Author Topic: Episode #502  (Read 10442 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #502
« on: February 21, 2015, 11:55:19 AM »
Guest Rogue: Jennifer Dixon; Forgotten Superheroes of Science: Katherine Johnson; News Items: Mammals vs Dinosaurs, Scott Adams on Science, METI Controversy, Anderson Cooper vs Dan Burton, DNA Barcoding of Herbs; Who’s That Noisy; Dumbest Thing of the Week; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
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snovella@theness.com

Offline Ambious

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 01:54:21 PM »
Snazzy new logo!
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"Teach thy tongue to say “I do not know”, and thous shalt progress."
–Maimonides

Offline yrdbrd

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2015, 03:48:05 PM »
WTN: That's a Shepard tone, which creates the illusion of an endlessly rising or falling tone. Well known to people who do computer, electroacoustic or fractal music. Or fans of Godel, Escher, Bach.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_tone

Offline Ambious

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2015, 03:49:17 PM »
WTN: That's a Shepard tone, which creates the illusion of an endlessly rising or falling tone. Well known to people who do computer, electroacoustic or fractal music. Or fans of Godel, Escher, Bach.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_tone

Whatever it was, it gave me a recurring heart attack (sounds a lot like air-raid sirens)
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"Teach thy tongue to say “I do not know”, and thous shalt progress."
–Maimonides

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 04:41:05 PM »
Dr Novella might do well to peruse the history of nutritional advice in the US.  Tubes,Teicholz and Minger all have well documented and researched books on the subject.  The George McGovern episode and the ego of Ancel Keys come to mind and are rather insightful.

It isn't just ego, funding and poor science, either.  There is no doubt that large corporate interests have driven  the advice.

I'd guess that the phamaceutical industry has much to answer for, but that really isn't in the pervue of nutrition, really.  Supplements and alternative medicine are just dead horses to whip in regards to nutrition.

The turnabout of FDA recommendations on dietary cholesterol is interesting.  No doubt the overwhelming evidence of the benign consumption of saturated fat will follow soon.  Class action lawsuits might as well.
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Offline PabloHoney

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2015, 07:47:16 PM »
The new logo is great - too bad the store is down or I'd be buying some SGU logo underpants!

Offline JenJDixon

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 07:56:03 PM »
Agreed, the new logo is super cool!

Offline PabloHoney

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 08:05:55 PM »
Dr Novella might do well to peruse the history of nutritional advice in the US.  Tubes,Teicholz and Minger all have well documented and researched books on the subject.  The George McGovern episode and the ego of Ancel Keys come to mind and are rather insightful.

It isn't just ego, funding and poor science, either.  There is no doubt that large corporate interests have driven  the advice.

I'd guess that the phamaceutical industry has much to answer for, but that really isn't in the pervue of nutrition, really.  Supplements and alternative medicine are just dead horses to whip in regards to nutrition.

The turnabout of FDA recommendations on dietary cholesterol is interesting.  No doubt the overwhelming evidence of the benign consumption of saturated fat will follow soon.  Class action lawsuits might as well.

Good points. 
When Steve was talking about supplements, I gathered that the unspoken phrase he meant was "dietary supplements" or "weight loss supplements," which, by marketing a truckload of misinformed garbage, persuaded the general population. I'm no expert on the subject though and will check out your references.  He could have been more precise with the language either way.

I agree with the big-picture points that were made on this subject about the scientific method and the need to understand that it's a process and will not be 100% complete at any given point.

Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2015, 08:33:08 PM »
I really enjoyed Jennifer Dixon's appearance on the show. I hope she becomes a regular guest. Nobody can fill Rebecca's shoes, but Jennifer brings some unique perspectives. It is great to have a scientist who is actively involved in research, and can give an inside look at that world. Her expertise in evolutionary biology fits nicely in with the rogues (medicine, physics, astronomy, and Thanksgiving are already well-covered!). She is a student, so she can give insights about science education. And she is in the midwest, which brings some geographic diversity.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun... but if the SGU is looking to add a rogue in the wake of Rebecca's departure, Jennifer seems like a great candidate.

Offline PabloHoney

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 08:38:35 PM »
I really enjoyed Jennifer Dixon's appearance on the show. I hope she becomes a regular guest. Nobody can fill Rebecca's shoes, but Jennifer brings some unique perspectives. It is great to have a scientist who is actively involved in research, and can give an inside look at that world. Her expertise in evolutionary biology fits nicely in with the rogues (medicine, physics, astronomy, and Thanksgiving are already well-covered!). She is a student, so she can give insights about science education. And she is in the midwest, which brings some geographic diversity.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun... but if the SGU is looking to add a rogue in the wake of Rebecca's departure, Jennifer seems like a great candidate.

+1!  She's got spunk and personality to boot!

Offline JenJDixon

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 08:47:44 PM »
To be clear, I am a Level 9 Sass-master.

Offline Sawyer

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2015, 01:18:40 AM »
I'm surprised that Feynman story has never come up on the podcast before.  It is my favorite part of his memoir Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman.  DoD and OSD acted pretty funny when they were getting out-smarted by their own employees on basic security protocols (not like that stuff ever happens today  ;) )

Offline Egrossman

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2015, 01:31:10 AM »
I enjoyed that you brought up "Science say this..." and "Science says that..." as used by the detractors, as though "Science" is like the Vatican, some elite overseeing group that makes decrees rather than a system of rational thought and application of workable ideas that are emboldened or discarded as the scientific methodology is applied.

Science is not a religion. Religion cannot change, and questioning it is heretical. Science is constantly making adjustments and corrections and showing a new and unique method or discovery is met with celebration.

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2015, 02:01:34 AM »
I enjoyed that you brought up "Science say this..." and "Science says that..." as used by the detractors, as though "Science" is like the Vatican, some elite overseeing group that makes decrees rather than a system of rational thought and application of workable ideas that are emboldened or discarded as the scientific methodology is applied.

Science is not a religion. Religion cannot change, and questioning it is heretical. Science is constantly making adjustments and corrections and showing a new and unique method or discovery is met with celebration.

The problem in the nutritional context is that the public thought that limiting fat and cholesterol in the diet was a scientific conclusion (which it was clearly not) that would be the healthy thing to do.  Now, forty years later, the USDA has reversed their conclusions (bowing to the science that had been known since the 1950's) and due to the unforeseen consequences of limiting dietary fat, the public, in large, is fat and sick.

It's no wonder public thinkers question scientific authority.
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #502
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2015, 02:15:03 AM »
I'm surprised that there's surprise that Broca's area is inactive during speech.

Didn't Professor Douglas Adams in his classic textbook 'the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' published decades ago note that humans talk so much in order to stop their brains working?
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