Tag Archives: ComCept

TheESP – Ep. #169 – SkepKon Raffle, MSSX, Hitler’s diaries and Papal Heresy

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In this week’s episode we announce the winner of our SkepKon raffle! We also invite you to take GapMinder’s test to see how well you know the state of the world before we catch up with Alice and Laurie from the Merseyside Skeptics who tell us all about their upcoming 10 year celebration: MSSX on 6 July. You should go!
This week 36 years ago, Stern Magazine had to admit that the Hitler diaries they had spent 19 million marks on were fake.
Pope Francis is being accused of heresy by Catholic priests and Pontus is trying to see the papal future.
In the news we report that GWUP’s skeptical Heinz Oberhummer award goes to “No Such Thing as a Fish”, that Sweden has NOT banned mandatory vaccinations and that you can already now start nominating candidates for the Flying Unicorn Awards in Portugal.
We also learn from a study by Glasgow University just how bad it is to take diet and health advice for Twitter (just don’t!).

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

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

00:00:36 Intro

00:01:00 Greetings

Check how much you know about how the world really is by taking the GapMinder test! Can you beat Pontus and András who were both 11 / 13?
Plus we announce the raffle winner of the ticket to SkepKon 19 in Augsburg 30 May-1 June!

00:09:24 Interview

Alice Howarth and Laurie Philips joins us to tell all about the MSSX celebrations in Liverpool on 6 (and 7) July! You should defenitely go!

00:19:44 This Week in Skepticism

On 6 May 1983, Stern Magazine admitted that they had spent 19 million marks on fake Hitler diaries.

00:28:08 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis thinks that gossiping hairdressers is something he should be bothered with, while at the same time a band of priests charge him with heresy! Plus, Pontus sees the future.

00:34:36 Skeptical News

AUSTRIA: “No Such Thing As A Fish” gets Heinz Oberhummer Award 2019

SWEDEN: Old rumors resurface, but Sweden has not banned mandatory vaccination

PORTUGAL: Nominations for the Flying Unicorn Awards 2019 now open

00:46:06 Really Wrong

Social media influencers give bad diet and fitness advice eight times out of nine

00:51:42 Quote and Goodbye
“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”
/ David Hume, 7 March 1711 to 25 August 1776. Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist /

00:52:35 Outro

00:53:50 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #167 – Notre-Dame, Measles quadruples and Hungary wants to control Facebook

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This week we discuss the Notre-Dame fire before we celebrate this week’s icon, the Hungarian astronomer and skeptic Iván Almár. The Measles epidemic is getting even worse with the WHO showing a 300% global increase so far this year, Metabiota has launched a new website for tracking epidemics, Anthroposophs claim to be for vaccinations (they’re really not) and the Hungarian government wants to control Facebook.
Also, the “Finns party” switches to a new conspiracy theory when the old one is not attractive enough, the MMR vaccine does NOT cause diabetes and Brussels thinks 5G testing is using people as Guinea pigs. We learn (again) that stop eating sugar does not cure cancer and we give a shout-out to the Portuguese skeptics, ComCept, that are now on Patreon.
We close the show by saluting one of the champions of keeping the Internet a little bit saner: Snopes.com

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

We discuss the fire at Notre-Dame and ask you to support Rectraction Watch and also talk about the latest Skeptical Club in Budapest who debated how science fiction can shape society.

00:21:35 This Week in Skepticism

Iván Almár, born 21st April 1932. He is an Hungarian astronomer and prominent figure of SETI and the Hungarian skeptic movement.

00:26:32 Skeptical News

FRANCE: Good news: Measles cases go down in France

INTERNATIONAL: Bad news: The number of measles cases globally quadruple in 2019

INTERNATIONAL: Metabiota launches new epidemic tracker website

INTERNATIONAL: Are Anthroposophy enthusiasts for or against vaccinations?

HUNGARY: Facebook vs Hungarian government – who will win?

FINLAND: Right wing party switches to new conspiracy theory after old one loses attraction

UK: Diabetes claimed on Facebook post to be a side effect of MMR. It is not.

EU: Brussels puts 5G testing on hold in case it’s harmful

UK: Stopping all sugar intake won’t cure cancer

PORTUGAL: ComCept goes onto Patreon

01:01:04 Really Right

Snopes.com are Really Right for relentlessly debunking stupidity – most recently about Notre-Dame.

