Saturday, November 22, 2014

Episode 0014: Bad faith

Bad faith

Dr Oz

Dr Oz was forced to face a senate hearing into dietary supplements. Audio from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and somewhere else on YouTube:

Defending Jo Hockey (sort of, not really)

A careful and better analysis is looking at fuel expense as a proportion of income. 

And in a June 2014 submission to the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into the proposed excise rise, the Australian Automobile Association stated that: "Research indicates that the people who use their cars most frequently are in the outer metropolitan areas and  rural and regional areas where there are lower incomes, less jobs, and little or no access to public transport"

To back this the treasurer produced Treasury figures showing that absolute spending on petrol is higher in high-income households, and showing that high-income households tend to have more cars.

The same figures, expressed as a percentage of income, which is the obvious and accepted way of measuring the relative impact of a household cost, shows that households in the highest quintile spent 1.37% of their income on petrol and those in the lowest quintile spent 4.54%. In other words petrol eats up more than three times as much of an average poor household’s income than a rich household’s, because the rich household has 11 times the income from which to pay its petrol bill. So whatever its other merits, an increase in petrol excise will have a bigger impact on the poor household’s budget than the rich household’s, not the other way around. Which was already pretty obvious, really.

Chiropractors and Simon Singh: 

Other mentions

Oatmeal and Ted Cruz on Net Neutrality


Direct download

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Episode 0013: Non sequitur (original episode)

This is an original episode on non-sequiturs

Direct download:

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Episode 0012: False dichotomy and false dilemma (original episode)

This is a combination of two original episodes. False dichotomy and dilemma, and then some feedback.

These are the three examples we specifically speak about on the podcast:

Direct download of the MP3 here:

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Episode 0011: Feedback

Not a full episode. A response to feedback as a test for recording via google hangouts on air.

Back with a full episode next week.

Direct download:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Episode 0010: The naturalistic fallacy

In this episode we look a the naturalistic fallacy, both the “is-ought” problem and the appeal to nature. Direct link:

Section 1: Reading from the book

Section 2: Appeal to nature

The “Food Babe”

Wikipedia entry:
Vani Hari, also known on her blog as the Food Babe, is an American blogger, known for her criticism of the food industry. She has gathered over 350,000 signatures via petitions pressuring food companies to remove ingredients from their products or change their production processes.[2][3] Companies including Kraft, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Subway, have changed or reconsidered ingredients in their products as a result of her campaigns.[4][5] Her work has in turn been criticized as pseudoscience.[2][6][7]

Source of audio clips from:

All natural Banana.JPG
Some excellent blog posts responding to the Food Babe’s scientific illiteracy:

Hari says she doesn’t need scientific degrees to be intellectually honest and know how to research. As a teenager, she was a nationally-ranked debater, who spent summers in the Dartmouth College library researching topics, she says.

Section 3: The “Is-Ought” problem

From “Creation Today” If evolution is true:

Ken Buck: being gay "a choice," birth an "influence" like "alcoholism"

From “Meet the press” 10/17/2010.
Kenneth R. "Ken" Buck is the District Attorney for Weld County, Colorado, and is a candidate for the 4th District U.S. Congressional seat in Colorado.

Feedback, ideas, suggestions or comments: or @theojclark on twitter.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Episode 0008: Misuse of statistics, and misunderstanding of randomness and probability

Misuse of statistics


Clip from original episode

A bit from the classic British show, Yes Prime Minister.

Apple WWDC keynote 

Apple CEO Tim Cook at this year’s World Wide Developers Conference Keynote. He points out that Apple has an install base of 80 Million Macs.

Based on NetMarketShare data, as of May 2014, Windows 8 can be found on about 14 percent of all PCs currently running Windows. But with an overall market share of about 1.5 billion, Windows PCs represent nearly 91 percent of all computers in use worldwide. In simple terms, that means that Windows 8, widely considered a “failure” by critics and competitors, is in use on about 210 million PCs worldwide. That’s more than 5 times the install base of Mavericks, and more than 2.5 times the install base of every Mac currently in use. (Source:

This also ignores other points of difference. Windows 8 is a major update that pretty much people only get with new machines and have to pay for. Maveriicks is a minor free upgrade by comparison.

Full keynote:


Andrew Bolt and climate contrarians 

Analysis of this factoid:

Original Youtube clip:

Misunderstanding of probability


Sally Clark wrongful conviction 

Background - Wikipedia on Sally Clark:

Evolution and spontaneous beginning of life

From, a community of Christians sharing their ideas about the relationship between faith and science.

Original Youtube clip:

Fred Hoyle's junkyard tornado:

Book I’m part of the way through reading: How to not be wrong:

Direct download of the episode:

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