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Financial Turbulence/ Science & Skepticism

Date Tuesday - January 19, 2016
Host George Noory
Guests Greg HunterDr. Michael Shermer

In the first half, former ABC investigative correspondent Greg Hunter discussed what he believes are the underlying and troubling factors behind the turbulent financial markets, and offered his analysis of the 2016 presidential race. The current economic slowdown is due to the staggering new global level of debt- around $60 trillion, with $19 trillion for the US alone, he cited. This kind of debt can only lead to defaults and bankruptcies, and there are signs we're already in a recession, such as manufacturing and industrial production rates being down, Hunter continued. Further, the implosion of oil prices may lead to economic instability, bank collapses, and a drop in value of the US dollar, he added.

Hunter believes Hillary Clinton's candidacy is in grave trouble and that she'll eventually face charges related to the email server scandal. Not only did she have classified information, but top secret documents on her private server, he said. He suggested that Hillary's woes are related in part to a feud with President Obama, who doesn't like her. Rather than Bernie Sanders rising up, Hunter foresees Joe Biden being pulled in, and becoming the Democratic candidate. Donald Trump is looking increasingly viable and Republicans are thinking he could actually win in such states as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in the general election, he reported.

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In the latter half, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and the director of the Skeptics Society, Michael Shermer, outlined what the skeptical stance is about, and how he looks at such issues as ET visitations, conspiracy theories, and belief in God. Skeptics start with the null hypothesis that claims aren't true until proven otherwise. It's like how the FDA approves a drug- -you have to provide evidence that your drug does what you say it does, rather than just make a claim, he explained. The skeptical approach emphasizes cautiousness, as most claims turn out to be false, even ones proposed by scientists, he noted.

Shermer said he was initially skeptical about claims of global warming but as evidence accumulated in the 2000s, he came to accept that it was real and human-caused. Conspiracies definitely exist, such as Watergate, where evidence and memos emerged, but when it comes to something like the JFK assassination the evidence is less clear, he suggested. We can't necessarily trust the reliability of our intuition or physical senses when it comes to evaluating data, he added. Shermer also related his viewpoint that over the centuries, the world has become a far better place with much less violence, a higher moral view, and increased tolerance and rights for different types of people.

News segment guests: Mish Shedlock, Steve Kates

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