Brian Dunning of Skeptoid joins us as our guest this week. The Skeptoid podcast is one of the most popular science podcasts around, with over 50,000 listeners. Brian joins us to discuss critical thinking and its application in everything from alien abductions to medicine in the movies. Dave and John apply a little critical thinking of their own.
0:00 Introduction by Tor.com
0:38 Dave and John introduce the show
Interview: Brian Dunning of Skeptoid
01:13 About Brian Dunning and the Skeptoid podcast
02:20 Interview begins
02:35 About Brian – the journey from comp-sci to podcasting
04:50 Becoming a skeptic, and being a skeptic alone
07:31 Researching the unknown
09:10 2012! We’re all going to die! Or not.
11:21 Crystal skulls
12:49 The Amityville Horror
15:25 On finding the seed of truth
16:25 The Reptoids that rule you
20:04 The dire threat your iPod poses to an aircraft
20:43 The Pulp Fiction scene that haunts us all
21:30 Nostradamus deserves your respect, just not for the reasons you may think
23:58 Brian lets us in on The Secret
25:18 On teaching critical thinking
26:55 Brian’s educational video, Here Be Dragons
27:43 The current state of Brian’s upcoming television series The Skeptologists
30:09 How to support The Skeptologists
31:39 End of interview
Dave and John talk about credulity, Big Foot, and really stupid aliens
31:47 Dave talks about being naturally credulous and the value of skeptical podcasts
33:41 Baby’s First Skeptical Experience: the pros and cons of Santa Claus
36:35 Dave’s experience of being ‘taught’ about the Loch Ness Monster, and John talks about the sense of wonder that encourages credulity
39:57 Alien abduction and the X-Files
42:53 Why Scooby Doo may be the best example of skepticism in fiction
44:43 The growing popularity of science-based shows like Mythbusters
45:35 Collanders as a defense against… well, anything
47:37 Christopher Buckley’s Little Green Men
48:47 The great schism in the world of Bigfootology
51:13 More on the Amityville house
52:28 The proud tradition of really stupid aliens and other myths in media
58:00 Snopes.com as a skeptical resource, and the impact of the internet on critical thinking
01:04:00 Show wrap-up
Next week: Cherie Priest, author of Boneshaker
Thanks for listening!
John Joseph Adams (www.johnjosephadams.com) is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, and Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. He is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds, The Living Dead 2, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, and The Way of the Wizard. He worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and is currently the fiction editor of Lightspeed Magazine, which launches in June 2010.
David Barr Kirtley (www.davidbarrkirtley.com) is a writer living in New York who has been called “one of the newest and freshest voices in sf.” His short fiction appears in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy and Weird Tales, and in anthologies such as The Living Dead, New Voices in Science Fiction, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition.