Open Thread for Episode 20.28: Russell and Jen


Go forth and comment excellently to each other.

 

Correction: On the show I said that I would be speaking in Irvine on July 28. Unfortunately, the business trip that was bringing me canceled is being rescheduled, so I won’t make that date. I will inform people if we are able to reschedule the event in the near future.

Comments

  1. Joe E Dangerously says

    So what Tony is saying is atheists have a platform because there are no laws or tenets or anything. So we have a platform because we don’t have a platform.

    So in other words an angry homophobe is making no sense. Shocker.

  2. The YouTube Guy says

    I’m 99% certain Tony argued that an honor killing is ok if the culture says it is ok.

    P.S. The DSM-V is out now. This doesn’t matter but I just wanted to say this.

  3. Claudio Arzamendia says

    Tony is using “unnatural” in a wrong way. He think that humans are not animals.

  4. Joe E Dangerously says

    You know what just hit me? Tony was saying that people have gay sex because when there are no rules and they can do whatever they want that’s what they’re going to do. So isn’t he admitting he has some desire to do that? Because that’s never crossed my mind. I don’t ever recall having a gay urge in my life. Ever. I mean literally not one. And I have always believed being gay is fine and we can have sex with whomever we want as long as the person we’re having sex with consents. (and is able to consent) So when someone says that it seems as though they’re saying the only reason they’re not having gay sex is that they think it’s wrong. So it seems like Tony wants to be with a man again. He also admitted he was raped by at least one man in prison so it seems like he liked it and wants to do it again. Otherwise why would he think this? As someone who’s been 100% heterosexual for my whole life that’s not something I’d ever think. So I have to think Tony is not 100% heterosexual. I actually do pity him a little bit. Obviously he’s been indoctrinated to believe his urges are wrong and he hates himself for them. It’s sad, really. And the saddest part is that we’re training people to oppress themselves and others like themselves. It’s like those women who argue that their natural role is as they say barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. Or black people saying their natural role is being subservient to white people.

    If you think about it from a homophobic perspective, getting gay people to oppress one another is a pretty smart way to go about it. Because now you don’t even have to do any work. You’re getting gay people to do it for you.

  5. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Re: Jessica’s call
    God loves you, so naturally he communicates his desire to bring you back through guilt and fear.

  6. Tiffany says

    Ali-Dubai…. Nothing to say about what he is saying other than.. WOW! but, Russell’s face right now is cracking me up.

  7. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Russell’s reference during Ali’s call
     
    Article: PhysicsCentral – Moonshine and Lunacy
     

    moonlight makes things colder! How could this be? To find out, I took a dive into the well-intentioned but deeply problematic world of Youtube science.
     
    The first thing that I discovered on this journey was that this experiment is a popular one, particularly among “Flat Earth” theorists.
    […]
    while it’s tempting to assume that your “laser thermometer” is telling you the temperature at the illuminated spot, that’s only half the story – the laser actually doesn’t do anything besides help you aim! The actual measurement apparatus uses a lens to focus infrared radiation from your target onto a digital sensor. What this means is that, rather than taking the temperature at a point, you’re taking the temperature of a circle centered at that point. How big the circle is depends on how far away you are from your target, along with the internal optics of the thermometer.
    […]
    the spot he’s measuring on the moonlit side includes the ground beyond the edge of his pool deck, which is doubtless cooler than the stone that makes up the patio.

  8. louis cyfer says

    i have to say i usually dislike russell as a host, the shows are kind of flat and boring, but this one was very entertaining. he was having fun with it and letting the guy hang himself instead of hanging up because he gets annoyed. good job russell. jen was good as always, and they didn’t miss major points that the caller served up, they called him out.

  9. artofmkd says

    This is for Jessica, from NY, if she’s reading the comments! 🙂 Regarding the argument of “What if? You could go to hell!” that is so often presented as a reason to believe, or at least stay in the faith, I’ve had this presented to me many times by even the nicest, well meaning religious person. My response is usually to ask them first:

    – Do you believe that if a person is fundamentally good all their life; kind, generous, loving, A+ grade level goodness, do you believe they would go to heaven?

    Usually the answer is yes. So then I add: What if this person was not of your religion, do they still go to heaven?

    If the answer is yes, then does it really matter what faith a person follows, as long as they are good? If you are the best of yourself, even that “fall back” threat really doesn’t hold water, as it wouldn’t for any good atheist. In which case, belief in god is inconsequential to your life as it would pertain to that afterlife.

    If the answer is yes, then what they really mean is that the qualifying factor for that religion is that you are part of that religion, and whether or not they are a good Or bad person gives them the key to that Heaven. In That case, even if you still believed, even a bit, do you really want to believe in That religion? In which case, belief in god is still inconsequential to your life.

    Bad things happen all the time, to the best of people, even so frequently we can hardly catch our breath. That doesn’t help you, and I am so sorry, I wish it could. But please remember, even if god is there or not, even if there is an afterlife or not, what you have is here and now, all around you. If your family can’t understand that, if they end up shutting you out, you will still never be alone. We are all out here, hoping to help you out, even just a little bit. /melissa

  10. John D. says

    Man, the Enlightenment must go on if we want to avoid WWIII. People believe some crazy stuff as being true (because it fits with their predefined conclusions). Fundamentalism (believing without good objective evidence) needs to go away as path to truth.

