SGU Episode 647

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SGU Episode 647
December 2nd 2017
SGU 646 SGU 648
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
Magnificent desolation.
[Author's first words upon setting foot on the moon]
Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


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

Forgotten Superheroes of Science ()[edit]

News Items[edit]






(laughs) (laughter) (applause) [inaudible]

News_Item_1 ()[edit]

  • [link_URL publication: title][1]

News_Item_2 ()[edit]

  • [link_URL publication: title][2]

News_Item_3 ()[edit]

  • [link_URL publication: title][3]

News_Item_4 ()[edit]

  • [link_URL publication: title][4]

Who's That Noisy? ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week’s Noisy: _brief_description_perhaps_with_link_

New Noisy ()[edit]


Interview with Britt Hermes ()[edit]

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Answer Item
Fiction domesticated dumber than wild
Science dogs 2x smart as cats
Science carnivores not smarter than prey
Science raccoon equal to primates
Host Result
Steve sweep
Rogue Guess
Bob carnivores not smarter than prey
Jay dogs 2x smart as cats
Evan dogs 2x smart as cats

’'Voiceover: It's time for Science or Fiction.

Theme: How Smart Are Carnivores?[6]
Item #1: Dogs have twice the neuronal density as cats.
Item #2: On average domesticated species have significantly lower neuronal density than their wild counterparts.
Item #3: Contrary to what the researchers expected to find, carnivorous species did not have greater neuronal density than prey species.
Item #4: The racoon was an outlier among the carnivores, with a neuronal density equal to that of primates.

Bob's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Evan's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #4[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

Magnificent desolation.
– American astronaut Buzz Aldrin's first words upon setting foot on the moon

Signoff/Announcements ()[edit]

S: —and until next week, this is your Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

S: 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, where you will find the show notes as well as links to our blogs, videos, online forum, and other content. You can send us feedback or questions to Also, please consider supporting the SGU by visiting the store page on our website, where you will find merchandise, premium content, and subscription information. Our listeners are what make SGU possible.


Today I Learned[edit]

  • Fact/Description, possibly with an article reference[7]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description


  1. [url_from_news_item_show_notes publication: title]
  2. [url_from_news_item_show_notes publication: title]
  3. [url_from_news_item_show_notes publication: title]
  4. [url_from_news_item_show_notes publication: title]
  5. Naturopathic Diaries
  6. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy: Dogs Have the Most Neurons, Though Not the Largest Brain: Trade-Off between Body Mass and Number of Neurons in the Cerebral Cortex of Large Carnivoran Species
  7. [url_for_TIL publication: title]


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