All Episodes


November 26, 2012

Chris Mooney

One of the first people I ever got to know in skepticism was Steven Novella. He was a professor at Yale, just starting out as an organized skeptic—I was a student, just getting fired up about the same stuff. Since then, Steve has become hugely successful as a skeptic leader and as a communicator of …

November 19, 2012

Chris Mooney

Before the “complementary and alternative medicine” fad, and before UFO craze, lived a man whom you might call the first modern pseudoscientist. His name was Immanuel Velikovsky. He had a strange theory about a comet—that turned out to be Venus—shaping the course of human history. He tangled with Carl Sagan about it—and with the scientific …

November 12, 2012

Chris Mooney

On this show, we often debate the state of American secularism—covering topics like the rise of the so-called “nones,” or the unending battle to rescue the country from the pernicious influence of Christian right. Our guest this week, Jacques Berlinerblau, has a provocative thesis about all this. He says that American secularism has clearly and …

November 05, 2012

Indre Viskontas

Despite our individual differences, highlighted especially during an election, much of what we see, hear, smell or feel is shareable: that is, when standing in front of an object, we can more or less agree that it has a particular color, shape, texture, size and so on. But what if I tell you that I …

October 22, 2012

Indre Viskontas

The month of October is associated with falling leaves, autumn winds and Halloween. But for sports fans in the US, it also signals a high point in America’s national pastime: baseball’s postseason. After a long run of 162 games, the last weeks of October are ripe with matchups in which legends are made and broken. Any skeptic worth …

October 15, 2012

Chris Mooney

In this show, we talk to two founders of ScienceDebate, a nonprofit organization that in the last two election cycles has pushed to get the presidential candidates to talk about and debate science policy. So far, there has been no actual presidential science debate. But this year, ScienceDebate got Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to answer …

October 08, 2012

Chris Mooney

Our guest this week is Lisa Randall, the Harvard theoretical physicist and one of the most heavily cited and influential researchers in her field. She’s a member of a number of distinguished scientific societies, including the National Academy of Sciences—but she’s also a very popular science author, behind the bestselling Warped Passages: Unraveling the Universe’s …

October 01, 2012

Chris Mooney

Our guest this week is a return guest of the show, Massimo Pigliucci. We last heard about his book Nonsense on Stilts, which was about how to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. But his newest effort is in some ways even more ambitious. It’s called Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a …

September 24, 2012

Indre Viskontas

There is no doubt that our world is populated with cheats and liars. Most of us, slaves to the availability heuristic, think of major cheaters like Bernie Madoff, Tiger Woods, and Barry Bonds as inflicting the most damage onto society. But just how honest are we, with others and with ourselves? The surprising finding from …