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. #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. #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: https://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. #200 – Two hundred!

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This week we celebrate our 200th episode and that we continue our journey into our fifth year!
We re-unite with our first ever guest, Gábor Hraskó (president of the Hungarian Skeptics) to philosophize a little about Skepticism and what has changed over time. And throughout the show we hear fantastic congratulation greetings from dear friends from across the world!
We go on to bring up the eradication of Smallpox and Pontus Pokes the Pope to examine a potential $4 billion threat to the Catholic Church. And a Catholic Minecraft server sounds intriguing as well…
In the news we talk about reliable climate change models, Etiopathy, the measles epidemic both globally and in Samoa. Polio is still a threat to consider and we revisit the topic of Assisted Death and the Manifesto Against Pseudoscientific Therapies.
Finally, András does his very best Master Yoda impression to celebrate that we have lasted this far!
Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Welcome with Gábor Hraskó; Greetings from friends 1; This Week; Greetings from friends (2); Pontus Pokes the Pope; Greetings from friends 3; News; Greetings from friends 4; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:52 Intro

0:01:15 Welcome, with Gábor Hraskó

Gábor Hraskó remembers warning us regarding us starting a new podcast back in 2015. Well, we are happy that we ignored him! We talk about skepticism in general and the difficulties of communicating skepticism to the public and remember highlights from the past.

0:18:34 Greetings From Friends 1:
Annika and Scotty Harrison, the Skeptics Guide to the Universe crew and Eran Segev of the Australian Skeptics

0:19:52 This Week in Skepticism – the Eradication of Smallpox

On December 9, 1979, the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication signed their names to the statement that “smallpox has been eradicated from the world.” It was a milestone in that it was the first time a disease was eradicated by human effort.

0:22:55 Greetings From Friends 2:
Susan Gerbic from Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, Sean Slater of the Edinburgh Skeptics and Heidi Roberston of Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters

0:24:13 Pontus Pokes the Pope – A New Threat for an Old Pope. Plus: Holy Minecraft 

New laws in in the US have opened up a whole new industry for lawyers who are now advertising to find more abuse victims. Frankie is preparing his 50 anniversary as priest and a Father Roberts has created a Vatican Minecraft server to ‘foster a less toxic community’ on-line.

0:28:00 Greetings From Friends 3:
DJ Maynard, Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg of ECSO and Sisyfos (Czech Skeptics) and Trish Hann of the Skeptic Zone

0:29:09 News

INTERNATIONAL: Climate Models Have Accurately Predicted Global Warming

WORLD: Etiopathy – A SCAM Like So Many Others

INTERNATIONAL: Measles Update – 2019 Three Times as Bad as Last Year, plus Samoa Follow-up

INTERNATIONAL: Update on the Global Polio Situation and Implications for the EU/EEA

BELGIUM: Euthanasia – The Champion Who Picked a Date to Die

INTERNATIONAL: The End of Placebos is in Sight

EUROPE (Spain): Manifesto Against Pseudoscientific Therapies – latest update

0:53:40 Greetings From Friends 4:
Skeptics with a K crew from Merseyside Skeptics, Brian Eggo of Glasgow Skeptics and Mandy-Lee Noble of the Skeptic Zone

0:54:45 Quote and Farewell
“Do! Or do not! There is no try!”
/ Master Yoda /

0:57:29 Outro

0:58:44 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #176 – Fighting Pseudo-therapies

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This week we clarify the difference between a ‘skeptic’ and a ‘denier’ when it comes to climate change and plug the Rationalist International Conference (Cambridge, 27-28 July) before Jelena debunks the myth that an American businessman once got tricked into buying Tower Bridge in London.
In a special interview we talk to Fernando Cervera, one of the founders behind the European manifesto against pseudo-therapies.
Pontus pokes the pope for the way the Catholic Church keep screwing (pun intended) their congregations.
Then we get a new segment, ‘Annika Reports!’, where Annika Merkelbach interviews speaker and archaeologist Mirko Gutjahr at Cologne Skeptics in the Pub.
In the news this week, we have the results from the world’s biggest study of vaccine attitudes, UK holidaymakers are warned to get vaccinated before visiting Europe and a Spanish doctor is suspended for promoting the old myth that vaccines cause autism.
Finally, we hand out over a million Really Wrong awards(!) to everyone that have signed Boiron’s desperate petition to keep public funding in France for useless homeopathy.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Interview with Fernando Cervera; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Annika Reports!; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

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

00:00:55 Intro

00:01:19 Greetings

We clarify the difference between a Skeptic and a climate change denier and highlight that the Rationalist International Conference takes place in Cambridge 27 – 28 July.

