Category Archives: Podcast Archive

Archive of past episodes of TheESP – European Skeptics Podcast

TheESP – Ep. #231 – How to Argue with a Racist, with Adam Rutherford

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This week we are joined by the brilliant British geneticist, broadcaster, science journalist and author, Dr Adam Rutherford.
He’s written several books of international acclaim like “Creation: The Origin of Life and the Future of Life”, “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived”, “The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us” and “Humanimal: How Homo Sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature”.
Avid podcast listeners might know him from the BBC Radio 4 shows ‘Inside Science’ and ‘The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry’, but he also frequently appears on TV both as presenter and as an expert in genetics. Adam frequently appears as a speaker at Skeptics in the Pub events and on the same day this interview goes out he will be giving a talk on Skeptics in the Pub Online that bears the same title as his latest book, How to Argue With a Racist: History, Science and Reality.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:33 INTRO

0:01:02 GREETINGS

0:05:36 INTERVIEW WITH DR ADAM RUTHERFORD

1:00:52 FAREWELL

1:04:24 OUTRO

1:05:39 OUT-TAKES


TheESP – Ep. #230 – Tinfoil hats against nonsense

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This week Europe has lost a star in the sky and we hear about how Louis Pasteur managed to create a rabies vaccine back in 1885 (NB: he wasn’t even a medical doctor). Pope Francis seizes even more control about the Vatican’s finances and appoints an “extraordinary commissioner” to raid the entity looking after St Peter’s Basilica. Apparently, someone has been cooking the books.
In the news this week:
– After a new outbreak the German authorities suggest people stay at home for vacation
– Was SARS-CoV-2 really present in Barcelona in March 2019?
– WHO stops Hydroxychloroquine tests
– WHO launches new podcast – Health in Europe
– High risk for polio outbreak in Ukraine
– Russian disinformation operations revealed
– Swedish actor from “Fargo” creates documentary TV-series promoting bogus runestone in Minnesota
– What’s happening with Facebook?
– 5G towers burning in Limassol
– Climate change denier loses bet – has to pay up
– Hungarian National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition bans most homeopathic products from claiming specific therapeutic effects
– Our friend Holm Hümmler airs a documentary about conspiracy theories

To end the episode secondary school students in Germany get today’s Really Right Award for not backing down from their “tinfoil hat” project

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:53 GREETINGS

0:05:26 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Louis Pasteur, successfully demonstrated a working Rabies vaccine on 6 July 1885.

0:13:49 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – Frankie steps up the fight against financial corruption

0:13:28 NEWS

0:56:54 REALLY RIGHT
GERMANY: Secondary School students in Germany don’t back down from their “tinfoil hat” project

1:00:48 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the most for the sake of suffering humanity.”
/ Louis Pasteur, French biologist, microbiologist and chemist. /

1:01:47 OUTRO

1:03:11 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #229 – Reality vs politics, lies and fairy tales

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This week we can’t help but mention the Polish presidential elections and Susan Gerbic’s latest interview with Pontus. We commemorate Ignaz Semmelweis on his birthday before moving on to deliberating over the future of the papacy.
In the news:
– Was the Tönnies incident with COVID19 due to a church service
– Didier Raoult doubles down on hydroxychloroquine
– Hungary’s new curriculum and history textbooks full of folk legends and misleading claims
– Measles update
– The latest and most sophisticated fake of the Loch Ness Monster
– Large wildfires in Siberia as reminder of climate change
– ARP-SAPC’s Sergio Lopez Borgonoz research grant now open for applications

This week’s Really Wrong Price goes to a Swedish elementary school for investing in bogus “protective equipment” against Wi-Fi.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:54 GREETINGS

“About time Presents – in conversation with…” – Pontus Böckman edition:
https://youtu.be/UhoY7YcR_7E

Susan’s other recent interviews:

0:09:37 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
1st July 1818 – Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis, “Saviour of Mothers”

