Author Topic: Episode #58  (Read 22136 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #58
« on: September 03, 2006, 07:08:53 PM »
Podcast #58 8/30/2006
Interview with Kimball Atwood, MD
News Items: Pope and ID, Hitler and Stalin Possessed, Pluto not a planet, Madonna and Kabbalah, More on Birds vs Monkeys
Your E-mails and Questions: Archaeological conspiracies, Skeptical Soldier, Abiogenesis Pseudoscience?
Science or Fiction
Skeptical Puzzle
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline Timothy Clemans

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Episode #58
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2006, 09:15:18 PM »
Wow! This podcast looks very interesting.
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Offline Timothy Clemans

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Episode #58
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2006, 09:35:22 PM »
I think Perry has proven to be key skeptic on the panel.
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Offline JohnMaddox

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Episode #58
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2006, 09:57:17 PM »
No one got the Skeptical Puzzle from Podcast #57?  Ouch!   :(

Actually, I posted the answer a week ago:

http://skepchick.org/skepticsguide/viewtopic.php?p=4440#4440

Use the cursor to highlight the spoiler-free answer in the quote box.

-John

Offline Omega

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Episode #58
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2006, 10:58:27 PM »
I look forward to listening to this episode.

Is there some reason why Itunes doesn't have the most recent episode?

Offline Timothy Clemans

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Episode #58
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2006, 11:11:44 PM »
Last week the podcast was uploaded onto itunes a while after being uploaded onto his site.
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Offline BiochemGirl

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Pluto for sale
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2006, 11:43:02 PM »
quot;Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick

Offline Timothy Clemans

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Re: Pluto for sale
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2006, 11:51:32 PM »
Quote from: "BiochemGirl"
Pluto for sale on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330024355336


um wierd ...

Quote


After a recent clean up of our solar system the IAU has realized we no longer need Pluto. We have 1 planet, Pluto for sale. This icy planet would look great on any mantel piece, or a perfect center piece for any room, a great conversation starter.
The planet is in near mint condition although nasa has a spacecraft on a crash course with the planet, we leave this problem up to the buyer. Please note the moons are not included in this auction.

As the IAU no longer recognizes Pluto as a planet, we unfortunately cannot accept returns

We have not been able to find a courier that travels far enough to pick up the planet, so the winner will have to arrange for pick up.

The seller accepts no responsibility for any damage to the solar system or its inhabitants after the removal of Pluto from its orbit.


how is it conclued that they cannot accept returns, because IAU does not call it a planet

wierd
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Offline BiochemGirl

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planets
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2006, 12:44:51 PM »
Drop a line to the seller(s) and ask her/him/them what that statement means. I'm guessing that there is no good answer. They probably just wanted to use the language of ebay combined with a focus on the IAU stripping Pluto of it's planet status. (Which I have been gunning for for many years.)

Now that raises a question for me. The only way in which Pluto does not fulfill the IAU's definition of a planet is by not gravitationaly dominating it's region of orbit. What if, one day, we discovered a system of large planet-like objects that all have wildly eccentric orbits that cross paths and do all kinds of crazy things? Such a finding would indicate that these objects were not formed as planets are normally formed (accretion disc). Or perhaps they were formed like normal planets and then a massive object passed by the system and messed up their orbits. Once their orbits are a mess, are they no longer considered planets?
quot;Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick

Offline Timothy Clemans

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Episode #58
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2006, 12:54:49 PM »
Names are boring. Astrophysics is kinda interesting. A preview of TV Show NOVA said that one of the seasons new episodes will talk about black holes and NOVA ScienceNOW will have a lot of astro-physics stuff too.
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Offline Joe Shmoe

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Episode #58
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2006, 01:38:36 PM »
John Paul II actually said that Evolution was "more than a hypothesis".  The Catholic Church cannot return to the middle ages again.  The bastards.

Re: Birds vs. Monkeys.  I know the article wasn't read verbatim, but my understanding is that Raptors are typically egg eaters, is it not possible that the birds were eating baby monkeys?  I have trouble picturing a bird of prey carrying a full-grown chimp.

Also, Is there a name for the logical fallacy, "There are so many cases that some must be true." False Gestalt that someone else mentioned a while back?

Offline Gilnei

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Episode #58
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2006, 01:51:41 PM »
As of now, this one has acquired the position of My Favorite Episode Ever [TM].

I laughed for 5 minutes non-stop during the ancient birds vs. monkeys debate. This one managed to top the "bacon bet" a few months ago, I was afraid I'd get fired if the boss caught me at that time.  :lol:
Scientists are the leading cause of cancer in lab rats.

Offline Timothy Clemans

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Episode #58
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2006, 01:58:16 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Roman_Catholic_Church#Pope_Benedict_XVI
Quote
Because of recent statements by Cardinal Schönborn, confusion has arisen over the Church's stance on the compatibility between evolution and Catholic dogma.

