SGU Episode 344

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SGU Episode 344
February 18th 2012
Pluto1.jpg
SGU 343 SGU 345
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'It is a truly wonderful fact - the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity -- that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other in group subordinate to group'
Charles Darwin
Links
Download Podcast
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 18, 1930: The Discovery of Pluto

News Items ()[edit]

The Science of Pony Tails ()[edit]

Online Surveys ()[edit]

Structural Batteries ()[edit]

Quickie with Bob: Alien matter in the solar system ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Kabala

Questions and Emails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Can Evolution be Falsified ()[edit]

Thanks so much for the show. My old Grandad raised an interesting question recently: can evolution be falsified? My initial reaction was 'of course it can', but it turned out that no matter how hard I thought about it, I couldn't come up with a way in which it could. So I turned to the web, and the best and only possible falsification (that I could understand) I could find is this: the discovery of a complete human fossil that is 3 billion years old (you can substitute the specifics but you get the idea). What are your thoughts? If evolution can't be falsified should it be discounted, or at least somehow relegated as a scientific theory? I think not, but I struggle to find an answer to those that stipulate that science must be falsifiable. Later. paul wild UK

Question #2 - Headgear ()[edit]

My 13 year old daughter is being required to wear headgear to prevent concussion during soccer games and practices. I have researched extensively on pubmed but cannot find much support that these headbands will prevent concussion. What I have so far: 1. females are more likely to get concussions than males 2. properly heading the ball does not cause concussion 3. colliding with a person or goal post will give you a concussion 4. pro soccer players will show some damage to their heads http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582549/ http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/30/2/157.abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9548117?dopt=Abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17615173 I am being told to buy this headgear 'just to be on the safe side' but I object to doing things for no clear benefit. Can you advise on whether the data supports purchase of soccer headgear for a 13-year old female to wear during play and practices? Many thanks for any help. Everyone is either laughing at me or acting as if I do not want my kid to be safe. I do want her safe. But not in a padded cell, kwim? Joanna Wijntjes Menlo Park, CA

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: Programmers have created a computer program that can score 150 on a standard IQ test. Item #2: Programmers have developed software that can monitor video chat in real time and accurately detect deception and other emotions in the target. Item #3: Forensic scientists have developed a system for identifying unknown skulls by computer comparison to pictures of living people.

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'It is a truly wonderful fact -- the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity -- that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other in group subordinate to group' - Charles Darwin

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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