SGU Episode 948

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SGU Episode 948
September 9th 2023
948 geothermal energy.png

"Some are trying to unlock geothermal energy by using techniques from the fracking boom." [1]

SGU 947                      SGU 949

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein


AB: Anna Blakney,
professor of bioengineering

Quote of the Week

Not bound by facts, the hoax is free to fabricate feelings & the genres associated with them; it's this artfulness and ambiguity that help explain [its] popularity.

Kevin Young, American poet

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion

Introduction, past Dragon Cons; AI brain interpretation of song[edit]

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

News Items[edit]






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

J: ...fully intimidated by artificial intelligence, because--

S: --Well, let's talk about that, Jay, since that's my news item. Let's just slide right into that.

B: Bam!

ChatGPT Performs at University Level (6:31)[edit]

S: We've talked about...

Geothermal Energy (21:59)[edit]

Failed Star (31:55)[edit]

Doctor and NDEs (43:55)[edit]

Who's That Noisy? (51:54)[edit]

New Noisy (55:29)[edit]

[Eerie mechanical gums, groans, and screeches]

what this week's noisy is

Announcements (56:04)[edit]


Interview with Anna Blakney (58:26)[edit]

  • SciComm and Vaccines

Science or Fiction (1:29:34)[edit]

Theme: Negative results

Item #1: A study of the use of augmented reality glasses in social interactions found no significant impact.[5]
Item #2: A recent Finnish study found that the type and amount of fungus (molds and yeast) found in the home of young children do not correlate with the risk of developing asthma.[6]
Item #3: A study following children from age 10 to 16 did not find any correlation between social media use and symptoms of anxiety and depression.[7]

Answer Item
Fiction Use of AR glasses
Science Fungus & asthma risk
Social media & depression
Host Result
Steve clever
Rogue Guess
Social media & depression
Use of AR glasses
Fungus & asthma risk

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

Bob's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Evan's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:42:22)[edit]

Not bound by facts, the hoax is free to fabricate feelings and the genres associated with them- it is this artfulness and ambiguity that help explain [its] popularity.

Kevin Young (1970-present), American poet and the director of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture, from Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (2017)


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[8]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description


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