TheESP – Ep. #234 – Lysenkoism, science and BS

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This week we first chat about some of the great current skeptical online events, like NECSS and Skeptics in the Pub. We also enjoy the good news that the worlds largest fusion reactor is now being assembled in the South of France.

In this week in history we learn about “Lysenkoism” which Stalin decided should replace all other science. In current affairs Pope Francis has issues with Chinese infiltrators and French women who demands to be bishops.

In this week’s news:
– What’s the truth about face masks and covid-19?
– What lies behind conspiracy theories
– Misleading claims on pre-existing conditions and Covid-19 deaths go viral
– Hungarian company selling bogus ‘pro-insulin c-peptide’ product banned from advertising
– COVID conspiracy theories skyrocket in Romania and number of cases increase
– Use of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) by French cancer patients
– Update – Retraction Watch gets a response from editor-in-chief of journal that published worst paper of 2020
– Chronic back pain and spinal manipulation – is it a good treatment?
– Stonehenge’s long-lived mystery solved
The prize for being Really Wrong goes to all the German demonstrators that marched in Berlin last weekend, spreading crazy ideas and endangering the public and themselves.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:54 GREETINGS

0:09:46 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Lysenkoism. On 7 August 1948, Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced that from that point on Lysenkoism would be taught as “the only correct theory”.

0:13:19 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Two scary adversaries for Frankie: Chinese government and women asking for influence

0:22:08 NEWS

1:10:28 REALLY WRONG
Anti-covid demonstrators in Berlin

1:16:34 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Humans can be literally poisoned by false ideas and false teachings. Many people have a just horror at the thought of putting poison into tea or coffee, but seem unable to realize that, when they teach false ideas and false doctrines, they are poisoning the time-binding capacity of their fellow men and women.”
/ Alfred Korzybski, July 3, 1879 – March 1, 1950 was a Polish engineer, mathematician, and philosopher, most famous for creating the theory of General Semantics /

1:18:04 OUTRO

1:19:19 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #209 – Heart-o-puncture™

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This week before we get into the meat of the show, we talk Corona, Greta Thunberg and look forward to Adam Rutherford’s new book, “How to Argue with a Racist”. We also have two good news for our German friends: Natalie Grams have launched her podcast “Grams’ Sprechstunde” and we have a ticket raffle for SkepKon 2020 in Berlin. Tune in to find out how you can win a free ticket!
In this week in history we celebrate Charles Darwin who was born on 12 February 1809. Pontus Pokes the Pope for hypocritically telling others how to reduce poverty when he personally has misplaced tens of millions of Euro from the Peters’ Pence charity. Also Cardinal Barbarin get off scot-free for covering up a child molester.
In the news we report that the BBC launches “My World”, a show to teach young audiences to spot fake news, that the WHO fights the “Infodemic” of fake Coronavirus rumours and that they get help from Factcheck.org and Fullfact.org.
Climate change reaches new heights with the warmest January on record for Europe and Ryan Air hypocritically wants us to believe that their flights are carbon friendly (we don’t buy it).
We end by given a Really Wrong Award to the Swedish legal system which allows acupuncturists to ram needles into the hearts of cancer patients. That’s right, heart-o-puncture™ is apparently legal.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

We talk about Corona, Greta Thunberg and Adam Rutherford’s new book, “How to Argue with a Racist”. Good news for our German friends: Natalie Grams have launched her podcast “Grams’ Sprechstunde” and we have a ticket raffle for SkepKon 2020 in Berlin! You can win!.

0:18:43 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Charles Robert Darwin was borne on 12 February 1809.

0:24:15 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – Holier than Thou – Should Francis Lecture Others on the Poverty Gap?
Francis takes on the issue of poverty with total lack of self-awareness and in other news, France’s top Catholic cleric, Cardinal Barbarin, gets cleared of abuse cover-up although he definitely knew what was going on.

0:29:22 NEWS

0:51:17 REALLY WRONG
SWEDEN: Acupuncturist Freed of Manslaughter Charges

1:04:52 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“I think that the appetite for mystery, the enthusiasm for that which we do not understand, is healthy and to be fostered. It is the same appetite which drives the best of true science, and it is an appetite which true science is best qualified to satisfy.”
/ Richard Dawkins, British evolutionary biologist, author, from “Science Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder”, John Brockman, Edge.org, 1.2.97 /

1:05:48 OUTRO

1:07:03 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #206 – From Peter’s Pence to Francis’ Pants

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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.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

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!.

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.

0:19:27 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Celibacy Controversy Deepens, Francis Diverts Charity Millions to Cover Vatican Losses

0:27:22 NEWS

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) /

1:03:50 OUTRO

1:05:05 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #171 – Rigvir with Austra Muizniece

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On this Episode:

This week we welcome back Latvian activist Austra Muizniece, fearless fighter against the fake ‘cancer treatment’ Rigvir.
Shamelessly and corruptly approved in Latvia just two days before Latvia joined the EU, Rigvir has been claimed to be a cure at first for melanoma, and later for virtually any kind of cancer. Austra, herself a cancer survivor, has together with fellow skeptics lobbied for years to get Rigvir off the market as there has never been any evidence presented to support its efficacy. Litigation and harassment have been their reward, but finally now it seems like this fraudulent substance is being withdrawn from the market after 15 years of providing nothing but false hope to cancer patients.

