Podcast #43 - May 17th, 2006
Interview with Ray Hyman; News: Bosnian Pyramid update, Mormon cult leader hits FBI list; E-mail: Paranormal mysteries, Science education, Scientology super powers; Name that logical fallacy; Science or fiction
- Pyramid Hoax Despite growing criticism from more scientific sources, most mainstream media has still not caught up to the 'pyramid hoax.' Some, like the NYT, are softening up their prior reports.
Questions and E-mails
- The Unexplained Hi Guys,
First off I'd just to to say that I really enjoy the podcast. I'm always fascinated by the paranormal and I happened to came across your podcast by accident while searching itunes. What a great show. I've realised that I'm also fascinated by the skeptics point of view, and although I really like the idea of a paranormal universe it's nice to get a slap of reality from you guys. Keep up the good work.
So with that in mind I'm curious about you guys. Have you ever come across any paranormal claims that made you think twice? or that you just can't explain?
Anyways, I still have six episodes to catch up on!
Again look forward to hearing from you.
- Science Education Hey guys,
Love the show, listen every week, keep up the good work, yada yada, onto the actual issue:
I hear a lot of people in the skeptical/scientific community talking about what crummy science education standards we have in the U.S., and how most high school text books water down the teaching of evolution, so I thought it might be worth noting one of the exceptions. In our small town of Valdez, Alaska (pronounced Valdeez), the science education is great. My girlfriend is a high school senior, and the longest chapter in her biology book is 'The Theory of Evolution.' There's a separate chapter on human evolution. Also, it doesn't beat around the bush; in the very beginning of the chapter it states that evolution is the single most fundamental theory in all of biology.
And speaking of Valdez, if Perry will be spending any time here, tell him to drop me a line and maybe we can do lunch or something.
Here is a negative assessment of highschool biology textbooks by the AAAS:
However, there are excellent textbooks out there. Here is one by Ken Miller and Joe Levine, already adopted by a few school systems: http://www.millerandlevine.com/intro.html
- Scientology Super Powers for real? I looked up the article talking about the perceptics course, but unfortunatly I only found one article that everyone is linking to. Is it a reliable site? Doesnt seem like it. But great topic to discuss, very fun.
Laughed out loud.
Here are some further resources on this:
Name That Logical Fallacy
- Logical Fallacies From: DON WALTON
Time for Truth Ministries
Published April 27, 2006
'Isn't it amazing what today's scientists can deduce from a mere rock or dust particle? Do you remember the Genesis space capsule? Scientists assured us that this important space mission, designed to gather solar atoms, would eventually enable them to explain the origin of the universe. Unfortunately, the space capsule crashed upon its return to the earth. Its parachute malfunctioned due to the fact that it had been put in backwards. Now I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, scientists who can't figure out which way to put in a parachute have no chance of figuring out the origin of the universe.'
'Yet, before we throw our Bibles away, let's remember a similar claim made by evolutionists several years ago. The Coelacanth, discovered in fossil remains believed by scientists to be 400 million years old, was once touted by evolutionists as the 'missing link' between fish and land animals. This prehistoric creature was believed to have possessed both lungs and gills, as well as lobbed-fins and a skeletal and muscular system that enabled it to walk on either the ocean floor or dry land.'
'Today, thanks to the fact that hundreds of them have been caught off the coast of South Africa, the Coelacanth has been nicknamed 'the living fossil.' This so-called living fossil has not only given evolution a black eye, but left evolutionists scratching their heads for an explanation to why the Coelacanth failed to evolve into an amphibian and has remained virtually unchanged for the past 400 million years. Of course, the Coelacanth will eventually evolve, evolutionists assure us, just give it a gazillion years or two.'
- Interview with Ray Hyman Ray Hyman has a PhD in psychology from Johns Hopkins U., he taught psychology statistics at Harvard University, and in as expert in self and other deception and evaluating studies involving humans. He is a prominent critic of paranormal research, and wrote the definitive critique of the Ganzfeld experiments.
Author of: Hyman, Ray. The Elusive Quarry : a Scientific Appraisal of Psychical Research (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989)
And Water Witching U.S.A. (with Evon Vogt)
Ray Hyman has been awarded CSICOP's In Praise of Reason award:
Very telling article by a psi-proponent critical of Ray Hyman: www.victorzammit.com/skeptics/rayhyman.html
Science or Fiction [ Show Answers ]
- Question #1 Science Physicist have discovered a way to cause light to travel backwards.
- Question #2 Fiction Based upon recent observations of the most distant quasars, physicists have recalculated the age of the universe up from 13.7 billion years to as high as 19 billion years.
- Question #3 Science Physicists, in a recent publication, claim to provide evidence for the existence of a contracting universe before the big bang.