Podcast #85 - March 7th, 2007
News Items: Battle of the Diets, True Believers take on SGU, Modern Day Witch Trial; Your E-mails and Questions: Billy Meier Apologst; Name that Logical Fallacy; Science or Fiction; Skeptical Puzzle
- New study published in JAMA compared popular diet plans www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075749.htm
- Marilyn Schlitz and the True Believers Strike back at the SGU www.skeptiko.com/index.php?id=11
- Modern Day Witch Trial wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_065160805.html
Questions and E-mails
- Billy Meier Defender Dear Steven,
I noticed that you still have inaccurate info up re Meier. Perhaps you'd like to update your info and note what has happened to all the skeptical challenges in the last several years. These article cover some of it:
And this should disabuse you of your thing-on-a-string theory:
From: UFO Contact from the Pleiades
A Preliminary Investigation Report
Copyrights 1982, 1982, 1980, 1979, 1978 Wendelle C. Stevens
'For analysis of the moving picture sequences of the Pleiadian spacecraft filmed in color in super 8mm format by Eduard Meier we turned to Mr. Jun-Ichi Yaoi of Tokyo, Japan, a world recognized expert in the film and television industry, now working as an officer in Nippon Television Corporation.
In the 18 March sequence Meier filmed the spacecraft circling a large tree in front of a farmhouse. The sky was overcast with a low ceiling, and occasionally light snowflakes fell. The motion of the spacecraft looks suspiciously like it is tethered from above as it appears to circle the tree and then to swing back and forth over the tree, except that on three occasions the spacecraft changes its motion abruptly with no change in the tilt of the vertical axis of the ship.
If it was in fact tethered, one would expect the vertical axis to tilt as the tether point above was moved. In another measurement it was found that the tilt angle of the vertical axis in one oscillation sequence was sufficient that the axis crossed within the frame and would have put the tether point within the picture. No tether point source was revealed, in one of the final oscillation sequences the object appeared to pass directly over the top of the tree, and it is clearly seen that the tree was swept over in the direction of the spacecraft, or appeared to follow the spacecraft as it passed. Clearly no model could have produced this effect. When we revisite
Name That Logical Fallacy
- Logical Fallacies I'm a big fan of the show, been listening to the archives in order and am up to around episode 45. I consider myself to be a pretty skeptical person, but perhaps I am too skeptical. Although I don't typically buy into grand conspiracies, I find myself sometimes skeptical of your criticisms thereof. It seems to me that although it is logically plausible that most if not all grand conspiracies would collapse under their own weight, it seems at least slightly fallacious to say that they can't be true simply because you can't imagine how they would be perpetuated and kept secret. This strikes me as nothing more than an argument from personal incredulity. I think that even the best skeptics must guard at all times against fallacious thinking, after all, none of us are infallible. Thanks for the podcast. Keep up the good work.
Washington State, USA
Science or Fiction [ Show Answers ]
- Question #1 Science Scientists are exploring an area of the Atlantic sea floor thousands of kilometers in area where the earth-s crust appears to be missing.
- Question #2 Science Neuroscientists use fMRI scanning to show how toothbrushing can cause seizures.
- Question #3 Fiction Plant biologists have genetically engineered a variety of green bean plant that grows over 8 ft. tall and sporting beans over 1 foot long.
- Puzzle This Week's Puzzle
A pirate's victim, swimming in rye, bound with ropes, would make a perfect one of these.
Last Week's Puzzle
I am holding five objects in my hand
All five objects are the same size and shape
Each object has a number of things on them
These things are all exactly the same
The first object has zero things
The seconds has four
The third has six
The fourth has four
The fifth has ten
What am I holding?
Answer: Zener ESP cards
Quote of the Week
- Quote 'The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.'
- Thomas H. Huxley