Skeptics with a K: Episode #011


Christmas Special! The guys take a skeptical look at the traditional nativity story. Plus interdimensional portals over Norway, two full moons in the sky in January and your crazy homeopathic remedies.

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  1. #1 by AexMagd on December 17, 2009 - 14:16

    El Nombre means “name” though, I never got why he was meant to teach kids about numbers. I guess it was just for the pun!

  2. #2 by AexMagd on December 17, 2009 - 14:40

    Well in Catholic theology the Magi arrive on the Epiphany (6th Jan), by which point the couple might have headed off to a house or something. Additionally it was always suggested to me that they didn’t necessarily show up immediately, but up to a year or two later (hence Herod killling all the kids under that age), since it takes them so long to get there from the Mysterious East

  3. #3 by AexMagd on December 17, 2009 - 15:01

    Sorry to post three times in a row but I had to say that I too, owned a copy of the Giant Book of Fantastic Facts!

  4. #4 by Mike on December 17, 2009 - 15:13

    I still love the Giant Book of Fantastic Facts, even if it is full of bollocks!

  5. #5 by Marsh on December 17, 2009 - 15:17

    I do notice that Mike cut the debate/rant about slaughter-of-the-innocents denialism. I consider this Mike censoring criticism of his denialist views, naturally…

  6. #6 by Derek on December 18, 2009 - 21:01

    The reasonable doubts podcast (http://doubtreligion.blogspot.com/) has an excellent “Skeptic Sunday School” section in most episodes that goes deep into comparative studies of one part of the bible against another.

  7. #7 by Mike on December 22, 2009 - 14:39

    I’ve often heard the claim that Nazareth didn’t exist at the time of Jesus, but I came across this news report recently:

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=9388754

  8. #8 by Colin H on December 22, 2009 - 19:21

    Yes, I spotted that article, too. Very interesting. The problem is that it isn’t just the Nazareth issue that plagues the the Nativity story; there’s the whole issue with the census not happening then, and Herod not being in power… Rather than them all being mistakes – including the possibility Nazareth didn’t exist – I think it’s more likely that it’s the date that’s wrong. I think if Jesus did exist (which is in itself debatable) then there was a Nazareth of some sort around that time. I just think that time was a few years later than is commonly supposed.

    I’m not a scholar, though. For all I know, Jesus was born last week.

  9. #9 by Pat in Montreal on December 24, 2009 - 20:47

    I agree that the Giant Book of Fantastic Facts segment is pretty entertaining!

    As for last weeks “homework”, here in pharmacies the store part that sells all sorts of crap like homeopathy, magnet crap, naturopathy, vitamins and everything from toothbrushes to tampons and the prescription dispensary are 2 separate entities.

    The prescription dispensary is run by a licensed pharmacist who usually rents space in a chain run store so most pharmacists here won’t profit from selling you woo.

    Pat

  10. #10 by Rupert on January 23, 2010 - 00:09

    Hi all, this is my first post here, and a belated one, but in the podcast you didn’t mention one of my favourite inconsistencies in the Bible.

    After telling the story of the virgin birth, Matthew says that all this happened so as to fulfill the words of the prophecy that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.

    The problem with this is that no prophet said that. Matthew seems to be thinking of Isaiah, who says that the Messiah will be born of a young woman (he uses the word almah). If he’d wanted to say virgin, he could have quite easily used bethulah.

    Unfortunately, when Matthew was writing his gospel there was a translation of the OT from Hebrew into Greek, called the Septuagint, that mistranslated almah as parthenos, which does mean virgin. So it looks like yet another case of either Matthew or his sources inventing stories to agree with prophecies they’d read about.

    Well done on the podcast, it’s a highlight of my fortnight.

  11. #11 by Chris on February 10, 2010 - 01:07

    I realise this is a little late but only just discovered the podcasts. I think I have the perfect design for a homeopathic inhaler for coughs tobacco smoke – diluted in purified air-succussion effect created by use of a magic fan during bottling. Also beneficial for impotence, pregnant women and freshening your clothes. But looks like someone beat me to it http://www.ehow.com/facts_4826046_herbal-inhalers-naturopathic-treatment-asthma.html

  12. #12 by Chris on February 10, 2010 - 01:07

    I realise this is a little late but only just discovered the podcasts. I think I have the perfect design for a homeopathic inhaler for coughs tobacco smoke – diluted in purified air-succussion effect created by use of a magic fan during bottling. Also beneficial for impotence, pregnant women and freshening your clothes. But looks like someone beat me to it http://www.ehow.com/facts_4826046_herbal-inhalers-naturopathic-treatment-asthma.html

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