This week we note that the Swedish Skeptics’ article from last week concerning Thomas Erikson’s nonsense personality book “Surrounded by Idiots” has gotten some attention from other skeptics, among other things Pontus was a guest on the last episode of the Skeptic Zone podcast to talk about it.
In history this week we talk about Desmond Morris and his role in the Aquatic Ape hypothesis and then Pontus Pokes the Pope about the fact that the two living popes are at odds regarding celibacy and also that the charity money from Peter’s Pence goes straight into the coffers of the Vatican.
In the news this week: Contrary to what you may have heard, Finland does not plan to go to a four-day working week, in Russia 800 science papers have been retracted and the Eurobarometer shows that EU citizens are concerned about climate change. Andrew Wakefield will screen the new film Vaxxed II at a public venue in Notting Hill, the Goop Lab will feature the Dutch “Iceman” Wim Hof, an Italian court has against scientific consensus ruled that mobile phones cause brain tumours and John Cook is publishing a comic book about climate change denial. We hope Skeptics will help translate it!
We end by handing a Really Wrong Award to the UK Home Office and the Ministry of Justice for believing in lie detectors.
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
Our story from last week regarding the “Surrounded by…” books has been picked up by both the Skeptic Zone podcast and Steve Novella’s Neurologica blog. Check them out!.
- CNET: http://skepticzone.libsyn.com/the-skeptic-zone-588-19january2020
- The NESS (Neurologica): https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/personality-test-pseudoscience-swedish-edition/
- Article on Surrounded By Idiots by VoF (Swedish Skeptics): https://www.vof.se/how-swedes-were-fooled-by-one-of-the-biggest-scientific-bluffs-of-our-time/
0:08:48 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Desmond Morris, British zoologist and anthropologist was born on 24 January 1928. He was instrumental in popularizing the Aquatic Ape hypothesis.
- Wikipedia (Desmond Morris): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Morris
- Wikipedia (Aquatic Ape): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis
- The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/sep/24/the-naked-ape-at-50-desmond-morris-four-experts-assess-impact
- BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51128639
0:19:27 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Celibacy Controversy Deepens, Francis Diverts Charity Millions to Cover Vatican Losses
- FINLAND: Finland is not going to have a four-day working week
- RUSSIA: 800 Russian Scientific Papers Retracted
- INTERNATIONAL: More Pressure on EU as Eurobarometer Shows EU Citizens Concerned with Environmental Issues
- Environmental Health (PDF): https://www.env-health.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/joint-clean-air-letter-2020-EC-WP.pdf
- EEA (1): https://www.eea.europa.eu/media/newsreleases/many-europeans-still-exposed-to-air-pollution-2015/premature-deaths-attributable-to-air-pollution#tab-news-and-articles
- EEA (2): https://www.eea.europa.eu/signals/signals-2013/infographics/health-impacts-of-air-pollution/view
- Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41366-018-0089-y
- Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935119306140
- UK: Vaxxed II: Andrew Wakefield and New Anti-vaxx Movie at Council-Owned Venue in Notting Hill
- NETHERLANDS: ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof Featured on ‘the Goop Lab’ on Netflix
- ITALY: Italian Court Rules That Mobile Phones Cause Tumours
- INTERNATIONAL: Climate Science Denial Explained in an Upcoming Book by John Cook
- Skeptical Science: https://skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=4632
0:57:10 REALLY WRONG
UK: Lie Detector Tests for Convicted Terrorists as a Security Measure
1:02:39 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.”
/ Georges Cuvier, (23 August 1769 – 13 May 1832), French naturalist and zoologist, widely recognised as the father of comparative anatomy and paleontology – from Rapport historique sur les progrès des sciences naturelles (1810) /