Episode #619

News Items

Who's That Noisy

  • Answer to last week: La La Dog

Science or Fiction

  • Item #1 Science

    NASA data finds that terrestrial radio communications push the Van Allen Belts and other high energy radiation away from the Earth, and may be useful as a shield against harmful space weather. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170517111622.htm

  • Item #2 Science

    A new study supports the hypothesis that metabolism arose prior to RNA in the origins of life on Earth. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170517120559.htm

  • Item #3 Fiction

    New evidence suggests that the first mass extinction at the end of the Ordovician was caused by climate change triggered by a massive coronal mass ejection. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170517090638.htm

Skeptical Quote of the Week

‘People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains….This overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.’ -‘Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments,’ - by Justin Kruger and David Dunning