Episode 131: “Mermaids: The Body Found”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn subjects Lauren, Laura, and Dave to “Mermaids: The Body Found”, a fake documentary that aired on Animal Plant and Discovery Channel in 2012, which combines discredited pseudoscience with stuff that the producers just made up.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Links: Mermaids: The Body Found (Wikipedia) | Mermaids: The Body Found (Snopes) | Aquatic ape hypothesis (Wikipedia) | Bloop (Wikipedia) | Cave of Swimmers (Wikipedia)

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Episode 123: Heretics

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn talks heresy with Laura, Gem, and Lauren. Heretics discussed include Hypatia of Alexandria, Roger Bacon, Baruch Spinoza, Charles Darwin, and Giordano Bruno. Also on this episode, Gem drones on about ancient writing materials and the sizes of various libraries for some reason.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Note: In preparation for the discussion of the Library of Alexandria, Gem reached out to Winnipeg’s Millennium Library to ask about the size of their collection. After we recorded the episode, he received a response informing us that the collection contains roughly 338,000 items, which is on the same order of magnitude as the Great Library of Alexandria—but at least some of the items in circulation are going to be non-canon Star Wars novels, so they don’t really count.

SkeptiCamp: If you’d like to present at SkeptiCamp, send an email to skepticamp@winnipegskeptics.com or skepticamp2017@gmail.com. Visit winnipegskeptics.com/skepticamp for more information!

Links: Heresy (Wikipedia) | Library of Alexandria (Wikipedia) | Hypatia (Wikipedia) | General Fact Sheet (New York Public Library) | The Encyclopaedia Britannica hits rock bottom (Quodlibeta) | Neoplatonism (Wikipedia) | Roger Bacon (Wikipedia) | Roger Bacon (Encyclopaedia Britannica) | Roger Bacon (Catholic Encyclopedia) | Bacon biography (History of Mathematics Archive) | Roger Bacon (British Heritage) | The Persecution of Philosophers (Bad News About Christianity) | Darwin’s Heretic | Charles Darwin: A heretic and a hero (The Globe and Mail) | Religious views of Charles Darwin (Wikipedia) | Are great scientists always heretics? (BBC Science) | Darwin on a Godless Creation: “It’s like confessing to a murder” (Scientific American) | Evolution and the Catholic Church (Wikipedia) | Reactions to On the Origin of Species (Wikipedia) | Giordano Bruno (Wikipedia) | Archimedes (Wikipedia) | Our Unknown Martyrs (The Scientist Magazine) | 7 Scientists Who Died Violently (FamousScientists.org) | Baruch Spinoza (Wikipedia) | Science and Religion (MarkHumphrys.com) | Michael Servetus (Wikipedia)

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Episode 114: Ray Comfort’s “Atheist Delusion”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura review Ray Comfort’s new “documentary” with special guests Ash Burkowski and David Bonwick, and the panel bids farewell to evangelical cartoonist Jack Chick with a game of Jack or Fiction.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Links: Bad Science Watch | NHP Monograph Consultations (Bad Science Watch) | TRC #420: Origin of 420 + Gem Newman of Bad Science Watch + History Of Halloween (The Reality Check) | The Atheist Delusion (YouTube) | Checkmate, Atheists! (YouTube) | Jack Chick (RationalWiki) | Leonard Nimoy Gallery (NSFW)

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Episode 110: Science & Race

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura discuss science’s rocky history with issues of race and talk about some racist pseudosciences that continue to masquerade as science today.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Note: If you notice an improvement in our audio quality, that’s thanks to Pat Roach from The Reality Check who introduced us to a great auto-levelling tool. Thanks, Pat!

Links: Scientific racism (Wikipedia) | New Analysis Challenges Study Suggesting Racial Bias at NIH (Science) | The Amazing Atheist’s Racism (Martin Hughes) | If you speak out against hate, the atheist community has your back (Martin Hughes) | Race (Wikipedia) | Shovel-shaped incisors (Wikipedia) | Forensics 101: Race Determination Based on the Skull (Skeleton Keys) | The Social Construction of Race (Jacobin) | Phrenology (Wikipedia) | History of Phrenology on the Web | History of eugenics (Wikipedia) | Immigration Act of 1924 (Wikipedia) | Introduction to Eugenics (Genetics Generation) | Human Testing, the Eugenics Movement, and IRBs (Learn Science at Scitable) | Feeble-minded (Wikipedia) | The Kallikak Family (Wikipedia) | Alberta Eugenics Board (Wikipedia) | Eugenics (Wikipedia) | Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta (Wikipedia) | Canada’s Human Rights History: Eugenics | The Scared White People Who Love Donald Trump (VICE Canada) | The anthropologists really are buzzing (Pharyngula) | ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’ and ‘Inheritance’ (The New York Times) | Letters: “A Troublesome Inheritance” (Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics) | The hbd delusion (Pharyngula) | Race and intelligence (Wikipedia) | Satoshi Kanazawa (Wikipedia) | Academic racism has a K=N problem (Noahpinion) | The Creepy Internet Movement You’d Better Take Seriously (Vocativ) | Curtis Yarvin (Wikipedia)

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Episode 109: The Quiz Show Show!

