TheESP – Ep. #211 – Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden

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This week we talk about the John Maddox Prize, the BBC’s new show series about Greta Thunberg and about Darren Brown, born on this day in 1971. Pontus Pokes the Pope and finally we get Francis’ take on celibacy in the Amazon (or do we?), and of course the highlights from the latest sex abuse scandals.
In the news we hear the latest regarding the CoViD-19 Coronavirus, more details about dangerous measles complications and check how much of the climate change debate that are driven by twitter-bots. The latest mass shooting in Germany shows that conspiracy theories are not something to take lightly, the Hungarian government sponsors creationist nonsense, Jeff Bezos finally announces some philanthropic activity and Scandinavian tele company Telenor launches HiperSchool in Hungary, a tool to teach young people how to handle Internet misinformation.
We end by handing a Really Right Award to the DA! art competition, arranged by Giordano Bruno Foundation and Natalie Grams.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

Nominations for the John Maddox Prize open soon, Greta Thunberg gets her ‘own’ TV show on the BBC.

0:11:18 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Derren Brown was borne on 27 February 1971.

0:15:44 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – No Hanky-panky in the Jungle Please, We’re Catholic
Frankie did in the end not dare to let go of the celibacy rules in the Amazon. Also, Jean Varnier, founder of Catholic charity l’Arche abused at least six different women and de-frocked Cardinal McCarrick sent almost $1 million to a cult known for sex abuse (and no one knows where he is now).

0:31:14 NEWS

1:02:10 REALLY RIGHT
GERMANY: DA! art Prize Focusing on Pseudoscience with this Year’s Patron – Natalie Grams

1:08:06 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“If nature leads us to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty—by forms I am referring to coherent systems of hypothesis, axioms, etc.—to forms that no one has previously encountered, we cannot help thinking that they are “true,” that they reveal a genuine feature of nature…”
/ Werner Karl Heisenberg, German physicist, Nobel laureate, and one of the founders of the field of quantum mechanics /

1:09:50 OUTRO

1:11:05 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: https://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. #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. #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: https://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