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This week on Think Atheist Radio we have Mr. Benjamin Radford! Mr. Radford is one of only a few people actually doing real scientific-minded investigations into paranormal phenomena and cryptids like Bigfoot, lake monsters, and the chupacabra. Mr. Radford has appeared in the past on The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, The National Geographic Channel, BBC, and CNN and in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair. He is both the deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and a Research Fellow with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has authored or co-authored six books including Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Misle...; Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking; and Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Myste.... We asked Mr. Radford to join us to talk about how what he does as an actual scientific-minded investigator differs from what those termed "paranormal investigators" tend to do, about the fascinating stories of bigfoot and chupacabra and about his investigations into each, and about critical thinking generally.
Big news week was the announcement by CERN scientists that they've discovered a new particle that has all the appearances of being the Higgs. Lots of ink spilled on this, and rightly so for such a huge discovery. So what is the Higgs? Well, here's a brief history of the Higgs. That's a good place to start. Then check out this video, and this one too. You've heard that the Higgs gives mass to the universe? Right, how? That will help you understand what we're talking about. At least, as much as is possible anyway. How about a lulzy way to explain it to others? So how important is this? Very. It could break physics. (But "supersymmetry" may come to the rescue.) Lawrence Krauss labeled it a quantum leap and says that this has changed our understanding of physical reality forever. It's a discovery that's up there with landing on the Moon. The Higgs helps explain our universe. It's a brilliant confirmation of the power of math to make predictions about the nature of reality. As Michio Kaku says (video), this may allow us to rewind the video to before the Big Bang. Stephen Hawking has admitted he lost $100 bet (video) on the discovery. And don't you just have to hear what Peter Higgs, the particle's namesake, has to say (video) about the discovery? Just please, PLEASE, stop calling it "the God particle"!
Evangelicals fight over the value of gay-cure therapy as a large long running gay-cure organization has abandoned the treatment admitting what experts have long known– that they don't work.
New research indicates that sea-level rise from Climate Change is unstoppable at this point and will continue for several centuries. Best we can do if we act is slow it down.
200 professors and therapists have condemned a garbage study that has been fixed on by bigots to claim that children raised by gay parents are worse off than those raised by heterosexual parents.
Why are we so curious? Evolution.
Using tablet computers and customized keyboards, bonobos can become great communicators.
A new fossil discovery indicates that feathers were more common among dinosaurs than previously thought.
What would some of the worst of Global Warming look like? Scientists suggest taking a look at US weather in recent weeks.
You may have heard about the break up of the marriage between Katie Holmes and Scientologist kook Tom Cruise. Reports are around indicating that Holmes was concerned to have their daughter be indoctrinated into the cult and is asking for complete legal custody. Interesting is the panicked private email sent to Scientologists offering advice for how to counter the negative publicity. Worrying is the fact that the wife of Scientologist leader David Miscavige has been missing since....
Is the gay-marriage debate driving Christians away from the faith? Let's hope so.
A skeptic in India is facing charges for debunking a "miracle statue" of Jesus.
Fan of Chick-fil-A? Well. If you eat there you're helping fund homophobia.
This animation, created from high quality scans of the developing fetus, shows how the human face forms.
As a skeptic we need to engage in debunking of nonsense claims, but we also have to convey positive skeptical values.
There's a new group even more extreme than the Religious Right growing in size, gaining in influence: followers of Ron Paul.
In a moment of pure stupidity a Louisiana State Representative was forced to admit that when she voted for a school voucher program to fund religious schools she thought "religious" meant only Christian, certainly not also Muslim...
NASA has released a new image from the Mars Opportunity Rover's panoramic camera that is the next best thing to being there. Incredible.
I honestly have no idea what it is that passes for intellectual faculties inside the head of conservative commentator and atheist S.E. Cupp. Case in point.
Elaine Ecklund is back with another paper offering weird conclusions on the back of a motivated reading of her survey data about religion and scientists.
Scientists have captured the first image of a shadow cast by an atom. Yes. Seriously.