SGU Episode 309

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SGU Episode 309
June 13th 2011
Laser cell.jpg
SGU 308 SGU 310
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'In cases where prior knowledge is available, the alternative to 'an open mind' is not a 'closed mind'. It is 'an informed mind'. In such contexts, any appeal to 'keep an open mind' is an appeal to prefer ignorance over knowledge. This is not advisable.'
Ian Rowland
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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]

News Items ()[edit]

Two New Elements ()[edit]

The Decline Effect ()[edit]

Zicam Inventor Arrested ()[edit]

Lasers from Human Cells ()[edit]

Brain Wave Cat Ears ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Sara Silverman

Questions and Emails ()[edit]

Question #1 - The Enemy Within ()[edit]

Hi guys. Love the show. Long time listener. Despite being a skeptic ever since I can remember, I find myself partaking in the superstitious act of 'knocking on wood' only very occasionally and usually when a unpleasant thought involving my kids or family pops into my head. Most often this will occur when my guard is down such as when I am drifting off to sleep for example. I know it's stupid and irrational but during these moments of vulnerability I am sometimes compelled to do it. Is this just a coping mechanism to get rid of the unpleasant thought? Or is there a believer buried in my subconscious trying to get out? This led me to ponder whether belief in a higher power could have a subconscious component and where these occasional lapses in rational thought could be coming from. Am I a closet believer? Or is this just a learned behavior or could it be some type repressed redundant evolutionary remnant? Wondering also if you guys have ever partaken in any superstitious activity recently. Kind regards. George. George Voulgaris Melbourne, Australia

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: Despite the fact that Vesta has no clouds or snow cover, it is the brightest object in the asteroid belt with an albedo about the same as the Earth. Item #2: About 1 in every 20 meteorites that fall to the Earth come from Vesta. Item #3: When it was first discovered in 1807 Vesta was thought to be a moon of its larger cousin, Ceres, which was initially designated a planet.

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'In cases where prior knowledge is available, the alternative to 'an open mind' is not a 'closed mind'. It is 'an informed mind'. In such contexts, any appeal to 'keep an open mind' is an appeal to prefer ignorance over knowledge. This is not advisable.' - Ian Rowland

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.

References[edit]


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