Author Topic: Episode #663  (Read 11319 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #663
« on: March 24, 2018, 07:08:13 AM »
What's the Word: Vagility
News Items: NASA's Hammer, ESP on CBS, Free Speech
Who's That Noisy
Your Questions and E-mails: Meat Consumption
Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 08:24:41 AM »
You are early today, wow!

And thank you for keeping up with the podcast! :)
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2018, 01:25:15 PM »
I would've thought cheese would be worse than milk, in terms of energy consumption/pollutants, since that requires further processing.

Poultry benefits from more inhumane conditions.

It's fair enough to take up the issue of per capita consumption, but don't ignore the issue of the number of capita. So far haven't heard birth control mentioned at all.

Or air travel.

Edit: According to this, cheese is basically why dairy is bad. Milk by itself is like tofu.

Quote
There are several reasons for the relatively large carbon footprint of cheese. First, one kilogram of cheese requires up to 10 kilograms of milk due to the maturing process that cheese usually undergoes.



Though those numbers aren't the same numbers/weighting Steve was talking about. Milk is a lot less calorie dense than cheese. The exact ratio depending on the types of milk and cheese.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 02:39:16 PM by 2397 »

Offline Igor SMC

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 04:09:38 PM »
I don't know if it is happening to everybody, or just on my computer. I visited the SGU front page several times, but it was still showing the episode from last week. I had to press Ctrl+F5 to force a full refresh in order for it to show todays episode. It is the third week that I have to do this.... Is this happening to anyone else?

I'm using Chrome on Windows 10.
"Knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable"

Offline JohnM

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 04:50:25 PM »

Cara is absolutely right when she said that those of us who are meat eaters are in a way living unsustainably. It might not be in an anti-science way (though I'd argue it is if you accept the premise of anthropogenic cc) but I do think scepticism should start at home.

Also was it just me or has Steve shifted his position on anti biotics in animals a little? He seemed a bit more critical than previous discussion where I got the impression he viewed it as a non issue.


Offline wormguy

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Re: Episode #663 Vagility
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 05:14:23 PM »
G'day,

Good Word-of-the-day, especially in a time of climate change challenging populations.  Cara posed 'sessile' as an antonym.  I always think it's interesting how different groups of scientists use words differently.  Polychaetologists might use only the adverb form. As in characterising a clade's movement characteristics as their vagility (as a taxon) or mobility (as individuals) with sessile on one end of the mobility spectrum and errant (regularly moving) on the other. Vagility is important within the climate change context because it refers to an entire taxon (or perhaps a population's) ability to move rather than the individual.  Hence you have errant sponges (sponges that can move) instead of the more common sponges which tend to be sessile.

Just FYI,
Brian in Wanaka, NZ

Online daniel1948

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 05:50:52 PM »
Kudos to Cara for acknowledging that meat is an environmental disaster, and to Steve for acknowledging that Americans eat far more of it than is good for their health or the environment.

Next step: Acknowledging the unimaginable cruelty and barbarity of slaughtering billions (?) of animals that feel and suffer as much as we do, even if they lack the intellectual capacity to understand why we are so utterly heartless.

New Zealanders might raise their animals humanely, but in the U.S. most farm animals are raised in the most dreadful and miserable of conditions. And independent of their living conditions, killing them as soon as they've reached "optimal" growth is just unconscionable, unless you take the position that they have no feelings and do not suffer (it's patently obvious that they do) or that a magic man in the sky is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong and has decreed that it's permissible for us to kill and eat them because he made them for that purpose.
Daniel
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Online daniel1948

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 05:51:45 PM »
Percocet never did anything for me. Now, oxycodone was another matter.
Daniel
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Offline dorbie

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 10:28:23 PM »
The guys who de-platformed Richard Dawkins at NECSS over politically incorrect comments related to elevatorgate enlighten us on declining free speech restrictions on college campus ::)

Online Sawyer

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 11:37:38 PM »
The guys who de-platformed Richard Dawkins at NECSS over politically incorrect comments related to elevatorgate enlighten us on declining free speech restrictions on college campus ::)

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or purposeful poisoning the well.