0:17:45 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
The Next Pope: Two new books explore life after Francis

0:30:38 NEWS

  1. GERMANY: Was the Tönnies incident because of a church service?
  2. FRANCE: Didier Raoult’s Hydroxychloroquine claims get even more bizarre
  3. HUNGARY: New history textbook full of legends, errors and misleading information
  4. EUROPE: Measles update
  5. SCOTLAND: Latest evidence of the Loch Ness monster turns out to be fake too
  6. RUSSIA: Large wildfires after of 38° Celsius heatwave in Siberia
  7. SPAIN: ARP-SAPC’s Sergio Lopez Borgonoz paranormal investigation research grant open for applications

1:03:59 REALLY WRONG
Swedish elementary school invest in “protection” against wi-fi

1:07:38 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“To spread healthy ideas among even the lowest classes of people, to remove men from the influence of prejudice and passion, to make reason the arbiter and supreme guide of public opinion; that is the essential goal of the sciences; that is how science will contribute to the advancement of civilization, and that is what deserves protection of governments who want to insure the stability of their power.”
/George Cuvier, French naturalist, widely considered the founder of comparative anatomy and paleontology, 1810/

1:08:50 OUTRO

1:10:04 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #228 – Let Science Take the Lead

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This week Pontus and András bring you the latest from all over Europe mixed with some history and a little bit of Poking the Pope(s).
This week marks the 646th anniversary of the onset of the Aachen Dancing Plague. After exploring that phenomenon, we move on to how Pope Francis regards women and weather Palpatine is up to no good on his visit to his homeland Germany.
Then, in the news:
– COVID-19 superspreading centre in Gütersloch, Germany now in lockdown
– Swedish coronavirus quack bites the dust
– The Guardian’s article on revised climate models deemed misleading by experts
– Spanish authorities finally publish COVID-19 statistics
– ARP-SAPC’s Skeptical Magnifier Award announced
– Novartis stops Hydroxychloroquine study for lack of participants
– New survey in University of Oxford’s Digital News Reports shows how much people care about climate change
– Political consensus in Norway to remove VAT exemption status for SCAM practitioners
– European Commission identifies Russia and China as origins of disinformation campaigns
– Almost half of Italians would not get a COVID-19 vaccine

The Swedish Food Safety Agency gets this week’s Really Right price for stepping up against illegal food supplement ads.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:25 INTRO

0:00:52 GREETINGS

0:03:11 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
24th June 1374 – “Medieval Dancing Plague” in Aachen, Germany

0:11:58 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Francis says “we” must respect women’s bodies – and then defines what “we” should use them for…

0:21:42 NEWS

  1. GERMANY: Meat processing plant outbreak in North Rhine Westphalia
  2. SWEDEN: Another corona quack bites the dust
  3. INTERNATIONAL: The Guardian’s article on revised climate models potentially misleading
  4. SPAIN: Authorities finally publish COVID-19 death statistics
  5. SPAIN: ‘Skeptical Magnifier’ Award announced
  6. SWITZERLAND: Novartis halts study for lack of participants
  7. INTERNATIONAL: Just how much do people care about climate change?
  8. NORWAY: Consensus to remove VAT exemption status for SCAM
  9. INTERNATIONAL: European Commission identifies Russia and China as responsible for disinformation
  10. ITALY: Almost half of Italians would not take a COVID19 vaccine

1:03:51 REALLY RIGHT
Swedish Food Safety Agency invites the public to report illegal ads for supplements against COVID19

1:08:45 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
„Science is constantly proved all the time. You see, If we took something like any fiction, any holy book, and any other fiction and destroyed it, in a thousand years’ time, that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book and every fact and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back because all the same tests would be the same result.“
/Ricky Gervais, British comedian, actor and producer/

Thank you Jelena, we miss you already!

1:09:54 OUTRO

1:11:08 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #227 – Thank you, Jelena!