  11. The YouTube Guy says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746

    If God will give people fear and guilt, why won’t he appear before people? We know there are accounts in the Bible of him doing this. He even use to wrestle people in the Bible.

    It seems Jessica’s experience is better explained by her world being completely changed and it scaring her. There is no evidence to suggest that God is giving her these fears. If you believe this is true, the same thing can be said for any doubting Muslim who feels fear and guilt when they go through their doubts. Is Allah making them feel these things? (Serious question)

  12. The YouTube Guy says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746

    Jen literally says “That’s the indoctrination. It makes you think you feel your God reaching out to pull you back in.” I don’t mean this to be rude but it seems you’ve been indoctrinated if you think her feelings are God.

    Once again… when a Muslim feels guilt/fear over their doubts, is that Allah reaching out to them? Would you say that they’re indoctrinated but you’re not? How do you draw this distinction when we see the exact same thing in two different religions with two different Gods.

    THE BIG QUESTION – Why would your God use the exact same fears/guilt that other religious people feel if they’re the one true God? It would make more sense if the followers of the true religion felt something different (Or something different happened) when they started to question it.

  13. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @The YouTube Guy #6:
    Sorry, as I wrote, I thought my juxtaposing love against guilt and fear was sufficient absurdity to indicate sarcasm.
     
    I should have included a disclaimer, considering how fundamentalist households can actually take that stance. =/

  14. Steven Shuster says

    One reason the “moon” test may work in some cases, might be that the wind may be blocked in a shaded area, where it may blow freely in an open area that the moon is shining in. Another depends on how you read the thermometer in the dark shadow vs in the moonlight (i.e. do you shine a flashlight on the thermometer in the shadow and not in the moonlight). One other consideration is the simple fact that one spot is likely to be warmer than another, so there’s a fair chance that some listeners of the claim will get the results claimed and accept the conspiracy theorist’s reasoning as true (and those that don’t are just ignored).

  15. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @The YouTube Guy #9:

    Jen literally says “That’s the indoctrination. It makes you think you feel your God reaching out to pull you back in.”

    That’s exactly the line I was alluding to. I should add that I wasn’t mocking Jessica. I was emphasizing that attributing coercion to a her god ought to make worshiping it LESS appealing.

  16. kelly says

    Ridiculous, irrelevant analogies.
    I suspect this man is leaning muslim, even though he claims no affiliation.
    Tired-ass arguments and ZERO providence.
    What if, what if, what if…
    What if…your aunt had balls? She’d be your uncle.

  17. The YouTube Guy says

    Sorry about that, sarcasm can be hard to read online. Maybe I should track names better and realize you were being deeply sarcastic.

  18. The YouTube Guy says

    @Steve Shuster

    Here is why we observe objects in the “moonlight” are cooler than objects not in it. Hint… it’s no the moonlight cooling it.

    Radiative cooling is commonly experienced on cloudless nights, when heat is radiated into space from the surface of the Earth, or from the skin of a human observer. The effect is well-known among amateur astronomers, and can personally be felt on the skin of an observer on a cloudless night. To feel the effect, one compares the difference between looking straight up into a cloudless night sky for several seconds, to that of placing a sheet of paper between one’s face and the sky. Since outer space radiates at about a temperature of 3 kelvins (-270 degrees Celsius or -450 degrees Fahrenheit), and the sheet of paper radiates at about 300 kelvins (room temperature), the sheet of paper radiates more heat to one’s face than does the darkened cosmos. The effect is blunted by Earth’s surrounding atmosphere, and particularly the water vapor it contains, so the apparent temperature of the sky is far warmer than outer space. Note that it is not correct to say that the sheet “blocks the cold” of the night sky; instead, the sheet is radiating heat to your face, just like a camp fire warms your face; the only difference is that a campfire is several hundred degrees warmer than a sheet of paper, just like a sheet of paper (at approximately air temperature) is warmer than the deep night sky.

    And once again… science has explained something religion gets wrong.

  19. mond says

    @11 Steven Shuster
    One other consideration is the fact that 2 thermometers are required. Error could easily creep in if they are not calibrated or functioning correctly.

    Also control experiment should be carried out on a night when the moon is not visible before you could even begin to think about correlation.

  20. John D. says

    I wonder what the “Moon has it’s own light” guy thinks about a solar eclipse. Y’know where you can see the light from the sun, but none from the moon, when the moon is in front of the Sun. Look up some images on Google of solar eclipses, there’s no light from the moon.

  21. The Thinking Hominid says

    ‘The YouTube Guy’ has given the correct answer to the moonlight question.
    The moonlight has nothing to do with the observed differences in thermometer readings.
    It is the fact that one thermometer has a direct line of sight to the night sky and the other does not.
    The energy from the moonlight will be too insignificant to produce any measurable effect on a common
    household thermometer. Also the moonlight would increase the temperature a miniscule amount, not lower it.
    .
    Transfer of temperature happens in one of two ways, conduction and radiation.
    Conduction occurs when two substances are in physical contact with one another.
    Electromagnetic radiation (thermal radiation) in the infrared region of the spectrum is what is relevant here.
    All objects above absolute zero radiate some energy all of the time. The ammount is proportional to their temperature.
    After a period of time an object will reach a state of equilibrium with it’s environment so there is as much
    incoming as outgoing thermal radiation.
    This radiation moves in a straight line (line of sight) so there is very little incoming radiation from the night sky.
    .
    An example of this effect is the dew that often forms on a car that is parked outside on a clear night.
    If you park the same car under a carport or even close to a building which blocks the view to part of the sky the dew may not appear.
    .
    It’s really an example of why it is never justified to jump to such a fantastic conclusion from a simple experiment and
    not allow other minds, perhaps more educated in science, to interpret the results.and offer other more plausible explanations.

