Tag Archives: Spain

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. #221 – Thou shalt not bleach the beach

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The three of us are back to bring you the latest from Europe. We’re saddened by the (not so surprising) news that QED 2020 is now postponed to 2021, but whenever it is, we are looking forward to it. In the meantime check out Christian Lehmann’s series of guest posts on Edzard Ernst’s blog about the hydroxychloroquine controversy.
Jelena tells us the story of an alleged alien abduction in Poland more than 40 years ago, now commemorated with a stone memorial.
Pontus delves into the question of whethe Pope Pius XII was indeed “Hitler’s Pope” and then a selection of news from Europe:
– A scientist in the UK allegedly dies in a COVID-19 trial
– Follow-up on David Icke’s YouTube channel – now suspended
– Countries faced with challenges in immunization programs while in lockdown
– Spanish beach sprayed with bleach to prevent coronavirus infections
– A patent from the Pasteur Institute that does NOT prove the alleged artificial origin of SARS-CoV-2
– The Heinz Oberhummer Award goes to German science populariser Mai Thai Nguyen-Kim
– German High Court rules that doctors can not selectively get rid of bad ratings
– Logical fallacies in easy-to-share format on ARP-SAPC’s website
This week’s Really Right Prize is given to the NHS UK for an excellent information page about homeopathy.

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:04:50 This Week in Skepticism
An alleged alien abduction in Poland on May 10, 1978 is now commemorated with a stone memorial.

0:13:22 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Francis says the right thing for once, but 80 years ago Pius XII may indeed have been “Hitler’s Pope”

0:23:11 NEWS

  1. UK: Fake news about a scientist allegedly dying in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  2. UK: Followup from last week: David Icke’s Youtube-channel has been shut down
  3. EU: Countries faced with challenges in immunization programs while they’re in a lockdown
  4. SPAIN: Spanish beach sprayed with bleach – to prevent coronavirus infections
  5. FRANCE: A patent from the Pasteur Institute does NOT prove that SARS-CoV-2 is artificial
  6. AUSTRIA: And the Heinz Oberhummer Award goes to… Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim
  7. GERMANY: High Court ruling: Doctors have to accept also bad ratings on portals (followup from ep 202)
  8. SPAIN: Logical fallacies compilation just got an upgrade

0:55:50 REALLY RIGHT
The NHS for an excellent information page about homeopathy

0:59:59 GSoW promo

http://guerrillaskepticismonwikipedia.blogspot.com

1:01:38 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions.”
/Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist, anthropologist & comparative anatomist/

1:03:56 OUTRO

1:05:10 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #220 – A crazy world of COVIDcidences


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This week, in the absence of Jelena, Annika Harrison joins us to bring you news and curiosities from all over Europe.
We start by mentioning Pontus guest-hosting The Skeptic Zone with Richard Saunders, then move on to discuss what an idiot Trump is and how Satanic Ritual Abuse is on the rise in Germany.
Annika then investigates whether women are indeed better leaders with special regards to how they cope in the time of the pandemic.
Then the Vatican’s Rosary App is looked into as a tool to engage catholic believers while the church has really nothing to offer in this crisis.
In the news:
– Some businesses to reopen in Germany, including churches while schools remain closed
– The European Medicines Agency (EMA) warns people not to self-medicate with chloroquine and its derivatives to avoid serious side effects
– YouTube seems incapable of keeping 5G-Corona conspiracy theory videos at bay
– A new survey suggests UK public supports a long lockdown
– Yet another crucial WHO action as experts assess the situation in Belarus
– ARP-SAPC in Spain offers Sergio Lopez Borgonoz Research Grant for paranormal investigators
– Distorted reports of a survey commissioned by the German Association of Homeopathic Doctors
– 5G tower burnings and halts to rollout of new systems all over Europe
– Wind turbine noise shown not to cause any adverse health effects in Finland
– New book by Spanish author Ramon Nogueras ‘Why We Believe in Shit’ out (in Spanish)
– Edzard Ernst shares a story of a homeopathy-induced rib fracture.
The UK Ministry of Defence gets this week’s prize for being Really Wrong for buying lemon eucalyptus oil insect repellant as COVID-19 protection.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Annika Investigates; 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

0:00:50 GREETINGS

0:11:17 Annika Investigates

Are women leaders really doing a better job than men in tackling the Coronavirus crisis?

0:23:56 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Lord praise the app!

