Monday, July 18, 2011

The Token Skeptic, The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

Kylie Sturgess lives!  She has posted a new episode of The Token Skeptic Podcast (as an aside, also sells some really nice swag.  Go ahead, visit the store and buy a few nice things for the spouse) featuring an interview with Bayani Mills.  Mr. Mills reveals just how much of a slacker I am.  Mills, who became an active skeptic way back in November of 2010, has started a blog Report a Rort where you can learn where and how to report scams and cons for those of you who live in Australia.  He also has created another website Seek the Evidence, which is a beginner skeptics tool to figure out how and where to learn more about this scientific rationalist world view.  Mills hopes that other skeptics will just toss in and contribute to his "Seek" site, and it'll be a self-perpetuating site.  Mills does all this in less than a year, and I bug Karl on FaceBook.  I should get out more.

I also listened to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe episode 313.  The show was done before TAM, and done earlier than their normal Wednesday recording for Saturday release.  While the show overall was good, it was a little off.  Nothing terrible, but I think the Rogues had lots of others things on their mind such as TAM, packing, TAM, studying the rules of Baccarat, and packing.

Near the top of the episode, Evan mentions that we are upon the anniversary date of the Trinity Test where the first atomic bomb was tested in 1945.  They briefly discuss how the bomb brought the war with the Empire of Japan to a close, and the only other alternative was to invade Japan to bring the war to a conclusion among other things.  First, I realize this is a skeptical and more science-focused show, and they were talking off the cuff.  Yet, like the time Dr. Novella blithely made some comment about Ayn Rand, this seems likely to start a bit of a row in SGU-dom.*  The dropping of the atomic bombs upon Japan is best something not to be brought up unless you are willing to give it is due.  (My take on the use of the bomb was that it was a terrible, terrible, horrific thing to do.  Two cities were wiped out with tens of thousands killed and many more scared and injured for life.  Yet, I have a hard time arguing that President Truman made the wrong decision in the dreadful context of the times, and much harder time crucifying him for it.  It is not something to be celebrated, or hopefully repeated. This very well might be my pro-American bias pushing through, and it may not.)  It seemed a bit ham-fisted of the Rogues who have become quite adept at what they do to deal with such a touchy topic.

An email question was sent in on their take on a creationist argument on the Paluxy River tracks that shows that man and dinosars walked together, and that the global cultural myths of dragons is evidence that men and dinosar shared the Earth at the same time.  The Rogues dealt fairly with the Paluxy question, but more or less blew off the dragon question.  I think is rather silly argument myself.  However, I can see from a believer perspective that the Rogues' lack of attention to the topic could be seen in some circles as a win.  "Why those meddling Rogues just blew off the dragon evidence.  They could not even come up with a cogent response.  We win.  Yeah, Jesus on a dinosar." (Or something like that.)

Chapman can't mean this? I hope.  Then I again I live in the
upper right blue area, so I'm cool.
The last thing that I found odd is that for whatever reason Matthew Chapman, who was on to promote his new motion picture "The Ledge" which deals with atheism in a direct and serious manner, came across as a bit pompous.  He was recently on Point of Inquiry pitching his movie there as well, but he seemed to come across better with Chris Mooney.  The part that struck me is where he lamented that while his movie is sure to be shown in LA and NYC where the culture is in the States, it still needs to be seen in the rest of it.  I get what he means to an extent, but what a way to dump on say Philadelphia, Austin, Miami, and Canton, Ohio.

On a positive note, Rebecca did sort of defend President Geo. W. Bush for not being an idiot, but just being stricken with a knack for misspeaking at times.  I am not fan of President Bush.  He clearly made a lot of errors, but an idiot?  I have always thought it unfair, and a branding made by those who disagreed with his politics and an easy jab.  I put it in the same camp as those who refer to the current President as Barack HUSSEIN Obama, and members of the Tea Party movement as "Tea-baggers."

It was not a terrible episode.  The loyal listener should still listen to the episode, but in my opinion it was a bit off.

*There is a bit of a debate on the SGU forums.  I did the initial post.  Perhaps a small mistake.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I had the same reaction than you listening on the bit about the atomic bombs on Japan. Happy to see I'm not the only one who was a little bit surprised by the way they talked about it on the SGU.

    Skeptically yours,


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