SkepSun #71 (12_29_2013)

Time to reflect on the year gone by and look forward to the one ahead. On Freethought Radio Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker listen to some of their favorite freethought music, including tunes by Yip Harburg, Burton Lane, Tom Lehrer, Kristen Lems, George and Ira Gershwin, Joe Hill, Philip Appleman, Cole Porter, and Frank Loesser and end with a Scottish version of freethinker Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne.” Afterwards we here more from Dan Barker, his 14 minute case against the existence of God, given in a tux, in a November 2012 debate at the Oxford Union in Oxford, England. Then Brian Dunning of Skeptoid looks at the famous “WOW” signal received by Ohio State University’s radio telescope on August 15, 1977 and asks if it’s possible it was an alien radio transmission. In the final segment, we hear Dr. Paul Offit Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia interviewed by Lindsey Beyerstein . They discuss Offit’s new book “Do you Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine” in which he points a critical eye at the alt-med industry, one than takes in 34 billion dollars a year with little to no regulation. Are patients being harmed, and is it any worse or better than so-called “Big Pharma”?


The “WOW” signal recorded detected by Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while he was working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University’s Perkins Observatory in Delaware, Ohio. The signal bore the expected hallmarks of non-terrestrial and non-Solar System origin.


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