TheESP – Ep. #218 – All Pell Breaks Loose

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This week we bring you news and topics from all over Europe again.
We start by talking about the unfortunate death (probably of Covid-19) of a board member of VoF.
After that we’re looking back at the history of LSD and how 19 April marks a special day in it, before we discuss how Cardinal Pell walks freely after the High Court of Australia overturns the previous verdict on his child abuse case.
In the news: Covid-19 update followed by details of some other stuff related to the pandemic, including: OfCom, the British media authority helping confused media consumers, a Policy Paper of the NHS release a few days after the publication of Sense About Science’s call for transparency over testing. Colloidal Silver seems to be a big sell in Finland these days, while Hungary’s response to the pandamic can only be described as chaotic, something that a petition might not be able to change. Religious liberty restrictions across Europe are also in focus as countries are trying to fight the disease, while British homeopaths “happily promote bogus treatments”. A new Chernobyl scare makes its rounds on social media over a wildfire in the area, but the best news is that Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available.
President Macron gets this week’s Really Wrong Prize for adding weight to an unproven ‘cure’ for the Novel-Coronavirus.
Also, please don’t forget that nominations for the John Maddox Prize are open until 11th May.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; 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

  • Terrible news: Swedish Skeptics board member deceased, likely from covid-19
  • “Stay The Fuck At Home” song:

0:05:23 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
19 April 1943, Albert Hofmann chose to deliberately ingest 250 micrograms of the Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) he had synthesized at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. Three days earlier he had accidentally absorbed some through his skin by touching a container of the drug. From the accidental exposure he experienced restlessness, dizziness and “extreme activity of imagination.” Although he had first made it five years before, as a drug intended to relieve respiratory ailments, it was only on this day that he found the drug was a hallucinogen. The striking experience was one he chose to repeat.

0:14:15 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
What the Pell happened?

Tim Minchin’s song ‘Come Home Cardinal Pell’:

0:24:21 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. UK: OfCom gives a helping hand to media consumers
  3. UK: Update on Sense About Science’s call for transparency – Policy Paper issued by ministry
  4. FINLAND: Colloidal Silver sells out via closed Facebook groups
  5. HUNGARY: Chaos around response to Covid-19 and online petition for more comprehensive testing
  6. INTERNATIONAL/EU: Religious liberty restrictions across Europe
  7. UK: Dangerous nonsense spread by homeopaths in the UK
  8. HUNGARY/EU: Chernobyl wildfire stirs up radiation… and social media
  9. INTERNATIONAL: Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available

1:14:45 REALLY WRONG
The presidential curse(?): Macron adds to the hydroxychloroquine hype

1:19:46 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesmanlike habits, supplies their demands.”
/Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, Irish poet and playwright/

1:21:06 OUTRO

1:22:21 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #214 – Don’t Panic!

 

 

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The three of us finally reunite for yet another show featuring an update on the COVID-19 situation and the GWuP cancelling SkepKon 2020. Then, after an interview with Annabel Bligh of the Anthill Podcast, we return with Pontus poking the Pope again for worsening the pandemic with his irrational approach to church-going.

Our news segment covers all sorts of topics including a distant world where it’s raining iron, the Strasbourg Court rejecting case of anti-abortion midwives, homeopathy suggested as a valuable asset in times of crisis and Boiron closing down 13 sites, firing a quarter of their employees in the process.

If you want to help ongoing research into fighting SARS-CoV-2, you can try Folding@Home, then you can turn your eye towards Sweden where the acupuncturer who killed a client is back to court after having been acquitted. And finally, we mention a few social media awards that went to skepticism related contents in Germany.
Our Really Wrong award goes to Andrzej Dziega, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamien for claiming that holy water and the holy communion can not spread the virus.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Annabel Blight; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:33 INTRO

0:00:56 GREETINGS

Coronavirus update, plus sad news: SkepKon 2020 is now cancelled.

