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This week Derek sits down with Mike McRae, a science writer, and touring science communicator for Australia's National Science and Technology Center. Mike has recently released his latest book, 'Tribal Science', Derek and Mike discuss how the book came about and how our current culture still owes many of its common illogical behaviors to our tribal nature.
Show Notes

– Date – June 19, 2012
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
– Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing books, Skepticality stuff, or using our Amazon link to help us out!

Skepticism, Past and Future

Edwards v. Aguillard marked the end of creationism in U.S. schools, decided June 19, 1987.
– The Kenneth Arnold UFO incident of June 24, 1947 set off the entire “flying saucers” craze.
– The Maury Island incident took place on June 21, 1947.
– The Roswell UFO incident originates with a U.S. Army press release on July 8, 1947.
Amelia Earhart disappeared July 2, 1937, spawning many theories.
Slactivism is a term formed from “slacker” and “activism.”
– The skeptic campaign to get David Mabus arrested required both online and real-world activism.
– Budget Travel’s article “15 More Places Every Kid Should See Before 15” does not include the Creation Museum, despite huge efforts to bomb the poll.
– Bridget Gaudette also wrote an excellent essay on this topic called, “Are You an Atheist Slacktivist?” last week.
– Tim’s workshop on crowdsourced skepticism will be held at The Amazing Meeting on July 12th.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim’s blog.

Unnatural Virtue

René Prosper Blondlot (1849-1930), a French physicist claimed discovered a new type of radiation. His folly repeated by Pons and Fleischmann with cold fusion (1989) and Jacques Benveniste with water memory claims (1988).
– Spirit scientists have deceived themselves about statistical significance and the use of meta-analysis in studies on ESP, psychokinesis, and healing prayer and distance healing.
– “Hidden persuaders” in The Skeptic’s Dictionary
Science, self-deception, control-group studies, and the experimenter effect in The Skeptic’s Dictionary.
– “How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life” by Thomas Gilovich
– “Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time” by Michael Shermer
– “Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things” by Madeleine L. Van Hecke
– “Why Smart people Can Be So Stupid” by Robert J. Sternberg, ed.
– According to Jacob Bronowski’s in “The Ascent of Man“, science “is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible.”
The Skeptic’s Dictionary
– “Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!

The Odds Must Be Crazy

– This week’s featured story is “God & Pizza in Vermont
– Story was submitted by friend of the blog, Alison Smith.
Please visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Barbara Drescher
– Our producer and audio engineer is Brian Hart
– Our theme music debuting this week comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles
– The Odds Must Be Crazy can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+
– Wendy Hughes is on Twitter
– Jarrett Kaufman is on Twitter
– Barbara Drescher is on Twitter
– Brian Hart is on Twitter
– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter

Tribal Science – Mike McRae

– Tribal Science by Mike McRae
– Mike McRae’s website
– What drives people to their beliefs
– Humans are social animals which have brains which evolved to be social
– This book was created by Mike as an ‘easy to read’ version of “Demon Haunted World
Something ‘sparked’ human curiosity and critical thinking
Occam’s Razor was actually conceived by a highly religious man
– Flip-Flopping in politics should actually be praised and never be a bad thing
– It is okay for people to have crazy ideas, until they infringe upon your life or society
– Where is the line for skeptics or critical thinkers when it comes to wild claims
Lots of people do get a free pass due to our tribal nature
– Maybe we shouldn’t call the odd quirks of our brains ‘flaws’
– The Double Helix Club in Australia
Australian department of science works with Mike to create communications tools

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