Episode #61: Nobel Prizes, Meta-Analyses and a REAL Warp Drive This Time

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The 61st episode of Consilience is out! You can download the mp3 here (27mb) and the file’s page on Archive.org is here.


Teaching Angela to Appreciate History

  1. 1851 – Discovery of Ariel and Umbriel, two moons of Uranus by William Lassel.
    1. Lassel made his fortune with beer-brewing, giving him the freedom to build his own observatories (plural) at Liverpool and Malta, and construct his own telescopes (plural, large and heavily mechanised for their day).
    2. Possibly also of interest: Latest telescope study of Uranus has revealed interesting and as-yet unexplained new features in its atmosphere.


  1.  Rational blog post about the Satanism murders nonsense.


  1. Nobel prizes
    1. Physics: Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland “for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems”
    2. Chemistry: Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka “for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors”
    3. Physiology or medicine: Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”
  2. American politicians are dumb.
  3. NASA really is working on a warp drive this time, and this one works on Dilithium Crystals.
  4. (Andre Engelbrecht) Braais cause cancer
  5. Proof that our bodies can predict the future with data input that doesn’t exist yet!
    1. (Spoiler: It’s a meta-analysis)
    2. Opening ad hominem: The lead author, Mossbridge, is an unapologetic spiritualist.
    3. statistical means, but that’s no substitute for real data derived from properly varied sources.
    4. The “researcher degrees of freedom” that Steve Novella has talked about a lot over the last year or so.
  6. Paul Kurtz died.

Sci-fi/Fantasy Quote

Damnit, Bones, you’re a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with the wave of a magic wand.” – Capt. James T. Kirk, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier


  1. Johannesburg
    1. Rumble in the Pub – Thursday 25th October, 18:30. Primi Piatti, Rosebank
    2. Sceptics in the Pub – Wednesday 7th November, 19:00. Brazen Head Pub, Sandton
    3. Sceptics in the Park – Sunday 18th November, 13:00. Johannesburg Botanical Garden, Emmerentia
  2. East Rand
    1. Sceptics in the Pub – Tuesday 13th November, 19:00. Grandslam Sports Diner, Edenvale.
  3. West Rand
    1. Sceptics in the Pub – Wednesday 21st November, 19:00. Green & Gold Pub, Roodepoort

Link of the Week

Patrick: Richard Dawkins interview – Playboy

Deon: Belief-o-matic

Chris: William Rankin, The Man Who Rode The Thunder or better still, the book

Owen: If Only… – Tony Ballentyne



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One Response to Episode #61: Nobel Prizes, Meta-Analyses and a REAL Warp Drive This Time

  1. Pablo says:

    Hey Deon,

    That doos you heard at the cradle of human kind is Vincent Nettman. He is in an “astronomer”. His disciples at the West Rand Astronomy Club have preached his moon landing hoax at astronomy outreach events http://bit.ly/SH5kCL Then when he gave his BS presentation at the club http://bit.ly/VWFueP, it was so bad I walked out, couldn’t take it, left that “astronomy” for good. 😦

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