Can a kids' science and critical thinking television program be both entertaining and informative? The award-winning Mystery Hunters, beginning its fourth season, is proving that it can. On this week's Skepticality, Swoopy talks with David Acer—known to fans of Mystery Hunters as "Doubting Dave," the skeptical scientist who helps the junior members of his team (Araya Mengesha and Christina Broccolini) investigate paranormal mysteries.
David is a close up magician, comedian, and actor and writer for children's educational programs including Popular Mechanics for Kids and Prank Patrol. David shares his thoughts about how to make debunking myths entertaining, and explains why it's difficult to get quality kids' science programs on TV in today's climate.
Date – March 4th, 2008, Read by Swoopy
Dinesh D'Souza and Dr. Michael Shermer will debate again on April 18th.
The debate is co-hosted by the New Covenant Community Church and the Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics (CVAAS).
The CVAAS Promote Skepticism, Critical Thinking, Science, & Secularism in the Modesto, Tracy, and Turlock Area of central California.
CVASS co-founder Mark Boyd filled us in on the details.
Members of CVASS has been invited to participate in a symposium by the New Covenant Church.
The central valley of California is a burgeoning area for skeptics.
You can find out more about CVASS at their website.
The Skeptic's society also hosts a regular lecture series at Cal Tech.
Upcoming lectures will feature Dr. Michio Kaku and Dr. Craig Stanford.
Promo – The Tank vodcast with Richard Saunders and Kylie Sturgess.
This week's guest is magician, writer and skeptic David Acer.
David is best known as Doubting Dave on the Discovery Kids program Mystery Hunters.
The two junior mystery hunters often turn to Doubting Dave to help debunk myths.
For example, Araya is given what is purported to be a “swamp monster” footprint.
David has also written for Popular Mechanics for Kids and Prank Patrol.
The role of Doubting Dave was more or less written for David.
Writing science for kids isn't unlike writing for adults, keep it simple.
Daniel Loxton of Junior Skeptic is a big fan of Mystery Hunters.
Apartment 11 is the production company for Mystery Hunters.
The same programming block with Mystery Hunters includes Ghost Trackers.
Ghost Trackers does NOT use science. I'm telling Alison Smith about them.
References to Evolution were one of the few shows that generated negative feedback.
Mystery Hunters season 4 will likely focus on more science and less paranormal.
A viewer question about sharks not getting cancer allowed the show to talk about alternative medicine in an accessible way.
The is fall there will be a Doubting Dave book to go with the show.
There will also be online content to go with Season 4 of Mystery Hunters.
As a comedian and close up magician David tours Canada.
Swoopy is a fan of Canada, even though the exchange rate has changed.
David and Swoopy are both fans of the animated show, Home Movies.
Discovery Kids carries the program, as does YTV in Canada.
Mystery Hunters seasons 1 and 2 are available on DVD.
You can get information on David Acer at his website www.davidacer.com.
Mystery Hunters official website is located here.