Skeptics with a K: Episode #083

Wrinkles, psychics and declassified documents.  Plus hula hoops, television, short intestines and the Halloween Challenge.  Proud to be preaching to the choir, it’s Skeptics with a K.

The evolution story from the Sun is available here.

  1. #1 by Declan McCafferty on October 20, 2012 - 00:35

    The ‘preaching to the choir’ thing is bloody annoying.

    As if to say – a man was interested in suspension bridges. To find out more information about suspension bridges he bought a book about them. He enjoyed the book about suspension bridges. Pfff, what a waste of time, the fool.

  2. #2 by Rupert on October 20, 2012 - 12:17

    At least some of us have changed a fair bit in the past few thousand years.

    If you think that humans only arrived the Americas through Alaska about 13,000 years ago, then any variation between Native Americans is more recent than that.

    And re: testicles, there is a link between testis size and promiscuity. Most often commented on is that chimpanzees have much larger testes than we do, because they’re more promiscuous, so more sperm gives you a better chance of fertilising your mate. Gorillas, conversely, are much less promiscuous than humans, and have smaller testes.

    I’ve read the above in a few places – particularly Jared Diamond’s Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee. I’m guessing that therefore there must be a connection between testicle size and fertility. Presumably if you know that your mate is never going to be unfaithful you can afford to be less fertile.

    Either that, or the argument is based on primate females routinely having sex with multiple males within minutes of each other, and males are trying to ensure that at any given time their mate has more of their sperm inside them than their rivals’ sperm. I hope that that’s not a significant factor in human evolution.

    One thing to point out though, is that the link between testicle size and promiscuity is at the species level, rather than the individual level.

    However I’m not an anatomical expert, so if anyone knows better, feel free to correct me.

  3. #3 by Stephen Darragh on October 20, 2012 - 23:11

    I think the professional anatomists would be surprised to know that their PhDs and postdoc qualifications don’t really exist.

  4. #4 by Johan™ Strandberg on October 22, 2012 - 12:30

    Here is a non-dailyfail article with a fourth paragraph reveal. Thanks Marsh, now I glance at the fourth paragraph first to see if I need to reserve any neural state for the article, or if I can just let it ooze out into the thermal noise of daily surfing, never to be remembered.


  5. #5 by nick farrantello on October 26, 2012 - 02:42

    Not only would it be a boon to humanity on social level to prove the existence of an afterlife, it would also lead to fantastic scientific breakthroughs. Consider how knowledge of another plane of existence would impact physics. Knowing some of the physical properties of another dimension would constitute an explosion of new data to theoretical physicists. What’s the temperature there? Are there 3 dimensions? Is there gravity? Instead, the only new information psychics offer us about another dimension is that our poor dead nana thinks we will soon be go on a long trip.

  6. #6 by Snezzer on October 30, 2012 - 18:38

    I wish we had events like QED here in area of the US. While I do know a few other atheists (All at least 40 years older than I am), I don’t know any other skeptics. My city hosts The New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics where you can take classes in Chinese Medicine & Acupressure, Herbal Medicine, Foot Reflexology, Shiatsu, Living Foods Nutrition, Flower Remedies, Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics, Basic Homeopathy…and many more. . My University is surrounded by more woo & utter nonsense that I can explain.

    The chance to meet with like minded people on a forum that’s not electronic, have fun and real conversations, discuss shared experiences, and not feel so utterly alone. I’d love to have the choir preach to me in person once, as right now I’m a solo singer. If not for podcasts like Skeptics with a K I’d have little sanity left. Atheism is nice and all, but I’m an atheist as an extension of my skepticism, and not vise versa.

    So keep preaching choirs. There are many people listening & waiting to join. I think I have sufficiently beat this metaphor to the ground and should stop typing.

  7. #7 by Daniel on November 3, 2012 - 11:38

    RE: “I think broadcasting is on the way out, in favour of IP-based distribution”…

    I dunno, man. Lots of mediums that look like they’re going to soon become obsolete “reverse into” or mutate into a new role.

    Paper books are still popular, because they have a secondary function as decor. There’s still a market for vinyl records, because of the elitism of having a proper “record collection” as a signifier of taste. Analogue radio is still popular, because of cars. Ham radio, Retro gaming… etc. etc. etc.

    What does it extend / enhance?
    What does it reverse into?
    What does it retrieve?
    What does it obsolesce?

    What does it extend / enhance?

  8. #8 by Nic on December 3, 2012 - 20:07

    Re: Broadcasting as we know it on the way out.

    Totally agree with this.. We haven’t had a tv for 10 yrs (all though tv licence people still don’t believe us). Have to say though the magic ip device that auto downloads subscribed shows etc all ready exists.. It’s called an Apple TV..

    Also companies are slowly starting to use mediums like Netflix to publish programming rather than tv stations. Change is slow but good.

  9. #9 by Mike on December 6, 2012 - 15:40


    I have an Apple TV — it’s not quite what I was talking about. Their “season pass” feature is pretty close, but I was really referring to free-to-air content, not paid content.



  10. #10 by Adam C. on October 23, 2016 - 05:45

    Weird fact: If the bar Marsh described didn’t exist, it does now:

(will not be published)