A Very Special Kind of Sensory Deprivation Tank

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 audible.com, sign up for your free trial membership and free audiobook at audibletrial.com/brainstorm.

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 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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Pyramid Schemes and multi level marketing





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.

Listener emails

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Brother Brewer


Email Address: skepticsbrewpub@gmail.com


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

Skeptic's Brewpub

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