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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  22:53:15  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have just learned that Penn & Teller admitted they were wrong (way back at TAM2) about second-hand smoke not being a health hazard, thanks to Orac (who notes that Penn's excuse - the data is better now - was still wrong).

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  23:27:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So does this mean my DVD copy of Bullshit, which has that episode is a collector's item? It also has a bottled water and Fumg shway shows. Oh Well! As the song goes, "Now don't be sad. 'Cause, two out of three ain't bad".SS
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  23:38:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I heard Penn say it again at TAM6. It would be interesting to see which came first, the show or TAM2.

Hmmmm. Just looked at the clip and the date. By my reckoning, that's TAM3. The first Vegas TAM.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  23:43:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good for Penn. Though he held to his previous Libertarian position against government regulation of second-hand smoke.

I recall that at one time the claim was made that second-hand "smokers" were at significantly higher risk for disease than smokers themselves. That absolutely drove me bananas. I could not imagine how that could possibly be. Smokers themselves also breathe in the smoke they put into the air, so they should be at least twice as poisoned as bystanders. The only possible way bystanders could be at greater risk would be if directly inhaled smoke somehow was cleaner than the second-hand kind, and conferred some kind of homeopathic immunity against that nasty second-hand stuff.

BTW, as a smoker, I accept that second-hand smoke is a hazardous substance that physically harms bystanders and stains walls and surfaces. For more than forty years, I have carefully tried to avoid offending nonsmokers, and will continue to do so. But I feel that one thing to bear in mind about it is that people deeply hate it, and increasingly react with hatred and revulsion to the smoker him/herself. Bad as the smoke itself is, the social and psychological aspects as "ritually unclean" substance multiplies its impact beyond rational levels.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Maverick
Skeptic Friend

Sweden
385 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  23:54:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Maverick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Speaking of smoking, I watched Double Indemnity some time ago, and could hardly believe my eyes when the main character walked around in the grocery store smoking. It seemed so bizarre, almost like looking into a slightly different alternate universe.

"Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." -- Carl Sagan
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Maverick
Skeptic Friend

Sweden
385 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  23:55:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Maverick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And what about global warming? Were these sceptics right about that? And then I remember an episode about recycling, claiming it was worse to recycle than not to.

"Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." -- Carl Sagan
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2009 :  00:27:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

I heard Penn say it again at TAM6. It would be interesting to see which came first, the show or TAM2.

Hmmmm. Just looked at the clip and the date. By my reckoning, that's TAM3. The first Vegas TAM.
The date of the clip itself is later than the date mentioned in the info.

The SHS episode aired in February of 2003.

The YouTube clip states, "This is from a Q and A session at the Amazing Meeting (January 2005)," which yes, would have been TAM3, and not TAM2.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2009 :  01:12:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Maverick

And what about global warming? Were these sceptics right about that? And then I remember an episode about recycling, claiming it was worse to recycle than not to.

P&T aren't perfect. Their show is usually entertaining though.

They have their flaws but they can also admit mistakes.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2009 :  02:03:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good for Penn!

Back in the early '50s, before TV even had color, it was common for a host to smoke on camera. Of course, a great many shows were sponsored by cigarette companies, who never missed a chance to flog their wares.

Fortunately, we chewing tobacco addicts are merely disgusting, not a public health hazard.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2009 :  09:32:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Maverick

And what about global warming? Were these sceptics right about that? And then I remember an episode about recycling, claiming it was worse to recycle than not to.


I don't know about Penn and Teller's position about global warming. But, yes, under some circumstances, recycling can be bad.

You have to drive around collecting the recyclable, drive them back to the recycling plant, recycle them and then drive them to the manufacturing plant that need the material...

That's a lot of driving around emitting carbon. In some case, you'll have a smaller footprint just producing the material anew.
Or, probably even better yet, using some kind of biodegradable material whenever you can and producing it in a low-impact plant.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2009 :  09:54:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the great PodBlack Cat blog there is this video from TAM6 which features Penn stating what he knew, at that time, about Global Warming.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Chippewa
SFN Regular

USA
1496 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2009 :  12:22:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Chippewa's Homepage Send Chippewa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

...Back in the early '50s, before TV even had color, it was common for a host to smoke on camera...


If anyone happens to catch the old b&w 50s shows on cable's "Game Show Network" or maybe "Nickelodeon" you'll notice two things:

1. They smoked like mad. Remember hosts George Gobel and Gary Moore? and Groucho Marx always had is lit cigar. *

2. The panel on What's My Line (i.e. Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, etc., etc.) were way way more articulate and intelligent than practically anyone on TV today.


* On the other hand, Jackie Gleason on his variety show preferred a "cup of coffee" - (which everyone new was really a slug of gin.)

Diversity, independence, innovation and imagination are progressive concepts ultimately alien to the conservative mind.

"TAX AND SPEND" IS GOOD! (TAX: Wealthy corporations who won't go poor even after taxes. SPEND: On public works programs, education, the environment, improvements.)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2009 :  09:49:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

P&T aren't perfect. Their show is usually entertaining though.