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

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Austra Muizniece; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:06: Intro

00:00:32: Greetings

00:02:46: Interview with Austra Muizniece

00:32:39: Farewell

00:36:28: Outro

00:37:43: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #156 – Edzard Ernst, Click to Pray, deaths by pseudotherapies and vaccination news

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This week we bring you lots news and topics from across Europe including Annika Merkelbach’s interview on Skeptical Inquirer’s website with Natalie Grams, whose book has just been published in English, Edzard Ernst‘s birthday, a praying application issued by the Vatican called “Click to Pray“, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to deal with reported non-reportings of clinical trials, a great achievement by Ben Goldacre and the AllTrials campaign (one of the great projects of Sense about Science), how 1 on 20 adults in Britain do not believe the Holocaust actually happened, a Spanish report estimating deaths by pseudotherapies, BARF – special food for your pets as part of the raw food movement, a dangerous book just published with the title ‘Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach’, the Ministry of Health in Ukraine finally taking action to tackle the measles epidemic in the country and the Swedish government deciding to finally include Chicken pox vaccinations in the national program.

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

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

00:00:26 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:03:51 This Week in Skepticism

Edzard Ernst, born 30 January 1948.

00:10:25 Pontus Pokes the Pope

God comes on-line: Francis launches “Click to Pray“.
Plus what to look out for before the Bishops meeting in February.

00:16:23 Skeptical News

UK: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on board with AllTrials done by universities to be reported

UK: Holocaust remembrence day: New poll finds one in 20 adults in Britain do not believe it happened

SPAIN: Estimation of how many deaths could be traced back to pseudotherapies

DENMARK / GERMANY: BARF for your pets!

INTERNATIONAL: Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach

UKRAINE: Finally, actual action plans by the Ministry of Health to tackle disaster

00:47:47 Really Right:

SWEDEN: Chickenpox vaccinations to (finally) be included in national program

00:52:03 Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

00:53:34 Quote
“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”
/ Immanuel Kant,German philosopher

00:54:34 Outro

00:55:49 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: https://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 #110 – Devil’s Footprints, Irish Cancer and The Backfire Effect

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Analysis; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:26 Greetings

00:07:15 This Week in Skepticism

00:14:07 Skeptical News

00:42:11 Analysis: the Backfire Effect Re-considered

00:55:06 Really Wrong:

Irish priest calls out for more exorcists

00:59:18 Quote

“We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.”
Arne Tiselius, Swedish biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry

01:00:47 Outro

01:02:02 Outtakes

Episode #109 – Burzynski, measles, an anti-vaxxer in court and science in the Parliament

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This week we bring you some good news about Britt Hermes’ crowd funding campaign run by the Australian Skeptics, a bit of an update on LSD and what a good trip is then move on to news from Hungary, Sweden, the Ukraine, Spain and Germany with a food supplement producer being fined for false advertisement, a major anti-vaxxer and flat-earther being prosecuted for letting his own child die, measles spreading wildly both in Sweden and in the Ukraine, the launch of a project called “Science in the Parliament” in Spain, the latest issue of Escepticos out now and the first major article on the website of the German Homeopathy Information Network (run by Natalie Grams) released in English.
Well, the Pope has also become a record holder with getting our Really Wrong prize for the third time…

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; The Week in Skepticism; News; Really wrong; Quote; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:28 Greetings

  • A great success of the Australian Skeptics campaign to help raise fund for Britt Marie Hermes for legal fees after she was being sued for defamation. Initial target is reached however the campaign is still open. Please consider donating here
  • Some feedback on our “on this day segment” from Episode 107 regarding LSD effect

00:08:41 This Week in Skepticism

Burzynski was born on January 23, 1943 in Lublin, Poland. The founder of Burzynski Clinic

00:20:36 Skeptical News

  • HUNGARY: Food supplement producer fined for using fake recommendation from medical association. Article link here
  • SWEDEN: Swedish measles epidemic now reached 28 cases. Article link here
  • UKRAINE: Measles outbreak kills 8 in the Ukraine.

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/measles-kills-8-people-ukraine.html http://outbreaknewstoday.com/ukraine-reports-3000-measles-cases-nov-2017/ http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=406&artikel=6863949

  • SPAIN: CienciaenelParlamento. Article link here
  • SPAIN: Escepticos No. 48 out. Article link here
  • HUNGARY: Antivax guy prosecuted after having let own child

https://index.hu/belfold/2018/01/12/oltasellenes_hazaspar_meghalt_gyerek_birosag_targyalas_per/ 

http://samli-projekt.blogspot.hu/2013/12/labant-csaba.html

  • GERMANY: InformationNetzwerk Homaeopatie now in English:

Homöopathie-Kritik jetzt auch auf Englisch – und in Spanien

https://www.netzwerk-homoeopathie.eu/standpunkte/2-uncategorised/269-criticism-of-homeopaths-against-homeopathy-criticism-i-there-is-no-evidence

