The publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Dr. Michael Shermer, discussed science and pseudo-science as well as the paranormal, good & evil, and the intelligent design debate.Being a skeptic, he explained, means engaging in a thoughtful inquiry, and insisting that phenomena be scientifically tested. In general he has found natural explanations for such paranormal mainstays as ESP, ghosts, and miracles. ESP, for instance has not shown statistically significant results in laboratory testing, he noted.
He also cited the example of mediums who "talk to the dead," and suggested that they are practicing a form of "mentalism," using a cold reading to gain information from the subject, and then mentioning "truisms" that frequently occur such as owning your deceased father's watch.
Discussing the notion of good & evil, he presented an alternative theory to the idea that these concepts come from God. We evolved a "moral sentiment" with such features as altruism because we are a social primate species, and it was necessary for us bond together. Yet, it also was natural for humans to develop nastiness to non-tribal members as a way of assuring survival. Regarding intelligent design, he commented that as of yet it is not a science and therefore has no place being taught in science classes.
First hour guest Stan Deyo gave an update on earthquakes and weather. A recent earthquake in New York state and a frost in India are indicative of an extreme cycle we have entered due to the sun have a higher output than usual related to its sun spot activity. We can expect to see more extreme events in the form of intense quakes, hurricanes, and droughts, he warned.
Bumper music from Monday January 09, 2006