0:15:45 INTERVIEW with Annabel Blight from The Conversation

0:25:51 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – Since Religion is Irrational, Frankie Helps the Pandemic

0:30:31 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: European astronomers discover an even more hostile world than our own
  2. SWEDEN: Anti-abortion Midwives Rejected by the Strasbourg Court
  3. INTERNATIONAL: Homeopathy suggested as a valuable asset in times of crisis?
  4. FRANCE: Homeopathy Company Boiron Closes 13 Sites and Fires a Quarter of Employees
  5. INTERNATIONAL: How you can help in fighting COVID-19 and its virus – Folding@Home
  6. SWEDEN: Acupuncture Acquittal Verdict Appealed
  7. HUNGARY: Bogus electrosmog leaflet issued by local authorities
  8. SPAIN: Spanish Actor Acquitted of Blasphemy
  9. GERMANY: Social media awards given to people dealing with topics relevant to skeptics

1:00:14 REALLY WRONG
POLAND: Andrzej Dziega, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamien claiming Holy water and communion “cannot spread virus”

1:04:07 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

/Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor/

1:06:18 OUTRO

1:07:33 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #168 – Vaccinations, Electric Cars and Greta Thunberg

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This week we first discuss the scientific method and remember Louis Pasteur, plus we anticipate Pope Francis’ upcoming Vatican revolution.
Then in the news we talk about Ukraine election results, a homeopathic remedy that got “The Mom’s Choice Award” and how 170 million children lack protection from measles. A Portuguese pilot project gets flu vaccinations a boost (pun intended), we welcome a new German speaking Skeptic Youtube channel, look at the trend of religiousness going down in Spain and how electric cars are the future even though some people want you to believe otherwise.
We close by shaming old people who get their knickers in a knot because of Greta Thunberg.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

We thank our listners for correcting us when we get it wrong, just as science always needs finetuning – last week there was a study suggesting that the expansion of the universe may be faster than previously thought.

00:08:06 This Week in Skepticism

On 30 April 1878, Louis Pasteur lectured at the French Academy of Sciences in support of his germ theory of disease, in which he held that many diseases were caused by tiny organisms. Since he still met with opposition from some scientists, he called their contrary opinions “fatal to medical progress.”
Pasteur also described ways to prevent infection, and provided the skeptics with an experiment with which to test the theory themselves.

00:13:51 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis is chocked by the resurrection, but more importantly prepares a Vatican revolution(!)

00:19:58 Skeptical News

UKRAINE: A comedian won the presidential election

INTERNATIONAL: Boiron product praised on The Mom’s Choice Awards site

INTERNATIONAL: UNICEF: 170 million children not vaccinated against measles

PORTUGAL: Pharmacy pilot project increases flu vaccination by 32%

SWITZERLAND: Warum skeptisch sein? New YouTube channel by engineer Benjamin Cella explaining major points of critical thinking.

SPAIN: Study shows religion on its way down

GERMANY: Tesla Model 3 being worse in terms of CO2 emissions than a Mercedes C220?

00:44:05 Really Wrong

Grown people are attacking 16-year old Greta Thunberg because they cannot find any proper arguments

00:49:50 Quote and Goodbye
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.”
/Louis Pasteur, French biologist, microbiologist and chemist, December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895 /

00:51:07 Outro

00:55:22 Out-takes

Ep. #137 – Coconut oil, public health, the pope and the photo encyclopedia of bogus claims

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

This week we talked about Susan Gerbic’s new interview with Massimo Polidoro, a court case over calling someone a Holocaust denier, new teams doing science communication, coconut and the undecided public enemy state, homeopathy and whether it’s unethical for pharmacies to sell it, HPV vaccination for boys, ‘Inoculated’, a new movie in Germany that might be twice as dangerous as Vaxxed, SkepKon 2019, fake Twitter accounts, an Austrian photographer’s encyclopaedia of bogus claims and how religion ruins everything.