Anyway Steve was very clear on the massive limitations of this type of survey data.  I agree with his premise that college educated adults are more likely to second-guess a survey, thus artificially inflating their "tolerance" for opposing viewpoints.  I also don't know how anyone can dispute that *data* may be needed to identify real trends in changing free speech attitudes.  The typical "OMG look at these spoiled Berkeley kids!" news stories is largely what is driving the perception of anti-free speech trends, and frankly people should know better.

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2018, 02:07:04 PM »
Methane from livestock does not come from farts.  It is a product of enteric digestion, therefore burps are the source.  This basic mistake (one of many) makes me feel that Cara and Steve know next to nothing about meat production, maybe nothing, really.  BTW, cobalt is one of the many minerals with which we dress our pastures; not unusual in my country. 

They might get Allan Savory on the show to discuss grazing. 

"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Online CookieMustard

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2018, 05:42:05 PM »
Thanks for the link to Savory's talk. I hadn't heard of him before. It was interesting but after digging around online for some other opinions, both pro and con, about his idea of controllled grazing it seems that it might not be as effective or efficient as he claims.  The results seem mixed but definitely worth looking into.

Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 05:56:02 PM »
I had a couple quibbles regarding Steve's characterization of the free speech issue on college campuses.

He spoke of the need to have standards for who gets invited to speak on a college campus. That's well and good, but in a number of reported cases, the university had a policy allowing student groups to invite speakers of their choice, and then reneged based on either who the student group chose, or what threats came from those opposed to the views of the intended speaker. Or both. When this is a public university doing it, it's especially ... wait for it ... problematic.  ;)

Steve's usually excellent with nuance, and he did a mostly very good job here. It's true he did bring up limitations of the survey. But I think he was a little too ready to conclude that claims of a "free speech crisis" is overblown (does he think he's immune to confirmation bias?). One thing he talks about with scientific theories ought to apply here - a new theory needs to explain all the old data, and then some new stuff too. So if it's just confirmation bias, where did all these speech codes come from? Are they not generally new as of, say, the internet generation (let's say last 20 years for example).

As one with kids in college since 2013 and following happenings at my own alma mater, I find it hard to believe its not worse today for free speech than a decade or two ago. IMO, the Evergreen example is only exceptional in its extremity - not directionally, because that's where we've been headed, from what I can tell. The A&S dean of my school said in an open forum, "If you're not tolerant, you have to go." Tolerant of what? She didn't say. I can think of a lot of horrible things in the world about which any decent person would be intolerant. Who gets to decide when someone is intolerant? Can they just make the claim? Can it just be words spoken? No one knows. It's carte blanche to lower the boom on whatever idea is unpopular.

I do agree that universities need to be an environment conducive to mature, calm, and reasoned discussion. But sometimes, instead of saying person X can't speak, it may instead mean mean putting the heckler's veto (or worse) in check. If student groups are inviting unscholarly provocateurs (and I know - some of them do!) then maybe you have to either get better students, take the power to invite speakers away from ALL groups, or heck, let them wallow in their stupidity - ignore them! It cuts off the oxygen that feeds the flames of controversy and campus upheaval.

BTW, who is Steve referring to at 47:15?
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2018, 06:49:02 PM »
Methane from livestock does not come from farts.  It is a product of enteric digestion, therefore burps are the source.  This basic mistake (one of many) makes me feel that Cara and Steve know next to nothing about meat production, maybe nothing, really.  BTW, cobalt is one of the many minerals with which we dress our pastures; not unusual in my country. 

They might get Allan Savory on the show to discuss grazing. 



Methane from livestock comes from both burps and farts (I suspect it would be mainly from farts).  And it also comes from the decomposition of the resulting manure, which, as was noted, can be recovered and used as a valuable resource instead of being released to the atmosphere.

I might be wrong though.  I admit I know nothing about meat production.
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #663
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2018, 04:52:17 AM »
Burps.

http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=2569

I know a bit about cattle, sheep and grazing.  Sort of part of how I make a living.
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

 

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