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Gem, and Lauren each prepare a quiz to test their fellow panelists’ knowledge in a variety of scientific and pseudoscientific domains.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Pregnancy Quiz (Laura): 6 Bizarre Childbirth Myths From Ancient History | 15 Ancient Childbirth Myths | In Search of Human Placentophagy: A Cross-Cultural Survey of Human Placenta Consumption, Disposal Practices, and Cultural Beliefs | Against all odds | Miracle child | Vanishing Twin Syndrome | The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery

Cat Genetics Quiz (Ashlyn): Genetic Anomalies of Cats | Sphynx Cat | Tortoiseshell cat | Manx cat | Basic Feline Genetics | Basic Genetics as Revealed by Cats | Cat coat genetics | Cat body-type mutation | Strange but True: Cats Cannot Taste Sweets | Inherited deafness in white cats

You Have a Degree in Baloney! (Gem): Institute for Integrative Nutrition: Curriculum Guide | Canadian School for Natural Nutrition: Natural Nutrition Courses | Canadian School for Natural Nutrition: Advanced Holistic Nutritionist Workshops | Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Courses | Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine Post-Graduate Program Outline | Pacific Rim College Community Herbalist Certificate

Peril! (Lauren): Can We Trust Crime Forensics? | Pseudoscience in the Witness Box | The Criminal Profiling Deception | CSI effect | How to Interrogate Suspects | Turkic mythology | List of flood myths | List of Māori deities | Leviathan | Viracocha | Curiosity Sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Itself On Mars: Video | Planets & Their Moons | Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is Shrinking | Islets of Langerhands | J! Archive

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Episode 104: Animal Intelligence

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem talks about intelligence in nonhuman animals with Ashlyn, Laura, and special guest Leslie Saunders.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Links: Animal cognition (Wikipedia) | Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness (PDF) | Different ways to make a gomer bull (The Western Producer) | Intelligence and Relative Brain Size (Eric J. Chaisson, Harvard College Observatory) | Primate Cognition (Nature) | Great ape language (Wikipedia) | Kanzi (Wikipedia) | Chimp Behaviour: Tool Use (Jane Goodall Institute of Canada) | Great ape personhood (Wikipedia) | Tool use by animals (Wikipedia) | Cetacean intelligence (Wikipedia) | Dolphin Intelligence: It’s Time for a Conversation (National Geographic) | The cetacean brain and hominid perceptions of cetacean intelligence (The Ecologist) | Cetaceans Have Complex Brains for Complex Cognition (PLOS Biology) | Thinking Pigs: A Comparative Review of Cognition, Emotion, and Personality in Sus domesticus (eScholarship) | Techniques for Evaluation and Quantification of Pig Reproductive, Ingestive, and Social Behaviors (PDF) | Thinking Pigs: A Comparative Review of Cognition, Emotion, and Personality in Sus domesticus (PDF) | Are Pigs as Smart as Dogs and Does It Really Matter? (Psychology Today) | In Pig Cognition Studies, Reflections on Parallels with Humans (The New York Times) | Moritz The Clever Pig Wants Your Attention (YouTube) | Pigs: Intelligent Animals Suffering in Farms and Slaughterhouses (PETA) | Pigheaded: How Smart are Swine? (Modern Farmer) | Disambiguating the “guilty look”€: Salient prompts to a familiar dog behaviour (ScienceDirect) | Corvidae (Wikipedia) | Clever Hans (Wikipedia) | House Hippo (YouTube) | BBC Two: Are crows the ultimate problem solvers? (YouTube) | Last Chance to See (Wikipedia) | Uplift Universe (Wikipedia)

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SkeptiCamp Winnipeg: Species and Speciation

Lamprey image by Drow Male via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Lamprey image by Drow Male via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Embedded below is Erin Spice’s talk from SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2014. Erin works at the University of Manitoba, where she divides her time between teaching undergrads how to dissect things and doing research in a fish genetics lab. She has been a skeptic since her late teens, when she discovered the awesomeness of science.

SkeptiCamp Winnipeg is a conference for the sharing of ideas. It is free and open to the public: anyone can attend and participate! Presentations and discussions focus on science and free inquiry, and the audience is encouraged to challenge presenters to defend their ideas. You can visit our SkeptiCamp page for information about upcoming events and links to past SkeptiCamp talks.