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Radio Freethinker Episode 185 – Dinos are dead forever Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on October 16, 2012

Jurassic Park IV
At least its possible on screen

This week:

– Positive signs from government,
Are scientists dishonest,
– Jurassic Park is impossible
Unhealthy healthcare myths
, and
– Are we losing the anti-vax war 

Download the episode here!

Positive signs from government

It is sometimes hard to find anything positive in a tragedy like the Amanda Todd suicide. Don thinks he found one; an MP who is promoting a evidence based public policy.

Find out more:

Are scientists dishonest

New research into the ‘apparent’ exposition in fraud in scientific papers is discussed. Science once again proves to be one of the best things thanks to its self-correcting mechanism.

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Jurassic Park is impossible

We discuss a paper that has used remains from extinct Moa’s that helps set a rough estimate for the maximum viability of DNA…turns out to be thousands of years (at best) and no were near millions of years.

Find out more:

Unhealthy healthcare myths

With the US election in full thrust, ObamaCare has become a major issue. Quite often the Americans compare their system to our Medicare. This week we discuss and dispel some of the myths of our healthcare system.

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Are we losing the anti-vax war

With the apparent rising number of stories about breakouts of vaccine preventable diseases  we assess the state of the anti-vax war.

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Skeptical Highlights:

An Introduction to Cranial Sacral Therapy

This week I am starting with a Lowlight.


There is a thing…it’s called Cranial Sacral Therapy and it is going to kill you. Okay, maybe a little hyperbolic but there is a ‘An Introduction to Cranial Sacral Therapy” being held this week John Braithwaite Community Centre.

For those who do not know, and I confess when I first read this I did not, although my baloney detectors did go off, ergo the forthcoming warning.

Cranial Sacral Therapy is where a therapist places their hands on a patient, then “tunes into the craniosacral rhythm”.

It is based on the observation of a 19th century doctor who looked at the disarticulated skull and was struck by the idea that the cranial sutures of the temporal bones where they meet the parietal bones were “beveled, like the gills of a fish, indicating articular mobility for a respiratory mechanism.”

Now this is where it’s hard to follow, but it’s all bullshit, so don’t take notes. The bones regulate the cranium’s respiration…and could be manipulated to…um… cerebrospinal fluid.

Now the Georgia Straight, where I saw this event notice, is not new to Alternative medicine or more accurately WOO. But what annoyed me most was a link on the notice to the Canadian Mental Health Authority …a legitimate medical agency. The CMHA does not seem to have anything to do with this therapy but it does appear that Yvonne B., the speaker, attempted to gain legitimacy for this quack treatment my having a mis-link to a real healthcare resource.


The Nuclear Physics of Stars

Reiner Kruecken summarizes what is known about the production of elements in stars and shows how nuclear-physics experiments carried out at TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics in Vancouver, can help to answer the open questions in this quest for understanding the origins of the chemical elements.

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, 7:30 pm

Free admission

Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre – SFU Harbour Centre, Downtown Vancouver

The End of the World Part I: The Maya Civilization

Okay, I am unsure of this one. Well, not the content. Go See it. But the advertising seems deliberately misleading…perhaps in a good way.

One promo reads “UBC’s Marvin Cohodas talks about the Mayan calendar, civilization, and the impending end of the world, set to take place on December 21, 2012.” Make sit sound like we are going to learn the real truth and we only have a couple of months to live…AAAHHHH!!!

Well, the real talk is about “What does the end of Mayan calendar mean?  Will there be a 2013? The ancient Maya believed in a cyclic “recycling” of the Universe, accepting that it had to be destroyed and recreated.  In fact, they described this process in hieroglyphics, paintings on walls an ceramics, as well as in books written in the early years of Spanish colonization.  Dr. Marvin Cohodas will look at the narratives of the previous remaking of the cosmos as a template for what the Maya once expected would happen now, while reminding us that just as westerners no longer have the same view of the cosmos they did 1200 years ago, so to the Maya have changed their views.”

Saturday, October 20, 8:00 pm.

Admission by donation.

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Café Inquiry ‘Science and Giving Blood’

Café Inquiry is a monthly casual discussion group run by CFI Vancouver. Come along and enjoy morning tea and stimulating discussion with fellow freethinkers on a variety of topics.

This month’s Café Inquiry is on the topic of should you donate blood? CFI Vancouver is Partners for Life with Canadian Blood Services and has a recurring donation program for skeptics, humanists and freethinkers to donate blood. However, Canadian Blood Services has some questionable science attached to their policies, including a ban on homosexual men donating blood.
Presenters will include representatives from Canadian blood services to help answer questions.

Saturday, October 20, at 11am Room 1510 of SFU Harbour Centre

The Psychology of Good and Evil’ by Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani

This is a talk presented by CFI Vancouver. What does it take to become a perpetrator of genocide? Why would someone risk their own life to save that of a complete stranger? Are the murderer and the saint really that different from one another? Sounds interesting for sure.
Friday, October 26, at 7pm in Room 182 of the Irving K Barber Learning Centre

Vancouver Skepticamp 2012 

Vancouver SkeptiCamp is a fun, informative, one-day, free, open, attendee-driven, grassroots skeptic conference featuring many brief (~10 minute) presentations with Q&A sessions.
If you’re interested in giving a talk or just attending you can register at

Saturday, November 3, 2012
Room A201 of Buchannan building at UBC


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