Tag Archives: Germany

TheESP – Ep. #170 – Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Nonsense

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In this week’s episode we talk about ‘kwakzalverij’, the Pope’s new Olympic ambitions (and female football team) and other papal adventures. There are steep fines coming for German vaccination dodgers and a study finds that absence of evidence is evidence on non-sense.
MedWatch gets the Carl Sagan award, there is another example of vegan parents that jeopardize the lives of their children and French authorities are stepping up the fight against homeopathy (Boiron is not happy).
We also look into whether the code of the Voynich manuscript really has been broken and how another populist right wing party tries to score points by questioning climate change.
We end with awarding a Really Right to a football player for not wanting to take advantage of how hard it really is to understand the odds of gambling.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:49 Greetings

A correction about the Heinz Oberhummer award and special greeting from Pilip Schunke, the winner of the SkepKon raffle! Plus our Patreon page now have different levels of support, check it out!

00:08:01 This Week in Skepticism

On 15 May 2009, the Dutch organization Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (VTDK) won a court case regardning to use of the word Kwacksalver (‘quack’) when describing certain so called ‘health providers’.

00:14:35 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis goes for the Olympics, praises Mother Teresa and makes reporting abuse mandatory – but gets it wrong.

00:21:00 Skeptical News

GERMANY: A new bill aiming to threat parents refusing vaccination for their kids with fines

SWITZERLAND: Youtube health advice – The Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Non-Sense

GERMANY: The Carl Sagan Award (1000 EUR prize) goes to MedWatch – Award ceremony at SkepKon

SWEDEN: Another child suffer from parents insisting on vegan food

FRANCE: French authorities likely to stop reimbursements for homeopathic remedies soon

UK: Voynich manuscript deciphered?

GERMANY: AfD aims for political gains by denying climate change

00:57:21 Really Right

Football player Kim Källström, for not promoting gambling

01:02:53 Radio Spot

01:04:33 Quote and Goodbye
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
/Maria Skłodowska-Curie, 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934, Polish-born scientist and two-times Nobel laureate/

01:06:11 Outro

01:07:26 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #164 – Annika @ SkepKon, ESC, HPV, climate change & Jehova’s witnesses in schools

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This week we welcome Annika Merkelbach from Germany back to the show to talk about the upcoming skeptical convention SkepKon, GSoW and her series of interviews on Skeptical Inquirer’s website.
We also talk about the European Skeptics Congress to be held in Ghent the end of August, plus lots of news items and topics to mention include:
The Cancer Act 1939 of the UK, the latest wrongdoings of the Vatican, an Italian politician who’s been opposing mandatory vaccination being hospitalised with chicken pox, the death of HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan and how her campaign must have saved a lot of lives, plagiarism made illegal in Montenegro after a long and interesting battle with the problem, an email by a listener bringing hope in the fight against bogus claims asking for support on Indiegogo, students in Oxford petitioning for climate change to be made a core part of the national curriculum in the UK, Holm Gero Hümmler’s new book on conspiracy theories and Jehova’s witnesses being under attack by authorities in both Sweden and the US for child indoctrination and sexual abuse.

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

Programme out for Eruopean Skeptics Congress in Ghent 29 Aug – 1 Sept

00:05:30 Interview with Annika Merkelbach

We catch up with Annika Merkelbach regarding the upcoming SkepKon conference (take part in our raffel to win a ticket!) and her work with Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia and writing for the Skeptical Inquirer.

00:20:20 This Week in Skepticism

The UK Cancer Act of 1939

00:27:24 Pontus Pokes the Pope

The Vatican is still no place for women; Cardinal who covered up abuse not allowed to resign; A US Catholic diocese sued on consumer protection grounds

00:33:18 Skeptical News

ITALY: Politician Who Fought Against Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccine Contracts Chickenpox

IRELAND: HPV vaccine campaigner’s legacy will be to save thousands of live

MONTENEGRO: Plagiarism made illegal in the country along with other forms of misconduct

INTERNATIONAL: E-mail from the listener (re episode 158) Indiegogo does (at least nominally) have policies in place that can be used to appeal questionable projects

UK: Climate change petition: Oxford students campaign for better teaching on subject

GERMANY: Holm Gero Hümmler’s new book on conspiracy myths

01:00:34 Really Wrong

Jehova’s Witnesses child indoctrination in schools (+ plus US child molestation)

01:07:27 Quote and Goodbye
“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”
/ Anatole France, French poet, journalist, and successful novelist /

01:09:29 Outro

01:10:44 Out-takes

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. #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. #155 – Bacon, probiotics, the danger of acupuncture and the rise of anti-fluoridation

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This week we’re back to bring you news and info about a wide range of topics including Francis Bacon and his importance in the development of #science, how the ‘good pope’ John Paul II was a misogynist, why we admire the works of Sense about Science so much and how they came up with yet another campaign that deserves much attention (the ‘Evidence Hunter Activity Pack’), how facilitated communication is a thing in Sweden despite all the evidence that suggests it does not work at all, why we should be cautious with consuming #probiotics (thanks to Prof. Edzard Ernst for the heads up), plus Skepkon 2019, the German annual conference for skeptics organised by gwup | die skeptiker is coming up, while a Swedish acupuncturist is on trial for almost killing two patients and the county of Killarney in Ireland calls to remove #fluoride from drinking water, despite the lack of any indications that it could be harmful (while its benefits are many).

