TheESP – Ep. #249 – Homophobic Orbán


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This week Pontus is a bit under the weather so András and Annika send him their “thoughts and prayers” (don’t worry, he is fine). Then we mention an interesting documentary about SCAM practitioners and give a heads up for next weeks jubilee episode 250. And five years ago this week the ESP made its debut! Then we give a Covid update before we get into the news:

  • The new Pre-Bunking game: Breaking Harmony Square
  • Another science communicator and journalist charged for speaking out against frauds
  • Edzard Ernst’s challenge to all homeopaths in the world
  • Thermographic imaging – a risk to cancer patients
  • Newly emerging issues with climate change actions
  • Measles cases in 2019 at a record high in 23 years

To round off the show, Victor Orbán gets a Really Wrong award for using the pandemic as an excuse for homophobic nonsense.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; COVID Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:09:57 COVID UPDATE

0:28:59 NEWS

0:46:00 REALLY WRONG

0:54:50 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Science may be weird and incomprehensible – more weird and less comprehensible than any theology – but science works. It gets results. It can fly you to Saturn, slingshotting you around Venus and Jupiter on the way. We may not understand quantum theory (heaven knows, I don’t), but a theory that predicts the real world to ten decimal places cannot in any straightforward sense be wrong.”
/ Richard Dawkins (26 March 1941 – ), British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. /

0:56:48 OUTRO

0:58:02 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #248 – Skepti-baby Alert!


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This week we first chat a bit about Trump, having covid in your family and an opportunity to talk to Swedish MPs. We also mention the Vienna terror attacks and the Hay Winter Festival. Annika has an exciting announcement regarding increasing the number of skeptics in the world.

In history news we acknowledge the anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass and then Pontus Pokes the Pope for disciplining a Cardinal so old that he does not know what happened.

After a Covid-update we then get into the actual news:

  • Chiropractors don’t like informed consent
  • Does article 61 of Magna Charta allow citizens to disobey COVID-19 regulations?
  • Grandmothers sue government over climate challenge failure
  • How COVID-19 is reshaping the way people trust politicians
  • MedWatch wins federal Consumer Protection Award
  • Update on the last five years of RCTs about homeopathy

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:52 GREETINGS

0:25:09 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

0:33:24 PONTUS POKES THE POPE

0:37:56 COVID UPDATE & NEWS

1:05:01 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
/ Isaac Asimov (2 January 1920 – 6 April 1992), American writer and professor of biochemistry /

1:06:51 OUTRO
1:08:05 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #246 – RIP, James “the Amazing” Randi


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This week we remember James “the Amazing” Randi, a great skeptic and generous person who like no one else influenced the skeptic movement. His legacy lives on.

We also reflect a bit on daylight saving before we go further back in time than usual in this week in history and look into the importance of Emperor Constantine and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge for early Christianity. Then Pontus looks into if Pope Francis really has changed his and the Church’s position on gay rights, before we get into the news:

  • COVID-19 update
  • No evidence contact tracing helps tackle COVID
  • WHO and Wikipedia team up to combat pandemic misinformation
  • United Nations turns 75
  • Iris Hundertmark and her pharmacy – update
  • ARP-SAPC news
  • Patents on homeopathic products
  • IPSOS – Trust in news sources by country

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:29 INTRO

0:00:54 GREETINGS

0:17:15 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

0:22:50 PONTUS POKES THE POPE

0:28:31 NEWS

1:01:14 REALLY WRONG

1:05:41 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Science helps us before all things in this, that it somewhat lightens the feeling of wonder with which Nature fills us; then, however, as life becomes more and more complex, it creates new facilities for the avoidance of what would do us harm and the promotion of what will do us good.”
/ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832), German writer and statesman /

1:06:54 OUTRO
1:08:09 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #245 – Lust for Blood

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This week we notice the new I am Greta movie strangely so far is only in theaters and not online. Covid number are going up, especially in Germany where conspiracy theories are growing, but the German speaking community can celebrate that former GWUP Science Council member Dr. Krista Federspiel has been awarded the Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst or the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art. A special call goes out for everyone who can support to SKEPP who needs to defend two of their members who have been sued by a multimillionaire (see Ep #243).

We’re happy to hear that Pontus is making progress with his sci-fi novel and then we dive into the news:

  • World Doctors’ Alliance – WTF
  • Guy claims he can cure COVID with homeopathy
  • Is banning content the way to go? Facebook and Youtube
  • Fitness influencer dies after having denied COVID existed
  • Orban wants to raise children as ‘Homo christianus’
  • Editors refuse to retract intelligent design paper
  • The Debunking Handbook 2020 edition

Enjoy!