0:28:23 NEWS

  1. GERMANY: Some businesses (and churches reopen), but there are concerns
  2. EU/HUNGARY: EU intervention to stop people self medicating with malaria drugs
  3. UK: YouTube cannot handle the 5G corona conspiracy theories
  4. UK: New survey suggests UK public supports a long lockdown
  5. BELARUS: WHO expert mission recommends physical distancing measures as COVID-19 virus transmits in the community
  6. SPAIN: Sergio Lopez Borgonoz Research Grant for investigating paranormal and pseudoscientific claims
  7. GERMANY: Two thirds of all Germans are stupid … at least this is what the ‘German Association of Homeopathic Doctors’ seems to assume
  8. EU: More 5G tower burnings and an international movement to stop rollout
  9. FINLAND: Wind turbine noise not the cause of health symptoms
  10. SPAIN: New book out by Ramon Nogueras: ‘Why We Believe in Shit” and online book launch event
  11. UK: First even homeopathy-induced rib fracture – told by Edzard Ernst

1:06:58 REALLY WRONG
UK Ministry of Defense buys lemon eucalyptus oil insect repellant as Covid-19 protection

1:10:29 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment.”
/Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, astronomer and physicist
who was born on 30th April, 1777/

1:12:28 OUTRO

1:13:42 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #219 – Wining about COVID-19 (cheers!)


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This week Deborah Hyde joins us to bring you news and interesting topics to cover with us. We start by mentioning how VoF (Sweden), the GWUP (Germany), ComCept (Portugal) and ARP-SAPC (Spain) make efforts to provide their readers with accurate and reliable information in the times of COVID-19.
Then Deborah gives us a brief overview of the history of quarantines, before we turn into discussing Cardinal Pell’s Right-Wing conspiracy coockoo and the Pope being useless.
A separate segment of COVID-19 update is followed by the news that include a UK holistic doctor recommending homeopathy against the novel coronavirus, a somewhat questionable study that claims to show the prevalence of TCM in different countries in the fight against the pandemic, how the Spanish Science Network Programme 2020 goes completely online, Danish researchers finding no benefit from treating asthma patients with homeopathy and reflexology alongside conventional treatments, how Facebook aims to warn users about coronavirus hoaxes, Swedish doctors and scientists selling stuff after preliminary results and naming it ‘Anoroc’, John Ioannidis comparing 100 best selling books on nutritional health with no surprising results, Natalie Grams going back to practiting medicine and doing less of educational work in the future, the Spanish prize offered for theatrical works criticising pseudotherapies and CICAP Live being launched on YouTube bringing Italian audiences a whole lot of science and critical thinking.
Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier gets this week’s Really Wrong prize for claiming that SARS-CoV-2 was manufactured from HIV and thus feeding conspiracy theories.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; A Brief History of Quarantines; 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

0:00:52 GREETINGS

  • Pontus’ online talk in Swedish:

  • Downloadable German translation of ‘The Conspiracy Handbook‘ by Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook
  • ComCept’s compilation of online material on Covid-19 for Portugese speakers
  • ComCept’s online talk wih Diana Barbosa and João Monteiro:

  • A compilation of accurate and reliable info on Covid-19 for Spanish readers

0:17:23 A Brief History of Quarantines – by Deborah Hyde

0:34:58 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Pell Goes Right-Wing Conspiracy Coocoo

0:43:09 COVID-19 Update

0:56:19 NEWS

  1. UK: Holistic doctor recommends homeopathy against COVID-19
  2. INTERNATIONAL: Questionable study shows prevalence of TCM in different countries in the times of COVID-19
  3. SPAIN: Spanish Science Network Programme 2020 goes online
  4. DENMARK: Danish researchers prove (yet again) that homeopathy and reflexology are useless. This time for asthma
  5. HUNGARY: Chaos around response to Covid-19 and online petition for more comprehensive testing
  6. INTERNATIONAL: Facebook warns users about coronavirus hoaxes
  7. SWEDEN: Doctors and Scientists found to sell ‘Anoroc’ over the internet
  8. INTERNATIONAL: John Ioannidis publishes a comparative study of bestselling nutritional health books – with no surprising results
  9. GERMANY: Natalie Grams goes back to practicing medicine
  10. SPAIN: Prize offered for theatrical works dealing with pseudotherapies
  11. ITALY: CICAP launches ‘CICAP Live’, a series of live online events where TV meets Skeptics in the Pub

1:26:27 REALLY WRONG
The Nobel Disease strikes again: Luc Montagnier claims SARS-cov-2 is manufactured from HIV

1:33:06 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“Experiment is the interpreter of nature. Experiments never deceive. It is our judgment which sometimes deceives itself because it expects results which experiment refuses. We must consult experiment, varying the circumstances, until we have deduced general rules, for experiment alone can furnish reliable rules.”
/Leonardo da Vinci, Italian sculptor, painter and polymath/

1:35:02 OUTRO

1:36:17 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #207 – Coronavirus Misinformation

