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The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe
Skepticast #486 October 29th, 2014

Guest Rogue: Richard Saunders

Segment #1. This Day in Skepticism

November 1, 1848, the first medical school for women opened:

Segment #2. News Items

News Item #1 – Using Stem Cells to Cure Cancer

News Item #2 – Skydiving Record

News Item #3 – 3D Images

News Item #4 – The Pope and Evolution

News Item #5 – Dowsing In Australia

Segment #3. Who\'s That Noisy

Answer to last week:

Segment #4. Name That Logical Fallacy

Hello! I run a Youtube channel that is completely unrelated to anything skeptical, and is mainly just about living in Japan as an international couple with a baby. However, recently in a video blog I was commenting on a silly television show here in Japan that had a segment that day with a supposed UFO expert. It was the usual stuff you see in the media, nothing special.
However, I got a random comment in the youtube video that was full of the usual UFO believer arguments that I felt was full of logical fallacies, so I thought I\'d ask: How many logical fallacies are in this comment?
The comment:
Yes. A percentage of UFO videos and pictures are faked or photoshopped. But dude really? There are thousands of videos and photos, and more and more of them in daylight and close up. Just the law of averages with thousands of them means that there are real craft. They do perform things that cannot be done with any current public technology. AND cannot be done with any materials we have with our present understanding of physics. A human body would not survive the maneuvers performed. Just go to The Disclosure Project web site and read the affidavits from hundreds of upper US and global military and scientists working on government black ops projects. You need to catch up.
/end comment
You can see my response here:
I felt like this was my first chance to try to be a good skeptic directly, even though I\'ve been following your show for years now, and it really feels hard to deal with people I know personally believing the usual pseudoscience fluff without insulting them.
Chase in Japan

Segment #5.Your Questions and E-mails

Could you guys address the issue of midline exercises, or–more specifically–\"crossing the midline\" excercises, as a way to help \"connect\" the left and right hemispheres of the brain? I\'ve been hearing what sounds like pseudo-science especially with regards to literacy education in children. There are a bunch of programs (for sale, of course) out there that include physical excercises which improve learning rates for children who have trouble reading or thinking abstractly. What parent doesn\'t want to help improve their child\'s learning curve?!
Thanks guys– love the podcast,
Portland, OR

Segment #6. Science or Fiction
Each week our host will come up with three science news items or facts, two genuine, one fictitious. He will challenge our panel of skeptics to sniff out the fake – and you can play along.

Theme: Archaeological Horror

#1) In the El Sidron cave in Spain, archaeologists found the remains of 12 Neanderthals, three children, three teenagers, and six adults. All 12 were killed, butchered, and eaten raw by other humans.

#2) Italian Egyptologist Girolamo Segato discovered a method for preserving flesh by turning it into stone. His process of petrification from almost 200 years ago remains a mystery and has never been duplicated.

#3) Archaeologists examining the prehistoric remains of dozens of butchered adults in the Sacred Ridge region of Colorado have concluded that the butchers were all children, indicating that they wiped out the adults of their village in a single orgy of blood, perhaps as revenge for the practice of child sacrifice.

#4) Scientists examining the fully articulated and deliberately buried remains of a 3,000 year old Scottish man and woman discovered that they were actually reassembled from the remains of 6 unrelated people.

Segment #7. Skeptical Quote of the Week

Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals, the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents.

The men who radically altered history, the great creative scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned if at all.

~ Martin Gardner, mathematician and writer (1914-2010)


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