Exposing PseudoAstronomy

April 27, 2013

To What Podcasts Does the “Exposer of PseudoAstronomy” Listen?

This post is brief and was inspired by “Nigel’s” recent post on The Skeptical Review on what podcasts he listens to. And, I’ve been asked this question a few times by readers of this blog and listeners of the podcast.

Within their categories, these are listed in alphabetical order (so, no preference for one over the other is implied).


The Conspiracy Skeptic – I started to listen to Karl after he invited me on his show several years ago and now keep up with his (sorta) monthly episodes.

Dumbasses Guide to Knowledge – Started listening when he posted on the SGU forums about the new podcast and, as with Karl, he has a “when they’re ready” release schedule so I listen when they come out. It’s an eclectic show and it used to be that every-other-episode was about Ancient Aliens stuff.

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast – Same as the above, same guy, etc. This is an interview-style show with two other people talking with the host about their opinions on the latest news of the month.

The Skeptics’ Guide 5×5 and Guide to the Universe – Shouldn’t need explanation to this crowd. However, I listen to them in spurts where I usually accumulate around 10 and then listen all at once while cleaning, cooking, driving, exercising, etc.

Skeptoid – Also shouldn’t need explanation to this crowd. With Dunning’s guilty plea, however, we’ll see what happens to the podcast over the next year or so.


AstronomyCast – I listen to them the same what I listen to SGU, building up a catalog of around 10 new episodes and then listening all at once. I listen to AstronomyCast to remember all the astronomy I’ve forgotten or should have known.


I listen to this general category to stay abreast of what “the other side” is saying and putting out there and to get ideas for blog posts and podcast episodes. I choose not to link to them here.

Coast to Coast AM – Not every episode, just maybe 1/4-1/3 of them that deal with topics that are sorta relevant to what I do or care about (I suffer through the alt-med ones, for example, but refuse to listen to ones about political conspiracies). I’d say >50% of blog post ideas and podcast episode ideas come from C2C.

ID The Future – Put out by the Discovery Institute, the “think tank” (I use the word “think” rather loosely here) behind “Intelligent Design.” They put out, generally, 3 episodes per week but the majority of them are repeats from several years ago so I delete without listening.

Skeptiko – Alex Tsakiris, of whom I’ve written a few times on this blog, absolutely refuses to address what he claims to address and be interested in: Why he believes in the paranormal (and conspiracies, is a climate change denier, and believes in UFOs and psychic dogs) and “skeptics” don’t. Despite being told why numerous times — it has to do with the standard of evidence and not using arguments from authority and, well, actually understanding experiments. He can be hard to listen to, so I sometimes listen to his episodes in bits and pieces.

Dreamland – (out of order because it’s listed as “Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland” in iTunes) This, like C2C was started by Art Bell but taken over by a moron someone who doesn’t follow the original spirit/intent of the show. Basically a mini-C2C once a week.


Other than The Onion video stuff which doesn’t seem to be defunct but hasn’t released a new episode in half a year, really Rich Orman’s “Dogma Free America” and “US Supreme Court Review” are the two I listened to regularly that are now defunct.


This category is for podcasts for which I may have listened to 1-6ish episodes that someone suggested I may like or be interested in. I’m just going to list them without commentary: The Amateur Science Podcast, Paracast, QuackCast, Rational Alchemy (I was a guest a few times), Righteous Indignation, Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures, and The Unexplained. I think a few that are no longer in my iTunes feed for one reason or another, including Mike Bohler’s “A Skeptics Guide to Conspiracy” that I downloaded a few episodes of.

That’s It!

I don’t listen to a lot compared with some people. I generally listen when I’m doing work that doesn’t require thought (like crater counting or making figures for papers, or doing some other analysis … versus when I’m writing a paper or trying to program). Sometimes that’s my entire day, sometimes that’s not.

I also have an iPod nano and portable speakers that follow me throughout my apartment and into the car and I’ll listen when I’m doing other things like driving, cooking, or cleaning.

I think maybe once or twice a year, for an hour or so, do I not have a backlog of stuff to listen to. That said, if there’s something that you absolutely love that you think I should listen to, let me know in the comments!

P.S. Yes, I listen to my own podcast, but only when editing, and I download it to make sure it works correctly in iTunes.



  1. Where’s my royalty check? : )

    Comment by Nigel — April 27, 2013 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  2. I suppose I need to check out The Invisible Sky Monster podcast. The title alone has me intrigued. I, too, love skeptic-based podcasts. Surprised to see This American Life isn’t on your list. It would be nice if you could check out my podcast at some point. We have 23 episodes thus far. Mostly opinion with some skeptical research thrown in for good measure. Unsolved murders, conspiracies, mysteries, & more. We’re at http://thegenerationwhypodcast.com and on iTunes search for The Generation Why podcast. If I were to recommend episodes they would be West Memphis Three, JFK, or Pretty Maria.

    Comment by Aaron H. — April 27, 2013 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  3. Righteous Indignation is now dormant as the founder, Trystan Swale, have been unable to work on it for over a year. Two of the former hosts, Hayley Stevens and Michael Marshall (AKA Marsh), have taken up the mantel with a focus on the long form interview with “alternative” thinkers that RI did so well. Hayley and Marsh let the subject talk in depth, but have probing questions to prevent them from completely wandering off. It is amazing the things people say when they don’t feel they have to defend themselves. The new podcast is:

    Be Reasonable

    Comment by Johan™ Strandberg — April 27, 2013 @ 11:12 am | Reply

    • I forgot to mention, episode #2 of Be Reasonable is an interview with Michael Wilmore of the Flat Earth Society(FES). A must listen for anybody interested in Alternative Astronomy as the FES is a grab bag of holders of disparate theories with no commonality except that they all believe that the Earth is flat. Michael Wilmore does a decent job of defending them all at once. Amazing stuff.

      Comment by Johan™ Strandberg — April 27, 2013 @ 11:26 am | Reply

    • Trystan Swale has moved onto another podcast, Fortean Radio, whose website is currently borked. They’ve got a few episodes up already, and you can find the podcast in iTunes though. The episodes trend towards discussion of fortean and folklore related things, from a fairly skeptical point of view. It’s not quite RI, but it’s similar.

      Comment by Leper — April 27, 2013 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  4. Can’t say enough good things about Radiolab, stories about science, philosophy, art and human experience.
    Other one of my favorites is the Caustic soda podcast, each week the panel discusses a topic with humor but the topics are things like maggots, bacteria, Ebola, shark attacks etc. It’s curiosities, science, dark humor and horrible news all in one bag.

    “On the other side” i listen to Red Ice Radio which at this point has interviews about every fringe topic with various guests, some of them mentioned on exposing pseudo astronomy. Also the No Agenda Show.

    This is off topic but if anyone likes video games try A Life well Wasted it’s not just about video games but about the people who love them, its really good.

    Comment by Vivi — April 29, 2013 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  5. No Skepticality? 🙂 http://www.skepticality.com/

    Comment by dcolanduno — May 10, 2013 @ 9:13 am | Reply

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