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Related Readings
  • Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
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  • Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science
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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join hosts Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking is produced by Benny Pollak and is recorded in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Wednesday
Jun262013

RS90 - On Wine, Water, and Audio

Release date: June 30, 2013

In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Julia and Massimo turn their attention to connoisseurship -- or snobbery, depending on your point of view! Fine wines, bottled water, high-end audio equipment -- what all these have in common are passionate customers who are discriminating enough to pay top dollar for subtle differences between options. Or are they? This episode explores the evidence on whether connoisseurs can really tell the difference between, for example, the $7 wine and the $700 one -- or whether it's a distinction without a difference.

Julia's pick: "Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work"

Massimo's pick: "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin"

 

Links:

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=728070&page=1&singlePage=true#.UaiQuOtAs5k
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9237727/How_big_is_the_sound_of_music_
http://io9.com/wine-tasting-is-bullshit-heres-why-496098276

http://gizmodo.com/315250/pear-cable-chickens-out-of-1000000-challenge-we-search-for-answers

Wednesday
Jun122013

RS89 - Online Dating

Release date: June 16, 2013

Looking for love online? You're not alone -- one in five new relationships nowadays begin on a dating site. But just how scientific are the "matching algorithms" sites like eHarmony and OKCupid use? What does cognitive psychology tell us about how this new choice context affects our happiness? Massimo and Julia turn an analytical eye on the math and science of online dating, in this episode of Rationally Speaking.

Julia's pick: "Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed"

Massimo's pick: "Do different kinds of alcohol get you different kinds of drunk?"

Saturday
Jun012013

RS88 - Mario Livio on Brilliant Blunders

Release date: June 3, 2013

Mario Livio

The next time you're kicking yourself for some stupid mistake, remember: Even history's genuises screw up! Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio joins this episode of Rationally Speaking to talk about his new book, "Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe." Learn about why Darwin's theory of natural selection "shouldn't" have worked, why Einstein was confused about the role of aesthetics in physics, why Hoyle stubbornly refused to change his mind about a "steady state" universe -- and why those mistakes are central to scientific progress.

Mario's pick: "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error"