  22. Mobius says

    His comment about the moon landing, “You believe that?”, was seriously condescending.

    Also, for me it was a serious headdesk moment. I think I have a bruise.

  23. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    Tony started off wrong from the jump. The typical “atheists are immoral” jazz. Muslims like him think that your belief or lack of belief informs your morality. The hosts could’ve booted him there. Wish they pressured him on his Allah belief and why he thinks that Allah is real.

    Oh lord!(See what I did there!) Another ex-atheist in the name of Ali. He’s using loaded language that implies his conclusion. Dude, none of that relays to a creator. Even if we start over from scratch the belief in a creator isn’t anymore justified. As soon as he got to the moon conspiracy, they should’ve booted him. I agree with Russell, I don’t buy his product(or is it just how he says stuff?) You heard it here folks, you’re being brainwashed by the science people!

    David, this isn’t church, save the sermons for the fellowship.

  24. Monocle Smile says

    Tony was a useless, belligerent asshole. I wouldn’t be too surprised if that was Charlie Check’em once again with a slightly different voice and strategy.
    It’s not exactly surprising, but crackpots like Ali (this extends to the TrueEmpiricism crowd, too) are constantly bursting with angst. You can hear in their voices. To me, it’s a result of fixating obsessively on something that they deem important that is nothing more than nonsense.

  25. Monocle Smile says

    People like David need a “stop being a fucking idiot” moment. It’s like he’s never encountered an atheist before…or anyone who’s not a believer. I largely blame the parents here. Godbot gonna godbot.

  26. says

    @15 mond – that’s exactly the discussion some of us were having after the show. I’d want several calibrated instruments, and I’d want to repeat the experiment in multiple moonlight levels to demonstrate that the moonlight is not the cause of any temperature difference.

  27. says

    I actually invited David to call the show after he posted a comment on TAE’s FB page. He posted something to the effect that he was a Christian and would answer any questions we had. I didn’t have any questions about being a Christian, but I was interested in his reasons for his beliefs. Chalk another one up to “personal experiences.”

  28. AndyD74 says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the moon gives off its own light, wouldn’t there be a full moon every night?

  29. thethinkinghominid says

    ‘The YouTube Guy’ has given the correct answer to the moonlight question.
    The moonlight has nothing to do with the observed differences in thermometer readings.
    It is the fact that one thermometer has a direct line of sight to the night sky and the other does not.
    The energy from the moonlight will be too insignificant to produce any measurable effect on a common
    household thermometer. Also the moonlight would increase the temperature a miniscule amount, not lower it.
    .
    Transfer of temperature happens in one of two ways, conduction and radiation.
    Conduction occurs when two substances are in physical contact with one another.
    Electromagnetic radiation (thermal radiation) in the infrared region of the spectrum is what is relevant here.
    All objects above absolute zero radiate some energy all of the time. The ammount is proportional to their temperature.
    After a period of time an object will reach a state of equilibrium with it’s environment so there is as much
    incoming as outgoing thermal radiation.
    This radiation moves in a straight line (line of sight) so there is very little incoming radiation from the night sky.
    .
    An example of this effect is the dew that often forms on a car that is parked outside on a clear night.
    If you park the same car under a carport or even close to a building which blocks the view to part of the sky the dew may not appear.
    .
    It’s really an example of why it is never justified to jump to such a fantastic conclusion from a simple experiment and
    not allow other minds, perhaps more educated in science, to interpret the results.and offer other more plausible explanations.

  30. Jason Waskiewicz says

    I always enjoy Russell’s quiet way of taking charge. I was amused when he told Tony, “This is a discussion, not a rant.” That aside, I thought Jen was more brightly lit tonight than the cohost has been the last few weeks. Unless it’s either my imagination or her sunny personality. On that note, I think these two hosts worked really well together. I’ll admit that I laughed out loud when they started talking to Tony about sex.

    On a more serious note, when I hear a caller like Ali discussing something so odd and claiming that the Moon landings were a hoax, I question whether or not I’m listening to a prank caller. Sadly, I also know that such people do exist. Several other posters have referenced the issues with laser thermometers and origins in the Flat Earth movement. But, I’ll add one link that discusses whether moonlight can be focused like sunlight to start a fire. Short answer: No.

    https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=18061

  31. says

    jen to tony @41:33“do you understand genetics? [catches herself, remembers who’s she’s talking to, eyerolls] no, of course you don’t understand genetics …”

    well, tony understands enough to know that sperm comes from the brain … (@40:11)

  32. The YouTube Guy says

    @Jen Peeples

    There is no need for testing. Long story short, space is really cold.

    Full story… Space is around -450 Fahrenheit. Anything on Earth is warmer than outer space. For something to be obscured from the moonlight, it will also be obscured from the radiative cooling of space by the object obscuring space. This object will be much warmer than space. Imagine someone doing this experiment with their hand covering up the sheet… it’s quite obvious that your hand will radiate heat and the part of the object in the moonlight will be much cooler than the part in close proximity to your hand. Furthermore, as stated before, anything on Earth will be warmer than outer space. Do the same experiment but substitute something else for your hand blocking the moonlight and you’ll see the same results.

