Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Show notes for Episode 99

Posted by Ethan Clow on January 26, 2011

Radio Freethinker Episode 99 – Pope John-Paul II a saint? Food production needs to be overhauled, plus an interview with Erica Johnson of CBC Marketplace!

Download the episode here!

Song: 99 Luft Balons by Nena

Special Announcement:

Do like skepticism and radio? Do you like talking about your ideas to a wide audience? Here’s your chance. We at Radio Freethinker are looking for skeptics and freethinkers who want to come on the show to talk about news stories, events, ideas, and even big topics like ‘is there a God?’ ‘does homeopathy work?’ and “Bigfoot – what’s up with Bigfoot?’

Email us and let us know.

Skeptical News:

Pope John Paul II to be beatified, see here and here

Radical changes needed to Food production to feed the rising population, see here and here

Pterosaur Lays an Egg

Rise in flood claims tied to climate change

PM targets party subsidies


Interview with Erica Johnson of CBC Marketplace – see the Homeopathy episode Cure or Con here for viewers outside of Canada, see here

Some of the questions we asked Erica:

When was the CBC aware that this episode would be so controversial?

Homeopaths also accused Marketplace of doing one sided journalism and only talking to inexperienced homeopaths, what’s your response to that?

To those of us who are skeptics we often see news stories try to issues as having two sides, which works for political and social issues but science doesn’t usually have two sides, was it a conscious decision to not fall into the trap of manufacturing a controversy where one didn’t exist?

Skeptical Highlights:

Skeptics in the Pub Richmond – Thursday Jan 27th at Legends Pub in Richmond. See the Facebook event here.

CFI Lecture ‘Does God Hate Women?’ – Friday Jan 28th at UBC in Buchanan building room A102. See Facebook event here.


3 Responses to “Show notes for Episode 99”

  1. salgood said

    Nice, went and watched the show just now – thanks for the heads up guys.

    Watching this i pondered a good bar room argument, not even against the idea that the principle of homeopathy works – because as we all know divesting people of their beliefs can be an uphill battle – but addressing why you should never pay for it.

    Take a deep breath of air.

    A while back the meme went about that with each breath of air, you inhale one of the molecules exhaled by Julius Caesar’s last dying breath. Something like a 99% chance of it, so if not take another.

    Of course Earths atmosphere is made of much more than oxygen, starting with clean air, quick list via wiki….

    Gas Volume
    Nitrogen (N2) 780,840 ppmv (78.084%)
    Oxygen (O2) 209,460 ppmv (20.946%)
    Argon (Ar) 9,340 ppmv (0.9340%)
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) 390 ppmv (0.039%)
    Neon (Ne) 18.18 ppmv (0.001818%)
    Helium (He) 5.24 ppmv (0.000524%)
    Methane (CH4) 1.79 ppmv (0.000179%)
    Krypton (Kr) 1.14 ppmv (0.000114%)
    Hydrogen (H2) 0.55 ppmv (0.000055%)
    Nitrous oxide (N2O) 0.3 ppmv (0.00003%)
    Carbon monoxide (CO) 0.1 ppmv (0.00001%)
    Xenon (Xe) 0.09 ppmv (9×10−6%) (0.000009%)
    Ozone (O3) 0.0 to 0.07 ppmv (0 to 7×10−6%)
    Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) 0.02 ppmv (2×10−6%) (0.000002%)
    Iodine (I2) 0.01 ppmv (1×10−6%) (0.000001%)
    Ammonia (NH3) trace
    Not included in above dry atmosphere:
    Water vapor (H2O) ~0.40% over full atmosphere, typically 1%-4% at surface

    Then you have to consider all the following

    “Filtered air includes trace amounts of many other chemical compounds. Many natural substances may be present in tiny amounts in an unfiltered air sample, including dust, pollen and spores, sea spray, and volcanic ash. Various industrial pollutants also may be present, such as chlorine (elementary or in compounds), fluorine compounds, elemental mercury, and sulfur compounds such as sulfur dioxide [SO2].”

    That’s a short list, dusty air can really be just about anything, a lot of it in your house is human skin! Sand too, and bits of all kinds of plants and animals that have broken down to their base compounds.

    So that bit of Julius Caesar might not just be his last breath, it might be a bit of him, or something that was once part of him.

    So, homeopathy proposes “let like be cured by like”, via a process called dynamisation or potentisation whereby a substance is diluted with alcohol or distilled water and then vigorously shaken by yada yada…. people have been practicing this proses for a long time now right? Preparing many tinctures of cures.

    The cures contain, if any, undetectable amounts of the molecules derived from the source. And the idea is little or none of the substance itself is needed, the vibration it leaves on the alcohol, water or sugar pill it’s diluted into is enough?

    Millions, billions even of these cures have been made and consumed. Pooped out, and even spilled before being consumed. Those molecules redistributed and spread out again diluted to even a higher degree, which according to the principals is said to make it even stronger!

    There was only ever one Julius Caesar, and his one dying breath.

    And still, a 99% chance each time your breath, some bit of him is ingested or inhaled.

    So what do you suppose your odds are of inhaling a bit of a Homeopathic dilution for, well, just about everything and anything is, every time your breath? Not to mention drink some water or eat.

    Feeling a bit like a cold is coming on? Save the 15 bucks for COLD-fX, go outside and just inhale?

  2. salgood said

    that was regarding the Marketplace story by the by.



  3. Ethan Clow said

    Indeed, if the principles of homeopathy were correct, every time you take a swim in the ocean you would be literally bathing in medical waste. I suppose that might be fine with homeopathic medical waste, but I don’t think its such a good idea with science-based medical waste 🙂

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