Fighting the Fear Babe with Kavin Senapathy

The Skeptic Studio

Oct. 14, 2016 Episode 56

Hi and welcome to the Brainstorm podcast Skeptic Studio where we do interviews, major topics, and news related to skepticism and atheism. I’m Cory and my panel tonight are Destin, Angela, Leo, and Rene, with the always amazing Dave doing sound. We’re here in Roman Empire studios in Regina, Saskatchewan and today is October 14th, 2016. The Skeptic Studio is brought to you by Reasonist Ink, atheist, skeptic, and science based apparel. You can find them at Tonight’s guest is Kavin Senapathy, she is an author, speaker, and science activist who writes about health, medicine, genomics, agriculture and food. She's the co-Executive Director of international pro-science, pro-biotech movement March Against Myths, and co-author of “The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House,”. She's also a regular contributor to Forbes and The Genetic Literacy Project.

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Cory's Rant

Last week Justin Trudeau and his government announced a carbon tax minimum bench mark for the provinces of Canada to reach and hopefully exceed. This led to outrage among conservative Canadians, but none more than Brad Wall and his Sask party supporters. Many of these people are still climate change deniers. They say things like, “CO2 isn’t a pollutant”, or “Canada only produces 1.6% of the world’s CO2 emissions”. Some are still of the opinion that climates change and that this is all we’re seeing right now, normal changes.

It occurs to me that somehow every conservative in Canada must be a climate expert and that they should all take their research and findings to the IPCC and get the appropriate media attention. They’ve clearly found something that the vast majority of climate scientists haven’t. I know they all have their numbers, I already mentioned Canada’s contribution to CO2 emissions being only 1.6%, or they have their cherry picked stats from select years or select segments of years. They have arguments about parts per million in the atmosphere and they have one or two self proclaimed experts to back them up. There are even a couple organizations with the word science in their name to lend credibility to all of their data. If that sounds familiar, then you’ve been paying attention to the evolution debate that’s going on with creationists.

I’m not an expert, this is why I listen to people who are and right now the scientific consensus is that climate change is real, is happening, and is caused by human use of fossil fuels. The only number that matters to me as a layman, is 97%. That’s 97% of climate research points at and agrees with the conclusion that the burning of fossil fuels by humans is the main cause of climate change and that it needs to be addressed by at least a reduction in emissions and if possible, a removal of already present emissions from the atmosphere. It’s important to not that this is not just some poll, taken by a bunch of scientists. This is not merely their opinion, though there have been polls done and the number of climate researchers who agree about climate change is at least 97%. This consensus is a consensus of real data and research. This is enough to demonstrate that beyond a shadow of a doubt, climate change is real.

If you have a better plan than a carbon tax, then point it out. If you have a solution, then fill society in. If you’re just going to keep denying that we’re polluting, if you’re just going to keep spreading the lies propagated by the fossil fuel industry and their non scientist, hired experts, then shut the fuck up and let the rest of us try to solve the problem. 

Religious Nuttery

Angela’s Story

The music Break

This is where we’ll take the break for music. For Live listeners and Patrons you can enjoy the next few minutes and then we’ll be back. For regular feed subscribers this is where we’ll end the skeptic studio. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to subscribe on Itunes, google play or some other podcatcher and check out the show notes at we’ll have shift to reason radio for you next week.. If you can’t wait for it then listen live at or go become a patron at So here’s the music break – Bring the Ruckus by Wutang Clan in honor of Luke Cage coming out on Netflix, 2nd sucks by A day to remember because it’s awesome and , A Metal cover of Sail originally by Awolnation but the cover is by Frog Leap Studios. So, enjoy and we’ll see you in a few minutes.