  33. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ MS 18/19: Yeah, I know several Southern Baptists like that who are absolutely convinced that they’ve had a personal encounter with the divine. When I patiently explain that there are thousands of Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Shintoists, and everything else who will claim just as passionately that they’ve had an equivalent experience with their respective deity/ies, they get personally offended that I won’t take their testimony at face value, because theirs is authentic and everyone else is wrong. You can literally hear the quavering in their voices as they insist that everyone believe exactly as they do and seriously can’t deal with the fact that I don’t. Ugh.

  34. says

    Re: Jessica’s

    I am an atheist who sympathizes with struggling with the affects of indoctrination. Shortly after deconverting I was diagnosed with cancer. I know it’s irrational but, I immediately thought god was punishing me for apostasy. Now that I’m on the other side and am recovering, I chuckle when I think about how super passive aggressive god would have to be to stick me with all these medical bills just because I don’t believe. Life just happens Jessica. The bad thing that happen to you have nothing to do with god.

  35. nathanre says

    The moon cannot be 100% lit directly by the sun as seen from earth, as the earth would be in the way. This is a lunar eclipse. Sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere does illuminate the moon during a lunar eclipse. This shows as a “blood” moon, similar to the coloration of sunrise and sunset as the sunlight passes through the atmosphere to illuminate the moon.

    Because the moon orbits the Earth in a different plane than the plane that the Earth orbits the sun, most full moons occur when the sun, Earth and moon are not in a straight line. Although these full moons are not 100% illuminated as observed from earth, the fraction is so small that we cannot tell the difference with the naked eye.

  36. says

    I wonder what Ali in Dubai thinks makes the full moon a full moon, if the moon itself gives off the light we see from it. I would love to hear his explanation for that.
    Here’s an experiment he can try for himself, no thermometers needed!

  37. Russell Glasser says

    I have to say I usually dislike Louis Cyfer as a viewer, his comments are kind of useless and contribute nothing to the discussion, but this one showed excellent insight and taste. Good job Louis.

  38. Frisk says

    Hey Russel! Thumbs up about mentioning Goedel’s theorems and applying them to the human mind. I think it’s a very important but heavily underrepresented topic in talks about religions and atheism – especially when it talking about rightness and consistency of statements and beliefs. I’d really appreciate if you went deeper into it eventually.

  39. says

    re ali the moon-truther: i’m always amused by folks who claim that what we know via science is wrong, while petulantly ignoring the fact that they’re using computers to share their crackpottery with the world, thanks to a continuous history of countless inventions based on our widening understanding of science, and the fact that they’re today alive to be crackpots, thanks to countless agricultural and medical advances.

  40. Kitsunelaine says

    Gotta say, I really liked the episode this week. I’m surprised the first caller wasn’t just hung up on when the discussion kept rotating in circles, but I suppose some people just need that extra time. That moon guy, I’m glad you didn’t hang up on him, he just got more and more ridiculous as it went on.

    Great show this week, guys. Keep it up.

  41. thebookofdave says

    aarrgghh @27

    Even the thermometers in his proposed experiment is the product of the same body of science he accuses of deliberate deception. How does Ali trust his conclusions, when the measuring instruments are suspect?

    Jason Waskiewicz @22

    Focused moonlight may not be intense enough to ignite dry tinder, but it will concentrate the light and magnify its effects. If Ali is correct, the thermometer should produce a measurably cooler reading if placed at the focal point.

  42. says

    Russell I think you misunderstood what the first callerwas trying to say.
    I think he was trying to say that homosexuality isn’t normal (the norm) because if it was then over the millennia the human race would have died out.
    Of course, I think, it’s a mute point because if a single sex species suddenly selected homosexuality then it wouldn’t make it to being a species. Further, it may be possible that a species did select homosexuality as preferential but also selected having both sexual organs making all of them homosexuals and thus for that species being homosexual would be normal, but now I’m getting into silly territory.
    As for the platform comment, I agree you have a platform. It’s the TV show.

  43. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    Couple of points on the moon light theory.

    I told that idea to my 8-year old daughter and she worked out the problem straight away – so shame on you Jen and Russell (and me too – I had to read this blog first)!

    Also that caller did mention he was searching for ‘pranks’ on YouTube. I suspect he was a poe. A rather well constructed one, but a poe none the less. Hard to tell though, I didn’t think that until toward the end of the call.

    Great show guys.

    Simon

  44. DavidL says

    Jens handling of the first call was incredibly impressive. Her kindness and acceptance towards hate and ignorance shows a great restraint and wisdom You’re a role model Jen!

  45. Steven Shuster says

    @The YouTube Guy
    Radiative cooling occurs whether an area is under direct moonlight or not. It’s just the lack of cloud cover to hold in the heat that matters for that. But, if your shaded area is near a large solid object, which holds in heat longer, that could help explain the difference in temp.

  46. Keith Baker says

    If the Moon gives off its own light, why are there phases of the Moon? Surely it would be seen as a full Moon all of the time?

  47. pedantik says

    The moon generates its own light? Then why do we see light coming from only a portion of the moon most days of the month? And WTF does he think happens to the moon’s light-generating abilities during a lunar eclipse? The answers must be in the Quran somewhere.

