SGU Episode 283

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SGU Episode 283
December 15th 2010
Voyager1.jpg
SGU 282 SGU 284
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.'
J.B.S. Haldane
Links
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


Introduction[edit]

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

News Items ()[edit]

Piltdown Anniversary ()[edit]

Hydrogen Production ()[edit]

Voyager 1 Leaves Solar System ()[edit]

Slushball Earth ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Alien Plants vs Animals ()[edit]

I was wondering why almost all you come across regard extra terrestrial life it seems to almost exclusively be focused on alien animal life? Why not alien Plants? What would it mean if we found a moon or planet with alien plant life, but no animals. Is that even possible? Or vice versa? Is it just that the idea of Little Grey Men are sexier than Martian Ferns? Obviously there are some basic fundamentals I fail to understand on the distinction between the plants and animals. So how much of one is there? In a way it almost appears as if the two are alien life forms with a symbiotic and side by side relationship. What is a distinction that separated life into the plant and animal kingdoms? Is there a common ancestor to both? At the base level the search for alien life for a time before a distinction? If they did find a Fern on Mars, some how it just doesn't seem as exciting as say a Martian Worm. PS. My example was originally a Martian flower, but for obvious reasons that was a bad example. Brendan Melbourne Australia

Interview with Dan Gardner ()[edit]

  • Author of Future Babble

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: A new study demonstrates that it is possible to become drunk from dunking one's feet in alcohol for several hours. Item #2: The atomic weights of 10 elements, including hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, have recently been changed on the official periodic table of elements. Item #3: Scientists report the finding that cichlid fish have 5 different cones for seeing color, the most known for any vertebrate.

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Finneas and Ferb

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.' - J.B.S. Haldane

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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