00:45:39 Really Wrong:

The Pope: Third time’s a charm…

http://www.france24.com/en/20180119-pope-shocks-chile-accusing-sex-abuse-victims-slander

00:51:37 Quote

“We must trust to nothing but facts: These are presented to us by Nature, and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.” /Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, French chemist./

00:53:53 Outro

00:55:08 Outtakes

TheESP – Ep. #107 – Memories & predictions, LSD, disease outbreak prevention & animal brothels

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This week we make predictions regarding upcoming books by Edzard Ernst, talk about the future of fact-checking, discuss the works of Peter Boghosian, remember the father of LSD Albert Hofmann, then go on to our news items including the wrong-doings of Paolo Macchiarini, the measles epidemic in Sweden, the latest Swedish Skeptic Awards, how Facebook could be used to prevent disease outbreaks, the ‘Turmeric story’, Psiram the German wiki of irrational believes turns 10, year review of Retraction Watch, a book review on Science Based Medicine, The Conservative Tribune spreading misinformation about migration and ‘aminal brothels’. We finish with an important quote from Galileo Galilei.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; The Week in Skepticism; News; Farewell; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:28 Greetings

Edzard Ernst to release two books this year:

Peter Boghossian’s and James Lindsay’s Conceptual penis controversy:

00:20:09 This Week in Skepticism

Creator of LSD Albert Hoffman was born on 11 January 1906

00:27:25 Skeptical News

  • SWEDEN:Macchiarini may be prosecuted after all – twice!

https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/macchiarinis-operationer-ska-granskas-igen/ https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/lansstyrelsen-anmaler-macchiarini-for-djurplageri/

  • SWEDEN:Measles epidemic far from over in Sweden

https://omni.se/ledare-stor-skandal-att-bebisar-har-utsatts/a/6nkz6W https://www.sydsvenskan.se/2018-01-03/vardpersonal-ska-fa-vaccin-mot-masslingen https://www.sydsvenskan.se/2018-01-03/ytterligare-ett-masslingsfall–13-smittad

  • SWEDEN:Swedish Skeptics awards for 2017

http://www.vof.se/blogg/arets-folkbildare-och-forvillare-2017/

  • INTERNATIONAL: Facebook could stop disease outbreaks?

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-facebook-disease-outbreak.html http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/15/138/20170783

  • UK:“The cancer industry is a medical conspiracy against humanity” (The Turmeric story)

http://edzardernst.com/2018/01/the-cancer-industry-is-a-medical-conspiracy-against-humanity-the-turmeric-story/

http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2017/bcr-2016-218148.full

  • GERMANY: Psiram, the German wiki of irrational belief is 10 years old

https://blog.gwup.net/2017/12/28/zehn-jahre-psiram/

https://www.psiram.com

  • INTERNATIONAL: Retraction Watch in review for 2017

http://retractionwatch.com/2017/12/29/2017-retraction-watch-year-review-hint-database-nearly-done/

http://retractiondatabase.org/(X(1)S(trnfzk5z331gydcynym02pqc))/RetractionSearch.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

  • INTERNATINAL: (BOOK) Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/rigor-mortis-whats-wrong-with-medical-science-and-how-to-fix-it/

00:55:36 Really Wrong:

ConservativeTribune.com spreading misinformation about migration

01:03:30 Quote
“I have never met a man so ignorant that I could not learn something from him.” /Galileo Galilei/

01:06:08 Outro

01:07:22 Outtakes

Episode #083

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This week Pontus and András are joined by Brian Eggo who sits in for Jelena while she’s on a European motorbike trip.
We talked about Karl Popper’s philosophical system of scientific discovery, how much of what we think of suicide is actually true, why simplicity is not the ultimate goal in understanding science, how the Tories in the UK just sent a crackpot to the EP, why news regarding the dangers of chemotherapy are probably untrue, how much of the Italian demonstrations against the new vaccination strategies are exaggerated and why caution is required when talking about new research on the Shroud of Turin.

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

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:27
Greetings & feedback

  • If you’re interested in the events happening across Europe, please visit our calendar page.
  • Don’t forget to cast your vote before 31st July for the John Maddox Prize 2017 for standing up for science.

00:14:19
This Week in Skepticism
Sir Karl R. Popper (Born 28th July 1902 in Vienna) Philosopher of Science

00:18:52
Skeptical News

  1. INTERNATIONAL: Myths about suicide
  2. SPAIN: New book recommended by Spanish Skeptics
  3. UK: New Tory MEP a crackpot?
  4. INTERNATIONAL: Is chemotherapy really proven to help cancer spread in your body? (Not)
  5. ITALY: Demonstration attendance numbers against new Italian vaccine regulations exaggerated
  6. ITALY: New research concerning the Shroud of Turin?

00:57:02
Really Wrong:

The Catholic Church for abusing children

01:03:41
Skeptical Ads

01:06:13
Quote

“Science is always simple and always profound. It is only the half-truths that are dangerous.”

/George Bernard Shaw Irish playwright in ‘The Doctor’s Dilemma’/

01:07:10
Outro

01:08:24
Out-takes