SGU Episode 268

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SGU Episode 268
September 1st 2010
Ghost-train.jpg
SGU 267 SGU 269
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'You can learn more from failure than success. In failure you're forced to find out what part did not work. But in success you can believe everything you did was great, when in fact some parts may not have worked at all. Failure forces you to face reality.'
Fred Brooks
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Show Notes
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Introduction[edit]

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

News Items ()[edit]

Thorium Power ()[edit]

Impacts and Extinction ()[edit]

Spontaneous Combustion ()[edit]

Enfield Poltergeist ()[edit]

Headline of the week: 'Ghost Train' Hunter Killed by Real Train ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Embolisms occurring in plant vasculature

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Mitochondrial Eve Follow Up ()[edit]

I want to offer a quick correction about mitochondrial eve as described in episode 266 of the skeptic's guide. Steve described mitochondrial Eve as our most recent female common ancestor. This is not necessarily, and almost certainly isn't, true. Mitochondrial Eve is our most recent female common ancestor along the all-female line, but we could have more recent female common ancestors along other lines. The mother of our most recent male common ancestor, who, because of certain advantages men have over women in creating large numbers of progeny, almost certainly existed much more recently than mitochondrial Eve would be one such more recent female common ancestor. In fact, of all the lines of ancestry we could follow back, the all female line is likely to be among the very longest that we would have to follow to get to a common ancestor. I don't know how likely it is that mitochondrial Eve lived during an evolutionary bottleneck, but it's not clear to me that that should be the case. I know you love these corrections, you can blame my intro to human evolution teacher for this one. Chris Zerhusen

Interview with Donald Prothero ()[edit]

  • Donald Prothero teaches Physical and Historical Geology, Sedimentary Geology, and Paleontology. His specialties are mammalian paleontology and magnetic stratigraphy of the Cenozoic. His current research focuses on the dating of the climatic changes that occurred between 30 and 40 million years ago, using the technique of magnetic stratigraphy.

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: Physicists have proposed the first experiment that could test string theory. Item #2: A researcher finds that air travel in developed nations is 13 times safer than in third world nations. Item #3: A new study finds that when a tobacco plant is being eaten by caterpillars it releases toxins that prevent those caterpillars from undergoing metamorphosis.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'You can learn more from failure than success. In failure you're forced to find out what part did not work. But in success you can believe everything you did was great, when in fact some parts may not have worked at all. Failure forces you to face reality.' - Fred Brooks

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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