Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

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Floating Frogs, Copper Bracelets, & Quantum

A previously unaired episode from  “Lost in Diskspace!” of the Gritty Reboot: What is Pseudoscience?  From toxin removal to magnetic bracelets, Dan leads Sam and Becky through understanding why pseudoscientific explanations can be so convincing to even science enthusiasts.



  • What is science? So, what is pseudoscience?
  • scientific method, null hypothesis, experimentation, replication, peer review
  • continental drift
  • fraudulent science (Piltdown Man, using academy to hoax)
  • Ear candling, foot pads, foot bath “toxin” extraction
  • lay lines, ether, acupuncture
  • naturalistic fallacy vs. natural remedies verified by science (aspirin)
  • copper bracelets vs. high fructose corn syrup
  • magnetic bracelets
  • The case of the “floating” frog
  • Science journalism sensationalizing studies
  • IR cold laser treatment
  • Quantum…whatever that means
  • Paleo dieting, the gluten-free craze, and resveritrol red wine marketing
  • Glowing Scorpions
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While I was working on my geology degree, a few of my coworkers at my part-time retail job asked me in all seriousness if any of my classes covered crystals and their ‘powers’. I had to hold back on my patented “Are you stupid??” look over my glasses as I explained about piezoelectric effect on quartz crystals that powers certain watches. Apparently, this wasn’t the answer they were looking for.

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