  48. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Regarding the miraculous cooling effect of moonlight… I wonder if, maybe, the light coming from the moon is, somehow less concentrated and intense than that coming from the sun?

    Or… I don’t know, did I mishear the claim? Maybe it’s about the difference in the amount of moonlight that comes through between clear and cloudy skies?

    Also, laser reflectors. On the moon. Left by three manned American missions & two unmanned Soviet missions. Even if we disagree that men never set foot on the surface of the moon, it’s pretty clear that man-made objects made it up there.

  49. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    ….also, why does only one side of the moon produce light at any one time?

  50. MJ says

    See – the Moon gives off cooling light
    because it is made of Swiss Cheese – and the Alps have snow on them, see?
    and the holes in the Cheese – are created by Swiss Army Knives
    so the US and the Swiss Armies are in cahoots – they use the moon and the cooling it does to distract us from the hollow earth and the cosmic turtle that really runs things.
    The hollow earth is filled with the holes from the swiss cheese – that the Cosmic Turtle snacks upon.

    Dummy

  51. gshelley says

    The first call didn’t seem to go anywhere. I got he thought homosexuality was natural, but couldn’t tell if he had any other thoughts than that. Every time one of the hosts claimed he has something against gay people, he objected. I don’t think they asked, but it would possibly have been helpful to use the “so what?” argument. “OK, if by some arbitrary and inconsistent definition homosexuality is unnatural, then what? Do you just want that label attached, or are there any consequences – make it illegal, ban marriage?”

    His other point, that Russell should try homosexuality if he didn’t think it was unnatural, also seemed to warrant a response that he didn’t get, namely something along the “would you?” lines. It’s is possible he does experience same sex attraction, but doesn’t do anything because of his religious views, but it is also possible he would answer that he wouldnt because it has no appeal to him. Either way, he might have stopped asking the question

  52. The YouTube Guy says


    @Athywren

    I wonder if, maybe, the light coming from the moon is, somehow less concentrated and intense than that coming from the sun?


    Yep! It is way less concentrated. In researching this I learned that you concentrated light from an object can’t go beyond the surface temperature of the object emitting the light. It would actually violate thermodynamics (Yes… really… for once a proper usage). Think about it. Heat is energy. So if we turned on a flashlight and then were able to increase the heat of the flashlight through lenses (Which require no energy) we’d have increased the total energy in the system. Thus… creating energy. The surface of the sun usually illuminates the Earth and that is well beyond the required temperature needed to ignite something. That is why it is easy to raise the energy coming from the sun but still, you wouldn’t be able to raise it past the surface of the sun (Which is unneeded).

    @Russell

    I have to say I usually dislike Louis Cyfer as a viewer, his comments are kind of useless and contribute nothing to the discussion, but this one showed excellent insight and taste. Good job Louis.


    Haha! Now that is sarcasm I can quickly understand.

  53. Jason Waskiewicz says

    @ thebookofdave 28

    That’s a good point. I was pointing out that there is a lot less energy in moonlight than sunlight, but you pointed out a way to test Ali’s idea (I won’t even grant it the word hypothesis) that moonlight absorbs energy.

  54. TxSkeptic says

    #14 @ The YouTube Guy
    You beat me to it big time. Radiative cooling at night is a well studied phenomenon. I even use it myself routinely. I have a swimming pool with solar panels, through which the pool water circulates, to heat the pool up extending the swimming season in the fall and spring. However, in the heat of the summer, I run the panels at night and it cools the pool instead through radiative cooling. The effect is not dramatic, but it is real.
    I also suspect the thermometer test would actually show more cooling on a moonless night rather than at full moon, but I doubt any of us have precise enough instrumentation to be able to detect the difference.

  55. TxSkeptic says

    And about the naturalistic question about homosexuality, Tony seemed to be implying that if being homosexual was natural, then we ALL should be doing it. How about this as a rebuttal – having any particular hair color, let’s say red, is perfectly natural (except the pink, purple and greens I keep seeing), that doesn’t mean we should all be red heads.

    I hope Tony calls back when he quits self-loathing and comes out of the closet.

  56. The YouTube Guy says

    @TxSkeptic

    I think what we could do is measure the difference in temperature between an object under the stars and an object obscured from the stars on a moonless and full moon nights. Take 20* measurements for each group and run a two-sample t-test. I wish Ali would learn more about science. It would allow him to answer his own questions.

    *Unfortunately if the effect is too small the sample size of 20 might not give us enough statistical power to observe significant results.

  57. Hayden Nicholl says

    There is something ironic about Tony calling the show a platform for the “atheist agenda” while he himself was clearly trying to use it as a platform for his own opinions.

  58. SadakoTetsuwan says

    Russel, I found a deal on Amazon for a 10 pack of thermometers for $16.30, so congratulations, I’ll be running this experiment over the next month.

    I’ll take measurements from the ground (dirt), the other ground (concrete), and from the table on my back porch, and I’ll take three measurements from each location (exposed, covered with a cardboard box, covered with a cloth). The 10th thermometer will be factored into my control temp measurement (including Weather.com, NOAA.gov, and the local news organizations’ temperatures for each night).

    If I had a few more thermometers, I’d throw a few inside my garage or backyard shed, to see if a layer of glass blocks these magical moonbeams and rainbow sparkles, but I don’t know if either of them receives adequate moonlight through their windows anyway. I’ll have to check that tonight, before my box of science arrives.