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

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

0:01:20 INTRO

0:01:46 GREETINGS

0:09:48 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

0:19:48 NEWS

0:45:04 REALLY RIGHT

0:55:08 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
/ Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895), English biologist and anthropologist specialising in comparative anatomy. Also known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” /

0:56:41 OUTRO
0:57:56 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #243 – Belgian Skeptics Sued!


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This week we start by urging you to register nominations for the Ockham Awards, handled by The Skeptic. The deadline is 31 October. That’s the same date that Skepsis in the Netherlands will hold their full day ‘Skepsis Congress 2020’, check it out!

Then we chat to Patrick Vermeren, who together with fellow skeptic Bart Van de Ven, is sued for defamation(!) by Carl Van de Velde, the multimillionaire behind the ‘Opleidingsinstituut’. Despite losing in the first instance Van de Velde has appealed and there is a fundraiser in support of our friends. No on Poking of Francis this week in Pontus’ absence, instead move directly to the news:

  • Extinction denial is the new thing. UN Summit on biodiversity addressed that, too
  • German Order of Merit goes to…
  • New prosecution in Macchiarini case
  • Landmark study of 1.7 million women – HPV vaccine better at preventing cervical cancer than previously thought
  • Is the EU cheating in net-zero emissions plans?
  • Dutch Cancer Society gets Master Kackadoris Prize

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; This Week; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:26 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:07:45 INTERVIEW, PATRICK VERMEREN

0:23:05 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

0:32:18 NEWS

1:02:34 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Physics is to be regarded not so much as the study of something a priori given, but rather as the development of methods of ordering and surveying human experience. In this respect our task must be to account for such experience in a manner independent of individual subjective judgement and therefore objective in the sense that it can be unambiguously communicated in ordinary human language.”

/ Niels Bohr (7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962). Danish physicist, Nobel Laureate/

1:03:44 OUTRO

TheESP – Ep. #239 – “Gossip is Worse than Covid”

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This week we start off with having a quick chat with our old buddy Michael (“Marsh”) Marshall regarding the relaunch of the UK magazine called the Skeptic.
In this week’s history segment we talk about the LHC that powered up 12 years ago this week without the world vanishing into a black hole, and then Pope Francis gets poked for several things, including his claim that gossip is worse than covid.
Speaking of covid-19, the pandemic gets a separate segment about the latest developments, before we get into the news:

  • The 1st randomised clinical trial of a Chinese herbal medicine for COVID-19
  • Medical Chamber issues statement condemning COVID-19 denier members
  • University of Kiel distances itself from infamous COVID-19 denier professor Sucharit Bhakdi
  • 30% of people in Spain have doubts about covid-19 vaccine
  • So, are women leaders really doing better in tackling COVID-19?
  • Survey – Young adults tend to take food supplements as replacement for drugs
  • Danish advocacy group against heart disease ends program involving healer
  • Grapefruit seed product that has everything in it but grapefruit seed extract
  • Latest book of Edzard Ernst ‘Chiropractic: Not All That It’s Cracked Up to Be’ published
  • New study shows difference in nerve cells before birth for autistic people

The prize for being Really Wrong goes to the bigoted Bishops in Poland who wants to start Church sanctioned conversion therapy clinics, fully aware that they do not work.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:34 INTRO

0:01:01 GREETINGS

0:09:19 INTERVIEW with MICHAEL MARSHALL
The Merseyside Skeptics has taken over management of the UK magazine, “The Skeptic”.

0:24:30 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
At CERN in Switzerland the Large Hadron Collider (LCH) was powered up on 10 September 2008.

0:29:54 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
“Gossip is worse than covid”!

0:37:24 COVID-19 Update

0:43:21 NEWS

1:11:48 REALLY WRONG
Bishops in Poland Calling for Conversion Therapy Clinics

1:15:32 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Even the fact that competent experts must serve under politicians of mediocre intelligence and little foresight is a problem that we are stuck with, because the experts themselves cannot agree on any major world issue. A logocracy of quarreling experts might be no better than the rule of the mediocrities to which we are subject. The declining intellectual quality of political leadership is the result of the growing complexity of the world. Since no one, be he endowed with the highest wisdom, can grasp it in its entirety, it is those who are least bothered by this who strive for power.”

