Author Archives: Andras

TheESP – Ep. #163 – Hitler’s Pope, vaccine hesitancy, clinical trial reporting and blasphemy laws

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In this episode: ‘This week we bring you topics and news about SkepKon in Germany and the 38th Anniversary of the premier of Quark, Italy’s most famous science show hosted by Piero Angela.
Plus we talk about abuse in Poland by catholic priests and Pius XII being referred to as Hitler’s pope, how the supplement market is full of bogus claims, the Swedish National Library publishing the cost of accessing scientific studies, how the rise of both vaccine hesitancy and populism might be connected, an update on the state of the measles epidemic in Europe, the UK government promising a national strategy to tackle the lack of clinical trial reporting.
Plus, blasphemy laws accross Europe discussed after Femen protesters’ case hits the news in Spain.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:08:26 This Week in Skepticism

Italian science program Quark, hosted by CICAP founder Piero Angela, premiered March 18, 1981.

00:13:53 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Abuse in Poland and Hitler’s Pope

00:20:38 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: Most of the supplement market is bogus

SWEDEN: Swedish National Library publishes the cost of accessing scientific studies

INTERNATIONAL: Populist politics and vaccine hesitancy in Western Europe: an analysis of national-level data

INTERNATIONAL: Measles update:

UK: Government promises national strategy to boost clinical trial reporting

00:42:16 Really Wrong

Blasphemy in Spain: Appeal court overturns acquittal of Femen protesters

00:49:11 Quote and Goodbye
“The search to know has always been characterized by the need to doubt, the need to be critical, including the need to be self-critical.”
/Gerhard Casper, German-born professor, former president of Stanford University/

00:50:12 Outro

00:51:27 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #160 – Jay Novella & The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

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On this Episode:

This week we’re joined by Jay Novella for an interview in which we talk about his new position as a full-time employee of SGU Productions, what it means for the movement and The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe project, how to approach podcasting and other ventures, stuff about writing a skeptical book that hits best-seller lists and a lot of other things including Star Trek and the crew’s fun-filled side project, Alpha Quadrant 6.

Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Jay Novella; Closing remarks; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:35: Greetings

00:02:53: Interview with Jay Novella

01:09:26: Closing remarks

01:14:28: Outro

01:15:43: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #159 – Fake News by Orban, German court vs Heilpraktiker 1-0 & Brian Bashing the Bishop

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In the abscence of Pontus, Jelena and Andras are joined by Brian Eggo to bring you a new show full of news and interesting topics including two events coming up (SkepKon 2019 in Germany and the 3rd Symposium on Science and Pseudoscience in Elche).
We also talk about the British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee’s milestone Evidence Check documents that is now part of skeptical history, then we move on to discussing Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban and how EU leaders now simply call his anti-migration and anti-Soros propaganda “Fake News” while he continues to break down the institutions of science in the country. We also chat about Edzard Ernst’s recommendation for a skeptical analysis in general and then bring the good news of a German court ruling against a SCAM practitioner for using false claims in their advertisements.
The Really Wrong price goes to the Catholic Church for being sloppy in their investigations regarding miracles performed by their saints.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Wrong; Radio Spot; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:11:16 This Week in Skepticism

The British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee published its damning Evidence Check on homeopathy on Feb. 22, 2010.

00:15:11 Skeptical News

HUNGARY: High-ranking EU politicians call out Viktor Orban on his “Fake News” propaganda.

INTERNATIONAL: What can consumers do when they are confronted with confusing or contradictory evidence? Advise fromEdzard Ernst.

FRANCE: French Judge Refuses to Block Catholic Sex Scandal Movie

GERMANY: German consumer association stops alternative Health Practitioners from treating cancer

00:44:34 Really Wrong

John Henry Newman: Second miracle approved as sainthood looms – and the Catholic Church claims to have them confirmed

00:53:40 Radio spot

00:54:49 Quote
“It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.”
/Dame Hilary Mary Mantel, English writer/

00:56:13 Outro

00:57:28 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #158 – Rosalind Franklin, Goop on Netflix and age-old drinking myth debunked

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We bring you news and stories from the world of skepticism again this week, including:
Rosalind Franklin’s namesake rover to go to Mars to look for traces of life, Philippe de Cherisey and the Priory of Sion hoax, a lying pope, a German court rejecting a claim for CAM to be offered as part of a benefit system, Goop to come to Netflix, causing outrage among skeptics, “Vaxxed II – The People’s Truth” on its way to make things even worse, while the measles epidemic goes truly global. Meanwhile, German researchers prove that it doesn’t matter whether you drink wine or beer first, the result is the same (if you drink enough). And finally, fanatically religious Spanish citizens stopping the setup of a statue of the devil…

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Radio Spots; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:49 Greetings

Rosalind Franklin‘s namesake rover goes to Mars to look for traces of life.

00:06:54 This Week in Skepticism

On 13 February 1923, Philippe de Cherisey was born.

