Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Paranormal Podcast

The latest episode of the Paranormal Podcast features two interviews by host Jim Harold.  The first is someone with whom the reader is likely very acquainted -- Blake Smith, also known as Dr. Atlantis of the Monster Talk Podcast, and Dr. Todd Disotell of the Department of Anthropology of New York University.

The theme of the episode was "skeptics speak out."  While Smith discussed the paranormal in more general terms including ghosts, UFOs, and cryptids, Disotell was more focused on Bigfoot.

What I found interesting between the two interviews is the difference in tone.  Smith is a skeptic.  As he discusses in the interview he was a believer, but over a period of time of reading and studying determined that at one point he probably was not being haunted, but it is clear he gets the joy of paranormal topics and just discussing the area. Disotell is a scientist, and he comes at it from that more hard-nosed view.  This is not to say Distell was not cordial or polite, but there was more a less forgiving tone.  I was struck how more comfortable Harold sounded while interviewing Smith than Disotell.  

The content of what Smith and Disotell said was the same.  Both shared that while a Big Foot is highly unlikely, it is not impossible and would be quite a stupendous find.  Both interviewees shared similar thoughts on the faults of anecdotal eyewitness testimony as evidence.  As a side note, during both interviews, Harold seemed to indicate at least tangentially that some folks such a police officer and pilots are superior as trained observers.  Neither interview got into this specific idea in any depth, but its one of those areas that the cultural competition takes more stock in than skeptics.  I am not sure if this divide can be bridged.  

Disotell was also given the opportunity to counter arguments Melba Ketchum made defending her Bigfoot DNA evidence against criticisms Disotell made counter to Ketchum.  It was brief, but quite a piercing parry made by Disotell.  

 I do not think any new ground was covered. Overall, I enjoyed this episode.  I always find it pleasing when skeptics and the cultural competition can talk together without it becoming ugly.  The overall episode is around an hour long.

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