Author Topic: Podcast # 49  (Read 8811 times)

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Offline Wonko the Sane

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Podcast # 49
« on: July 04, 2006, 12:33:06 AM »
Maybe I am out of line posting this but podcast #49 is on their server but not on the site yet.

http://media.libsyn.com/media/skepticsguide/skepticast2006-06-28.mp3

Sorry if I wasn't supposed to post this.

The skeptical rouges are off this week so it is an all Stephen episode.
'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

"People in bamboo houses should not throw pandas" -Jesus

Offline Wonko the Sane

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 07:39:51 PM »
I had one comment obthe "Name that logical falliacy" segmant. I always thought that the "what are the odds?" argument was really an  Argument from Personal Incredulity. or "I can't buy that it happened because of the extreme odds therefore..."
'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

"People in bamboo houses should not throw pandas" -Jesus

Offline swpalmer

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2006, 08:54:53 AM »
Quote from: "Wonko the Sane"
Maybe I am out of line posting this but podcast #49 is on their server but not on the site yet.


Hahaha... Just like me you couldn't take it any longer and started fishing to see if the URL was out there?


Speaking of "what are the odds" and our  (humans) related inability to calculate them well.  I found this link off the Scientific American site: http://server1.sxsw.com/2006/coverage/SXSW06.INT.20060311.DanielGilbert.mp3

The Monte Hall problem mentioned at the end of the show is one that my brain had a hard time with until I got it twisted around to the correct way of thinking.  Wikipedia covers it well if you feel like cheating

One thing about probability that people often don't get is that after something has happened you can state with certainty that the probability of it happening was 100%.   Like tossing a coin and getting heads 100 times in a row... if you've managed 99 heads in a row so far then at that point the probability of getting 100 in a row is 50:50.  So asking about the probability of humans evolving is a bit weird.

Offline geoffI

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 03:35:33 PM »
Great podcast!  A perfect first solo flight Steven.

The Monty Hall problem is interesting (I've heard it before) but for once it didn't fool me.  The nature of the problem is really understanding the problem.  PhD's in math have been fooled by it.

I sometimes have tremendous difficulty with statistics and small steps of logic but for once I got it right away.  I suspect that it's not in spite of the fact my brain isn't wired that way, but because of it.

Offline Steven Novella

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2006, 04:32:08 PM »
Here is the summary of the episode:
   
Podcast #49 6/28/2006
Your E-mails: Theory of Evolution, Agnosticism, Magnet therapy, Regulating supplements, Neuroethics
Name That Logical Fallacy
Science or Fiction
Skeptical Puzzle

Sorry it was late. Our media server, Libsyn, had upload problems. It was finally solved early this week, and took us a day to get the website updated since it was out of cycle for us.
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline Steven Novella

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2006, 04:34:45 PM »
Quote from: "Wonko the Sane"
I had one comment obthe "Name that logical falliacy" segmant. I always thought that the "what are the odds?" argument was really an  Argument from Personal Incredulity. or "I can't buy that it happened because of the extreme odds therefore..."


I don't think so. The argument is not that it is beyond imagination, but that it is so mathematically unlikely that it is reasonable to treat it as false.

So the real problem is that it is a false premise that it is unlikely, it comes from using the wrong probability.
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline JJamesB

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2006, 06:09:19 PM »
Just wanted to say thanks very much to Dr. Steve for the solo effort.  I was starting to experience withdrawal....;-)

Excellent show.....a lot of good info.....well done!
he world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel
                      ---Sir Horace Walpole

Offline JJamesB

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2006, 10:12:45 PM »
I have a specific question regarding the e-mail read on the podcast regarding supplement regulation.  The e-mail said:

"Don't you feel that if the government is always jumping in and saying what is and what isn't safe that people in the long run will become less skeptical about these things on their own and will pretty much trust that everything on the market is safe, since everything on the market is regulated?"

My question is #1 How many people in this country actually realize that supplements have been de-regulated? It seems to me that this is the kind of thing that most people just don't pay any attention to.  and #2  If they don't realize it, aren't they already making the assumption about supplements that 'if the government is allowing them to be sold then they must be safe.'??

I have a bit of a libertarian streak myself, but I'm not real comfortable with such an open frontier when it comes to what people are selling as medicine.  We don't all have the time to investigate for ourselves what supplement makers are putting in those bottles and whether the ingredients are safe and/or effective.
he world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel
                      ---Sir Horace Walpole

Offline Steven Novella

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2006, 10:53:21 AM »
Good point. I don't know of any survery, but my personal survey of my patients reveals that 100% of them incorrectly believed that supplements were regulated much like drugs. None of them ever heard of DSHEA (The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994).

The real problem is a FALSE sense of legitimacy or security. The public thinks that because chiropractors are lisenced, that what they do must be legitimate. They think that if a product is on the store shelf, the manufacturer cannot lie on the lable. Sometimes regulations do work, sometimes they don't or simply do not exist where they should, and this is a failure of government.

I too agree basically with minimal government meddling and regulation. Bad regulations are worse than no regulations. But the consumer cannot possibly keep abreast of medical research sufficiently to track the claims of all medicines they may need to take. DSHEA has basically proven that.
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline swpalmer

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2006, 03:29:46 PM »
Quote from: "Steven Novella"
The real problem is a FALSE sense of legitimacy or security. The public thinks that because chiropractors are lisenced, that what they do must be legitimate.


I argued the point about this false sense of legitimacy when you start to license wackos.  But then a coworker mentioned that such quacks should be licensed - including psychics and the like.  The only catch is that to get a license you must demonstrate that what you are selling actually works under scientific observing conditions.  In other words.. you have to win Randi's million dollar challenge... then you get your license.

Offline Steven Novella

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2006, 05:12:11 PM »
right - if only it worked that way. But licensure in practice is a de-facto endorsement of legitimacy by the state, who then allows the profession or trade to essentially make up the rules for themselves. So naturopaths decide what criteria you need to be licensed as a naturopath.  There is no external accountability to scientific soundness.
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline swpalmer

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Podcast # 49
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2006, 09:00:00 PM »
Quote from: "Steven Novella"
There is no external accountability to scientific soundness.


We can always hope that some day there will be.  Anyone that pushed for such a policy would certainly get my vote.

It's interesting that up here in Canada we have a law on the books that makes it illegal to do any sort of fortune telling (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-46/267555.html#Section-365)...  It seems like a reasonable law despite all the references to the occult and witchcraft :)... too bad it is never enforced.  We have some laws against quackery and we need more.. but they are only useful if the law enforcement and judicial systems support them.

 

personate-rain