Podcast #71 - November 29th, 2006
Interview with Mark Crislip; News Items: Paranormal Computer Storage, ID in the UK; Your E-mails and Questions: Corrections, Einstein, Ghost Photos, Neurolink; Randi Speaks: Mentalism; Science or Fiction; Skeptical Puzzle
- Paranormal Computer Storage www.techworld.com/storage/news/index.cfm?newsid=7432
- Intelligent Design in the UK news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6187534.stm
Questions and E-mails
- Corrections and Clarifications Nick Pope is not a former minister of defense, but was just the head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project.
Passing reference was made to that notion that people use only 10% of our brains. This was tongue-in-cheek, but we should have specifically pointed out that this is a myth. www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=44
- Einstein Dr. Novella,
I just got around to listening to the Nov 21 podcast. I must disagree with your reasons behind Einstein's Special Relativity theory being one of the great paradigm changing discoveries. I would agree that it was a monumental and paradigm shifting discovery, and that Einstein is arguably the greatest scientist of all time. But your reasoning that only Einstein and his great genius could have given us this theory is flawed. It sounded to me like you used an argument from incredulity instead of historical research. You also got some of your facts incorrect. Many scientists today believe it was only a matter of time before the Special Relativity theory was discovered. Einstein was in the right place at the right time, and without his paper it still would have been discovered within 5 or 10 years. He was not the first person to suggest space and time were variables. By 1905, the French physicist Henri Poincare already published many of the salient points of Special Relativity. Some argue the credit of the discovery should have gone to Poincare; Einstein himself was quoted as saying 'there is no doubt that the Special Theory of Relativity, if we regard its development in retrospect, was ripe for discovery in 1905'.
You said Einstein's theory was 'thinking outside of anything that any human before him had ever conceived'. Please research this history, and if you agree, please say something on the podcast and give some credit where credit is due, most notably to Poincare Lorentz.
- The Top 10 Ghost Photos theknightshift.blogspot.com/2005/10/top-ten-best-ghost-photographs-ever.html
The Skeptics' Guide reviews the best photo evidence of ghosts
- Neurolink Hey there,
I found out about you guys via Rebecca Watsons blog that I found out via livescience.com both of which are glorious, (of course). Anyhow I will do the adoration thing when I have more time but I just wanted to quickly find out about this thing that my dad wants me to do called 'neurolink'. I am 18 as a side note, so my parents are still a bit bossy. Now I think it sounds a bit dud but what do you think? Here's the link
Thanks oh most inspiring ones!!
- Interview with Mark Crislip Host of Quackcast - a biweekly (roughly) podcast on quackery and alternative medicine.
- James Randi The Uncompromising Observations of a Veteran Skeptic
Each week James Randi gives a skeptical commentary in his own unique style.
This week's topic: Mentalism
Science or Fiction [ Show Answers ]
- Question #1 Science Scientists have cracked the ancient code of a 2 thousand year old astronomical calculator, revealing technological sophistication previously unknown to the ancient world.
- Question #2 Science A biochemist claims to have finally solved the long mystery of the unique quality of the Strativarius violins.
- Question #3 Fiction Scientists have rediscovered a 500 year old alchemical formula for curing bacterial infections that actually works.
- Puzzle Last Week's puzzle
John Locke (philosopher)
Herbert Hoover (31st US president)
Robert Boyle (father of modern chemistry)
Gen. George S. Patton
Each of these famous people have had a hand in this pseudoscience.
Name the pseudoscience.
Winner: Larry Keim
This Week's puzzle
This person had good motives in mind when he proposed that mans
activities occur in predictable waves. He took stock in this belief, and
in his own bullish way, brought his philosophy to bear. Perhaps he
should have invested more time in his research, for he could have used
some corrections to realize his theory would crash.
Who is this person?
Quote of the Week
- Quote What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.
- Bertrand Russell