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In this issue: The SkepDoc: Laser Therapy: Hope or Hype and Hokum? • The Gadfly: The Sisyphean Challenges of Skepticism or, Start by Disbelieving • Pterosaur Thunderbird: The Origin of a Fake Native American Legend with an Antievolution Agenda • Conversations with My Dead Mother: Why We See Signs and Omens in Everyday Events • Is Cousin Marriage Dangerous? • Therapeutic Touch Redux: Twenty Years After the “Emily Event” Energy Therapies Live on Through Bad Science • What Can Science Learn from Religion? Steven Pinker on Religious Beliefs and Rituals • Becoming Fantastic: Why People Embellish Already Accomplished Lives with Incredible Tales of UFOs and Other Phenomena • 1984 in 2019: The New Privacy Threat from China’s Social Credit Surveillance System • Michael Shermer v. Brian Huffling: Is the Reality of Evil Good Evidence Against the Christian God? • Graham Hancock’s America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization reviewed by Jason Colavito • Junior Skeptic # 71 — The Colossal Case of the Cardiff Giant: One of America’s Greatest Hoaxes.
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JUNIOR SKEPTIC # 71
The Colossal Case of the Cardiff Giant: One of America’s Greatest Hoaxes
Junior Skeptic — an engagingly illustrated science and critical thinking publication for younger readers (and the young at heart) — is physically bound inside each and every issue of Skeptic magazine. A dozen back issues are also available as single downloadable PDFs at an amazing price!
SCIENCE SALON # 70
Dr. Brian Keating — Losing the Nobel Prize
A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor
In this wide-ranging conversation Science Salon host Dr. Michael Shermer speaks with cosmologist and inventor of the BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment Dr. Brian Keating about the following topics:
- how he almost won the Nobel Prize for his research that confirmed the inflationary model of the Big Bang
- the problems with the Nobel Prize as it is currently structured, such as its limitation to only three people (when modern experiments are typically directed by a great many more); that it can’t be awarded posthumously (thereby neglecting people like Amos Tversky, who did as much work as his Nobel Prize-winning collaborator Daniel Kahneman); its neglect of many women scientists as deserving of the prize as their male counterparts, and especially how it distorts incentives to collaborate in science
- his upbringing and what inspired him to probe the deepest questions about the nature of the cosmos and reality
- what it’s like conducting research in the harsh conditions at the South Pole
- what banged in the Big Bang and what there was before the Big Bang
- the possibility (or not) of a multiverse model and a cyclical model of universes outside of, or before, our universe
- the relationship between science and religion and why they need not always be in conflict
- his Prager U video on why believing in the multiverse takes as much faith as believing in God.
This Science Salon was recorded on May 21, 2019. We apologize for the very poor audio-video quality of this recording.