SGU Episode 939

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SGU Episode 939
July 8th 2023
939 Cannabal Hominid.jpg

"A recent study offered the “oldest decisive evidence” that our ancient hominid ancestors ate one another. But the field has a long history of overstating such claims, other scientists note." [1]

SGU 938                      SGU 940

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

C: Cara Santa Maria

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.

Publilius Syrus, Latin writer from Antioch

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion

Introduction, Hottest day, Meaning of life[edit]

Voice-over: You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

Quickie with Bob (11:55)[edit]

  • [url_from_show_notes _article_title_][2] (Note: this article is not from the SGU show notes page)

News Items[edit]






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

Activity Good for Quality of Life (15:19)[edit]

Hominid Cannibals (25:19)[edit]

Aspartame and Cancer (33:53)[edit]

FAA Approves Flying Car (46:52)[edit]


Neutrino Image of Milky Way (1:04:12)[edit]

Who's That Noisy? (1:13:01)[edit]

New Noisy (1:15:51)[edit]


... what that noisy is

Announcements (1:16:32)[edit]


Email #1: Politicization of skeptical topics (1:18:41)[edit]

Followup #1: Titan submersible failure (1:26:54)[edit]

Followup #2: Canada's forest management (1:28:19)[edit]


Science or Fiction (1:32:58)[edit]

Item #1: A recent review of data finds that maternal mortality rate more than doubled in the US between 1999 and 2019 in every racial and ethnic group.[7]
Item #2: Astronomers observing distant quasars find that time in the early universe flowed 5 times slower than it does today.[8]
Item #3: A study involving bacterial cells with a minimized genome, in which every gene is deemed essential, revealed a dramatically reduced rate of evolutionary adaptation to stressed environments.[9]

Answer Item
Fiction Cells w/ minimized genome
Science US maternal mortality rate
Universe flowed 5x slower
Host Result
Steve win
Rogue Guess
US maternal mortality rate
Cells w/ minimized genome
US maternal mortality rate
Cells w/ minimized genome

Voice-over: It's time for Science or Fiction.

Jay's Response[edit]

Evan's Response[edit]

Cara's Response[edit]

Bob's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:50:35)[edit]

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.

Publilius Syrus (85–43 BC), Latin writer from Antioch


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[10]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description


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