SGU Episode 90

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SGU Episode 90
April 10th 2007
SGU 89 SGU 91
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
'De omnibus dubitandum.All is to be doubted.'
Rene Descartes
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


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

News Items ()[edit]

Quantum Computer? ()[edit]


Fermilab Flub ()[edit]


More Dieting News ()[edit]

  • Dieting does not work

    No advantage to low glycemic diet.

Time Travel ()[edit]


More on Meta-analysis ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Chiropractic Confusion ()[edit]

Dear Skeptics,

The interview with David Seaman, DC, has left me confused. When I was a kid and my parents took me to the Chiropractor, I thought he was just a doctor who specialized in the back. Since then I've heard about the woo-woo origins of Chiropractic, and figured that all chiropractors were quacks.

I think I learned from the interview that modern Chiropractors are physical therapists who specialize in bones and muscles of the back, and that the woo-woo chiropractors are to chiropractic what homeopaths are the pharmacology. But if that's the case, why wasn't that emphasized during the interview; why are modern Chiropractors still targets of the skeptical community?

I'm not saying that I believe in Chiropractic, but that maybe Chiropractic is not what we skeptics tend to believe it is. What you think?

Philadelphia, USA

Death Star Conspiracy ()[edit]

Hi all,
Just thought you all might enjoy this send up of the 911 conspiracy theories:

Matthew Kaplan
USA / France

Hugh Ross and Testable Creationism ()[edit]

Hello all! Wonderful show. I look forward to your podcast every week.<Enter obligatory comment regarding Rebbecca here>.

Steven, have you read Hugh Ross' 'testable model' regarding Creationism in his book 'Creation as Science'? This model is being shoved down my throat by my Creationist friend and, not being a scientist, I have no way to prove it right or wrong. I've chosen thus far to just smile and tell him I don't know enough about it; but I would love to know your thoughts as a skeptic and scientist.

I assume the model has not followed peer review, as it was released via a book. He does, however, have a credible education in physics and astronomy. Ross' education carries some real weight in an argument; but that doesn't make his theory correct.

Here are some links:

What are your thoughts?

Thank you and good job all!
Greg Lloyd

Dr. Novella's blog entry about this:

Near Death Experiences ()[edit]

Dear Steven, Robert, Rebecca, Perry, Evan, and Jay:

Hey you guys... In all 88 episodes you have not, to my knowledge, discussed my favorite pseudo-science of all: NDE's- Near Death Experiences!

As a reformed Art Bell cultist during the 90's, you've pretty much finished up my de-programing and returned me to the world of the living. However, one story has still stuck with me all these years and I have to admit, it still fascinates me beyond words despite the complete lack of empirical evidence.

I'm speaking of Danion Brinkley. Author of 'Saved by the Light' and 'At Peace in the Light' in which he chronicles his story of being struck by lightning while speaking on the telephone as it passed through an underground line. After which, he was pronounced dead at the scene only to revive on a hospital gurney some thirty minutes later with a sheet pulled over his head and a tag on his toe.

I don't believe these particular events are in dispute, however his recounting of where he was during that half hour is quite extraordinary. Since we have a practicing neurologist on the panel, I would be most interested to hear his discussion on the matter. Of course, everyone else will no doubt have their opinions, as well.

Please do a little background research on Danion and bring the subject up on a future show. (I have autographed copies of his books you can borrow!) I'll be the first to download it!


Jason Ferney
Kansas City, MO

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Question #1: A new study shows that the number of male births in the US and Japan have been decreasing for the past 30 years.Item #2: New study suggests that human evolution is not only continuing, it is accelerating. Question #2: New study suggests that human evolution is not only continuing, it is accelerating. Question #3: New study shows that smoking actually has a protective effect against certain types of cancer.

Skeptical Puzzle ()[edit]

This Week's Puzzle

I wrote 3768 lines of code using 4 different languages to be spread over a thousand years.

Who am I ?

Last Week's Puzzle
Please be still my beating heart
For the best kiss of my life
That tingling on my skin does start
In vain my stress can cause much strife

What am I describing?

Answer: Polygraph
Winner: None

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'De omnibus dubitandum.All is to be doubted.'- Rene Descartes

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation. For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at Please send us your questions, suggestions, and other feedback; you can use the 'contact us' page on our website, or you can send us an email to 'info @'. 'Theorem' is produced by Kineto and is used with permission.


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