Exposing PseudoAstronomy

October 16, 2015

Podcast Episode 142: Who’s on First? Origin of Ideas in Science

With water on Mars,
Discovered again, we look
At who did what first.

It’s been a month, and this is back-dated by over two weeks, but I wanted to put out an episode about the pitfalls of trying to figure out and remember who did what first. In the episode, I gave five examples of how this kind of discussion is important, such as who founds entire fields of science (or mathematics), giving credit where it’s due and remembering past research, pseudoscientists taking credit for things, alleged alien contactees taking credit for things, and preserving institutional memory in science.

The logical fallacies segment discusses the Moving the Goalpost fallacy.

I also revisit the 440 Hz conspiracy by asking you to listen to three tones, strewn throughout the podcast, to see if you can tell the difference. Playing two right in a row last time was too easy for everyone who wrote in.

Finally, yes, this is back-dated, and no, I am really really busy these days and don’t expect this to improve. I will likely take November-dated episodes off, putting out another episode some time in the next 6-7 weeks that’s dated October 16, and then return with December episodes. Next week I go on trip #13 for the year and the following week is #14, in mid-November I head back East for #15 and in December I have a conference that will bring the total to 16 trips this year. Never again.



  1. When I first heard Bara and Hoagland first comment on this my thought was that all they had done was speculate about water on Mars due to the slip streaks, NOT prove it. NASA proved it. Pretty much end of discussion there. In regards to the tones, I listened several times and could not note any difference. I think my 40 years of listening to Pink Floyd has made me tone deaf. In regards to you taking time off of the podcasts Stuart… you have to do what you have to do. I think all of us realize your insane schedule and truly appreciate all the time and effort you put into these podcasts. I’d rather see you take time off from them, get caught up in other things, and then come back to it rather than see you burn out. Please try to keep us updated is all I ask.

    Comment by alienmojo — October 17, 2015 @ 6:54 am | Reply

  2. …love your haikus by the way.

    Comment by alienmojo — October 17, 2015 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

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