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This week we first learn about how the 1854 cholera outbreak led to advances in the knowledge about diseases and outbreaks thanks to the clever and rigorous work by the physician John Snow, now regarded as one of the founders of modern epidemiology. Pope Francis is getting closer to his vision of “a poor church for the poor”, perhaps just a little bit faster than he bargained for as the pandemic is hitting the Catholic finances. Then Andras delves into how we can begin to measure the success of covid-19 related restrictions.
In the news this week:
– Swedish Snake Oil advertisement is struck down
– Archaeologist sentenced for faking Basque finds
– Climate more sensitive to CO2 emissions than thought?
– Who killed the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme?
– Szekesfehervar budget cuts – nonessential vaccines are first to go
– The Aspen Institute’s ‘Good10 – The Pandemic Issue’ discussing many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic
– The return of the Mayan calendar – some myths refuse to die
– University of Vienna found a way to inoculate medical students about SCAM
The prize for being Really Wrong goes to doctors in Northern Ireland that continue to obstruct abortions even after the recent legalization!

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:26 INTRO

0:00:49 GREETINGS

0:06:36 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
John Snow, the father of modern epidemiology, died on 16 June 1858. He is famous for tracking down the source of the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak in London.

0:13:49 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – “The poor Church for the poor”

0:16:25 COVID-19 UPDATE

0:24:27 NEWS

1:00:58 REALLY WRONG
NORTHERN IRELAND: Doctors sabotaging legal abortions

1:04:28 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Critical thinking is the only weapon and the only defense that the human being has against the dangers of life. Because if I do not think critically, I will be subject to all influences, to all suggestions, to all errors and to all the lies that are spread, and with which I have been indoctrinated since childhood.”
/ Erich Seligmann Fromm, social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. /

Thank you Jelena, we miss you already!

1:10:05 OUTRO

1:11:21 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #226 – Credo, ergo sum


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A bit less COVID-19-heavy episode this week with the news that May 2020 saw the highest concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere ever recorded and it was also the hottest May ever.
6 years ago, creationism as science in schools was banned in the UK and hallelujah, the Vatican is launching their new channel ‘VatiVision’ and a documentary series ‘The Great Popes’.
In the news this week:
– Nicotine replacement therapy is the new craze among possible COVID-19 treatments lacking evidence of efficacy
– The bad science story of Hydroxychloroquine that shook the world
– Millions seem to believe the Treaty of Trianon expires after 100 years
– People fall for the story of dozens of give-away TVs by Curry’s
– The German Medical Student Association issues a declaration against homeopathy
– Let’s see behind the curtain regarding the ‘Swedish Model’ once again
– Massimo Polidoro launches his Patreon page – with a twist.
This week’s Really Right price goes to Dutch anaesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee for publishing a free book ‘Anesthesia and the Soul’ that helps us understand out-of-body-experiences (OBE).

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; COVID-19 Update; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

Welcome to the start of a hot summer!

0:10:45 This Week in Skepticism

As of June 9, 2014 teaching creationism as science was banned in public schools in the UK

0:21:07 PONTUS POKES THE POPE

Francis is a bigot, plus “watch out Netflix – here comes VatiVision!”

0:30:10 NEWS

  1. EU/FRANCE: News about possible nicotine therapy lead to surge of tobacco products 
  2. INTERNATIONAL: Bad science on all sides of Hydroxychloroquine
  3. HUNGARY: Millions believe the Treaty of Trianon expires after 100 years
  4. UK: No, nobody is handing out free TVs
  5. GERMANY: Medical students issue declaration against homeopathy
  6. SWEDEN: The “Swedish model” may very well have problems – but the reporting of it is even worse
  7. ITALY: Massimo Polidoro starts his Patreon page – with a twist

1:05:55 REALLY RIGHT
Dutch anaesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee, author of the free book “Anesthesia and the Soul”

