Brian Dunning, host of the Skeptoid podcast, joins us to discuss critical thinking and its application in everything from alien abductions to medicine in the movies, plus Dave and John apply a little critical thinking of their own.
The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.
Read on for this episode's fabulous SHOW NOTES! (Note: Show note time signatures may me slightly off, as the show was re-edited prior to this rebroadcast-it's the director's cut! This episode originally aired on February 1, 2010, on Tor.com.)
0:38 Dave and John introduce the show
Interview: Brian Dunning of Skeptoid
01:13 About Brian Dunning and the Skeptoid podcast
02:20 Interview begins
02:35 About Brian—the journey from comp-sci to podcasting
04:50 Becoming a skeptic, and being a skeptic alone
07:31 Researching the unknown
09:10 2012! We're all going to die! Or not.
11:21 Crystal skulls
12:49 The Amityville Horror
15:25 On finding the seed of truth
16:25 The Reptoids that rule you
20:04 The dire threat your iPod poses to an aircraft
20:43 The Pulp Fiction scene that haunts us all
21:30 Nostradamus deserves your respect, just not for the reasons you may think
23:58 Brian lets us in on The Secret
25:18 On teaching critical thinking
26:55 Brian's educational video, Here Be Dragons
27:43 The current state of Brian's upcoming television series The Skeptologists
30:09 How to support The Skeptologists
31:39 End of interview
Dave and John talk about credulity, Big Foot, and really stupid aliens
31:47 Dave talks about being naturally credulous and the value of skeptical podcasts
33:41 Baby's First Skeptical Experience: the pros and cons of Santa Claus
36:35 Dave's experience of being 'taught' about the Loch Ness Monster, and John talks about the sense of wonder that encourages credulity
39:57 Alien abduction and the X-Files
42:53 Why Scooby Doo may be the best example of skepticism in fiction
44:43 The growing popularity of science-based shows like Mythbusters
45:35 Collanders as a defense against... well, anything
47:37 Christopher Buckley's Little Green Men
48:47 The great schism in the world of Bigfootology
51:13 More on the Amityville house
52:28 The proud tradition of really stupid aliens and other myths in media
58:00 Snopes.com as a skeptical resource, and the impact of the internet on critical thinking
01:04:00 Show wrap-up
Thanks for listening!
John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, andWastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. His most recent books are The Living Dead 2 and The Way of the Wizard, and he is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination. Barnes & Noble.com named him "the reigning king of the anthology world," and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. In addition to his anthology work, he worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,and is currently the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine.
David Barr Kirtley has published fiction in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lightspeed,Intergalactic Medicine Show, On Spec, and Cicada, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Science Fiction,Fantasy: The Best of the Year, and The Dragon Done It. Recently he's contributed stories to several of John's anthologies, including The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, and The Way of the Wizard. He's attended numerous writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, James Gunn's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Writers Bootcamp, and he holds an MFA in screenwriting and fiction from the University of Southern California. He also teaches regularly at Alpha, a Pittsburgh-area science fiction workshop for young writers. He lives in New York.
Snownotes compiled by former podtern Christie Yant