01:04:45 Quote and Goodbye
“Science, my lad, has been built upon many errors; but they are errors which it was good to fall into, for they led to the truth.”
/ Jules Verne, French writer pioneering science-fiction – Quote from Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) /

01:07:28 Outro

01:08:43 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #165 – April fools, Rigvir Scandal and Unicorn Awards

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This week we talk about some great April Fools’ pranks, we look at the Vatican’s new child abuse law, mumps outbreak in Madrid, climate change models being validated in new observations. We get a first report on why the fake cancer cure Rigvir is being banned (look out for more Rigvir news in the future), we look at how Catholic priests are burning books in Poland, how there’s a battle between Russian homeopaths and skeptics and whether the recent Swedish CAM inquiry is good news or not. The French academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have suddenly discovered that homeopathy is not a thing, Portuguese Skeptics COMCEPT has presented this year’s Unicorn Awards and the new Italian government again demonstrates that they are anti-science.

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

00:00:51 Greetings

More dodgy research on homeopathy for Dengue Fever; Elections in Ukraine; Does health matter in the European Parliament elections?; COMCEPT Manifesto; Debating Anthroposophs in Sweden; Reminder of the SkepKon raffle – Send an email to us and you can win a ticket!

  • https://edzardernst.com/2019/03/more-dodgy-research-on-homeopathy-for-dengue-fever/
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47767440
  • https://epha.org/does-health-matter-in-the-european-parliament-elections/
  • http://comcept.org/2019/03/26/manifesto-saude/

00:15:36 This Week in Skepticism

April Fools’ 2019: Internet Pranks

00:22:07 Pontus Pokes the Pope

New Vatican law against abuse – not going far enough

00:26:09 Skeptical News

SPAIN: Mumps outbreak in Madrid: Dozens of cases reported at Pontifical University of Comillas

UKRAINE: Rate of measles in Ukraine is rising again: 35K cases reported year-to-date

SWEDEN: Climate change: Average temps in the north rising faster than global temps

LATVIA / WORLD: Fake cancer drug Rigvir banned

POLAND: PONTUS: Catholic Priests in Poland Burn Harry Potter Books to Eradicate Evil

RUSSIA: Russian homeopaths strike again (twice) in virology journal — and a skeptic strikes right back

SWEDEN: Government Inquiry about CAM

FRANCE: The French Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have just ousted homeopathy

PORTUGAL: Prémio Unicórnio Voador 2018 (Unicorn Awards)

00:59:59 Really Wrong

Italian Government to stop issuing vaccination certificates

01:03:19 Quote and Goodbye
“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”
/ Oscar wilde, Irish poet and playwright /

01:04:32 Outro

01:05:47 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

Episode #120 – Homeopathy Awareness Week, anniversaries, awards and Fact-checking Day

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On this Episode:

It was Homeopathy (and Chiropractic) Awareness Week, but wee had a lot of other stuff like anniversaries and awards to talk about on this episode, including 2 years of Information Netzwerk Homeopathie with Natalie Grams, 6 years of both ComCept running skeptical activism in Portugal and Spanish Skeptics running the show Pensando Críticamente.
Also, ComCept just announced their Flying Unicorn Awards, whilst CICAP has announced that there would be a CICAPfest held this year in Padova. In France, physicians appeal to get rid of alternative medicine, and in Italy, Massimo Polidoro recently launched his new video series on YouTube!
Let’s go nuts and follow Virgin Galactic on their journey to space tourism, but don’t forget Mark Zuckerberg’s promises to keep fighting against false information and brainwashing with Facebook.

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

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Various updates; Updates from around Europe; Quote; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:00: Intro

00:00:27: Greetings

00:02:25: Updates from around Europe

00:40:55: Quote

​”I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.” – Arthur C. Clarke

00:41:56: Outro

00:43:04: Out-takes

Episode #116 – Diana Barbosa and the latest in Portugal

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On this Episode:

Diana Barbosa is back to the show after two years to bring us up to date with skepticism related issues in Portugal. She talks about regulations regarding alternative medicine, the advance of the antivax movement, the upcoming Flying Unicorn Awards and a lot more.

