Wind Farms, Artificial DNA, Skepticism and Circumcision: A Podcast Catch-Up

13 March 2014 by Jack Scanlan, posted in Podcast

Time for another podcast catch-up! There's been a good number of interesting episodes of The Pseudoscientists and Unfiltered Thoughts over the past month and I didn't want anyone to miss out on them. I should probably be posting these as the episodes go up, but who doesn't love a good burst of podcasts? No one, that's who.

Episode 116 of The Pseudoscientists was a fun Valentine's Day chat about fixing broken hearts (with science), making artificial DNA linkers, and the weird genre of "science-fantasy". How many science-fantasy films do you know? It's probably more than you think.

The twelfth episode of Unfiltered Thoughts was a chat with my good friend (and fellow Pseudoscientists co-host) Sarah McBride about the religious themes in popular novels - in particular, The Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials and The Life of Pi. Do religious themes in books add or subtract from their stories? Are such messages always preachy? And does going in the opposite direction work better, or it is just more of the same? These are some of the questions we pose (and try to answer).

Episode 117 of The Pseudoscientists involved a relaxed discussion with another friend of mine, Marita Petherbridge, who doesn't know much about the world of science and skepticism, but was willing to dive in head-first. We talked about faith healing and why it's such an interesting medical (and philosophical) problem in some communities around the world, as well as an introduction to skepticism for Marita, who told me what she thought the term actually meant.

Episode 118 of The Pseudoscientists was a intercontinental conversation with Rhys Morgan, a young skeptic in the UK who has successfully campaigned against pseudoscience in medicine. We talked about the health effects of wind farms, why dozens of fossil whales are being found in one spot in Chile, and the scams that are multi-level marketing schemes.

And finally, the thirteenth episode of Unfiltered Thoughts was a chat over coffee with Jonathan Meddings about the controversy surrounding circumcision. Jonathan is something of an anti-circumcision activist, and he provided me with some very good arguments as to why ritual infant circumcision should be illegal. Turns out there's little medical benefit to circumcision in the vast majority of cases... Also, it was fun to talk about this topic in a café surrounded by other people, I must admit.

As always, you can find out more about these podcasts at the Young Australian Skeptics! Enjoy.

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