0003 - Deep Space Deep Dive

More at https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/deep-space-deep-dive but for now Sqeaky has a rant where evidence is made a little more personal than the mars (or devon island) rover can dig up. Then with Mako, they discuss Considering the quality of sources, Landing Denial. Doomsayers. People who shouldn’t be trusted, Pareidolia problems, and Alien Superscience around DNA and Nuclear power.

The Full Rant Text - 

I am fat. This isn’t healthy, all the doctors and experts agree. I am at higher risk of diabetes and heart issues and so is anyone else overweight. There are countless studies and boundless evidence to support this written and assembled by the best experts, I linked a few in the show notes.

Body shaming, needless berating, and insults don’t help. This seems obvious to some, If people are overweight then insulting them usually won’t help. It leads many people to stress eating and or to dodge the gym. Insults might help me, but I am a confrontational douche bag. Most people aren’t me and don’t start a podcast to escalate their confrontationalism.

That insults are bad isn’t obvious to all people. For this issue there people on the left and right of the political spectrum getting this wrong. See the show notes for bill maher and brietbart doing so. I almost expect this from an idiot comedian, but the latter is a slanted news outlet that actually cites sources that directly contradict them.

Again, this is all well studied and documented by experts, and again I linked a few in the show notes. So, I shouldn’t be a jerk to fat people and if I want to help my fat friend then being positive and compassionate is the way to do it. So long as I am not being an enabler of poor choices through excess “body positivity”, then great.

All these experts telling us what works and what doesn’t makes the  evidence feel far away and unapproachable. Today we are going to be discussing aliens and outer space, so evidence might feel even further away.

Evidence doesn’t need to be some distant thing made only by people in some ivy league school. The best evidence has always been instructions on how you can prove something to yourself.

To help with my fat problem I use a simple scale. I weigh myself every morning. This isn’t grand. This isn’t miraculous. This simple act is life changing. I am down more than 60 pounds, by doing trial and error to lose a few pounds every month. This isn’t me being special or seeking adulation, fuck that. Do not congratulate me for taking basic care of myself.

However, please, note my use of evidence. There is no fad diet. No miracle drug. There is no one secret that nutritionists hate. There is me realizing that if I skip sour cream in burritos I kept losing weight that month and that I liked the guacamole more anyway. Skipping sour cream is a small change and I noticed the result because I measured.

I do need to know how to use the scale as a tool. I need to understand that I can fluctuate up to 5 pounds (2 kilos for those of us in civilized countries) every day just on water weight. So I need to account for that, doing averages, or tracking record lows, or something. There are a few other things I need to know, but those details aren’t important today.

Understanding that you can gather evidence is the important part. Understanding that you can use a new tool to gather evidence is almost as important. There are a ton of tools that can be learned easily enough. Evidence doesn’t need to be far away if you are willing to do just a little work and learn some tooling.

Even many of the seemingly far off discussions of this episode can be impacted by amateurs gathering evidence with the right tools. The amatuer astronomy scene is kind of a big deal. Amatuer astronomers discovered the planet Uranus. In more recent times they discovered more than 40 exoplanets. Both the Hale-Bopp and Shoemaker-Levi 9 comets were at least partially discovered by amateurs.

Even for things that seem far away you can get into it for less than the price of a playstation. I am not saying that you should rush out and buy a telescope or binoculars today. But, you should at least consider what you can do, what you can learn that you hadn’t known before. Maybe get a kill-a-watt to lower your power bill. Get some new measuring tool or book for an interest you had but hadn’t dug into yet. You might be just one new tool away from gathering some information that can help you, help others, or just learn something new.

Again, I link to some I bought and used in the show notes, including the Kill-a-watt which is just a gizmo you stick between your electrical appliances and the wall outlets to see how electricity they’re really using.

Apparently, there aren’t any limits, I learned just hours before recording this that there is an amateur genetic engineering scene and they use living cells as tools and have good evidence on the best ways to grow dozens of strains of glow in the dark microbes. If these yahoos can invent microbe raves in their garage then you pick up a fresh tool to learn something new.


Health issues of being overweight [1:31]
Fat shaming doesn’t work [1:31]
Getting Into Astronomy [5:09]
Amatuer Astronomer Discoveries [4:46]
DIY Microbe Rave [6:07]
Get a tool [5:09]
  • Amazon Affiliate link to the exact Kill-a-watt Sqeaky bought April 3, 2015 and easily paid for itself - https://amzn.to/3r1Fws6 
  • Amazon Affiliate link to the exact Binoculars Sqeaky bought July 31. 2014 and work for light stargazing and happen to be paintball proof - https://amzn.to/37S43Zc  

Good Science Books Sqeaky has read

Sqeaky is listing these ahead of the terrible books below because these books don’t suck. Buy All of these, they are all great and he has read all of them. These are all fantastic  and we wholeheartedly recommend them all for skeptics and people suffering dysevidentia alike.

Books From discredited Authors

Do not Buy these! But if you must buy them (hopefully to mock them) then at least buy them from our sponsor links:

Discussion [6:23]

While discussing how to assess the quality of sources we shared the the Ad Fontes Media Bias chat. It was brought to our attention by friend of the podcast Ralph U, Thanks!

Paired Myths - 1 - Landing denial [17:39]

Paired Myths - 2 - Doomsayers [34:14]

Paired Myths - 3 - Only I can decode this [55:21]

Paired Myths - 4 - Clearly Another Thing [1:05:45]

Paired Myths - 5 - Alien Superscience [1:15:20]

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