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

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

Show notes:

00:00:08
INTRO

00:00:35
Greetings
Andras is officially a candidate for the Parliament of Hungary in his district
The official website of the Office of Elections

00:09:00
Interview with Diana Barbosa

00:51:09
Farewell

00:53:02
Outro

00:54:17
Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #115 – Books and app for skeptics, exorcism, vaccinations and INH gone international

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

Show Notes:

00:00:27 Greetings

00:16:56 This Week in Skepticism

00:21:01 Skeptical News

00:40:57 Really Wrong

00:44:04 Quote

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive”.
/Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher/

00:45:17 Outro

00:46:32 Out-takes

Episode #069

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This week we are bringing you an episode packed with news, important events and topics from all over Europe: Autism Acceptance Month, World Homeopathy Awareness Week, poppy seeds causing false positive drug tests, public opinion and vaccination, the latest on the screenings of the movie Vaxxed in Germany and Ireland, ComCept’s Flying Unicorn Awards, Nominations open for the John Maddox Prize, QED: Question. Explore. Discover. announced, nominations open for the British Podcast Awards, call for speakers at the 17th European Skeptics Congress in Poland, our calendar of skeptic events, an update on the NHS vs homeopathy, Prince Anne backing GM crops, BBC to uphold the Good Thinking Society’s complaint against the Look North report on chiropractic for animals, an update on the UK Charity Commission’s latest actions, a researcher banned from seeking funding after misconduct in Germany, the German government passes legislation about punishing social media firms for not removing hate speech, new fronts in the war against pseudoscience in Medicine in Spain, El Esceptico issue 46 is out commemorating Carl Sagan, who’s been dead for 20 years now, Swiss skeptics open research department, the current state of measles and the effect of the anti-vaccination movement in countries across Europe and a look at how Swedes handle an attack on their capital.

If you’re interested in the events happening across Europe, please visit our calendar page.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Analysis; Really Right; Quote

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:27
Greetings & feedback

  1. Autism Acceptance Month
  2. World Autism Awareness Day (2nd April)  since 2007.
  3. World Homeopathy Awareness Week
  4. Poppy seeds causing false positive drug tests
  5. Legislation vs public opinion
  6. The latest on the screenings of the movie Vaxxed in Germany and Ireland
  7. ComCept’s Flying Unicorn Awards 2016
  8. Nominations open for the John Maddox Prize
  9. QED – Question. Explore. Discover. announced
  10. Nominations open for the British Podcast Awards
    • Please, vote for us here! Thanks.
  11. Call for speakers at the 17th European Skeptics Congress in Poland

00:19:48

This Week in Skepticism

Maria Gemma Umberta Galgani (Died on 11th April 1903), Italian mystic, venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church since 1940.

00:27:39

Skeptical News

  1. BBC upholds the Good Thinking Society’s complaint against the Look North report on chiropractic for animals
  2. Princess Anne backs GM crops
  3. Update on the NHS and homeopathy
  4. An update on the UK Charity Commission’s latest actions
  5. German researcher banned from seeking funding after misconduct
  6. German government passes legislation about punishing social media firms for not removing hate speech
  7. New fronts in the war against pseudoscience in Medicine in Spain
  8. El Esceptico issue 46 is out commemorating Carl Sagan, who’s been dead for 20 years now…
  9. Swiss skeptics open a research department

00:47:40
Analysis

The current state of measles and the effect of the anti-vaccination movement in countries across Europe

00:59:23
Really Right

Swedes for handling an attack in their capital without panic

01:04:24
Quote
“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”

/David Hume, Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist/

01:05:25
Outro

01:06:40
Out-takes

Episode #067

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This week we talked about how fake news are a bit more complicated than that, Vaxxed still growing its audience, Rudolf Steiner and his anthroposophy and schools, Massimo Polidoro having a new book out, ComCept’s Flying Unicorn Award, the Carl Sagan Journalism Prize offered by GWUP, the UK’s Charity Commission’s consultations about the charitable status of organisations promoting pseudoscience, the death of the last patient of Paolo Macchiarini’s.
Finally, the British Chiropractic Association wins the Really Wrong price for still “happily promoting bogus treatments”.

If you’re interested in the events happening across Europe, please visit our calendar page.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Really Wrong; Quote

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:26
Greetings & feedback

Fake News – It’s a bit more complicated than that.

00:08:50
This Week in Skepticism
Rudolf Steiner, founder of anthroposopy

00:24:06
Skeptical News

  1. Massimo Polidoro has a new book out: The Powers of the Mind
  2. ComCept to award the Flying Unicorn Prize again. And they’re open for suggestions
  3. Carl Sagan Journalist Prize by the GWuP to be awarded to filmmakers
  4. The UK’s Charity Commission consulting with experts to assess the eligibility of organisations actively promoting pseudoscience for the charitable status.
  5. The last of the Macchiarini patients have died

00:34:16
Really Wrong
The British Chiropractic Association for still “happily promoting bogus treatments”.

00:39:36
Radio Spots

00:41:39
Quote
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”
/Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher of Sephardi/Portuguese origin./

00:44:55
Outro

00:46:10
Out-takes