SGU Episode 795

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SGU Episode 795
October 3rd 2020
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 794                      SGU 796

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

C: Cara Santa Maria

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.

Hippocrates, Ancient Greek physician

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

COVID-19 Update ()[edit]

What's the Word? (m:ss)[edit]

News Items[edit]






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

Electric Vehicles and Climate Change ()[edit]

Black Hole Circling a Wormhole ()[edit]

Neanderthal Y Chromosomes ()[edit]

Paranormal Naval Ships ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy? ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week’s Noisy: _brief_description_perhaps_with_link_

New Noisy ()[edit]


Questions/Emails/Corrections/Follow-ups ()[edit]

Question #1: Time Travel Paradox ()[edit]

Time travel without paradox? I'm sure you've gotten many e-mails on this one. Any chance you can or can get a mathematician to explain how things like reality compensating for changes the time traveler makes can be expressed mathematically? Feels like trying to have an equation for free will or maybe just a smile... Cheers!

– Rich, Dayton, OH

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Answer Item
Fiction Tesla no booze
Science C, x, q abandoned
Edison iron to gold
Nuclear vacuums
Host Result
Steve win
Rogue Guess
Nuclear vacuums
Edison iron to gold
Tesla no booze
Edison iron to gold

Voiceover: It's time for Science or Fiction.

Theme: Predicting the Future
Item #1: John Elfreth Watkins Jr., the curator of mechanical technology at the Smithsonian Institution, in 1900 predicted that by the 2000s, "There will be no C, X, or Q in our everyday alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary."[5]
Item #2: In 1911 Thomas Edison predicted, "It will be an easy matter to convert a truckload of iron bars into virgin gold."[6]
Item #3: "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years." - Alex Lewyt, President of the Lewyt vacuum company, 1955.[7]
Item #4: Nikola Tesla predicted in 1935 that, "By the dawn of the 21st century, alcohol will no longer be consumed by mankind, who will have evolved beyond the need for such tonics."[8]

Bob's Response[edit]

Cara's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Evan's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Steve Explains Item #4[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

There are in fact two things: science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.
Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 370 BC), Greek physician, considered the "Father of Medicine"

Signoff/Announcements ()[edit]

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

S: Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by SGU Productions, dedicated to promoting science and critical thinking. For more information, visit us at Send your questions to And, if you would like to support the show and all the work that we do, go to and consider becoming a patron and becoming part of the SGU community. Our listeners and supporters are what make SGU possible.


Today I Learned[edit]

  • Fact/Description, possibly with an article reference[9]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description



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