Podcast #131 - January 23rd, 2008
Special Guests Fraser Cain and Pamela Gay from Astronomy Cast; News Items: Texas UFO follow up, Mars Bigfoot, Homer on Mercury, Asteroid 2007 TU24, Bionic Eyes, Coast to Coast Gets Punked; Your Questions and E-mails: Restless Leg Syndrome, Time Travel, Relativity; Science or Fiction
- Special Guests, Fraser Cain and Pamela Gay www.astronomycast.com
- UFO's Over Texasfollow up www.cnn.com/2008/US/01/23/airforce.ufo/index.html
- Bigfoot on Mars www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/01/23/scimars123.xml&CMP=ILC-mostviewedbox
- More Astronomical Pareidolia www.theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php?p=173
- Asteroid 2007 TU24 www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/01/21/repeat-after-me-asteroid-2007-tu24-is-no-danger-to-earth/
- Bionic Eyes uwnews.org/uweek/uweekarticle.asp?visitsource=uwkmail&articleID=39100
- Coast to Coast Radio Show Gets Punked planethalflife.gamespy.com/fullstory.php?id=147287
Questions and E-mails
- RLS Skepticism uber allas, but that would be an oxymoron. Anyway, I would like to ask you Dr. Novella as a neurologist your opinion of 'Restless Leg Syndrome.' My brother who is a physician (dermatologist) told me that his professional colleagues tell him that RLS is a made up myth. That two major pharmaceutical companies have turned their failed sleep meds into a new need and market. We have all seen the massive TV and print media advertising. I have heard you on a past podcast talk about the natural paralysis this is necessary for REM sleep to keep us acting out our dreams. Also, these RLS medications are vasodilators. The effect is relieving the tingling feeling in the legs which is I believe is a result from inactivity. A very American thing.
Anyway, can you set the story straight on RLS as science or fiction? Thank you for the weekly hour of fresh air on the treadmill for me.
- Time Travel First, I would like to thank you for the work that you put into your podcast. I live in the bible belt of the North Georgia foothills. My whole life I've been made to feel guilty for almost any kind of skepticism, especially when it comes to religion. This place can be a living example of pseudo science. Your show is much like you describe it as my, 'escape to reality.' Sometimes I feel so covered up in garbage that I find it hard to think. Your show really does give me a feeling of relief, and I thank you again for your work.
To get to the point:
You spent some time discussing the concept of time travel a week or so ago. I didn't really understand most of what you were saying, but I am under the impression that you embrace it as a concept but it is and will continue to be physically impossible b/c of a limiting factor.
The concept itself has always seemed ludicrous to me, as I see time as more of a naming convention than a measurement of some concrete fabric. I don't understand how you can move through something that exists only as a description of a sequence.
I recently had this discussion with someone who talked about traveling greater than the speed of light. We see stars that no longer exist because of their distance from us and the restrictions of the speed of light, so I understand how traveling at greater speeds could alter a person's perspective. How are speed and time related? How could time be different in different places? I don't know anything about black holes or different states of matter. Can you try to explain this again, in the simplest possible terms? I still can't buy into this idea.
Name That Logical Fallacy
- Logical Fallacies From the Science Based Medicine blog:
Commenter 'pec' wrote:
Mainstream medicine should concentrate on what it does well - emergency surgery, anesthesia, antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostic technology.
It should hand over what it does poorly - treatment of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic degenerative diseases, auto-immune diseases, cancer, AIDS, for example - to CAM.
There does not have to be any conflict. We don't recommend yoga for someone who just feel off the roof. If CAM is funded and encouraged to advanced it can take over ONLY the areas where mainstream medicine has failed.
Mainstream medicine could stop pretending that a cure for cancer is just around the corner. It isn't, not within the current mainstream scientific framework. It could stop prescribing drugs for artery disease that may slow progression and stave off death for a while, but that erode quality of life and well-being.
Give CAM a chance and focus on doing what you can be successful at. Aren't you getting tired of failing?
Science or Fiction [ Show Answers ]
- Question #1 Fiction Conservationists have recently shipped hundreds of specimens of endangered animals to an arctic preserve where they will be frozen as a hedge against future extinction.
- Question #2 Science Doctors report a case of a kidney transplant recipient who has been able to live completely off immunosuppressive drugs thanks to a new treatment.
- Question #3 Science French scientists have figured out a way to generate useful electricity from rainfall.
Skeptical Quote of the Week
- Skeptical Quote “Science is simply common sense at its best – that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.” - Thomas Henry Huxley