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This week on Skepticality, Derek interviews Massimo Pigliucci about his latest book, Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life, discussing what led him to write the book, and getting his personal take on the modern skeptical movement.
Show Notes

– Date – February 12, 2013
– 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!

Skepticism, Past and Future

– On February 5, 1897 the state of Indiana came close to legislating the value of pi, but were stopped by a Purdue professor.
– On February 22, 2010 the UK House of Commons issued an Evidence Check on Homeopathy.
– S. 3002, the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 was introduced February 4, 2010 but died in committee, despite support from a coalition called Supplement Safety Now .
– Tim spoke about skeptics' failure to lobby on behalf of this bill in my TAM 2012 plenary address: You Are The Future of Skepticism on the Internet.
Secular Coalition for America monitors church-state issues in the U.S.
– NCSE's web site issues regular alerts on evolution and climate change legislation in the US.
– The new site titled Oppose Naturopathic Licensing collects alerts on that topic.
– The U.S. Congress has the Thomas database and a newer search engine called These can be used to search for bills of interest to skeptics.
– Myron Getman of The Mad Skeptic blog recently blogged on bills in New York and in Vermont, and was one of the few to recommend skeptic action on S. 3002. He recommends directly searching your own state legislature's web sites directly.
Govtrack and Sunlight Foundation's Scout on the other hand, can be set up to generate email alerts customized to your interest. Scout also includes state-level legislation as well as national.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim's blog.

Unnatural Virtue

The Skeptic's Dictionary has been online since 1994 and boasts more than 700 entries, many of them on scams that can make you richer.
– Read Bob's twenty tips on how to create your own pseudoscience.
– Bob Carroll's books include The Skeptic's Dictionary, Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!, and for kids 9 and up Mysteries and Science: Exploring Aliens, Ghosts, Monsters, the end of the world and other weird things.
– Paperbacks of Unnatural Acts and Mysteries and Science are available from
The Skeptics Dictionary and Skeptic's Dictionary for Kids.


Susan Gerbic
– The Skeptic Wikipedia Project.

The News in Religion

– Devout Hindus gathered for one of the world's largest religious gatherings, that lasts 55 days.
– A Clarksville man said that he quit his job last week in order to save his soul.
Amish ringleader in Ohio was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
– Heather's other podcasts:
Ardent Atheist on Twitter: @Ardentatheists and Skeptically Yours on Twitter: @SkepticallyYour.
– Follow Heather on Twitter: @HeatherHenderso.

Skpepticism and the Humanities

-Skeptical Humanities: "For the Love of Yeti, Bigfooters, Read a Primary Source."
– Skeptical Humanities: "Crypto-Creationism 2: Return of the Killer Crapgasm."
– "Ancient Mysteries: Bigfoot." A&E. Originally aired as season 1, episode 1 on 7 Jan. 1994, narrated by John Swanson. Narrated by Leonard Nimoy aired on season 4, ep. 18 on 15 May 1997.
– Byrne, Peter. The Search for Big Foot: Monster, Myth or Man? New York: Pocket, 1975.
– Morison, Samuel Eliot. The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages, A.D. 500-1600. New York: Oxford UP, 1971.
The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America. Tr. Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Pálsson. London: Penguin, 1965.

The Odds Must Be Crazy

The Odds Must Be Crazy.
– This week's featured story is, "My, How You've Changed".
– Story was submitted by reader Cathy Smith.
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 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.

Behind The Segment – Interview: Heather Henderson

Heather Henderson the woman behind 'This Week in Religion'.
– Heather's other podcasts Ardent Atheist and Skeptically Yours.
– Emory Emory was the editor for the Aristocrats movie.
– They do thier podcast live from the John Lovits Citywalk Comedy Club.
– Came to atheism, oddly enough, via the Zeitgiest movie, but make sure to do research.
– Penn Jillette taught her that Psychic's fool people into believing that thier powers are real.
– Penn Jillette's No God Band lead singer, met Penn via Facebook.
– Heather sings on the theme song for Penn's Sunday School the weekly podcast.
– It is strange how sensitive many skeptics get when people point out facts about religion.
– Even though the calendar says it is in the 2000's, very horrible religious things still happen.
– Just recently, the Pope stepped down from his position. What does a retired Pope do?
– Fun fact, the Pope stepped down on Swoopy’s birthday.
– Sarah Silverman is well known for her commentary about the Pope.
– You can find Heather on twitter, on Facebook, the Wall of Reason, or her Skepticality E-Mail.

Answers for Aristotle- Interview: Massimo Pigliucci

Massimo Pigliucci philosopher, educator, scientist and advocate.
Rationally Speaking Podcast with co-host Julia Galef.
– His latest book, 'Answers for Aristotle'.
– In the book Massimo calls his method 'Sci-Phi'.
Aristotle was the first philosopher who used logic and scientific style thinking to guide his ideas.
– Massimo drew some influence for the book from Monte Python songs.
How do we know right from wrong?
– He is critical of some of the newer morality and ethical ideas.
– As Martin Gardener asked once, was math discovered, or 'invented'?
– In the book Massimo writes a little about politics, something many skeptics tend to shy away from.
John Rawles, prominent political philosopher.
– The 'vale of ignorance' can guide us to a form of popular, fair, society.
– Based on the 'vale of ignorance', many northern European societies come the closest.
– "Your brain on God" touches on an interesting medical case.
Euthyphro in a socratic dialogue which attempts to find out if something is 'good' or not.
– Seems that after all these centuries Nietzsche was right, 'God Is Dead', or at best, useless.

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