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

Susan Gerbic’s interview with Massimo Polidoro: https://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/fifty_books_and_counting

00:13:09 This Week in Skepticism

On 5 September 1996, Irving filed a libel suit concerning Lipstadt’s book in English court. He named in his suit Lipstadt and Penguin Books, whose division Plume had published a British edition of her book.

00:19:05 Skeptical News

SPAIN: A new organisation for the promotion of science is born in Valencia

INTERNATIONAL: Measles update

GERMANY: Freiburg doctor Karin Michels gives a talk abut coconut oil being a poison

FRANCE: French university drops homeopathy degree amid alternative medicines row

SPAIN: University of Alicante offering a course into the public understanding of Science

EUROPE: HPV vaccination for boys

GERMANY: New movie called ‘Inoculated’ is probably worse than ‘Vaxxed’

GERMANY: SkepKon 2019 in the making: Call for papers

GERMANY: Is it unethical for Pharmacies to sell homeopathic products

SWEDEN: Swedish Study Notes Surge in Automated Twitter Accounts

AUSTRIA: “This will change your life forever” – Photographer puts bogus claims and products in display

01:05:27 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Oh, where to begin?

01:11:27 Really Wrong: Publicly funded religious free school scandal

01:16:27 Quote and Farewell

“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.”
/Adam Smith (1723-90) Scottish moral philosopher/

01:17:34 Outro

01:18:49 Out-takes

Ep. #135 – ET healing, first contact in Germany, wet cupping, plus religion

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

While unfortunately Jelena is not present, this week we talk about an ET healer in the Netherlands before we share the latest updates on measles. The comes the outrageous fact that Germany has no official plan for a first contact situation and how religious taboos can cause trouble. El escéptico’s 50th issue is out now, while wet cupping is gaining ground in Amsterdam. Also, the pope gets poked again while pastafarianism doesn’t get recognised as a religion.

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

00:11:50 Skeptical News

NETHERLANDS: “ET Healer” not prosecuted for possible contribution to suicide

UK: Royal homeopath dies in a bicyle accident

INTERNATIONAL: MEASLES UPDATE: Finally it makes the news (but the reported numbers are too low)

GERMANY: No preparations for alien landing situations

SWITZERLAND: Muslim couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal

SPAIN: Issue #50 of El Esceptico to be released

NETHERLANDS: Wet Cupping on the rise in Amsterdam

NETHERLANDS: Pastafarianism “not a religion” – rules Dutch court

00:30:50 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Frankie boy cannot handle the scandal

00:35:16 Really Right: Greta Thunberg, 15, takes a stand for climate

00:40:59 Farewell and Quote

“Of a number of variant hypotheses about the same facts, that one is true which shows why facts, which in the other hypotheses remain unrelated, are as they are, i.e., which demonstrates their orderly and rational mathematical connexion.”

/Johannes Kepler German astronomer and astrologer/

00:42:20 Outro

00:43:35 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #117 – Attack on our website, great minds, MMS, apitherapy and other quackeries

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

00:06:40 This Week in Skepticism

00:14:47 Skeptical News

00:40:59 Really Wrong

00:47:04 Quote

“If many a man did not feel obliged to repeat what is untrue, because he has said it once, the world would have been quite different.”
/Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, writer and philosopher/

00:48:22 Outro

00:49:37 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 #085, feat. Leo Igwe

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This week Pontus and Jelena talks about news and have an interview with the humanist Leo Igwe, speaker at the upcoming European Skeptcis Congress in Poland. Nicola Throp of the Measeyside Skeptics also comes on to tell us all about QED in Manchester in October.