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This week we first get the record straight and correct our position on Ocean Cleanup – while we appreciate the sentiment, the whole idea is both damaging and unscientific. Two great Skeptical events are coming up this spring: Skepkon 2020 in Berlin 21 – 23 May and the 4th Conference on Science and Pseudoscience 13 -14 March in Alicante.
In this week in history we hear about Russia’s own Roswell incident, the Height 611 UFO crash. Pontus Pokes the Pope and gives us the latest on the celibacy controversy, the first female high-ranking appointment in the Vatican and how Father Robert, aka the Digital Jesuit, invited Francis for a D&D session in the crypt.
All news sources are full of Coronavirus stories at the moment, but how does one separate the facts from fiction? Swedish Schools keeps patronizing known Scientology organisations and the Spanish Manifesto against Pseudotherapies gets momentum abroad.
Greenpeace wants a piece of the action on the Green party’s recent success in the Hungarian election, but they are more ideologically driven than they should be. Can we afford to mitigate climate change effects? In fact, it is uneconomical NOT to do so, according to a new study and again we point out that homeopathy of course cannot replace antibiotics.
We end by shaming Corriere Della Sera for promoting pseudoscience and hand them a Really Wrong Award.
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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:52 GREETINGS

Everyone gets it wrong sometimes and Jelena has had reason to revise her position on Ocean Cleanup from episode 204. But we are happy to see that both Skepkon 2020 in Berlin 21 – 23 May and the 4th Conference on Science and Pseudoscience 13 -1 4 March in Alicante have now been announced.

0:12:39 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
The Height 611 UFO incident, Russia’s own Roswell, happened on 29 January 1986.

0:21:18 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Update on Celibacy Controversy, First Woman to Hold High Post in the Vatican and Father Robert Seems Like a Cool Guy.
Cardinal Robert Sarah digs in his heals regarding celibacy and insists that his former popeness Benedict agrees. Francis appoints Francesca Di Giovanni to the highest-ranking position ever for a woman in the Vatican, but we are not convinced. Also, Father Robert, aka the Digital Jesuit, seems to be a cool dude who is not too shy to invite Francis for a friendly game of D&D.

0:27:36 NEWS

0:58:14 REALLY WRONG
ITALY: Corriere Della Sera Sneakily Promotes Pseudotherapies

1:03:51 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The unspoken rule of democracy: three stupid ones will always outvote two smart ones.”
/ Ljupka Cvetanova, writer born in Kocani, North Macedonia /

1:05:34 OUTRO

1:06:49 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #205 – Surrounded By Idiots

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This week we note that at the time of recording, American-Swedish astronaut Jessica Meir is busy preparing and conducting the second ever all-female spacewalk.
In history this week in 1964, Italian philosopher, author and skeptic Massimo Pigliucci was born, and we discuss some of his contributions and influences.
Pontus Pokes the Pope to note that old Benedict comes out of retirement to fight for celibacy, potentially creating a headache for poor Francis, who is supposed to say the final word on the matter shortly. In other papal news, disgraced former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick goes missing to avoid the wrath of the Holy See.
In the news, the Spanish Catholic Church inexplicably thinks that celibate priests constitute the best expertise in preparing young couples for marriage while Uri Geller reminds us that he’s no more crazy than the UK Government and so, applies for a job there.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab is soon coming to a Netflix screen near you, trying to convince us that spending a fortune on utter bullshit is the way to female empowerment. Luckily the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project (GSOW) with Susan Gerbic has already launched an excellent Wikipedia page pointing out the stupidity of that.
A Swedish MP spreads conspiracy theories on the Australian wildfires and we try to set the record straight. A Danish study shows what the harm really is with HPV anti-vaccination propaganda and the Swedish Skeptics (VoF) wants to alert the world about bogus personality tests that’s makes the rounds internationally. Beware of the book ‘Surrounded by Idiots’!
We end by handing a Really Wrong award to the College of Medicine that, backed by Prince Charles, wants to teach GPs and alt med quacks Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), despite that it clearly is pseudoscientific nonsense.
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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

We give a shoutout to American-Swedish astronaut Jessica Meir who right now with her colleague Cristina Koch continues to do all-female spacewalks.

0:03:06 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Italian philosopher, author and skeptic Massimo Pigliucci was born on 16 January 1920.

0:08:41 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
It’s the Return of the Sith – Now Advocating Celibacy
Senator Palpatine
himself (aka Benedict XVI) breaks his promise to stay out of politics and publishes a book on the hottest catholic controversy right now – celibacy. Francis has no reason to be happy about it. In the meanwhile, Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop, known sex molester and alleged briber of popes, disappears as a thief in the night rather than facing Francis’ verdict.

