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Tag Archives: New England Skeptics

Welcome to the world of tomorrow! Blogs are old news, the age of the podcast has begun and in honor of the dawning of this new age I thought I would do a skeptical podcast run down of the casts that I currently (or have in the past) listen too!

Geologic Podcast
http://www.geologicpodcast.com/

Do you want to laugh? Well, if you do, then listen to George Hrab on his podcast. The show consists of sketches, his mother rapping, religious morons and many of his absolutely side splitting characters (all played by him). He even has cameos by famous pod caster Soccer Girl! (A podcast I have not yet listened to by the way.) I am not kidding when I say Mr Hrab is funny, all I can say is go check it out for yourself and then send me (or George, preferably me) money for finding it for you. It is recommended that you listen to episode 31.1 if you want to catch up and get in on the “in” jokes.

Skeptics Guide to the Universe
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

No self respecting skeptic skips this weekly podcast. Hosted by Steven Novella, an academic neurologist and full time skeptic, and the skeptical rogues, Robert Novella, Jay Novella, Rebecca Watson (the Skepchick) and Evan Bernstein. The SGU is a must listen for any skeptic, or non-skeptic for that mater, in their weekly rounds of the podcast scene. In the show they discuss current topics in the news and skeptical community as well as devastating break downs of pseudo-science and woo. Their regular interviews are truly entertaining. The Amazing Guru of skepticism James Randi also has a regular section called Randi Speaks where he attacks certain issues head on. If you love knowledge, and who doesn’t, tune into the SGU and join its already huge (35,000 last time I heard?) listener base!

Skepticality
http://www.skepticality.com/index.php

Again, a must listen for any self respecting skeptic. Join Derek and Swoopy as they delve into a specific issue each week. Generally their show consists of an interview with a prominent personality in skepticism or science but their older shows were more like SGU in structure. My favourite recent episode was the No Intelligence Allowed! interview with Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. Michael Shermer about the new ID movie Expelled.

Are we alone? – SETI Podcast
http://radio.seti.org/

Are we alone? Who knows! But damn it’s fun to speculate. That’s what the SETI podcast is all about… well, not really, they explore deep into different scientific issues as well as the astrobiology topics it is based on. Each podcast focus’ on one or two topics and consists of interviews and fantastic banter between the two hosts. Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI institute.

Scientific American
http://www.sciam.com/podcast/

This is a podcast that I don’t listen to regularly, but when I do listen I enjoy it thoroughly. The podcasts are usually fairly short and consist of mainly scientific topics (duh). My recent favourite episode was their interview with Mark Mathis who they proceeded to basically rip apart. It was hilarious to listen to him back peddle when met with a difficult question.

Cj’s Skeptical World
http://tcradiolive.com/cjskeptical.php

Unfortunately CJ’s no longer makes his podcast, but what he has made so far are highly entertaining. Listen to CJ as he spews mind bending rants about Woo and science in the American and world media. He even gives this blog a fleeting mention.

I hope this quick run down has helped you to decide on what you want to listen to. With each packet of knowledge I receive I come closer to world domination, please help me in that goal by commenting and posting your favourite Podcasts.

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Quack

You’re six years old and sitting in a bubble bath. The water is warm and cosy. You sit and listen to the crackle of forever popping miniature bubbles and ponder what it is mother will be cooking for dinner. Across the heaving mass of water you spot your good friend Carl the rubber duck. You grasp him in your tiny little hands and squeeze him.

“QUACK!”

he says.

Maybe he doesn’t like that, you think to yourself. You’re getting bored and you think of things that you can do while in the bath. You look back at the yellow duck in your hands and decide that it would be fun to see what happens if you push the duck to the bottom of the bath. So you tenderly force Carl to the bottom of the bubbly ocean and then you release him. Wow! He shot right back up to the surface. Again you push the duck to the bottom of the bath and release him. He did it again! Straight back up every time!

After doing this for a good five minutes you start to become displeased with this outcome and you try harder and harder to make the bastard stay down! It is futile, the duck just keeps coming back up. Curse you hydrodynamics!

Most skeptics and free thinkers will understand what I am trying to say here and have probably come to this point in their skeptical life where it seems almost pointless to argue anymore. The more we argue it seems the more opponents we meet. Just log onto youtube.com and look at any creation vs evolution video to see what I mean. People who we have debated previously pop up again and again with more vigor than the last time. This seems to be the case with most creation/ID and pseudoscience proponents.

It gets very very frustrating but it is our duty as skeptics and freethinkers to challenge these ideals no matter how long they take to sink to the bottom of our cultural bath. We may think that we cannot win and we probably cannot, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference by speaking and thinking rationally and challenging what people say.

The best way to do this is to learn the mechanism of arguing! Identifying logical fallacies and rhetoric are great weapons in any debate. If you are interesting in learning the logical fallacies (there are many but there is commonly used ones you will recognize) then please check out this link to the New England Skeptical Society. The more you know about debating the more you can easily combat your opponents. Also, another great debate on evolution vs creation can be found here at the Australian Skeptics website.

So next time you are confronted with Carl the proverbial rubber duck, whip out your arsenal of free thought and try to identify the lies. And most of all, don’t give up.

Skelliot.