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Greatist Podcast: The Health Benefits of Skepticism
How do you spot the difference between good and bad science? In this episode of the Greatist.com Podcast, we talk with Dr. Michael Shermer about what and who to trust in health and fitness research. Turns out we should all embrace our inner skeptic.
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What You'll Learn in This Episode
0:20 — How to get the most mental energy from your morning coffee .
2:57 — How to use skepticism to make healthier choices every week.
3:25 — Why do people believe weird things?
5:05 — How Dr. Shermer’s athletic background shaped his views on logic and reason.
6:35 — What is a skeptic?
9:13 — The difference between skepticism and cynicism.
12:20 — Why jellybeans won’t cure cancer — and how to figure out what will.
14:46 — The most common thinking errors behind health claims.
16:43 — The biggest obstacle to health and fitness research.
17:37 — How to reconcile conflicting evidence between studies.
19:06 — The one choice Dr. Shermer made in the last week to improve his health.
Other Listening Options
People On the Show
If you listen to this episode on an iPod or other music-playing device, links to cited studies will appear on your screen as you listen.
- Actions of caffeine in the brain with special reference to factors that contribute to its widespread use. Fredholm, B.B., Bättig, K., Holmén, J., et al. Section of MolecularNeuropharmacology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology,Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Pharmacological Reviews, 1999Mar;51(1):83-133⤴
Comments Leave a comment
I like way you are trying to do but it would be wise to check the validity of your interviewees as well. FYI H Pylori is a bacteria, not a virus. When your expert made this error he lost me.
I like what you are trying to do but it would be wise to check the validity of your interviewees as well. FYI H Pylori is a bacteria, not a virus. When your expert made this error he lost me.
@Jfinn Hi Jfinn, thanks for your response. I think you'll find Dr. Shermer is at the top of his field and one of the most respected publishers of scientific information in the country. Apologies for the little slipup, hopefully it didn't hurt the rest of the interview :)
@Jfinn Thanks for catching that Jfinn. Dr. Shermer isn't an infectious disease doctor. He's more focused on psychology, so please excuse the small mistake. We hope you still got something out of it.