  59. Monocle Smile says

    @gshelley
    Maybe you missed it, but the hosts responded to Tony in exactly both of the ways you ask for. Russell clearly said “so what?” at least once and definitely asked Tony if he would try gay sex at least twice.
    @Matthew Ray
    Uh…what? Homosexuality isn’t a choice. If everyone on the planet were female, the human race would die out. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong or unnatural to be female. Variation within a species is far more natural than lack of variation. And it doesn’t matter, anyway. Tony was a buffoon.

  60. mond says

    After much research I have come to the conclusion that cooling moonlight emanating directly from the moon is a real and dangerous phenomena.

    I urge you all to do as I have done.

    Purchase a large quantity of moonscreen.

    Simply smear it liberally on any exposed bodily parts if you intend to be out in the moonlight for any longer than the briefest of times.

    The particular brand which I use guarantees against werewolf transformation and all types of lunacy.

    My body hair is currently its normal length and I am completely sane; so it really does work.

  61. Ethan Myerson says

    “Moon generating its own light” reminded me of this great bit from the “Wise Men of Chelm” from Yiddish folklore. IIRC, A quiz was devised to determine who was the wisest in the town of Chelm. The quiz asked which was more important, the sun or the moon. “The Moon”, the wisest man answered, “because it shines at night, when you need it. The sun shines during the day, when it’s already so bright out.”

  62. Blixic says

    @Mond #71

    My fiancee and I had fun a couple of years ago convincing his daughter (8 or 9 at the time) that she would need moonscreen on for nighttime activities such as stargazing. The idea that “since there’s such a thing as sunscreen, there must be such a thing as moonscreen” was very convincing to her juvenile mind. A lot of the theist callers seem to use similar “since… then” illogical/disjointed reasoning. Says something about their level of thinking.

  63. Monocle Smile says

    I think Joe’s problem is that he’s more concerned with belaboring and ridiculing believers than actually appealing to reason and changing minds. It’s a trap that too many atheists fall into and it’s counterproductive.
    If you want to go after moderate believers, don’t be Joe. Instead, call them out for doing jack shit when fundamentalists run rampant. Moderate believers are terrible about doing anything of note to stop fundamentalists from causing damage.

  64. bigjay says

    If the moon gives off its own light, why isn’t the moon “full” all the time? What’s making the phases of the moon?

  65. BillBo says

    The “moon guy” perfectly illustrates the problem (even danger) of people living in a culture where a majority of people derive what is real from an ancient book of fiction. He was probably taught that Muhammed was bathed in the cooling light of the moon as he rode his winged horse into the heavens. And wherever fact contradicts with what is in the Quran there is some scientific conspiracy going on. Religion is the actual conspiracy. defn. Religion : a conspiracy to hide the truth behind fictional writings.
    And the thing these nut cases just seem to never understand is that if they were to prove something like that an alternate form of radiation existed and was being emitted by the moon all that gets them is a possible Nobel prize. It doesn’t mean that there is a god because science got something wrong. Their god STILL has the seemingly insurmountable job of revealing itself.

  66. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @BillBo #78:

    It doesn’t mean that there is a god because science got something wrong

     

    One of the bad effects of an anti-intellectual philosophy […] is that it thrives upon the errors and confusions of the intellect. Hence it is led to prefer bad thinking to good, to declare every momentary difficulty insoluble, and to regard every foolish mistake as revealing the bankruptcy of intellect and the triumph of intuition.
     
    -Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy

  67. Kimchi says

    I wish Russell had gone to the reddit result for the moon cooling effect, in which the top commenter linked to the Wikipedia explanation of radiative cooling. I would love to have asked the guy to repeat the same experiment on a clear night when the moon wasn’t out, to show him that the moon has nothing to do with it. Though, it really doesn’t matter what real-world explanation anyone could give him, as he has already convinced himself that the whole of science is some giant conspiracy.

  68. Kimchi says

    I wish Russell had gone to the reddit result for the moon cooling effect, in which the top commenter linked to the Wikipedia explanation of radiative cooling. I would love to have asked the guy to repeat the same experiment on a clear night when the moon wasn’t out, to show him that the moon has nothing to do with it. Though, it really doesn’t matter what real-world explanation anyone could give him, as he has already convinced himself that the whole of science is some giant conspiracy.

  69. Rokxy says

    I am so confused about what Tony found so difficult to understand. Did he think sex was a requirement to conceive? As Jen said, just get a male friend to jizz in a cup. Bit crude and might not be successful on the first try(much like intercourse)but men jerk off constantly, there’s not exactly a shortage of supply of “stuff” haha.

  70. Ryan Beren says

    I spent a good 15 minutes looking for my thermometer but couldn’t locate it. So I did the next dumbest thing, which was to just walk outside, position my face in the moonlight but a few steps from where the moonlight would be blocked by a tree, close my eyes, and step sideways until either I ran out of driveway or I felt a change of temperature.

    Almost needless to say, I didn’t feel any temperature. Based on my biomedical engineering background knowledge, human skin can reliably detect temperature changes of about 1.3 degree Fahrenheit, so if there was a difference between moonlight and shade, it was less than that.

    But I live in Austin, so it was damn hot either way.

