Author Topic: Episode #698  (Read 1828 times)

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Online Steven Novella

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Episode #698
« on: November 24, 2018, 08:55:01 AM »
QED 2018 Private Show with guest rogue George Hrab; Audience Q&A; Personal Heroes; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2018, 07:04:33 PM »
Strangely enough, I thought - despite it having the disadvantage of being a live show with all its vagaries - I thought it was one of the better episodes.

The Apollo 11 film ‘First Man’ was mentioned before it was released.  I saw it the day it the day it was released.  I hated it.  It was too long and boring (it’s a little bit of a worry when I start to read a book in a cinema, which I did with this film; I did the same with the second Grindelwald film, which was all backstory and no plot).  It’s a little bit of a worry that I agreed with Donald Trump concerning this film (not that he saw it, apparently he criticised it because it showed little of the actual landing, which is true enough).

The pseudoscience I’d like to be disproved and totally disappear would be Intelligent Design.  Young Earth Creationism isn’t such a problem, since it’s so ridiculous.  But with ID, it’s ‘evolution can’t explain ‘x,’ therefore God.’  As a related terminology  I’d like to disappear would be Gould’s Punctuated Equilibrium.  As a phenomenon, it’s nothing new.  It’s just applying a new term to something that was known for over 150 years with the geological column showing species abruptly disappearing to be replaced by other often very similar species.

And had already been explained with allopatric speciation.  Punctuated Equilibrium leads to to the misconception that evolution can be rapid and abrupt (and introduces the possibility that these are the times that an Intelligent Designer intervenes to do something), instead of slow and gradual, as Darwin surmised (and almost certainly is).

A second pseudoscience I’d like to disappear would be much of what is associated with diet, nutrition and health.  There are many myths associated with diet (personally I think the biggest one is the myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, whereas actually it’s a modern innovation promoted by Kellogg’s to sell breakfast cereal).

I think that there are a wide range of perfectly acceptable diets, and that there’s no one best diet for health and well-being.  I think it’s pernicious for anyone to promote their own diet as being best, and then attempting to use ‘science’ to prove it.
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2018, 09:35:49 PM »
Skiting here, but not only were Kiwi women the first to vote (1893), Sir Ed first to summit Mt Everest (1953) and a Kiwi scientist was the first to split the atom.  Not to mention portable electric fencing, direct drilling and refrigerated shipping...

Go Aotearoa. 
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2018, 09:59:28 PM »
Skiting here, but not only were Kiwi women the first to vote (1893), Sir Ed first to summit Mt Everest (1953) and a Kiwi scientist was the first to split the atom.  Not to mention portable electric fencing, direct drilling and refrigerated shipping...

Go Aotearoa.

I thought about this when I was listening to the episode.  Ernest Rutherford didn’t actually split the atom (which actually isn’t anything special anyway, before incandescent light globes went obsolete, everyone was splitting the atom everyday just turning on the light).

He was the first to split the nucleus, by bombarding light elements such as nitrogen with alpha particles ejecting a proton.

I actually would have got this week’s ‘science or fiction’ wrong.  I would have picked the splitting of the uranium nucleus in 1938 as being first.
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Offline PANTS!

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 12:55:40 AM »

Go Aotearoa.

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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 03:34:01 AM »

Go Aotearoa.

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Glisten like a pearl, at the bottom of the world

Top of the world, if you look at it that way. 
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Offline PANTS!

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2018, 10:29:59 AM »

Go Aotearoa.

Rugged Individual
Glisten like a pearl, at the bottom of the world

Top of the world, if you look at it that way.

I hear ya, but I did not write the lyrics, and I don't have the chops to question the Finn brothers, especially at the height of their powers.  😁
Now where I come from
We don't let society tell us how it's supposed to be
-Uptown, Prince 👉

The world is on its elbows and knees
It's forgotten the message and worships the creeds

Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 01:59:22 PM »
I thought about this when I was listening to the episode.  Ernest Rutherford didn’t actually split the atom (which actually isn’t anything special anyway, before incandescent light globes went obsolete, everyone was splitting the atom everyday just turning on the light).

He was the first to split the nucleus, by bombarding light elements such as nitrogen with alpha particles ejecting a proton.

I actually would have got this week’s ‘science or fiction’ wrong.  I would have picked the splitting of the uranium nucleus in 1938 as being first.

I'm confused. What did you mean?