Having learnt a lesson from the Galileo affair, the Church leaves the evaluation and endorsement of specific scientific theories to scientists. The Church has always agreed with scientists on matters such as the age of the earth and the authenticity of the fossil record. Papal pronouncements, along with commentaries by cardinals, have accepted the findings of scientists on the gradual appearance of life. In fact, the International Theological Commission in a July 2004 statement endorsed by Cardinal Ratzinger, then president of the Commission and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now Pope Benedict XVI, includes this paragraph:

    "According to the widely accepted scientific account, the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in an explosion called the 'Big Bang' and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Later there gradually emerged the conditions necessary for the formation of atoms, still later the condensation of galaxies and stars, and about 10 billion years later the formation of planets. In our own solar system and on earth (formed about 4.5 billion years ago), the conditions have been favorable to the emergence of life. While there is little consensus among scientists about how the origin of this first microscopic life is to be explained, there is general agreement among them that the first organism dwelt on this planet about 3.5 - 4 billion years ago. Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution. While the story of human origins is complex and subject to revision, physical anthropology and molecular biology combine to make a convincing case for the origin of the human species in Africa about 150,000 years ago in a humanoid population of common genetic lineage. However it is to be explained, the decisive factor in human origins was a continually increasing brain size, culminating in that of homo sapiens. With the development of the human brain, the nature and rate of evolution were permanently altered: with the introduction of the uniquely human factors of consciousness, intentionality, freedom and creativity, biological evolution was recast as social and cultural evolution." (paragraph 63, from "Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God," plenary sessions held in Rome 2000-2002, published July 2004)

The Church's stance is that this gradual appearance has been guided in some way by God, but the Church has thus far declined to define in what way that may be. Commentators tend to interpret the Church's position in the way most favorable to their own arguments. The International Theological Commission statement includes these paragraphs on evolution, the providence of God, and "intelligent design":

    "In freely willing to create and conserve the universe, God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce. Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation. Although there is scientific debate about the degree of purposiveness or design operative and empirically observable in these developments, they have de facto favored the emergence and flourishing of life. Catholic theologians can see in such reasoning support for the affirmation entailed by faith in divine creation and divine providence. In the providential design of creation, the triune God intended not only to make a place for human beings in the universe but also, and ultimately, to make room for them in his own trinitarian life. Furthermore, operating as real, though secondary causes, human beings contribute to the reshaping and transformation of the universe." (paragraph 68)

AND

    "A growing body of scientific critics of neo-Darwinism point to evidence of design (e.g., biological structures that exhibit specified complexity) that, in their view, cannot be explained in terms of a purely contingent process and that neo-Darwinians have ignored or misinterpreted. The nub of this currently lively disagreement involves scientific observation and generalization concerning whether the available data support inferences of design or chance, and cannot be settled by theology. But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation." (paragraph 69)

In addition, the Vatican's chief astronomer, Fr. George Coyne, issued a statement on 18 November 2005 saying that "Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science." Cardinal Paul Poupard added that "the faithful have the obligation to listen to that which secular modern science has to offer, just as we ask that knowledge of the faith be taken in consideration as an expert voice in humanity." He also warned of the permanent lesson we have learned from the Galileo case, and that "we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey to fundamentalism." Fiorenzo Facchini, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna, called intelligent design unscientific, and wrote in the January 16-17, 2006 edition L'Osservatore Romano: "But it is not correct from a methodological point of view to stray from the field of science while pretending to do science....It only creates confusion between the scientific plane and those that are philosophical or religious."

In a commentary on Genesis authored as Cardinal Ratzinger titled In the Beginning... Benedict XVI spoke of "the inner unity of creation and evolution and of faith and reason" and that these two realms of knowledge are complementary, not contradictory:

    "We cannot say: creation or evolution, inasmuch as these two things respond to two different realities. The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, which we just heard, does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are. It explains their inmost origin and casts light on the project that they are. And, vice versa, the theory of evolution seeks to understand and describe biological developments. But in so doing it cannot explain where the 'project' of human persons comes from, nor their inner origin, nor their particular nature. To that extent we are faced here with two complementary -- rather than mutually exclusive -- realities." (Cardinal Ratzinger, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall [Eerdmans, 1986, 1995], see especially pages 41-58)

On September 2-3, 2006 at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI will conduct a seminar examining the theory of evolution and its impact on Catholicism's teaching of Creation. The seminar is the latest edition of the annual "Schulerkreis" or student circle, a meeting Benedict has held with his former Ph.D. students since the 1970s. [3]

Umm... Galileo is very important in the history of the church's dealings with science. I see a hint of the intelligent design crap in "Theories of evolution which, because of the philosophies which inspire them, regard the spirit either as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a simple epiphenomenon of that matter, are incompatible with the truth about man."-Pope John Paul II
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Offline reed

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Episode #58
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2006, 04:33:38 PM »
No worries.  Belated credit for getting last week's puzzle. :)
Quote from: "JohnMaddox"
No one got the Skeptical Puzzle from Podcast #57?  Ouch!   :(

Actually, I posted the answer a week ago:

http://skepchick.org/skepticsguide/viewtopic.php?p=4440#4440

For this week's puzzle, I see ....umm...  9 of clubs.  I win, right??

Offline reed

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Re: planets
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2006, 05:12:37 PM »
Quote from: "BiochemGirl"
Now that raises a question for me. The only way in which Pluto does not fulfill the IAU's definition of a planet is by not gravitationaly dominating it's region of orbit. What if, one day, we discovered a system of large planet-like objects that all have wildly eccentric orbits that cross paths and do all kinds of crazy things? Such a finding would indicate that these objects were not formed as planets are normally formed (accretion disc). Or perhaps they were formed like normal planets and then a massive object passed by the system and messed up their orbits. Once their orbits are a mess, are they no longer considered planets?

Those could be valid points. By the current definition, some things we want to call planets won't be defined as planets.   I think the Bad Astronomer has said that this is really a ("very, very silly") cultural question, not a scientific one.  Oh well.  Hopefully, by the time we discover those new systems of planet-like objects, the astrophysicists will have figured out this mess.