00:15:21 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Defrocking ex-cardinal McCarrick, Francis is lying and nuns were kept as sex slaves:

00:23:04 Skeptical News

GERMANY: Court rejects claim for subsidisation on various herbal and alternative medicinal products

INTERNATIONAL: Goop: Netflix gives platform Gwyneth Paltrow’s dangerous BS

INTERNATIONAL: Vaxxed II indiegogo campaign on its way

INTERNATIONAL: The measles epidemic is truly a global

GERMANY: German scientists bust an age-old myth about whether to drink beer or wine first to avoid hangovers

00:54:02 Really Wrong

SPAIN: Religious citizens tries to stop statue of the devil

00:59:20 Radio spots

01:01:32 Quote
“But you look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralizing invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation of life. In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment.”
/Rosalind Franklin British chemist and X-Ray Christallographer/

01:03:34 Outro

01:04:49 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #153 – New year resolutions, dating the World and standing up for Science

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Two weeks into the new year, our first episode of 2019 is finally hear and we can only hope it was worth the wait.
With the whole team together again, we are bringing you topics related to the New Year, including resolutions and hangovers, plus some science history and how James Ussher determined the age of the world (incorrectly), how Pope Francis tries to talk about families when the church is in turmoil over sex abuse scandals, a design company standing up for science in Italy, where the resigning head of the National Institute of Health slams the anti-science government, organ donation becoming opt-out in Ireland, Natalie Grams getting a nomination for the Golden Blogger award with her Twitter account, a new petition to sue French government over inaction on Climate change, Edzard Ernst‘s new book SCAM coming out in German, a new Spanish award for standing up for Science, an update on Measles and Vetenskap och Folkbildning announcing winners of the Enlightener and Bewilderer of the Year awards.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:16:08 This week in Skepticism

00:24:09 Pontus Pokes the Pope
The (52nd) “World day of Peace”

00:28:01 Skeptical News

00:51:42 Really Wrong

SWEDEN: Bewilderer of the year 2018: Thomas Erikson
https://www.vof.se/blogg/arets-folkbildare-och-forvillare-2018/

00:57:39 Quote and Farewell

00:59:35 Outro

01:00:48 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #150 – Antivax Italian politicians, Russian homeopathy and baby acupuncture

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Intro

00:00:55 Greetings

00:06:16 This Week in Skepticism

1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon (or any other planetary body outside Earth).

00:09:45  Pontus Pokes the Pope

Cardinal George Pell in court for charges of sexual misconduct towards children.

00:15:58 Skeptical News from around Europe

  1. Italy: Italy’s anti-vax health minister fires 30 experts from Higher Health Council
  2. Russia: Homeopathy in disguise
  3. Sweden: Macchiarini charged in court after all
    • https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/overaklagaren-fattar-beslut-om-paolo-macchiarini/
  4. UK: Charity Commission publishes new guidelines for CAM charities
  5. Spain: The Skeptical Circle of Spain announces winners of the Pepe Cervera and the José Carlos Pérez Cobo prize.
  6. Sweden: Baby Acupuncture against Colic
  7. Belgium: Belgian authorities investigate case of autistic woman’s euthanasia

00:43:20 Really Right

  • Ovidiu Covaciu, educating people about vaccinations in a Facebook group.

00:46:38 Quote

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”
/Taylor Swift, American singer and songwriter/

00:48:01 Outro

00:49:16 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #147 – Frankie eats lasagna, heroes of science comm & Spanish government fighting CAM

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This week our three hosts discuss a great number of things including how a delusional German physician got away with killing people, and how Pope Francis thinks right to tackle poverty.
Loads of good news this week:
The John Maddox Prize goes to Britt Hermes and Terry Hughes this year, ARP-SAPC reaches 20 years of activity, the Spanish government moves against pseudo-therapies in health care, the BBC upholds the Good Thinking Society’s complaint about a homeopathy-related phone-in and ComCept awards journalist Vera Novais for advocating science as opposed to nonsense. Also, on the less positive side, we report on child marriages no longer being recognised in Sweden, no matter what the culture of the country of origin is, authors of a paper based on a national survey into CAM use in the UK suggest NHS funding for bogus therapies and christian parents threatening legal action for something that wasn’t what it looked like.
And the Norwegian Labour Party gets this week’s Really Right prize for suggesting the revoking of VAT excemption for alternative medicinal practices.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

00:06:21 This Week in Skepticism

Josef M. Issels (November 21, 1907 – February 11, 1998) was a German physician known for promoting an alternative cancer therapy regimen, the Issels treatment. He claimed to cure cancer patients who had been declared incurable by conventional cancer treatments.

00:15:59 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis eats lasagna with the poor and then says the world will end.

00:26:23 Skeptical News

UK: John Maddox Prize announced for 2018

SPAIN: ARP-SAPC publishes number 50 of The Skeptical magazine for the promotion of reason and science, it was published the first in June 1998, more than 20 years ago.

