SGU Episode 94

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SGU Episode 94
May 9th 2007
SGU 93 SGU 95
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
'The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious...the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.'
Albert Einstein
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Show Notes
Forum Topic


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

News Items ()[edit]

The Encyclopedia of Life ()[edit]


Nanotech Spidy Suit ()[edit]


Bigfoot Endangered ()[edit]


Vegan Parents Convicted ()[edit]


Dr. Novella appears on Beyond Reality radio ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Corrections and Clarifications ()[edit]

1) Re: Georgetown Guyana is in South America, no Africa

2) Deaths due to the European Witch Hunts

3) Still more on the Reichstag Fire

4) Electromagnetic Sensitivity

Evolution Challenge ()[edit]

Hello All, just as Randi has his million dollar challenge, it appears that the Creationist now have theres; Robert Comfort, the minister in the video with Kirk Cameron who use a banana to disprove atheism, have offered $10,000 to anyone that can prove a transition from one species to another.

Any takers?

Greg Lloyd
West Chester, OH US

Interview with Barry Beyerstein ()[edit]


    Barry Beyerstein is Professor of Psychology and a member of the Brain Behaviour Laboratory at Simon Fraser University. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, he received his bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University and a Ph.D. in Experimental and Biological Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Beyerstein's research has involved many areas related to his primary scholarly interests: brain mechanisms of perception and consciousness and the effects of drugs on the brain and mind. He also has interests in the sense of smell and its lesser-known contributions to human cognition and emotion. His work in these areas and his interest in the philosophy and history of science have also led him to be skeptical of many occult and New Age claims. This has prompted him to investigate the scientific status of many questionable products in the areas of medical and psychological treatment, as well as a number of dubious self-improvement techniques. In these pursuits, Dr. Beyerstein serves as chair of the Society of B. C. Skeptics and he is a Fellow and a member of the Executive Council of the Committee of Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) (Formally the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal - CSICOP). Headquartered in New York, CSI promotes scientific critiques of occult and pseudoscientific claims in the media, in academe, and in the marketplace. Dr. Beyerstein is on the editorial board of CSI's journal, The Skeptical Inquirer. He was also an elected to the Council for Scientific Medicine, a US organization that provides critiques of unscientific and fraudulent health products. He is a founding member of Canadians for Rational Health policy and a Contributing Editor of the journal, The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine. He has published in these areas himself and is a frequent commentator on such topics on TV and Radio and in the print media.

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Question #1: The Rover Spirit has discovered evidence of recent (meaning less than a few million years) volcanic activity on Mars. Question #2: Meteorologists have published a paper showing how global warming will shorten the length of the day. Question #3: Astronomers have discovered an extrasolar planet with a surface temperature of 3700 degrees F (for comparison Mercury gets up to 800 degrees, and Venus gets to 900 degrees)

Skeptical Puzzle ()[edit]

This Week's Puzzle

In a skeptical context, if I've been cut up and cured, what has happened to me?

Last Week's Puzzle

This is a guest puzzle this week from Chris Lamb of the UK:

Centuries ago,
A labored magician's trick,
I'm king I had to know,
And sent my wise men quick,
Her hair was not concealed,
They believed but never thought,
And later was revealed,
This fraud was at my fort.

Answer: Mary Tofts
Winner: Adam Price, Seattle

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious...the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.'- Albert Einstein

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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