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Shift To Reason Radio

To those listening live or to our patrons, welcome back. For those listening weekly, welcome to Shift To Reason radio the Brainstorm production that focuses on science outreach and education. We’ll try our hand at teaching you a little bit about common skeptical topics, logical fallacies and errors in reasoning, as well as a bit about some religious apologetics. This episode is brought to you by, sign up for your free trial membership and free audiobook at

 Bad Science

Cory’s Story

·         A site called second nexus claims that “New Research Establishes That Intelligence Is Inherited from The Mother”

·         Supposedly linked to the X chromosome

·         “children are more likely to inherit intelligence from their mothers because intelligence genes are located on the X chromosomes (and mothers have two).”

·         Mother’s do have to X chromosomes

·         Not identical – doesn’t actually double the likelihood of a particular gene passing to the child

·         Mothers pass only one X onto their children

·         Father passes on either an X or Y which determines sex

·         Whatever is on the X from the mother can pass to the child

·         The father can also pass an X onto a daughter

·         The double X that a girl child gets is adjusted downward – each cell turns off most of one of the X chromosomes

·         So even if something does pass on via the X chromosome, it may not manifest because of the way some cells shut down part of the X

·         Everyone has an X

·         Short of a deletion, everyone gets the genes that are on that chromosome

·         The Second Nexus site is really talking about a gene variant that may be linked with intelligence, not just genes

·         Estimates that half of what we consider intelligence is inherited

·         Intelligence is comprised of many genetic variants

·         Environmental factors also play a role

·         Not just your mother, not just the X, not even just genes



Woo Report

Rene’s Story

Destin’s Story

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Skepticism 101

Common Skeptical Topics

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Breaking down the logical fallacies 14

Equivocation – the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time)

("to call by the same name") is an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more


in common parlance it is used in a variety of contexts, when discussed as a fallacy, equivocation only occurs when the arguer makes a word or phrase employed in two (or more) different senses in an argument appear to have the same meaning throughout.[1][2]han one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time).

A feather is light.

What is light cannot be dark.

Therefore, a feather cannot be dark.


All jackasses have long ears.

Carl is a jackass.

Therefore, Carl has long ears.

The fallacy of equivocation occurs when a key term or phrase in an argument is used in an ambiguous way, with one meaning in one portion of the argument and then another meaning in another portion of the argument.

The laws imply lawgivers. There are laws in nature. Therefore there must be a cosmic lawgiver

Using an ambiguous term in more than one sense, thus making an argument misleading




Atheism for Dummies part 20 – Apologetics part 8

Teleological argument – Argues that there is a purposeful design in the world around us, and a design requires a designer. CiceroWilliam Paley, and Michael Behe use this argument as well as others

·         Also known as the argument from design

·         The universe is an astoundingly complex but highly ordered system

·         the world appears fine-tuned to provide exactly the right conditions for the development and sustenance of life

·         complexity makes natural explanations unsatisfactory

·         There’s some very interesting history to this argument including use by Saint Thomas Aquinas

·         Basically the opposite of evolution which shows that despite the appearance of complexity or design there can be a natural explanation

·         Does not lead to any particular god but only to a kind of intelligent creator

·         The argument of Intelligent Design and Fine Tuning are newer versions

In The Blind WatchmakerRichard Dawkins writes:

“”But of course any God capable of intelligently designing something as complex as DNA/protein replicating machine must have been at least as complex and organized as the machine itself. Far more so if we suppose him additionally capable of such advanced functions as listening toprayers and forgiving sins. To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. You have to say something like "God was always there", and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well just say "DNA was always there", or "Life was always there", and be done with it.


“This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!”




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What a fun bunch! I love how they are so skeptical, and willing to change their views based on evidence.

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Subject: Tumor Research you mentioned


Message: I was listening to your show when I heard you talk about immunoresearch with cancer cells. It just so happens Lauren Udhe (aka The Biology Babe) is a graduate student who is working on that very study in Portland. She is on Facebook as Biology Babe if you want to ever look her up. I interviewed her on my own show a couple weeks ago and she is a fabulous guest that will talk your ear off!


Good luck and keep up the great show!


Brother Brewer

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