 - Ayn Rand Cult ()[edit]

Hello, First off I would like to say that I really enjoyed this week's podcast. The security expert was great, and I enjoyed the new twist with the format and guest speaker. With that said, I do have one problem with something Dr. Novella said. It was during the discussion on what you would do if you have no morals. When the question was asked by Richard Saunders about a skeptic who started a cult, Steve mentioned 'Ann' Rand. I believe he meant Ayn Rand. That is not the problem though, the problem is that I do not think one can reasonable say Ayn Rand was a cult leader. I am sure this issue has probably lead to a number of emails. I would like to make a few points. First of all, based on those 20 key feature of a cult you've mentioned before, her philosophy does not qualify. Second, I would like to ask you do not judge her by what other people say. It is the same type of thing as people discounting Richard Dawkins as shrill and mean, instead of looking at what he says. Lastly, I'd like to point out just as you shouldn't judge skepticism by what others say about some specific skepticism, do not judge her philosophy without listening to what she says. I do not count myself as an objectivist, but she certainly has a fascinating philosophy. To discredit it as simply a cult is horrible unfair. Of course, if you can demonstrate how she(not other's claiming to act in her name or new atlas societies etc.) formed her philosophy into a cult I will look at the evidence. Please if you agree with me that she is not a cult leader, after watching her in some interviews(a number on youtube) or reading her writings, please make a correction. I am not asking you to accept her philosophy, just correct what I believe is a gross mischaracterization of her and her life's work. Thank you. As always, I will keep listening and loving the show. I once did a tally of the number of days I've spent listening to the sgu and it was shocking. I've gone through every episode at least 3 or 4 times. For one year my ipod wouldn't play songs but only podcasts and audiobooks. Daniel Nowak Flushing, NY

Interview with Jon Rosenberg ()[edit]


Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: New guidelines based upon recent research suggest that most children are getting twice the recommended safe levels of fluoride from their toothpaste. Item #2: Researchers have developed a method for creating e-textiles - fabrics that can be electrically charged like a battery. which one was the Fiction. Item #3: Scientists have designed a system that uses artificial muscles to move the eyelid, which could potentially restore the ability to blink to those with facial paralysis.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

“One special advantage of the skeptical attitude of mind is that a man is never vexed to find that after all he has been in the wrong.” - William Osler

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.


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