SGU Episode 477
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|SGU Episode 477|
|August 30th 2014|
|SGU 476||SGU 478|
|S: Steven Novella|
|R: Rebecca Watson|
|B: Bob Novella|
|J: Jay Novella|
|E: Evan Bernstein|
|Quote of the Week|
|Scientific method is based on the principle that observation is the judge of whether something is so or not. All other aspects and characteristics of science can be understood directly when we understand that observation is the ultimate and final judge of the truth of an idea. Or, put another way, 'the exception proves that the rule is wrong.' That is the principle of science. If there is an exception to any rule, and if it can be proved by observation, that rule is wrong. So the more specific the rule, the more powerful it is, the more liable it is to exceptions, and the more interesting and valuable it is to check. The method is 'try it and see' and accumulate the information and so on. And so the question 'if I do it what will happen?' is typically scientific question.|
- 1 Introduction
- 2 This Day in Skepticism (0:29)
- 3 News Items
- 4 Who's That Noisy ()
- 5 Name That Logical Fallacy ()
- 6 Science or Fiction ()
- 7 Skeptical Quote of the Week ()
- 8 References
You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.
This Day in Skepticism (0:29)
- August 30, 1935: Happy birthday to Sylvia Earle! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Earle
R: You know what's happening, is that it's Sylvia Earle's birthday.
B: Happy birthday, Sylvia!
J: Is she still kicking?
R: Yeah, she's still kickin'. She was born August 30th, 1935 in New Jersey, represent, and yeah, she was just a couple months ago, she was on the Inquiring Minds podcast. She is, so she's seventy-eight. I guess she's seventy-nine now. And she's awesome! Instead of just being like, "Okay, I've seventy-nine now; I've done enough amazing things. I'm gonna relax." She's continuing to be a world explorer.
So, for those who don't know, she's a marine biologist, and she holds a number of records for things like the deepest dives, and she's spent almost a year of her life underwater. Basically, she's an explorer. She's like the sort of people you imagine with Pith helmets.
S: Wow, she can hold her breath for a long time.
R: She probably, actually.
E: She sounds like Captain Janeway, or something.
R: Yeah, I guess she is a bit Janeway-esque, I think. She seems super-amazing. She has, in her later years, become a staunch supporter of ocean conservation causes. She's pretty much dedicated her life to educating people about, for instance, the effects of climate change, ocean acidification, problems like that, and supporting causes, and even making her own organizations that focus on increasing diversity in the sea. So, yeah, Sylvia Earle, she's really, really rad lately.
Alternative Research (2:17)
ISIS Bans Chemistry and Philosophy ()
Ice Sheets Melting ()
Talking Apes ()
Who's That Noisy ()
- Answer to last week: pending
Name That Logical Fallacy ()
- Name That Logical Fallacy
Charol Shakeshaft and sexual abuse in public schoolsHi guys! I was having a casual online debate recently and was criticized for hating on Catholic priests for their sex abuse escapades. I was made aware of a study done in 2004 suggesting that there is '100 times more' abuse in the US public school systems than in the Catholic Church. Many web sites refer to this study in defense of the Catholic Church. I couldn't find much contradicting the notion; just a mention that harassment was lumped in with molestation, making the numbers a bit inflated. I was wondering what you know about this topic, whether the study is valid the way it is being cited, and whether I should stop bringing up Catholic priest / altar boy relations in casual debates. And, is this as major a problem in the school systems as the study suggests?Chris Jodrey Malden, MA
Science or Fiction ()
Item #1: Astronomers have observed lightning strikes on the surface of the moon, apparently originating in the wispy lunar atmosphere. Item #2: Scientists have discovered the first example of speciation occurring within a single group of animals sharing the same geographic area. Item #3: A team of chemists and biologists have developed a semi-artificial leaf that, for the first time, is able to turn light into energy faster than natural photosynthesis.
Skeptical Quote of the Week ()
“Scientific method is based on the principle that observation is the judge of whether something is so or not. All other aspects and characteristics of science can be understood directly when we understand that observation is the ultimate and final judge of the truth of an idea. Or, put another way, ‘ the exception proves that the rule is wrong.’ That is the principle of science. If there is an exception to any rule, and if it can be proved by observation, that rule is wrong. So the more specific the rule, the more powerful it is, the more liable it is to exceptions, and the more interesting and valuable it is to check. The method is “try it and see’ and accumulate the information and so on. And so the question ‘if I do it what will happen?’ is typically scientific question.” - Richard Feynman
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