1:09:21 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“I’m comfortable with the unknown — that’s the point of science. There are places out there, billions of places out there, that we know nothing about. And the fact that we know nothing about them excites me, and I want to go out and find out about them. And that’s what science is. So I think if you’re not comfortable with the unknown, then it’s difficult to be a scientist… I don’t need an answer. I don’t need answers to everything. I want to have answers to find.”
/Professor Brian Cox, British physicist, presenter, author and musician/

1:10:39 OUTRO

1:11:54 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #225 – Evidence of homeopathic proportions


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On this week’s episode we celebrate the new era of commercial space flight brought about by SpaceX, then a bit of skeptical history, talking about Gérard Sède and the Priory of Sion hoax.
After poking the Pope we bring you an update on the latest issues with COVID-19, including vaccine hesitancy on the rise, the fear from the second wave versus those who deny the existence of the pandemic, survaillence making people suspicious, how the development of a vaccine is doing and France banning the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment.
In the news this week:
– A new craze lacking any evidence and called “Lightning Process”
– The truth revealed about the 5GBioShield USB key
– “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” off the shelves in the UK
– New study to show how confidence drives confirmation bias
– Austrian homeopaths trying to build distrust in GWUP
– A low quality study into the role of alternative medicine in the advance of vaccine hesitancy

Italian doctor Alberto Zangrillo gets this week’s Really Wrong price for claiming that the SARS-CoV-2 virus no longer exists

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; COVID-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

Commercial space flight is here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52867494

0:07:59 This Week in Skepticism

Gérard de Sède (born 5 June 1921) helped create Priory of Sion hoa

0:13:52 PONTUS POKES THE POPE

Francis the caveman: https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2020/05/pope-closes-marathon-weekend-saying-holy-spirit-doesnt-see-left-and-right/

0:17:27 COVID-19 Update

0:29:29 NEWS

  1. UK: The ‘Lightning Process’ – not very convincing
  2. UK: 5GBioShield USB key reloaded – and debunked
  3. UK: A magazine spreading misleading health claims withdrawn from shelves
  4. UK: New study shows how confidence drives confirmation bias
  5. AUSTRIA: Homeopaths attempt to built distrust in GWUP
  6. SPAIN: Vaccine hesitancy and the role of alternative medicine

0:55:21 REALLY WRONG
Alberto Zangrillo, Director of the Terapia intensiva del San Raffaele in Milan, for saying that SARS-CoV-2 no longer exists

1:01:12 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts, he will accept it even on the slenderest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”
/Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, British polymath, philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate/

1:02:39 OUTRO

1:03:54 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #224 – An AntivaxxiNational crisis


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This week Pontus and Andras try their best to keep your spirit up while talking about the saddening advent of conspiracy theories and an ever growing antivaccination sentiment.
We talk about the great and controversial scientist, the father of glaciology, Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, try to make sense of the Pope’s latest actions as part of the Vatican’s financial reform, bring you a bit of the latest analyses of the COVID-19 situation and lots of news:
– A church congregation in Frankfurt becomes a virus hotspot
– Sweden’s approach looks very different when under the microscope
– Are we loosing against the antivaccination movement?
– Homeopathy International sneakily advises people to take homeopathic products
– Italian MP calls for the arrest of Bill Gates
– Nearlf half of tweets about COVID-19 likely come from bots
– “5GBioShield” hits the market
– WHO report says 80 million children not vaccinated because of COVID-19
– Hungarian snake oil salesman under scrutiny by Competition Authority

The Romanian Ministry of Health gets this week’s Really Wrong Price for failing to provide the necessary vaccination information and immunize the public against measles.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; COVID-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

0:06:41 This Week in Skepticism
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (May 28, 1807) – Swiss-American biologist and geologist, founder of glaciology – and creatinist

0:15:05 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Francis is back on St Peter’s Square, plus he’s starting to consolidate the fortunes of the Church