/ Stanisław Lem, 12 or 13 September 1921 – 27 March 2006 was a Polish writer known for his satirical, philosophical and science-fiction works /

1:17:21 OUTRO

1:18:37 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #237 – Plandemic II – worst movie ever

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This week András returns to the mothership to hear us discuss the UFO sighting in Cussac in France. Francis gets a pass this week and then we dive into the news:

– Covid-19 update
– Children in Germany are falling behind their vaccination schedules
– Does flu claim more deaths the covid-19?
– People who react negatively to rules and recommendations use more SCAM (so-called alternative medicine)
– Does homeopathy “also” work for women (spoiler: it does not work, period)
– Why is there a priest in the Swedish Corona commission?
– Unprecedented levels of CO2 rise caused by humans
– European Commission’s educational page tackling conspiracy theories

The prize for being Really Wrong goes to the producers and distributers of the dangerous and misleading (and idiotically named!) film “Plandemic: inDOCTORnation”.

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

0:00:55 GREETINGS

0:12:50 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
The famous UFO Sighting at Cussac in France took place on 29 August 1967.

0:18:08 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
We give Francis a rest this week…

0:18:44 NEWS

0:53:07 REALLY WRONG
Plandemic full feature film released

1:00:26 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on.”

/ Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French naval officer, explorer of all things related to water, a pioneering conservationist, filmmaker, photographer, author and co-developer of the “Aqua-Lung” /

1:04:06 OUTRO

1:05:22 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #235 – Show Me a Real Acupuncturist


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This week Brian is back(!) as András has gone missing(?) We chat again about the wonderful online events out there: you should definitely check out the Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe productions. We then talk about the Wow! signal that was recorded this week in 1977 and also find that Francis seems to have done something good for once.

In this week’s news:
– Two outbreaks in Mamming, Bavaria
– Danish abattoir closed over COVID-19 cluster
– Disinformation not only consumed by young or uneducated
– Countries with mandatory BCG vaccination might actually be better off in the fight against COVID– 19
– 10 Coronavirus scams to be weary of
– WHO calls for caution about Russian vaccine roll-out
– No need to celebrate: 0.01 degrees less global warming by 2030 due to the pandemic
– NHS hiring a spiritual healer
– No positive outcomes at all from having free-schools in Sweden
– UK government may intervene to curb dangerous ‘cancer cure’ propaganda

The prize for being Really Wrong goes to NICE in the UK (the National Institute for Health Care Excellence) for recommending acupuncture, despite any evidence or science.

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

0:06:33 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
the Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope in the United States.

0:12:40 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Francis surprises everyone by appointing women, and Benedict is feeling poorly (but “that’s to be expected”)

0:19:00 NEWS

1:07:12 REALLY WRONG
NICE recommendations on acupuncture

1:14:43 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“A scientific theory
Isn’t just a hunch or guess
It’s more like a question
That’s been put through a lot of tests
And when a theory emerges
Consistent with the facts
The proof is with science
The truth is with science”
/ They Might Be Giants, From the song “Science Is Real”. Opening track of their kids album ‘Here comes science”.

1:16:45 OUTRO

1:18:00 OUT-TAKES

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. #233 – Homeomathematics

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This week starts with the wonderful news that Annika is now a full time ESP member and co-host. We couldn’t be happier!

We start with a minor correction to a story from last week and then chat a bit about the latest astronomy news before we celebrate this week in history: Happy birthday to the great skeptic and parapsychology researcher Susan Blackmore! (Also see our episode #088 when we had her as a guest)

Giving the Pope more or less a pass this week, we then dive into the news:
– Covid-19 update
– Austrian Science Busters
– (Not so) scientific paper on covid and 5G is withdrawn
– Another misleading “letter from a doctor” regarding covid-19 is making the rounds
– How to engage conspiracy theorists
– Climate change CO2 sensitivity
– Heatwave in Siberia melts ice in the Arctic Ocean
– German homeopathy study criticized
– Orbán keeps winning the fight against Hungarian free press
– UK to fight obesity by banning junk food ads
The prize for being Really Wrong goes to the scientific journal “Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice”. They totally failed the peer review process on a study that claims there is “mathematical proof” that homeopathy is effective against covid-19.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:56 GREETINGS

0:11:15 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Susan Blackmore, was born on 29 July 1951 and is a British writer, lecturer, skeptic, broadcaster, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth. Her fields of research include memetics, parapsychology, consciousness, and she is best known for her book The Meme Machine.

0:14:08 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Not much to add this week, except be kind to your grandpa and grandma…

0:15:14 NEWS

1:08:51 REALLY WRONG
“Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice” publishes study that promotes Homeopathy against covid-19

1:16:22 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”
/ Karl Popper, Austrian-born British philosopher, academic and social commentator, 28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994 /

1:19:19 OUTRO

1:20:32 OUT-TAKES