They have their flaws but they can also admit mistakes.
Unfortunately, their original take on SHS, and some of their attitude towards AGW, seems to be sourced straight from Libertarian talking points. They're both Fellows of the Libertarian Cato Institute, and their SHS episode even included another Cato Fellow, Steven Milloy (who publishes "Junk Science" for FOX and has received a whole bunch of oil dollars to poo-poo AGW concerns).

In the video that Kil linked to, they're basically saying (about AGW) "I don't know, because smart people disagree," which is nothing but a basic appeal to authority, and so is (as we all should know) Bullshit. Had Penn said, "I don't know, because I haven't had time to check the arguments," I would be more sympathetic, but there, on video, they do nothing but say that they're too stupid to make up their own minds (except about carbon credits, for some unknown reason), and bad-mouth Al Gore (also for unknown reasons). Did anyone call them on that crap?

The more I see of Penn & Teller doing anything but magic, the less respect I have for them.

TAM6 was the Libertarian TAM, was it not, Kil?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2009 :  10:09:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave:
TAM6 was the Libertarian TAM, was it not, Kil?

It wasn't as bad as TAM5. But if you recall, there was that Atlas Society stuff placed in our folders.

Also, I am willing to give Penn more of a pass on the Gore thing because he says this; "He seems that way to me, but my feeling on that is a feeling. If there's one thing we all believe, it's that's not enough." I'm assuming "we all" refers to skeptics.

Since "I don't know" is a far cry from calling bullshit on the whole thing, which was their position, and that they are listing to both their friends at the Cato Institute, which is to be expected, and apparently sources outside of that libertarian "think" tank, is again, some progress on their part.

There is no doubt that Penn & Teller are libertarians. So comments about "cap and trade" should not come as unexpected. But like a lot of other skeptics, they are a mixed bag. (Christopher Hitchens, anyone?)

What they don't do, and really, to their credit, is constantly push their chosen ideology the way Micheal Shermer always seems to be doing these days. Penn & Teller are libertarians, and they don't care who knows it. Shermer is a libertarian, and he needs us to be libertarians too.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2009 :  18:44:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Also, I am willing to give Penn more of a pass on the Gore thing because he says this; "He seems that way to me, but my feeling on that is a feeling. If there's one thing we all believe, it's that's not enough." I'm assuming "we all" refers to skeptics.
But the only thing setting Penn off is that it's Al Gore. It's a massive ad hominem to rely on the fact that a particular person maintains an idea just to get one to the "I don't know" point. I mean, I'll take anything that Deepak Chopra has to say with a massive grain of salt, but I'll have the good sense to actually go look at the evidence, too. Penn and Teller are stuck with an authoritarian "I don't know" and they're not going to budge further due to a bizarre distaste for Al Gore and their Libertarian politics. And I bet they only got that far because they caught so much crap from their fans that they had to do something skeptic-like to appease them, so they tossed 'em a bone by proclaiming that they're not sitting on the fence (but still think Al Gore is a poopy-head - seriously, the questioner didn't even mention Al Gore, but after Penn gets done with his introductory "I don't knows," he goes into full attack mode).

Oh, and in a comment on Respectful Insolence, Blake Stacey says of Penn:
...when he started his spiel by saying that his bullshit detector went off every time Al Gore spoke, I thought, "Yeah, and so what? Al Gore is just what you are: a cheerleader for science. Do you want people to believe in ghosts because they think you're fat?"

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2009 :  19:46:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Kil

Also, I am willing to give Penn more of a pass on the Gore thing because he says this; "He seems that way to me, but my feeling on that is a feeling. If there's one thing we all believe, it's that's not enough." I'm assuming "we all" refers to skeptics.
But the only thing setting Penn off is that it's Al Gore. It's a massive ad hominem to rely on the fact that a particular person maintains an idea just to get one to the "I don't know" point. I mean, I'll take anything that Deepak Chopra has to say with a massive grain of salt, but I'll have the good sense to actually go look at the evidence, too. Penn and Teller are stuck with an authoritarian "I don't know" and they're not going to budge further due to a bizarre distaste for Al Gore and their Libertarian politics. And I bet they only got that far because they caught so much crap from their fans that they had to do something skeptic-like to appease them, so they tossed 'em a bone by proclaiming that they're not sitting on the fence (but still think Al Gore is a poopy-head - seriously, the questioner didn't even mention Al Gore, but after Penn gets done with his introductory "I don't knows," he goes into full attack mode).

Oh, and in a comment on Respectful Insolence, Blake Stacey says of Penn:
...when he started his spiel by saying that his bullshit detector went off every time Al Gore spoke, I thought, "Yeah, and so what? Al Gore is just what you are: a cheerleader for science. Do you want people to believe in ghosts because they think you're fat?"

Yeah. Good points. It was a massive ad hominem that really says nothing about global warming and a lot about Penn. Oh well.

Perhaps I'm softer on him because he replied the way I wanted him to reply when I asked him if libertarianism should be the default politic for skeptics. I dunno.

Shermer is driving me crazy.




Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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