Skeptics with a K: Episode #066

Richard Dawkins, the historicity of Jesus, slave ownership and Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Plus the snooze button, Monet and Snow White in the “Bad PR” Megamix.  Culturally starved, it’s Skeptics with a K.

Remember to get your QED tickets!

  1. #1 by Rebecca on February 24, 2012 - 10:55

    Interesting what you guys say about museum/gallery visits by kids – it is very locality based (as you allude to). The rates of children attending such places in Glasgow is very high for example.
    I would have to say that your assertion that children would or perhaps should not be interested in museums or galleries if a little flawed. Perhaps just a “plain” visit yes, but attending events tailored for children and their guardians such as crafting, story telling etc can be very enjoyable and rewarding for families. Working in a Natural History Museum I can (from ancedote) say that it’s children that get parents to attend our Dublin “Dead Zoo”.
    A five year-old may not care about Van Gogh but they can enjoy Sunflowers if the conversation framed well.
    It may have been data drawn from a fundamentally flawed questionaire that resulted in a flawed “Bad News” but I think you’re interpretation of children and “culture” could be equally flawed.

    Museum Nerd – over and out.

  2. #2 by Tom Williamson on February 24, 2012 - 11:47

    About halfway through listening, might have to roundly kick your asses on carbon dating…

  3. #3 by Steve Andrew on February 24, 2012 - 12:04

    Yeah the Dawkins article was just laughable. A vertible smorgasbord of logical fallacies, which Marsh ably skewered in his Newsarse article.

    If Dawkins is supposed to make reparations to former slaves’ families which ones would he choose? How many millions are descended from the slaves his ancestor owned? And why only Dawkins? What about all the thousands of people alive today who themselves are descended from his slave-owning ancestor? Should they all make reparations?

    The “sins of the father” fallacy / assertion is truly ridiculous. My wife is heavily into researching her family history and on tracing back one particular line, she’s discovered she might be descended from Edward 1st! If Dawkins is forever tainted by the sins of his great, great, great, etc grandfather, then I’m married to the rightful Queen of England, thank you very much.

    Knighthood, please, I’m not greedy.

  4. #4 by Rupert on February 24, 2012 - 12:57

    In fact on Who Do You Think You Are? Ainsley Harriott found out that he was descended from both slaves and slave-owners. He’d known about the former, and seemed really distressed to discover about the latter – as you might expect.

    And in terms of Dawkins trying to combat the people who insist his subject is invalid, my favourite phrase he’s ever come up with was on TV when he described them as the “yapping terriers of ignorance”. Perfect.

  5. #5 by Mike on February 24, 2012 - 13:05

    Tom Williamson :

    About halfway through listening, might have to roundly kick your asses on carbon dating…


  6. #6 by martin on February 26, 2012 - 11:47

    Coincidentally, I recently received a alien podcast through a time warp from the future.

    I had some trouble with the translation. The title seems to be “Beings of Doubtful Intentionality Accompanied by a Squiggle.”

    Those guys were casting real doubt on the historicity of Obi-wan Kenobi. Too many fragments of the holy Lightsaber for it to be plausible etc. Got into quite serious trouble with the Church of Lucas.

  7. #7 by G.Shelley on February 26, 2012 - 14:55

    On the Dawkins item, as Henry was his direct male ancestor, he was more related to the current Richard than anyone else in that generation as Professor Dawkins will have his Y Chromosome.

  8. #8 by Chris on February 26, 2012 - 18:32

    On the Daily Mail tactics to just get hits on its site, one thing they have done is recycle old articles with the date stripped.

    For a while last year every few weeks someone would trot out that Wakefield was replicated and link to a certain Daily Mail article written by Sally Beck (I also noticed it would pop up as a new report on Google News). The first time the comments were still attached with their 2006 dates. Then the next few times even they were removed.

    Liz Ditz wrote about it here: “Scientists Fear MMR Link to Autism” A Newspaper Article Published in 2006, Refers to Never-Published Research.

  9. #9 by Duncan on March 8, 2012 - 17:38

    Speed of moon is 3750.085 kmph


  10. #10 by Duncan on March 8, 2012 - 17:39

    Actually… it might be 1669 km/hr instead

  11. #11 by rusty on March 9, 2012 - 20:56

    Just like to point out that the claim that there is more evidence for Jesus than Caesar is utterly ludicrous.
    Numerous contemporary and near contemporary witnesses wrote about Caesar (eg Cicero, Sallust, Nepos, Catullus, Asinius Pollio, Virgil, Ovid, Paterculus, Lucan, Plutarch etc). We have copies of books that Caesar wrote. We have letters that he wrote. There are coins and statues. We know what Caesar looked like.

  12. #12 by Sara on May 7, 2012 - 00:22

    I just discovered this podcast (and as this is the first one I listened to, I chose it to comment on). I love it. I live in a small town in Texas, not the most skeptic-friendly area, and you guys are helping keep my sanity afloat. I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing, and tell you to keep up the good work!

  13. #13 by Jim on November 23, 2012 - 05:41

    I once saw a bloke in Leeds market coming through the automatic doors, so stepped aside to let him through. He didn’t even say thanks or anything, and only when he was passing did I spot the five foot long crucifix he had strapped to his back.
    Rather than just let his rudeness go I said “Excuse me, mate..”
    He turned around.
    “You’ll be lucky to nail a midget to that thing.”

    He wasn’t happy.
    No sense of humour some people.

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