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

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

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:04:33 This Week in Skepticism

Francis Bacon: English philosopher and Statesman, born on 22 January 1561.

00:09:54 Pontus Pokes the Pope

John Paul II once refused to shake Irish President’s hand because she was not a man, and Cardinal Arborelius threatens to leave Swedish Missionary Council because of abortions.

00:16:28 Skeptical News

UK: New educational material developed by Sense About Science: Evidence Hunter Activity Pack

SWEDEN: Facilitated communication

INTERNATIONAL: Probiotics are not risk free

GERMANY: Tickets released for SkepKon 2019

SWEDEN: Acupuncturist on trial for almost killing two customers

00:38:28 Really Wrong: IRELAND: Killarney Council wants to ban water flouridation

00:41:07 Farewell

00:43:04 Quote
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
/Francis Bacon

00:43:54 Outro

00:45:09 Out-takes

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

Ep. #135 – ET healing, first contact in Germany, wet cupping, plus religion

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

While unfortunately Jelena is not present, this week we talk about an ET healer in the Netherlands before we share the latest updates on measles. The comes the outrageous fact that Germany has no official plan for a first contact situation and how religious taboos can cause trouble. El escéptico’s 50th issue is out now, while wet cupping is gaining ground in Amsterdam. Also, the pope gets poked again while pastafarianism doesn’t get recognised as a religion.

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

00:11:50 Skeptical News

NETHERLANDS: “ET Healer” not prosecuted for possible contribution to suicide

UK: Royal homeopath dies in a bicyle accident

INTERNATIONAL: MEASLES UPDATE: Finally it makes the news (but the reported numbers are too low)

GERMANY: No preparations for alien landing situations

SWITZERLAND: Muslim couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal

SPAIN: Issue #50 of El Esceptico to be released

NETHERLANDS: Wet Cupping on the rise in Amsterdam

NETHERLANDS: Pastafarianism “not a religion” – rules Dutch court

00:30:50 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Frankie boy cannot handle the scandal

00:35:16 Really Right: Greta Thunberg, 15, takes a stand for climate

00:40:59 Farewell and Quote

“Of a number of variant hypotheses about the same facts, that one is true which shows why facts, which in the other hypotheses remain unrelated, are as they are, i.e., which demonstrates their orderly and rational mathematical connexion.”

/Johannes Kepler German astronomer and astrologer/

00:42:20 Outro

00:43:35 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #128 – 50K€ Homeopathy Challenge, News and Climate Therapy

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

We comment on Stephen Hawking’s funeral and give a new update on the European statistics for measles (it’s bad).

00:07:10 Short interview with Norbert Aust

We talk to Norbert Aust from the German skeptics (GWUP) and Homeopathy Information Network about their 50K€ Homeopathy Challenge

00:18:43 This Week in Skepticism

James Braid (19 June 1795 – 25 March 1860) was a Scottish surgeon and “gentleman scientist”. He was a significant innovator in the treatment of club-foot and an important and influential pioneer of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. He is regarded by many as the first genuine “hypnotherapist” and the “Father of Modern Hypnotism”.

00:22:16 Skeptical News

00:40:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope

00:43:05 Really Wrong

00:45:50 Quote

“Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new.”
/ Galileo Galilei, Italian polymath /

00:47:35 Outro

00:48:50 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #126 – Colliding worlds, more measles and Poking the Pope

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

Show Notes:
00:00:29 Greetings

Catching up on our slightly erratic release schedule (only two days after the previous episode!):
Jelena takes over the role of host as András is stuck in a hotel somewhere, with WiFi only slightly better than smoke signals. We talk about TEDx in London, while Dobby the skeptical cat argues that you should become a patron of the show.

00:07:13 This Week in Skepticism

Immanuel Velikovsky (10 Jun. 1895 – 17 Nov. 1979), Russian independent scholar best known as the author of a number of controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history, in particular the US bestseller Worlds in Collision published in 1950.

00:14:10 Skeptical News

00:25:10 Pontus Pokes the Pope

00:28:24 Really Wrong / Really Right

00:33:23 Radio Spot

00:34:18 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 /

00:35:35 Outro

00:36:50 Out-takes