GGG#005: Crystal Skulls! Alien Abductions! Bigfootology! (Guest: Brian Dunning)


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

0:38 Dave and John introduce the show

Interview: Brian Dunning of Skeptoid

Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast01:13 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 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 ( 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 ( 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.

Show notes compiled by podtern Christie Yant. Friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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