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Serious Inquiries Only

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Join Thomas for some critical thinking on questions of science, philosophy, skepticism and politics. These serious topics are discussed with some serious guests, but in an entertaining and engaging way! This is not your typical interview podcast; it’s a friendly dialogue, conducted thoughtfully and with plenty of humor. It's Serious Inquiries Only; but like, not boring or anything.
742 Episodes
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We speak with cosmologist and science communicator Dr. Paul Sutter about his upcoming book, Rescuing Science. Dr. Sutter thinks (Capital S) Science has made some significant errors, and that people do not trust science because of the very system it has created for itself. Where has the discipline gone wrong, why is academia such a mess, and how do we fix it? Be sure to buy his book when it comes out on March 5th; you can also check out his podcast Ask A Spaceman!   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!   Graphic generated by Dall-e.
First off... I'M BACK ON OPENING ARGUMENTS!!! Good court thingies! Please please please go check it out! patreon.com/law!   OK after that announcement, I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind for a few months, ever since the NHL announced they were banning pride tape. While I used to be way more cynical back in the day about corporatized pride and that kind of virtual signaling, I now feel completely differently and I wanted to talk about the evolution.   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
Dr. Jesse Preston, Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Warwick, joins to discuss a recent paper she published regarding whether or not science may serve as a spiritual experience for nonbelievers. Could loving science offer similar psychological benefits that the literature has demonstrated for those in religion?   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
Astrophysicist Dr. Bryan Gillis is back! And here's here to talk about... sperm? Well, when a science headline claims that sperm is violating Newton's 3rd Law, that's when the science police have to lay down the law, no matter how weird the topic. But before you think this is just a bad journalist, the paper may actually be where the problem is... Bryan explains the whole damn thing. Public articles: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2397442-sperm-caught-breaking-newtons-third-law-of-motion/ https://www.iflscience.com/sperm-caught-breaking-the-law-newtons-third-law-of-motion-that-is-71245 Original publication: https://journals.aps.org/prxlife/abstract/10.1103/PRXLife.1.023002#fulltext (and on ArXiV) https://arxiv.org/abs/2306.07162  
For the Bonus this month, Dr. Rick Sullivan, SIO's resident synthetic biologist, joined me to comment on the recent "debate" between Bill Maher and Seth MacFarlane on the COVID vaccine. The right says Bill pWnEd Seth, but what do you all think? Will Dr. Rick's PhD in immunology be enough to stand up to Maher's COVID "facts"?   There was so much important information here that I wanted to be sure the normies got to hear some of it as well. So check out the first part of our conversation, but for the full episode, you'll need to pledge on Patreon!   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
On a recent episode of Tucker Carlson's show, fossil fuel shill Dr. Willie Soon came on to discuss ... friggen... dinosaurs on Saturn's moon. I mean, not quite but close. It's nonsense. Too bad for Tucker, cause we have a resident expert on space resource acquisition over here on SIO! J.D. Menges is currently working towards his PhD in Space Resources at Colorado School of Mines with a focus in Planetary Geology, Remote Sensing, and Resource Acquisition Strategy. He's here to break down what Tucker and Dr. Soon get wrong in this interview... Who is Willie Soon? https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonianmag/smithsonian-climate-change-scientist-180954380/ 2009 Abiogenic Study (Kolesnikov et al., 2009) https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo591 Oil formation theories (Hook et al., 2010) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2010.06.005 TITAN Abiogenic Oil Theories (Mousis et al., 2009) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2009.07.040 Total Solar Irradiance, TSI (Schmutz, 2021) https://www.swsc-journal.org/articles/swsc/full_html/2021/01/swsc200108/swsc200108.html Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
he 2nd half of my conversation with Alejandro Ruiz! We get deeper into examples of technological anti-solutions. If you work for a self-driving car company, should you quit? Also why are people burying trees to save the planet?   Alejandro's experience in the tech industry, including his time at CERN, led him to creating the engineering co-operative Interstitial Technology, as well as The Luddite that he manages with the irreplaceable co-author/illustrator Julia Zimmerman and editor Dr. Christina Iglesias.   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
We have a guest expert today! Alejandro Ruiz, a graduate of MIT, joins us to discuss a topic that he refers to as "technology anti-solutions." It's a really useful and fascinating framework that explains a lot about today's world, including why Substack sucks, for example. Or Patreon. And even, the Paris Climate Accords. Also, Elon Musk is basically the king of tech anti-solutions. It's way too much for a single episode so we'll have to close it out in a Part 2!   Check it out - Alejandro's experience in the tech industry, including his time at CERN, led him to creating the engineering co-operative Interstitial Technology, as well as The Luddite that he manages with the irreplaceable co-author/illustrator Julia Zimmerman and editor Dr. Christina Iglesias.   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