  71. Rithesh says

    About the MOONLIGHT EXPERIMENT.
    1.Light is a form of radiation and has energy and cannot cool anything. It can only increase the temperature.
    2.Any temperature change will be so minuscule you would need something more sensitive than a regular mercury thermometer.
    3.The idiots may have shielded the one thermometer from the cold night wind in the process of keeping it in the shade.
    4.You want a experiment try lunar ranging by getting high powered laser and bouncing it off the mirrors on the moon put there during the Apollo missions.

  72. Ali -Boomaye says

    Funny how no-one wants to talk about how “moon hoax guy” mentioned that spheres cannot reflect light the way the moon allegedly reflects light from the sun…umm its impossible. Funny again the absolutely nonsense arguments about ‘outer space radiation’ somehow explaining this away. Any object exposed to the moonlight will be cooler than objects that are not exposed to the moonlight but are in the same environment, if you were to concentrate the moonlight, it would cool faster and cool more (with limitations). Check mate.

  73. Frisk says

    @Jason Waskiewicz @other People @fire-with-moonlight
    Here’s another resource which explains in a humorous fashion why lighting a fire from moonlight is impossible, no matter how big a lens you have:
    http://what-if.xkcd.com/145/

  74. Colin Banks says

    If any energy reaches us from the Moon, and impinges on the Earth in some way it cannot be a “cooling”. light. It would have negative enrgy making it as plausible as phlogiston which had negative mass according to its proponents

  75. Kenny De Metter says

    My idea with regard to the ‘moonlight cools’ story :

    It seems likely to me that moonlight is going to have any significant heating effect. Not to mention cooling.
    So given the exact same conditions, a spot with moonlight should basically have the same heat.

    However, I’m just thinking of heat and shadows :
    The sun sets in the west, and as such you will have specific shadows from that. The places that have shadow first, will be cooler than the places that have shadow last.

    However, the moon than rises in the east, so the shadow will be on the other side first.
    So the place where the moon has shadow first, will be the place that had sun for the longest until sunset, and so should indeed be slightly warmer.

  76. Kenny De Metter says

    Sorry, that should be have been ‘it seems unlikely that moonlight is going to have significant heating effect’

  77. The YouTube Guy says

    @85 – Kenny De Metter

    Check out the posts on radiative cooling in the thread. They explain why this occurs.

  78. Kenny De Metter says

    Thanks, I read that, but I guess I didn’t completely understand it, because I don’t see the relation with moon light.
    Could you explain how it related to the moon ( why a place having moonlight would be cooler ) ?

    Thanks !

  79. Devocate says

    @87:

    I’ll try. Heat can be transferred by radiation (and conduction and convection); a given object will radiate energy depending on its temperature (among other things). All the things surrounding it will be doing the same thing. The temperature of an object will thus move toward the average temperature of everything it ‘sees’. An object which can see the moon, is also seeing a lot of empty space. The full moon may have a temperature of 300K (Kelvin), but space has a temperature of 3K, so most of the things it sees are very cold. The object in shade on the other hand sees a lot of 280K trees and buildings.

    To do the experiment properly, put two thermometers in insulated containers, with a small hole 1/2 degree in size. Point one at the moon and the other at empty space. See what happens. My prediction is that the one pointing at the moon will be warmer.

  80. The YouTube Guy says

    Devocate gets it right.

    The thermometers are registering the lack of heat in space rather than the lack of heat in the moon. Any covered thermometer will register the heat from what is covering it thus making the uncovered thermometer seem less warm. If the caller was well-versed in science he wouldn’t even talk about the moonlight being cooler. He would describe it as “less warm” because there is merely heat and lacking heat (Which equates to cold) in the scientific world.

  81. Jeremy Tarone says

    Jessica:
    I’m sorry to hear a lot of bad things happened to you. Realize that bad things happen to all of us, believers and non believers alike.

    You deserve to be happy and to have a good life. That isn’t just a platitude, it’s the truth. When ever you have thoughts that concern you or may stop you from having a happy life, talk back to them. Tell yourself you are a good person and you deserve to be happy and have a good life. If you worry about going to hell, ask yourself, would a God that loves you send you to hell? Just for not believing in him? If God wanted you to believe in him, couldn’t he provide evidence that would convince you? If he didn’t convince me, there must not be a God, and no God means no hell. The more you read the more reasons you will will no doubt find for not believing. You might become a true atheist with no belief in God. A lot of ex Christians feel better than ever once they abandoned their belief. The fear they felt disappeared. You don’t have to live in fear of a place that doesn’t exist. I’ve never believed in hell.

    It’s not wrong for you to want a good life, nor is it wrong for you to believe or not believe in God. This is your life to live as you see fit. There are people out there who will give you emotional support and friendship without requiring you believe in God. All you have to do is find them. They are out there.

    Bad things happen to good and bad people, and so do good things. Move past the bad and remember the good and look forward to creating more good memories. You deserve to be happy and have a good life. Work towards that and it will most likely happen. Remember that the people in your life can effect how you see yourself. Negative people can bring you down too. Sometimes the people around you will never let you be the person you want to be. If necessary, see less of them, or remove them from your life completely. That is a decision only you can make.

    Be sure of one thing, there are others on your side rooting for you to succeed and have a great life!

  82. Jeremy Tarone says

    Great show. The only thing I’d have changed would be not giving the Apollo mission denier the last word to rant on.
    I really hate listening to these conspiracy guys, truthers, flat Earthers, anti vaccers. They are just a huge waste of energy and time.