Leo Igwe is a skeptic and a Nigerian human rights advocate who has played leading roles in the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Atheist Alliance International and the Center For Inquiry – Nigeria. For many years he represented IHEU (International Humanist and Ethical Union) at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and generally in Western and Southern Africa. He specialized in campaigning against child witchcraft accusations and have researched this topic at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

In the news segments we revisit an old Really Wrong winner who is now being extradited to Australia, GWUP warns about a German fake news site and in Ireland, the falling HPV vaccination rates will lead to an increase in cervical cancer.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback with Nicola Throp; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Interview with Leo Igwe; Really Right; Quote

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:35
Greetings & feedback with Nicola Throp

  • To find out more about QED and to sign up go to qedcon.org
  • Check out our calendar page for skeptical events in Europe

00:09:01
This Week in Skepticism
The Lakenheath-Bentwaters Incident

00:15:15
Skeptical News

  1. UK: Xiao Hongchi to be sent to Australia for criminal investigation
  2. GERMANY: Fake news site
  3. IRELAND: HSE Ireland is concerned about low HPV vaccination rates in the UK

00:25:12
Interview with Leo Igwe

00:56:56
Skeptical Ads

00:58:32
Really Right:

The Edinburgh Skeptics for organising Skeptics on the Fringe

01:01:22
Quote:
“In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life, to doubt, as far as possible, of all things”
/René Descartes, French philosopher, mathematician and scientist/

01:02:34
Outro

01:03:49
Out-takes

Episode #78, feat. Luigi Garlaschelli

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This week’s episode is dedicated to our interview with Italian chemist, skeptic and paranormal investigator Luigi Garlaschelli, who has investigated and debunked many miraculous claims, including weeping Madonnas, stigmata, the blood of San Gennaro and the Shroud of Turin.

Andras also announces a road trip between the 17th European Skeptics Congress in Wroclaw, Poland and CICAPfest2017 in Cesena, Italy in September 2017.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; Interview with Luigi Garlaschelli; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:37
Greetings & feedback

Andras announces a European road trip between the 17th European Skeptics Congress in Wroclaw, Poland and CICAPfest2017 in Cesena, Italy in September 2017. Please get in touch if you would like to meet Andras, have him and Susan Gerbic for a talk at the local Skeptic’s in the Pub meeting. Please, visit our ‘Events in Europe’ page to see what’s going on across the continent in skepticism. More details to follow.

00:10:31
Interview with Luigi Garlaschelli

00:58:32
Farewell

01:01:46
Outro

01:03:01
Out-takes

Episode #077

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This week we are coming back with our regular segments featuring topics like the 17th European Skeptics Congress, CICAPfest2017, James Randi’s appearances in Europe, the BMJ being infiltrated by quackery, the harm in using homeopathy (for encephalitis), the latest in the fight against the anti-vaccination movement in Germany and Italy, Spanish skeptics launching a course on how to tackle pseudoscience in the information age, Portuguese skeptics launching a book on how not to be fooled, parents killing their son with gluten-free diet and Denmark repealing their blasphemy law.

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

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:27
Greetings & feedback

  1. The 17th European Skeptics Congress – Register now!
  2. James Randi in Zürich soon!
  3. CICAPfest 2017
  4. If you’re interested in the events happening across Europe, please visit our calendar page.

00:10:26
This Week in Skepticism
Evelyn Underhill (died on 15th June 1941).

00:17:44
Skeptical News

  1. The BMJ being infiltrated by quackery
  2. ITALY – Italian boy dies after having been treated for encephalits with homeopathy
  3. ITALY – Italy fighting antivaccination with making jabs compulsory
  4. ITALY – Galileo Prize 2017
  5. GERMANY – Germany fights antivaccination
  6. PORTUGAL – New book out by ComCept (Diana and Joao)
  7. BELGIUM – Baby dies because of gluten free diet

00:37:37
Really Right
Blasphemy law repealed in Denmark

00:40:20
Skeptical Ads

00:41:56
Quote

“Science says the first word on everything, and the last word on nothing”
/Victor Hugo, French writer/

00:43:12
Outro

00:44:27
Out-takes