SGU Episode 264

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SGU Episode 264
August 4th 2010
SGU 263 SGU 265
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
'For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.'
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


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

News Items ()[edit]

DIY Genetic Testing ()[edit]

Coronal Mass Ejection ()[edit]

More Evidence for Warming ()[edit]

Analyzing the Future ()[edit]

Misfortune Teller ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week:

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - More on Dieting ()[edit]

In Skeptic's Guide 261, you talked about how difficult it is to lose weight and keep it off. You pointed out how less than 5% of people can successfully keep off lost weight for more than a couple of years. And yet you kept talking about how we need to figure out the 'right formula' to let everyone lose weight and keep it off. Please look at that again with your skeptical eyes. I know this sounds scandalous in today's weight-loss and dieting obsessed age, but if 95% of people who try - let me repeat that, 95% OF PEOPLE, which is EVERYONE - are unable to successfully lose weight through any combination of diet, exercise, surgery, or medication -- then doesn't it make more sense to say that losing weight is not a reasonable goal? That obesity is NOT an epidemic* but that some people are naturally thin and some people are naturally fat? *Which it isn't, and nor are there significantly more fat people than there were 20 years ago. As a country we did gain maybe 10 pounds on average, but 10 pounds does not a fat person make and the real issue is that medical establishment lowered the BMI cut-off points (BMI being a useless tool anyway). And you were talking about children! Children should never be on diets or exercise programs beyond 'go out and play'. Never. We don't need another generation growing up obsessed with their weight, especially since - as you plainly stated - it's not something they can change. I like the podcast. But hearing views like that from people I usually respect is disheartening. Anna

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: Recent research finds that women rate men as significantly more attractive when they are wearing or are framed in the color red. Item #2: New research shows that people are likely to change even established opinions in the face of popular disagreement. Item #3: Material scientists have discovered an alloy of silicon that turns from solid to liquid as it cools, a process known as retrograde melting.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.' - anon

Announcements ()[edit]

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.


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