SPAIN: Spain moves to ban pseudo-therapies from universities and health centers

UK: BBC upholds Good Thinking complaint against BBC Radio Leeds homeopathy phone-in

UK: National survey of CAM-use ends up suggesting NHS funding for alternative therapies?

SWEDEN: Child marriages no longer recognised in Sweden

PORTUGAL: ComCept Award for Science Journalism goes to Vera Novais

UK: Legal action from Christian parents to stop school’s LBTQ-parade

00:49:58 Really Right: Norwegian Labour party suggests revoking Alt Med VAT exemption

00:55:46 Quote

“Every time we let ourselves believe for unworthy reasons, we weaken our powers of self-control, of doubting, of judicially and fairly weighing evidence. We all suffer severely enough from the maintenance and support of false beliefs and the fatally wrong actions which they lead to, and the evil born when one such belief is entertained is great and wide.”
/William Kingdon Clifford/

00:57:46 QSoW Ad

00:59:17 Outro

01:00:32 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #146 – Pixie Turner

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On this Episode:

On this week’s episode Jelena and Andras interviews British biochemist, nutritionist, blogger, author and public speaker Pixie Turner, to talk about the science-based approach to healthy eating, dietary and lifestyle choices and how she turned from a person suffering from orthorexia to a public figure educating people into following the science instead of falling for popular, but absolutely useless diets.

Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro;

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:34: Greetings

00:03:24: Interview with Pixie Turner

00:50:10: Farewell

00:52:30: Outro

00:53:44: Out-takes

Ep. #143 – QED Live Recording with Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Clash of the Candies; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

This episode is the first of its kind as it is the live recording from QED 2018 that happened in Manchester in the middle of October. In the unfortunate abscence of Jelena, Pontus and András are joined by Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella to discuss local confectionery, booze and topics like the Shroud of Turin, Leukemia and how a new finding can lead to sensational but untrue headlines, a Danish cancer quack that sites his long deceased patients as his success stories, a couple of good news from Portugal and a student essay competition initiated by the University of Szeged to encourage critical thinking.
Of course, the pope gets poked again and Smirnoff gets the price for being Really Wrong in playing the non-GMO & gluten-free cards…

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Show Notes:
Greetings

This Week in Skepticism: 14 October 1988 – media conference – Shroud of Turin radiocarbon date revealed and it turned out to be a medieval hoax.

Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: A new discovery with the potential to boost sensationalistic headlines

DENMARK: A cancer quack that still cites his patients as his success stories after they had died while he’d been treating them

PORTUGAL: Good and bad news

HUNGARY: Prestigious university calls for short essays written by students 15-18 years of age on a popular quackery and why it doesn’t hold water

Pontus Pokes the Pope

Sir Francis comparing abortion to hiring a trained killer while blaming the devil for church scandals

Really Wrong: Smirnoff advertising gluten-free, non-GMO vodka

Quote and Farewell

“The basics are knowing which small steps to take – you can’t start out planning world salvation from the get go. You have to be ready to do gruelling work. You have to find role models, who will teach you how to think better. You can’t always trust what you believe yourself. Every truth starts off as a delusion. It can only become truth after it is critiqued.”
/Ladislav Hromadka, Czech Philosopher/

Outro

TheESP – Ep. #141 – Ig Nobel Prize, Rosaries, Factfulness and the WHO making a big mistake

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

This week we look at the history of the Ig Nobel Prize, try to find out (Spoiler alert: without success) why pope Francis thinks rosaries are the best way to defend the church from the “Great Accuser” and bring you a ton of news, including: the Romanian referendum on the inclusion or exclusion of same sex marriage in the constitution, a Hungarian cancer quack who boasts likely made-up qualifications, Hans Rosling’s ‘Factfulness’ to become available for free to Swedish students, hundreds of Spanish scientist appeal to Health Minister for action against ‘pseudoscience that kills’, Natalie Grams’ highly anticipated English book on homeopathy to come out in December, what The Croydon Cat Killer might actually be, Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie’s new cool educational material published, investigation into a possible link between measles cases and health-related budget cuts in Italy.
Also, we are sheding some light on how wrong the WHO is for legitimising Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Show Notes:
00:00:26 Greetings

00:03:58 This Week in Skepticism: The first Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony (2 October 1991)

00:11:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope

His Francisness calls for daily Rosary prayers during October

00:18:18 Skeptical News

ROMANIA: Referendum on same sex marriages

HUNGARY: In search of claimed qualifications of a cancer quack

SWEDEN: Hans Rosling’s last book ‘Factfulness’ free for all Swedish students

SPAIN: Hundreds of Spanish scientists ask for action against pseudoscience “that kills”

GERMANY: Natalie Grams’ book to be published in English in December

UK: The Croydon Cat Killer

GERMANY: INH comes out with new youtube video and other info material

ITALY: Possible link between health cuts and measles

00:47:25 Really Wrong: WHO to include TCM in the ICD

00:53:39 Quote and Farewell

“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”
/Napoleon Bonaparte/

00:54:31 Outro

00:55:46 Out-takes