SGU Episode 290

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SGU Episode 290
January 31st 2011
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SGU 289 SGU 291
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'Oh, the truth, oh yeah, lot of trouble that got us into, didn't it, over the last maybe thousand years? Hitler knew the truth, so did Stalin, so did Mao Zedong, so did the Inquisition. They all knew the truth and that caused such horror. Certainty is the enemy.'
Anthony Hopkins
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Show Notes
Forum Topic


Introduction[edit]

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

This Day in Skepticism ()[edit]

  • February 5, 1897: the Indiana State House legislature passed Bill No.246 which in effect gave 3.2 exactly as the value of pi.

News Items ()[edit]

Luc Montagnier and Homeopathy ()[edit]

Teachers Cautious about Evolution ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: The singing sands

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Countering Fallacies ()[edit]

As all usually say, thanks for doing the show. After 18 months of listening, it still remains a weekly highlight to download a new episode. I have a question (or proposal) regarding the coverage of logical fallacies. I still consider myself fairly new to the skeptical community and continue to enjoy the exercise of 'name that logical fallacy'. Much of the time spent on logical fallacies in the skeptical community relies on how to identify them, but as I hone my ability to discuss and debate topics, I have noticed that I fall short in my ability to counteract a particular fallacy. I would enjoy hearing more about effective ways to approach a logical fallacy once it is apparent. It is one thing to say, 'that's a straw man!', but in my experience, that does little to return a discussion back to the argument at hand. Hopefully this makes sense, and thanks in advance. Congrats on being picked up on XM. Louis Denver, CO

Name That Logical Fallacy ()[edit]

  • Name That Logical Fallacy
Arguments Noticed that you really have a huge chip on your shoulder about creationists and yet while your descriptions of the type of arguments they us may be accurate that does not negate their conclusions. Personal opinion on a subject does not automatically make you correct either indeed as there are so many inexplicable things that science cannot fathom simply does not rule out a Creator. Lets face it if there is a Creator of all things then we'd have to pretty much guarantee, irrespective of all possible 'clever' arguments to the contrary His arrogant creations put forward, He would have to be so much smarter than they could ever be. Chris Weller Australia

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: A recent analysis of a hadrosaur fossil finds that the dinosaur lived 700,000 years after the K-T extinction that supposedly killed off all non-avian dinosaurs. Item #2: A study of subjects trying to quit smoking indicates that fMRI analysis of their brain activity is more predictive of their success than their self-assessment. Item #3: Scientists report that as many as 20% of all North American bats are infected with rabies.

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'Oh, the truth, oh yeah, lot of trouble that got us into, didn't it, over the last maybe thousand years? Hitler knew the truth, so did Stalin, so did Mao Zedong, so did the Inquisition. They all knew the truth and that caused such horror. Certainty is the enemy. ' Anthony Hopkins

Voiceover: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by SGU productions, dedicated to promoting science and critical thinking. For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. You can also check out our other podcast the SGU 5x5 as well as find links to our blogs and the SGU forums. 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 spread the word by leaving us a review on iTunes, Zune or your portal of choice.'Theorem' is performed by Kineto, and used with permission.

References[edit]


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