Harriet Hall MD, also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so), and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.
She is a founder and regular contributor to the Science Based Medicine blog, writes at her own Skepdoc.com site, and has authored or contributed to several books.
We are thrilled to interview James “The Amazing” Randi on this episode of The Prism! Magician, Debunker, Skeptic, and one of the founders and leaders of the skepticism movement as we know it today, Randi is a hero to many, including us. In this interview, we discuss The Amazing Meeting (TAM), the new direction the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is taking, and whether his beard has magical powers. Enjoy!!
James “the amazing” Randi
Alice Cooper discussion and stories.
Magic and Skepticism – why does there seem to be so much overlap?
In this episode, Jason and Grant interview the inimitable Dr. Howard Farran.
Interview with Howard Farran, DDS, MBA, MAGD
A practicing dentist with more than 25 years of clinical experience, as well as a noted international speaker on faster, easier, more efficient dentistry, Dr. Farran received his Bachelor’s Degree from Creighton University, and in 1987, he graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry. Dr. Farran later went on to earn his MBA from Arizona State University in 1999. Dr. Farran has also earned his MAGD and DICOI, and is currently on the faculty of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.
Dr. Farran has received the Arizona Public Health Dentist of the Year Award in 1995 by the Arizona Office of Dental Health; and the Arizona Award in 1989 from the Arizona State Dental Association for outstanding contributions made to the profession of dentistry for his efforts to fluoridate the water of Phoenix.
Dr. Farran is the Founder and CEO of Farran Media, LLC, the parent company of Dentaltown.com, Dentaltown Magazine, as well as the Townie Meeting properties. In 1999 he launched Dentaltown.com – an online community of more than 160,000 dental professionals all over the globe! Culling important and timely information from the conversations on Dentaltown.com, DentaltownMagazine is a leading publication for the dental profession and is distributed to over 120,000 dentists in more than 40 countries each month.
While very successful, Howard has yet to invest in a quality headset – we will needle him about that!
Today we discuss the first two days of The Amazing Meeting (TAM). The meeting was held in Las Vegas at the SouthPoint Hotel and Casino. Complete meeting information can be found at http://www.amazingmeeting.com/
Day 1 – Workshops:
Blogging Skepticism sponsored by Skeptic Ink (a blogging network)
Ed Clint (@eclint and blog: incredulous) , Caleb Lack (@professorlack and blog: great plains skeptic), Maria Myrbeck (jref forum) , Russell Blackford (@metamagician and hellfireclub), Jacques Rousseau (@jacquesr and blog: freesociety), John Loftus (@john_loftus and blog: ?)
Key points: Verify sources and find multiple sources for stories.
Additional items: Factlink and Skeptive – fact checking apps.
Also check out realitydrops.org for a fun climate change game-like site.
Shane Greeup (@aegist and rbutr.com), Susan Gerbic (@susangerbic and Guerilla skeptics), Tim Farley (@krelnik and whatstheharm.net).
Key points: www.rbutr.com and www.mywot.ccom
Additional items: @SkepticAction – gives one thing per day to do to be active in skepticism.
Supporting Skepticism around the world
DJ Grothe (@djgrothe and pres of jref), Norm allen (institute for science and human values), Sanal Edamaruku (@sanaledamaruku and reationalistinternational.net), Leo Igwe (bigsas.uni0bayreuth.de), Massimo Polidoro (massimopolidoro and cicap.org) Richard Saunders (@skepticzone and skepticzone.tv) and Nakul Shenoy (@nekulshenoy).
Key points: People are doing amazing things in support of skepticism and rational thought.
Science Based Medicine
Steven Novella, David Gorski, Harriett Hall, Mark Crislip (www.sciencebasedmedicine.org)
Key points: EBM vs SBM – the SBM people think the EBM people worship the RCT too much…”methodolatry.”
Placebo – defined and elaborated upon
-everything possible outside of physiological effect of treatment
Magnitude of effect is influenced by:
Cost, color, compliance, invasiveness, expense justification, and others
Day 2 – lectures:
Science and Morality: How science can determine right and wrong
Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer and www.skeptic.com)
Key points: “Ask First” principle is a better guide than religion. Ask the person/people being affected by anything about how moral it is.
Honest broker of doubtful news by Sharon Hill (@idoubtit and doubtfulnews.com)
Key points: Interact patiently with people on your blog.
What an excellent day for an exorcism by Karen Stollznow (@karenstollznow and karenstollznow.com)
Key points: exorcisms are still taking place, oftentimes with support of mainstream religions.
Junk science, moral panics, and sex by Marty Klein (@drmartyklein and martyklein.com)
Key points: There are more laws restricting sexual freedom now than in 1975
Sex Addiction – invented in 1986
Sasd.com – 52Q sex addiction screening test
Basically based upon how guilty you feel about things
Sexuality is religions worst nightmare.
Panel discussion: Fighting the Fakers: Woo in martial arts
PANELISTS INCLUDE EVAN BERNSTEIN, DAVE JONES, REED KUHN, AND BRENT WEEDMAN. MODERATED BY JOH RENNIE.
Key points: This video sums it up!
Interview about making of Honest Liar
James Randi, Jamy Ian Swiss and the two filmmakers doing the movie.
Panel discussion: Going Forward – The prospective mission of skepticism
Daniel Loxton (@daniel_loxton)
Barbara Drescher (@badrescher and icbseverywhere.com)
Jamy Ian Swiss (@jamyianswiss and honestliar.com)
Key points: Early education in critical thinking and beyond.
Fighting the Fakers and Failing – susan Blackmore (susanblackmore.co.uk)
Check out her website for all the details and her books!
Demarcation: what is the difference between Science and pseudoscience
Massimo Pigliucci (@mpigliucci and rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com)
Differentiating can often be challenging.
How to define facts when we’re not entitled to our own by Susan Jacoby (susanjacoby.com)
Key points (quotes):
Some people have an “imperviousness to evidence.”
Children are too busy “sucking at the video tit.”
Leads to significant decrease in reading and writing
“Free speech with nothing at stake”
Anonymous online comments that cite free speech are lame and do nothing to further intelligent conversation
Junk thought and anti-rationalization are dangerous to democracy and freedom.
Coincidence VS Causation
Ability of people to differentiate is obscenely poor.
We’ve all become too lazy