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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2018, 02:56:12 PM »
I thought about this when I was listening to the episode.  Ernest Rutherford didn’t actually split the atom (which actually isn’t anything special anyway, before incandescent light globes went obsolete, everyone was splitting the atom everyday just turning on the light).

He was the first to split the nucleus, by bombarding light elements such as nitrogen with alpha particles ejecting a proton.

I actually would have got this week’s ‘science or fiction’ wrong.  I would have picked the splitting of the uranium nucleus in 1938 as being first.

I'm confused. What did you mean?

(click to show/hide)

That’s actually what I meant.  Some sources I’ve read (I can’t remember which ones) distinguished between ‘splitting the atom’ (which was used to mean splitting electrons away from the nucleus) and ‘splitting the nucleus.’  But when I heard ‘splitting the atom,’ I just assumed that it meant ‘splitting the nucleus.’

I was surprised that Rutherford was the first to do it though.  I could have used this fact as the answer to the question regarding what I’ve learned recently.
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Offline Darb

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2018, 04:51:05 PM »
I'd just like to say that I think the movie "Whiplash" is great....  (and First Man was boring)

Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2018, 04:55:38 PM »
I'm
I thought about this when I was listening to the episode.  Ernest Rutherford didn’t actually split the atom (which actually isn’t anything special anyway, before incandescent light globes went obsolete, everyone was splitting the atom everyday just turning on the light).

He was the first to split the nucleus, by bombarding light elements such as nitrogen with alpha particles ejecting a proton.

I actually would have got this week’s ‘science or fiction’ wrong.  I would have picked the splitting of the uranium nucleus in 1938 as being first.

I'm confused. What did you mean?

(click to show/hide)

That’s actually what I meant.  Some sources I’ve read (I can’t remember which ones) distinguished between ‘splitting the atom’ (which was used to mean splitting electrons away from the nucleus) and ‘splitting the nucleus.’  But when I heard ‘splitting the atom,’ I just assumed that it meant ‘splitting the nucleus.’

I was surprised that Rutherford was the first to do it though.  I could have used this fact as the answer to the question regarding what I’ve learned recently.

I tried to find references to support ionization being described as splitting the atom. I found a "Splitting Atoms" section in a simple starter text, but that was it.

Ionization is splitting an atom in some sense, but that is not the way the term is used. It means "split the atom{ic nucleus}".
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2018, 06:33:09 PM »
I'd just like to say that I think the movie "Whiplash" is great....  (and First Man was boring)

Finally someone who agrees with me regarding ‘First Man.’  I thought watching paint dry would have been more entertaining.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2018, 07:17:40 PM »
I've mentioned this before, but since they brought up the subject again: Yes, astronauts are special folks. They take extreme risks for science and adventure. "Sitting on top of a bomb..." etc. They take this extreme risk a few times in their career and receive justifiable applause and recognition for their sacrifices.

But another group of people take far greater risks on a daily basis, to save lives, and receive little or no adulation or recognition for their sacrifices: Fire fighters. They go into burning buildings, risking death by structural collapse and other hazards, to save the people trapped inside. I admire astronauts. I admire firefighters far more.

The cultural figure who had the greatest influence on my development was probably Martin Luther King, Jr. I was in my early teens when he rose to prominence in the civil rights movement and his philosophy of nonviolence and his eloquent calls for social justice have stuck with me all my life.

I don't think any fictional character has influenced me because they're not real. But there are fictional characters who I like as characters. None of them are in any version of Star Trek. The fictional character I'd want at the helm of a space ship I was on when peril is imminent would be Arthur Dent, because he'd just press the button to engage the Infinite Improbability Drive. Hey, if we have a fictional character at the helm, then by definition we're in a fictional ship. And I'd much rather be on the Starship Heart of Gold than on the Enterprise.

Daniel
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2018, 07:23:16 PM »

Go Aotearoa.

Rugged Individual
Glisten like a pearl, at the bottom of the world

Top of the world, if you look at it that way. 

Or the underside (of the flat Earth).  :D

I kind of like flat-Earthers, because the real ones are mentally ill, and I like mentally ill people, as long as they're not violent.

The pseudoscience I'd like to eliminate would be so-called alternative medicine. It's not really alternative medicine at all. It's non-medicine.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #698
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2018, 07:35:13 PM »
I admire firefighters far more.
You and Kurt Vonnegut Jr.