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David Aaronovitch
 Guest: David Aaronovitch
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Historical precedent, eyewitnesses, academic experts — these are among the tools that critical thinkers use to verify facts and give credibility to their arguments. And yet, misuse of these same principles provides the foundation for widely accepted conspiracy theories. Why does the public often prefer wildly improbable half-truths to the demonstrable facts of history? This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with award-winning journalist and author David Aaronovitch about his book Voodoo Histories: The Role of Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History. Deconstructing both well-known and obscure conspiracies, David illuminates how such far-fetched claims come to be believed.
Show Notes

Date – August , 2010 read by Swoopy

Dragon*Con will be happening very soon.
You can check up on all the happenings for Skeptrack 2010 here.
SETIcon is this weekend; a celebration of 50 years
of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
Dragon*Con Guests include:
The Amazing James Randi,
Benjamin Radford,
Adam Savage,
Joe Nickell,
and George Hrab
Dr. Phil Plait will not be attending Dragon*Con this year.
He's been pretty busy filming his new Discovery channel program
Phil Plait’s Bad Universe.
You can hear us talk about Skeptrack on Speaking Up with is part
of the Skeptically Speaking program with Desiree Schell.
The night before Dragon*Con kicks off Atlanta Skeptics will host the Star Party.
The Star Party is being held at Emory this year.
Pioneer of evidence-based medicine Florence Nightingale died August 13, 1910.
We previously talked about her contributions during Skeptic History in Skepticality #130
Azaria Chamberlain disappeared on August 17, 1980.
The Maya Long Count calendar, on which the predictions of apocalypse
for December 2012 are based, began on or after August 11, 3114 BC.
The Harmonic Convergence was also supposedly predicted by Maya
cosmology for August 16th through 17th, 1987.
Nothing happened then either.
The Fortsas book auction hoax climaxed on August 10, 1840.
You can read Skeptic History facts daily on Twitter, Facebook or FriendFeed.
Today's guest on Skepticality: David Aaronovitch.
David Aaronovitch is an British author, broadcaster, and journalist.
His latest book is VooDoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History
The British doctor Andrew Wakefield triggered the MMR vaccine "scare".
California is currently facing a whooping cough outbreak.
Mr. Aaronovitch is a fan of Skeptics in the Pub.
That Mitchell and Webb Look is a popular UK television satire.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an antisemitic text purporting to
describe a plan to achieve global domination by the Jewish people which was in fact
directly plagiarized from earlier works of political satire unrelated to Jews.
Dylan Avery is the writer, director an editor of Loose Change, a 9/11 conspiracy film.
David Ray Griffin is an American theologian who speaks and writes about 9/11 conspiracy.
David Aaronovich will be part of TAM London on a discussion panel about conspiracies.
His first book was Paddling to Jerusalem: An Aquatic Tour of Our Small Country.
You can find out more about David Aaronovitch and read his blog here.

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