Lydia Smith of Where There's Woke joins us to break down a fascinating online dating study that featured an experiment in which men and women viewed online dating profiles on either a mobile device or standard PC and rated the individual's attractiveness. The findings are very interesting! We discuss what the implications could be, and we also have a little classic WTW fun too because why not. Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
Joe Magestro is back! First we get an update with what's going on in Wisconsin, and then we pick up where we left off in SIO405 to walk through why polarization happens, and what, if anything, we can do to reduce it. Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
When it comes to climate change, for example, it can certainly feel that way. Dr. Timothy Waring from The University of Maine has written a paper exploring these ideas. He's an expert in Cultural Evolution, and he believes that new lens may give us a clearer picture of our mysterious inability to solve many of these big challenges.   You can read the paper here: Characteristic processes of human evolution caused the Anthropocene and may obstruct its global solutions   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
And how does that differ from the minimum wage? Or, for that matter, the federal poverty line?California has mandated a $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers starting April 1st. As far as I'm concerned, those folks are saints and deserve the world. But Glenn Beck and other conservatives strongly disagree and had a meltdown over it. But who is right? Will this new $20 wage cause California as we know it to cease to exist and drift off into the sea? Or is Glenn Beck an idiot? Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
THE SIMULATION SERIES FINALE!   After much philosophy and physics reading, and after the excellent breakdown of the physics and computing aspects by Dr. Bryan Gillis, here is an episode on why I don't think we live in a simulation. I'm hoping this will be an accessible final episode to sum up the case for why we should not be worrying about this!
Ok, so we've done a bunch of philosophizing about whether or not we live in a simulation, but what about the physics and computing involved? Dr. Bryan Gillis takes us through what it might actually take to simulate our whole universe. Spoiler... it would not be easy. Find out why! Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
The elusive man-hating feminist avoided scientific detection in the previous episode, but the chase continues! The game is the foot! Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
I decided to call an audible and give us a mini-break from the intense philosophy and physics stuff, and instead invite expert Lydia Smith on to break down an extensive set of studies into the question: do feminists hate men? This is one of those interesting questions where on one hand, I could imagine that attitudes toward men might certainly be different among those who self-identify as feminists vs those who don't. But on the other hand... the man-hating feminist is definitely a myth perpetuated by the right to try to discredit the movement... So what does the science say? Find out! Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
Do you like philosophical thought experiments and probability theory and have a structured settlement and want cash now? Have I got the podcast episode for you! Dr. Bryan Gillis takes us through some fun and fascinating philosophical quandaries related to the Simulation Hypothesis!   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
Good news, everyone!   Today we embark upon a bit of a miniseries! Dr. Bryan Gillis and I began with the idea to do a sort of Philosophers in Space-esque kind of thing where we talk about a Futurama episode and then discuss the science and philosophy behind it. But as we did so, and as Bryan did more and more research (including calculations of his own!) around the question "Do we live in a simulation?" what unfolded was hours of really fascinating deep dive into the issue! And so here is part 1, where we set up the arguments a bit, and talk about a great episode of Futurama. If you want to watch it before listening, it's s11e10 "All The Way Down."   Hope you enjoy!   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
It's an Emergen-C episode with Dr. Rick Sullivan! With the holidays approaching, you may be wondering if there's a good way to boost your immune system and prevent getting sick. Well, there are many products that purport to do just that. Vitamins, Emergen-C, etc. Do they work? Find out!   Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
For Seriously Awful Movies 4, we reviewed S6E15 of House called Black Hole. We brought Dr. Steve Proper along because the episode deals with a very curious type of allergy... We brought my brother Sam Smith along because the episode... sucks. Lydia handles the play by play. I made a cut of this into a normal episode because, for one, it was very hilarious and you should definitely become a patron at Patreon.com/seriouspod. But secondly, Dr. Steve provided some actual medical knowledge for us that I didn't want the normie feed to miss out on!  Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
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Comments (14)

ID29144049

Wow. Amazing episode. Amazing people.

Sep 12th
Reply

Geoff

Good to hear 'back to normal' cheerfulness. Good ideas and topics worth looking to here as well. Great.

Feb 26th
Reply

Jamal Jackson

nah

Feb 15th
Reply

Chak Olate

I made a comment a while ago, negatively reviewing Allison's contribution. I'd like to take it back. She's really quite good, and I should have given her time to settle in.

Feb 25th
Reply

Yara Kadulina

Bechdel test is great. So simple and yet so illuminating.

Nov 16th
Reply

Yara Kadulina

Great episode, as usual.

Nov 16th
Reply

Chak Olate

I like listening to Thomas because he's open-minded and basically says, "This is my thought". His new partner basically says, " This is the Truth". And in case you think I'm being sexist, I don't think I am. (female). What do others think?

Nov 7th
Reply (5)

Bahram Farzady

No traits are at all gender specific. Women do not cry slightly more than men? What an absurd position.

Feb 5th
Reply (1)
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