0:20:06 COVID-19 Update

0:40:41 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL/UK: Homeopathy International – giving advice on what product to take against Coronavirus
  2. ITALY: MP calling for the arrest of Bill Gates and spreading conspiracy theories
  3. INTERNATIONAL: Nearly half of accounts tweeting about Covid-19 are likely bots
  4. UK: 5G bioshield hitting the market
  5. INTERNATIONAL: WHO – at least 80 million children not vaccinated because of COVID-19
  6. HUNGARY: Competition authority scrutinising snake oil salesman

0:59:52 REALLY WRONG
Romanian Ministry of Health failing regarding vaccination information

1:02:39 The Skeptic Zone Ad

1:03:17 Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia Ad

1:04:58 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“The facts will eventually test all our theories, and they form, after all, the only impartial jury to which we can appeal.”
/Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz/

1:05:57 OUTRO

TheESP – Ep. #223 – Conversation therapy in the time of Plandemic


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On this week’s episode we start by the funny PA of Deutsche Bahn then turn towards the story of psychic Peter Hurkos who was born on this day.
The latest from the Catholic Church reveals conspiracy theories and Pope Benedict XVI. trying to influence current affairs.
We talk about how grounded aeroplanes mean less reliable weather forecasts, the Czech government trying to outrun COVID-19 by themselves under the leadership of a homeopath and how Stephen Lewandowsky’s team helps all of us identify and fight conspiracy theories.
In the news:
– Russia fails to provide measles vaccines during the COVID-19 crisis
– Sweden’s health minister admits failure to keep elderly citizens safe
– Hungarian government subsidises a TCM unit at Semmelweis University
– Multiple legal cases shaking European countries amid 5G concerns
– Good Magic Awards winners announced
– Germany bans conversion therapies for minors
– Homeopathy not found to be effective for psychiatric disorders
The Swedish company marketing the bogus product ‘Mendi’ gets this week’s Really Wrong prize.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; COVID-19 Update; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:05:48 This Week in Skepticism
Peter Hurkos (born Peter van der Hurk, 21 May 1911 in Dordrecht, Netherlands)

0:12:56 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Conspiracy Theory Petition signed by Cardinal Sarah. Benedict’s new Biography, Cardinal Pell definitely DID know that he covered up abuse and the Holy See is a financial mega loss.

0:20:28 COVID-19 Update

0:32:11 NEWS

  1. RUSSIA: While the country jumps to 2nd place worldwide in COVID-19, measles cases are on the rise
  2. SWEDENE: Has the Swedish Covid19 Strategy Failed?
  3. HUNGARY: Government spends 17 million euros on setting up new TCM unit at Medical University
  4. EUROPE: Multiple legal cases against 5G in EU countries UK:
    1. UK
    2. Netherlands
    3. France
    4. Denmark
    5. Norway
    6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2020/05/15/the-original-plandemic-unmasking-the-eerily-parallel-conspiracy-theories-behind-the-russian-flu-of-1889/#62518a4750d5
  5. UK: Good Magic Awards winners announced
  6. GERMANY: ‘Conversion therapy’ for minors now banned
  7. ITALY: Homeopathy not effective for psychiatric disorders

1:05:18 REALLY WRONG
Kickstarter for Bogus “brain trainer” Mendi

1:14:10 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.”
/Joseph Joubert, French moralist and essayist/

1:15:10 OUTRO

1:16:24 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #222 – Susan Gerbic, Wikipedia & changing the world page by page

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This week our team welcomes Susan Gerbic back to the show to talk about her and Mark Edward’s sting operations to reveal psychics and their techniques in conning people and why Wikipedia is probably the most important asset in the hands of skeptics in the never-ending fight against pseudoscience and quackery. And this is also a call for new editors from around the world to join the international team she leads, Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Susan Gerbic; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:49 GREETINGS

Maddox Prize nominations

0:04:18 INTERVIEW with SUSAN GERBIC

Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW):

0:56:37 FAREWELL

0:59:05 OUTRO

01:00:19 OUT-TAKES