Supermoon Skeptic Check

By Phil Plait | April 4, 2011 10:21 am

Every now and again I chat with astronomer Seth Shostak about some astronomical skullduggery as part of the SETI radio show "Are We Alone". The segment is called Skeptic Check, and the latest is now online, where Seth and I apply a little kryptonite to the idea of the "supermoon" causing earthquakes.

You can also hear Joe Nickell talking Bigfoot, and other scientists discussing the Mozart Effect and magic. It’s a good show… but as we say, don’t take our word on it. Go hear it for yourself!

Comments (9)

  1. davidlpf

    Wasn’t that show a couple of weeks ago.

  2. Mike

    Sweet, I dig that show. Add Phil Plait and Joe Nickell? Sounds like a win to me. :D

  3. Josh P

    With a healthy application of skepticism I checked my collection, and deduced you are promoting an encore presentation of the 3/20 show. While I have no problem with your alerting the public to the availability of the excellent show, whatever the episode, your post is, unfortunately, wrong. It is instead the episode “Sex and the SETI” they are encoring, another fine episode, about the effect of sex and sexual reproduction on genetics and (i assume) genetic diversity. I am listening to it now and it is very interesting, but it is not a Skeptic Check episode.

    Also, I’d never commented before and I wanted to say hi.

  4. Yes, the date on that show was March 21st. I just got an encore of “Sex and the SETI” download this morning.

  5. Josh P (#3): I don’t know what you mean. The link goes to the March 21 episode; I was just late in posting this. And that episode is the one with Skeptic Check.

  6. Monkey

    AWA is one of the best podcasts out there, for production value, interview balance and questioning and topics….and Skeptic Check is one of my fav in their series. Look forward to it….im a few weeks behind in my podcasts so I am currently wading through early march episodes of my ‘casts. Ill hold comment on this one until, possibly, the end of the month!

    Need…more …. time….to….listen!

  7. Speaking of the so-called “supermoon” and Earthquakes…

    CNN just announced that a 7.4 quake hit Japan today. (Or is that “tomorrow”, Japan time?)

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/07/new-quake-hits-northern-japan-tsunami-warning-issued/

    I wonder how the “supermoon causes Earthquakes” people will try to spin that one?

  8. actual scientist

    It’s too bad you rely on tired old ways of disputing the possible existence of unknown creatures. By spending so much of your time re-hashing the 2008 Bigfoot hoax, you not only give the hoaxer more credit but you distract your audience from a genuinely scientific approach to the subject.

    Including Joel Nickell (the chortling master of eye-rolling and sneering) as an “expert” is questionable at best. Why not interview Prof. Jeff Meldrum from Idaho State? He’s actually a scientist not just a guy who wrote a book he wants to plug. And remember, we lack fossil evidence from many species. Why? Because fossils are very hard to come by. Nickels suggestion that if Bigfoot really existed we would have a fossil record is ridiculous and insulting whether you believe in bigfoot or not. Sarcastic entertainment is no replacement for real science.

    I hate to say it, but your show would have championed the idea that there couldn’t possibly be guerillas living in the mountains. Another point to consider: how many people have actually seen a wolverine in the wild? Answer: very few because they’re famous at eluding us. We humans are loud and smelly and easy to avoid. We’re moving out of less populated areas and concentrating more in cities. A small population of stealthy, relatively intelligent, animals could easily avoid contact, especially if they were largely nocturnal.

    I really wish you and Mr. Nickels would take science more seriously, but this show is more about attracting listeners than it is about science.

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