00:07:38 This Week in Skepticism

On 30 June In 1894, Tower Bridge across the River Thames in London was officially opened by the Prince of Wales and it is now very much an icon of the city. However, the story about how Robert P McCulloch was conned into buying London Bridge thinking he actually paid for Tower Bridge in 1968 is just an urban myth.

00:12:24 Manifesto against Pseudo-therapies – Interview with Fernando Cervera

00:21:39 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Neither compassion nor compensation

It’s all about the money: Rather than compensating their victims, Catholic US dioceses transfer their assets to other entities and declare bankruptcy.

00:25:46 Annika Reports! – Interview from SiTP in Cologne with Mirko Gutjahr

00:32:46 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: Biggest global study on vaccine attitudes

UK: UK health authority tells holidaymakers to get vaccinated to go to Europe

SPAIN: Spanish doctor suspended for claiming vaccines cause autism

00:41:34 Really Wrong

Over a million Really Wrong awards(!) to everyone that have signed Boiron’s desperate petition to keep public funding in France for useless homeopathy.

00:44:56 Quote and Goodbye
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
/ Galileo Galilei, 15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642. Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer and polymath. Also notably, not a fan of the Pope /

00:46:39 Outro

00:47:54 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #173 – The ‘Tender Pope’, Homeopathy and SkepKon interviews

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This week we catch up a bit regarding VoF (the Swedish skeptics) and talk about a new Manifesto against pseudoscientific treatments. We also get a bit nostalgic about a UK referendum about Europe – in 1975.
Then we get two interviews from SkepKon by our special correspondent on the ground, Annika Merkelbach. We check in with Francis who has been in Romania and also apparently is happy to cultivate his future legacy as the ‘tender’ pope.
Sense About Science calls for volunteers for their Evidence Week, Amazon, Facebook and Youtube take a stance against MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) and other dangerous nonsense, and University of Vienna makes an effort to repair its past endorsement of homeopathy. More news about Natalie Grams and the totally bogus legal threat she is facing and also that her organisation, Homeopathy Information Network, has launched a repository of excellent information in English.
The fake cancer drug Rigvir has now been de-registered by the State Agency of Medicines (ZVA), but some forces are still pushing for continued distribution. In Belgium, a consumer protection organisation speaks up against homeopathy, and then we end by giving a Really Wrong award to Keele University for keeping a an anti-vaxxer and bad researcher on their payroll.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

Some catching up regarding VoF, aka the Swedish Skeptics who will have a tent at Järvaveckan in Stockholm 12-13 June. If you’re in the neighborhood you should come and say hi!
We also welcome the initiative to a new European manifesto against pseudoscientific ‘treatments’ and we urge everyone to sign it.

00:13:39 This Week in Skepticism

6 June 1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum, putting “the uncertainty behind us” regarding the Common Market. Ooh, if only!

00:15:55 SkepKon interviews, by Annika Merkelbach

Two interviews from SkepKon by our special on-site reporter, Annika Merkelbach. This week we here from Dr. Claudia Preis (@PCandlovingit) and Philip Schunke (@pschunke)

00:24:06 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Frankie has been on a PR-tour in Romania. He is also preparing his future legacy as the ‘tender’ Pope (sounds yummy!).

00:28:28 Skeptical News

UK: Evidence Week

INTERNATIONAL Amazon, Facebook and YouTube Take Action against Health Misinformation

AUSTRIA: Medical University of Vienna makes progress in teaching medical students about SCAM

GERMANY: Update on last week’s news about Natalie Grams

GERMANY: INH launched a renewed website

LATVIA: Rigvir is de-registered but the circus is not over yet

BELGIUM: Belgian consumer protection organisation speaks up against homeopathy

00:48:53 Really Wrong

To Keele University for allowing a UK Professor who is linking vaccinations to autism to raise money through their funding portal.

00:53:44 Quote and Goodbye
“Science … warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such belief than for one to which I was previously hostile. My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonise with my aspirations.”
/Thomas Henry Huxley, British biologist and a prominent defender of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection/

00:55:28 Outro

00:56:43 Out-takes