Podcast #87 - March 21st, 2007
Interview with Robert Lancaster; News Items: Vernal Equinox, Prayer Meta-analysis, Creationist Teacher Fired, Polar Bear Euthanasia; Your E-mails and Questions: Pluto Corrections, Herbal Remedies; Science or Fiction; Skeptical Puzzle
- Happy Vernal Equinox www.theness.com/neurologicablog/default.asp?Display=64
- Intercessory Prayer Meta-analysis www.theness.com/neurologicablog/default.asp?Display=60
- Biology Teacher Fired for Referring to the Bible www.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/03/20/teacherfired.ap.ap/index.html
- Animal Rights Activists and the Polar Bear www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=443343&in_page_id=1811&ico=Homepage&icl=TabModule&icc=picbox&ct=5
Questions and E-mails
- Pluto Corrections Just a quick comment. Lowell Observatory is at Flagstaff, AZ, not in New Mexico.
Eau Claire, WI
First let me say that I thoroughly enjoy your podcast and I have turned my wife onto it also. It is the only podcast that she listens to without fail each week.
Now to the topic of my email. I was acquainted with Clyde Tombaugh, the discover of Pluto. He was a long time faculty at New Mexico State University (where I am a member of the Department of Economics). Mr. Tombaugh was much beloved and revered resident of New Mexico for many years.
My favorite story involves inviting him to speak to a student honor society that I advized. Despite his very advanced age, he agreed. He arrived toting an oxygen tank. It was obvious that he could not hear despite hearing aids and that he was nearly blind. I thought that a disaster was in the making and that there was no way that he could give the promised keynote speach. But my fear was unwarranted. He in fact gave a wonderful half-hour speech full of antidotes and jokes. By the end of the speech, he had the students eating out of his hand. The essences of his speech was to use his life story to inspire others to a life of inquiry and science.
The recent memorial by the New Mexico legislature was not an attempt to redefine the use of the term 'planet' by scientist but rather an attempt to honor a marvelous educator who used his fame to the benefit of the students of New Mexico.
Department of Economics
New Mexico State University
- Herbal Remedies I started listening about the beginning of the year and I have gone back to he beginning and I am up to episode 30. I really enjoyed the combination of your medical expertise and skeptical outlook as you discussed toxins.
My mother-in-law, a Southern Baptist, has a non-accredited PhD in herbal medicine. You can see where our world views don't match up well with me being a scientifically minded atheist-agnostic.
She is very much the missionary for both theology as well as alternative medicine. Not only is she a true believer in herbal medicine she also practices applied kinesiology and iridology for diagnosing any and all diseases. When I confront her with my basic medical knowledge, she goes off on a rant about a conspiracy in the medical profession to suppress the truth only motivated to make money. I know I can do little to change her mind, but I would like to protect my family's heath and wallets.
I have head you address chiropractic and acupuncture. Would you be willing to do a show addressing herbal medicine as well as applied kinesiology and iridology?
I am also interested in a contraption where you stick your feet in a tub of water and they apply an electric current and the water turns black. This allegedly pulls the toxins out of your body. I have found references to this as ion detox and as aqua detox.
I have found some wonderful information at Skepdic and Quackwatch. I would appreciate any other sites which may help me mount counter arguments.
I have recently come out of the skeptical closet and your show has made a difference in my ability to articulate many of my thoughts.
Thank you for a wonderful show.
- Interview with Robert Lancaster www.stopsylviabrowne.com/home/
Science or Fiction [ Show Answers ]
- Question #1 Science MIT nuclear power expert warns that the US is running low on uranium to fuel its nuclear power plants.
- Question #2 Science Scientists have identified a specific brain structure that, when damaged, removes any emotional inhibition of killing others.
- Question #3 Fiction New study shows that following breast augmentation surgery women report lower self-esteem and sexual satisfaction.
- Puzzle This Week's Puzzle
Between us, if I raise my goblet to you, and open my heart, on the grounds of conjecture, what psuedoscientific act am I performing?
Last Week's Puzzle
If you take the 9th, the 22nd, the 8th, the 20th, and the 18th, and put them inside a vulva, what do you have?
Answer: A Jesus Fish
Quote of the Week
- Quote 'I am tired of all this sort of thing called science here... We have spent millions in that sort of thing for the last few years, and it is time it should be stopped.'
Simon Cameron, U.S. Senator, 1901