YANSS 046 – Unlearning, Laser Eyes, and Reptilian False Flags

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The Topics: Just-So Stories and Conspiracy Theories

The Guest: Steven Novella

The Episode: DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

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In this inbetweenisode you will hear an excerpt from a lecture I gave at DragonCon2014 all about unlearning, superseded scientific theories, post-hoc rationalization, just-so stories, laser eyes, goose trees, spanking and more.

Steven NovellaAfter that segment, you’ll hear a rebroadcast of an interview from episode 016 with Steven Novella who is the host of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, and an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. He blogs at NeurologicaSkepticblog, and Science-Based Medicine. Listen as he explains why we love conspiracy theories, how they flourish, how they harm, and what they say about our culture.

Next episode, Jon Ronson discusses his new book, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.”

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Links and Sources

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

Damasio, Antonio R. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: Putnam, 1994. Print.

Grabmeier, Jeff. Does Something Leave Our Eyes During Vision? Many Adults Say Yes. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/eyerays.htm

Gross, C. G. “The Fire That Comes from the Eye.” The Neuroscientist 5.1 (1999): 58-64. https://www.princeton.edu/~cggross/neuroscientist_5_99_fire.pdf

Mercier, H, and D Sperber. Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 34.2 (2011): 57-74.http://www.dan.sperber.fr/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/MercierSperberWhydohumansreason.pdf

Rusbult, Craig. Extramission Theory of Vision is a Misconception about Vision. American Scientific Affiliation. 2007.http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/views/extramission.htm

TV Tropes. Eye Beams: Folklore.

Winer, Gerald A, and Jane E. Cottrell. Does Anything Leave the Eye When We See? Extramission Beliefs of Children and Adults. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 5.5 (1996): 137-142. Web.http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/5/5/137.full.pdf

Zaidel, E., Zaidel, D. W., & Bogen, J. E. The split brain. In G. Adelman & B. Smith (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, 1999; 2nd Ed. : 1027-1032.http://www.its.caltech.edu/~jbogen/text/ref130.htm

YANSS 041 – The Football Game that Split Reality and the Ceiling that Birthed a Naked Man

 

The Topic: The Game/Ceiling Crasher

The Episode: DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

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In this episode, two stories, one about a football game that split reality in two for the people who witnessed it, and another about what happened when a naked man literally appeared out of thin air inside a couple’s apartment while they were getting ready for work.

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YANSS 040 – Monkeys, Money, and The Primate Origins of Human Irrationality with Laurie Santos

 

The Topic: The Monkey Marketplace

The Guest: Laurie Santos

The Episode: DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud – Transcript

Monkey Business

 

Lions love catnip.

They will roll around and lick and do all the things a house cat does when handed a toy filled with the psychedelic kitty-cat plant. Not all big cats are equally susceptible to the plant’s chemical powers, and within a single species some respond more than others, including house cats. I bet it’s a real bummer to learn your pet cat is immune to catnip, but that’s genetics for you.

This cross-species sharing of behaviors among cats goes beyond tripping balls after huffing exotic spices. Big cats from the wilderness, like jaguars and tigers and leopards, exhibit many of the same behaviors you see every day in tiny cats who live in human apartments and backyards around the world. That cute little kneading of the paws? Yep. That weird face rubbing thing. Same. If you’ve been to a zoo and watched big cats at play, you’ve probably noticed many similarities there as well. They share a common ancestor a few million years back, and some things got passed down to both lines in their bodies and in their brains. They aren’t identical though, natural selection tinkered with them separately and got different results, otherwise you’d see more people in the park walking pumas on leashes.

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