0:13:25 NEWS

0:36:28 REALLY WRONG
College of Medicine and Integrated Health Offers Course in NLP

0:41:22 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“What skeptics are about is to keep that candle lit and spread it as much as possible.”
/ Massimo Pigliucci, (16 January 1964 – ), Italian Professor of Philosophy /

0:41:58 OUTRO

0:43:13 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #204 – The Fallible Pope

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This week András is back and we start by philosophizing a bit about what a new decade really means and look forward to a few nice skeptics meetings coming up in the near future. We also talk about the future for Golden Rice and why it is so important despite what Greenpeace and EU politicians think.
From history we hear about the so-called ‘psychic’ Doris Stokes who was born this week in 1920 and Pontus Pokes the Pope for telling others to show restraint while he himself lost his temper just a few days ago. Should he be the one who negotiate peace in the Middle East? We think not.
In the News this week: MedWatch.de turns into full online magazine, the people behind the Manifesto Against Pseudotherapies are getting sued by homeopaths and Prince William starts the ‘Earthshot Prize’ to fight the climate crisis. We look back on a decade of Edzard Ernst, praise Hayley Stevens for continuing to spread light over ghost hunting and look forward to Natalie Grams’ new book coming out in February. Also, the ‘El Esceptico’ magazine has recently examined the pharmaceutical industry in an excellent way.
We end by handing another Really Right to the Daily Mail (!), this time for taking a critical look at the New Year’s diet recommendations.
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

0:00:28 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

A decade is always a decade, no matter when you start counting. Lots of good things coming up in the skeptical calendar: German Skeptic Norbert Aust will go to Prague to talk about the ‘Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie‘ and in Lund, Sweden, there will be a real life Ig Nobel winner next week. Also, GMO is not inherently good or bad, but very safe if used correctly. The Philippines understands this and has just as the first country in Asia approved Golden Rice. If only the EU and Greenpeace would get a rational and balanced view on this lifesaving and important technology.

0:16:15 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Psychic and ‘claireaudient’ Doris Stokes was born on 6 January 1920.

0:21:11 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Blessed is the Peace Maker (But Don’t Make Him Angry)

0:27:35 NEWS

0:47:09 REALLY RIGHT
Daily Mail Debunks Stupid Diets

0:49:56 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”
/ Charles Darwin, (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882), English naturalist, geologist and biologist /

0:50:53 OUTRO

0:52:08 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #203 – How Much to Bribe a Pope?

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This week Brian is back again and we look forward to the new year. One thing to note about 2020 is the Ratio conference in Sofia in Bulgaria in June and that the super early bird tickets already are released. Chris French is going, so why don’t you? Then Jelena tells us a ghost story from this week in 1762 that took place in Cock Lane, believe it or not.
In Pontus Pokes the Pope we hear about shady monetary shenanigans involving two sitting popes and how the Catholic church is now struggling to live up to the recent changes regarding so-called Papal Secrecy.
In the news we talk about the resignation of the Italian education minister, how the NHS in the UK is trying out ‘prehab’ for cancer patients and we check back on the Samoan measles emergency.
Further news takes us to Russia who has appealed the sanctions imposed because of doping scandals, and we go to Spain where homeopaths are trying to sue the government and then we are happy to hear that the charlatan John of God has been sentenced to 19 years in jail, albeit for rape rather than quackery.
We close the show by handing out a Really Wrong Award to the archbishop of Krakow who believes that Greta Thunberg is the Antichrist since she will not let him subdue the Earth.
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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

Recorded just before New Year’s Eve, we hope that we are now heading for the new ‘roaring twenties’. There will be new opportunities to meet other skeptics in the coming year, including at the Ratio conference in Sofia on 13 June.

0:08:18 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
On the first week of 1762, events started in London that includes murder allegations, a ghost and a haunted house. Stay tuned for the Cock Lane Ghost mystery!

0:14:47 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Did Cardinal McCarrick Bribe Two Popes?

0:21:08 NEWS

  1. ITALY: The Real Italian ‘Economic Crisis’: Italy’s Education Minister Resigns Over Funding
  2. UK: NHS to Offer Cancer Patients ‘Prehab’ Fitness Plan ‘to Boost Recovery’
  3. SAMOA: Measles Emergency Declared Over – Let’s Hope They are Right
  4. RUSSIA: Russia Appeals ‘Unfounded’ Ban from Major Sporting Competitions
  5. Spain: Homeopaths Fight Back
  6. BRAZIL: ‘John of God’ Gets 19 Years for Rapes

0:54:01 REALLY WRONG
Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, Thinks That Greta Thunberg is the Antichrist

0:59:15 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”
/ Napoléon Bonaparte, (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), French statesman and military leader /

1:02:11 OUTRO

1:03:26 OUT-TAKES