SGU Episode 306

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SGU Episode 306
May 25th 2011
Zombies CDC.jpg
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 305                      SGU 307

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

'The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.'

Lewis Thomas

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

This Day in Skepticism ()[edit]

  • May 28, 585 BCE: A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.

News Items ()[edit]

Rapture Rationalizations ()[edit]

Fake Moon Rock ()[edit]

Dark Energy Confirmed ()[edit]

Religious Right vs Women's Rights ()[edit]

Preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week - screaming frog

Questions and Emails ()[edit]

Banning Marmite ()[edit]

Dear Steven and fellow sceptics, Having discovered the show a few weeks ago I have now become somewhat addicted, gradually working my way through the back catalogue of episodes. Please keep up the good work. I never realised that I was a critical thinker/sceptic until listening to this podcast but would now put myself firmly in this bracket. Listening to the radio this morning, I heard a story that had all the hallmarks of pseudoscience, scaremongering and political ignorance and wondered what your take on it was. Denmark have banned Marmite, along with Ovaltine, Rice Crispies and Shreddies (apologies if any of these don’t exist in the USA but I’m sure you can find out what they are), on the grounds that they have added vitamins and that fortification poses a public health risk. An interviewee from Denmark said that other mothers had approached her and warned her not to give her children Ovaltine as it had “too many vitamins”. This sounds like the sort of nonsense peddled by cranks so I was amazed to hear it has been enacted as law in a developed, western nation. Is there any scientific basis for these claims? Best Regards, Jez Morris, 26, UK.

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: New research finds that electrons, rather than being spherical as previously thought, are distinctly egg-shaped. Item #2: Researchers find that women find expressions of happiness less attractive than expressions of pride or shame in men. Item #3: Biologists discover a bacterium that uses caffeine as its sole food source.

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.' ~Lewis Thomas

Voice-over: 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 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 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.


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