Skeptics with a K: Episode #101

Wily dogs, honorable homeopaths and statuesque statuettes. Plus mooning, leashes, stuffed toys and Brian Cox. On a really hot day, it’s Skeptics with a K.

Read the full ASA adjudication against the Society of Homeopaths.

  1. #1 by Rebecca on July 11, 2013 - 15:44

    Being a museum nerd, I take a rather more poe-faced look at the moving statue in the latest episode of The Skeprechauns (44), as stuff moves in museums all the time.
    Is there cat tarot? Would the answer to all cat tarot readings be: needs more tuna, cat milk and chin scratches?

  2. #2 by kevin badger on July 17, 2013 - 10:54

    What is the purpose of you podcast?
    If it is to alienate people and polarize “the debate” then you are doing a pretty good job I would think.

    In this episode we had Marsh complaining about some bloke using his knowledge of Belarus as a cudgel to beat him down because of his lack of knowledge. Then later the same person described a dog owner as a moron over his use of tarot cards.

    Is this not a double standard and counter-productive?

    On another occasion someone was described as a fuck-wit for posing the question; “If they are not reported then how do they now how many…” in response to an article on (I believe) unreported assaults. This missed a golden opportunity to explain how the use of statistics can let us “know” such things.

    I think people deserve respect whatever their beliefs, which have, after all, been instilled in them by society in general.

    Should we not be seeking to promote the “truth” rather than demonizing those people who are “less educated” then ourselves?

    Finally here are some questions you might like to think critically about:

    How do you all “Know” that dogs, “are not sentient”,”do not plan” etc?

    How do you all “Know” that I, “AM sentient”,”DO plan” etc?

    How do we as listeners decide that you are all critical thinkers?

    It’s difficult to do so sometimes.

    Kevin Badger
    Atheist and aspiring critical thinker.

  3. #3 by Yasin on July 22, 2013 - 11:40

    Dearest Kevin

    I think the presenters of the show give enough credit to their audience to be able to know what is a joke and what is critical philosophical thinking.

    If you really want to pit ‘the guy is a fuck wit’ against critical analysis of bias theory in double blind experiments than I do believe I’ve found the root of your problem.

    You’re confusing humour with the real world.

    Are you related to my ex girlfriend by any chance? You both would have gone on great at dinner parties.

    Yasin A
    Humorist and hater of people who describe themselves as critical thinkers.

  4. #4 by Kevin Badger on July 23, 2013 - 21:16


    I think you have mistaken my comments as an attack. They were really meant to be constructive.

    I am not in the business of attacking people, it’s really not in my character.

    I did not and would not describe myself as a critical thinker but as someone who aspires to be so.

    I still prefer not to laugh at people for asking a question. I’ve asked enough “dumb” questions myself in my time.

    If I am mistaken in this then I apologise.


  5. #5 by Olov Livendahl on July 25, 2013 - 06:02

    Constructive criticism is always good. I think, however, that the SWAK:ers are careful enough to point out that their show is about humour and satire and that listeners should be very careful not to take anything they say as truth.

  6. #6 by Rebecca on July 25, 2013 - 10:19

    Exactly Olov, the tongue is firmly in the cheek for the majority of these shows, when they get serious they do some damn good critical thinking and analysis (the Amazon t-shirt “scandal” and the bracelet test are just two very good examples) so I would listen to a few more shows Kevin before being quite so damning. Even if you are attempting to be constructive the manner in which you phrased them did come across as very harsh (and if you don’t like it – no one is making you listen!).

  7. #7 by kevin badger on July 25, 2013 - 20:10

    Fair enough
    I’ve only been listening for about 18 months
    No comments on what I actually said?
    I’ll cease from commenting.
    BTW, the S.G.U. had a great interview with Randi on the last (TAM) podcast.

  8. #8 by martin on July 28, 2013 - 14:06

    So you seem to be saying that a statuary statue supposing sufficient stature supremely surpasses some slight small stumpy statuette?

    Oh yeah and grats on the big 100 guys!

  9. #9 by Marsh on July 28, 2013 - 18:21


    Happy to respond on what you said. I think you’ve made two category errors:
    – Knowledge of a niche fact (the translation of the word Belarus) is specific and cannot be inferred – you either know it or you don’t there’s no working it out; the idea that you can predict the future or diagnose doggy personality traits via tarot cards is one which is open to testing, logic and deduction – nobody needs to tell you it doesn’t work, any more than anybody needs to tell you human beings can’t fly, it becomes apparent with a little thought and a little light testing.
    – You’re assuming the way we are on Skeptics with a K is the way we engage with people we disagree with. Instead, the show is a comedy-led entertainment podcast, and the language of it is to be viewed in that context. Hear the mock-contempt we have for each other, and indeed for our listeners, and you’ll see that it’s not meant to be taken as overly serious. If you’d like to see how we’d speak to people we do disagree with, and the level of respect and openness we wholeheartedly believe in, check out our show ‘Be Reasonable’:

    So, the purpose of Skeptics with a K is to expose listeners to ideas they might not have heard of before and to entertain. The purpose of Be Reasonable is to engage respectfully and openly. And (for completion) the purpose of Inkredulous is simply to make people laugh. Horses for courses.

    On your other points:
    – How do you listeners tell if we are critical thinkers? Never take our word for it. We tell listeners this all the time. We can’t say we’re always right, and never expect to be so. Think for oneself, and we’ll all be on the right road.
    – If you’ve been listening for ‘only’ 18 months, I’m sure you’ve been listening long enough, but maybe you need to reconsider the context around what we’re saying and doing.


  10. #10 by kevin badger on July 30, 2013 - 20:07

    Thanks Marsh,
    I can see your point and I am happy to accept I have been a bit over sensitive. You would have thought by now, after listening to you lot for a while, I would have worked it out! 🙂

  11. #11 by David on September 15, 2013 - 22:22

    I am the owner of my very own rotating statuette. Mine is not an ancient Egyptian stone figure but an orange plastic solar powered plastic lucky cat. As seen in Chinese takeaways all over the UK. My rotating cat sits on the dashboard of my VW camper. I have noticed that it turns on its own. I could have put this down to spirits but as a regular listener my powers of critical thinking and the fact Im a science teacher lead me to the conclusion that my lucky feline statuette rotates because of the action of its very light arm going up and down. Sometimes it even takes flight but that is more to do with sudden braking. So there is your proof statues can move even if they are not cursed. Not sure if relevant but my Mummy bought my lucky cat.

(will not be published)