  83. says

    An easy way to debunk moon deniers is to bring up the retro-reflectors the astronauts left there to be used for measuring the exact distance from the Earth to the moon. Any observatory can point a laser at the reflectors, and sure enough, the beam comes right back.

  84. JD and Co. says

    There was an awful lot of “It’s unnatural” “Is not” “is so” going on in the first call. Two things that would have cut through the caller’s bullshit:
    1) let’s give “natural” a definition we can both agree on
    2) then decide why the fuck we should care if it’s natural or not.

    BTW Jen, you were INCREDIBLY patient–and so right on!–when you said that you were sorry about the caller’s gay friends and their self-loathing. I would have loved to tell the caller the story of growing up in a very redneck Southern town, and the amount of white people who would defend their use of the “N” word by saying, “I have a black friend, and he won’t let me call him anything else but N—!” Oddly enough I never met this black friend–or any other black person who insisted on being called by a racial slur. Just as I highly doubt the caller has any friends who think their sexual expression is “unnatural,” but if they really existed, that surely is some self-loathing indeed.

  85. dana says

    Ali in Dubai said he had just found them via the internet, and, in spite of his ignorance was able to get connected. He upset me by not only being ignorant, but too ignorant to react to the fact that Jen actually worked on part of the Rover. All his thoughts and words were going outward, with nothing coming in. That is why I have a disinterest in listening to the show when Russel Glasser is working the switchboard. The first caller and Ali should have been rudely dismissed in half the time it took Russel to do it politely.

  86. Erde says

    Re: Ali from Dubai
    Russell, Jen, No need to do the experiments. Ali is correct that on a cloudless, full-moon night a thermometer exposed to the sky (and to the full moon) will very likely register a lower temperature than one nearby at the same ambient temperature that is not exposed to the sky (or to the moon). Any competent undergraduate physics or engineering student would reach that conclusion based on undergraduate coursework alone, without the need for experimentation (I have a Master of Science in Engineering).

    Ali’s explanation for this is not correct however for reasons already stated by others. Ali is obviously not a scientist because he fails to suggest or consider control experiments or even every-day, common-sense observations that eliminate bad explanations for this observation, Including his bad explanation. Ail should direct his very evident, but misplaced, skepticism toward his own ideas before publically embarrassing himself to thousands of people.

  87. Kenny De Metter says

    @88

    Thanks, I think I understand now :
    A place shares it’s heat with the objects closest to it, and a place is only in shadow because there is some object close by ( trees, a building, etc… ) . An open space doesn’t have shade. Because any object nearby is going to be warmer than open space, places with shade will be warmer.

    It essentially has nothing to do with the moon, the place would be warmer even if there was no moon. The moon just allows you to see the shade.

    Is my understanding correct ?
    Thanks !

  88. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Kenny De Metter
    Heat is transferred in three primary ways: conduction, convention, radiation. In this case, we can focus on conduction and radiation. Conduction is the transfer of heat of two touching objects. Radiation here generally refers to simple electromagnetic radiation, including microwaves, visible light, ultraviolet, x rays, gamma rays, etc.

    Every object emits radiation. This radiation, called black body radiation, depends on the object’s temperature. Hotter objects emit more black body radiation. When an object gets “red hot”, this redness is the black body radiation. It’s the same for all objects which reach that temperature (without conflicting light sources like fire). Even at normal room temperatures, every object is glowing, but at room temperature, they glow brightest at wavelengths that we cannot see, i.e. infrared.

    The night sky, specifically outer space, is effectively very cold, hundreds of degrees below normal room temperature.

    Every object is fully surrounded by other objects – the night sky counts as an “object” for our purposes here.

    So, consider two thermometers, #1 is covered but exposed to the night air. #2 is in the open night air, and fully exposed to the night sky. The cover itself is exposed to the night sky. The cover itself, and the thermometer exposed to the night sky, are going to emit black body radiation, and the amount of black body radiation that they receive from the night sky is very small because outer space is very cold.

    If this was the only source and sink of heat, the cover itself and the exposed thermometer would get very cold, as cold as outer space, via the loss of energy via black body radiation. However, the cover and exposed thermometer also receive energy from the air by conduction, and the air is much warmer than outer space. So, the cover itself, and the exposed thermometer, will reach an stable equilibrium temperature. The amount of energy lost via black body radiation will equal the miniscule energy received from black body radiation from empty space, and the significant amount of energy from conduction with the air.

    At this simplistic level of analysis, the cover itself and the uncovered thermometer will have about the same internal temperature.

    The covered thermometer is in a different situation. The covered thermometer and uncovered thermometer are quite close in temperature, and therefore they’re going to emit about the same black body radiation, but the covered thermometer has a much hotter effective “sky” – the cover is much hotter than outer space. Thus, the covered thermometer will have a higher internal temperature.

    In effect, the cover acts like a blanket, or insulator. It’s a blanket for black body radiation. The cover has a temperature in the middle of the temperature of outer space and the temperature of the night sky / ground, which allows the covered thermometer to be hotter than its cover.

    Normally, we use blankets to provide this same sort of effect for conduction and convention. However, here, it’s serving a very similar role – acting to slow down heat transfer – heat transfer by radiation.

    I hope I’m not missing anything, or messing anything up.

    PS: Note, in my analysis, I ignored the moon entirely. The moon is very small in the sky, and it’s not very hot, and so we can just ignore it for our simplistic analysis here. What matters is that objects under the night sky would emit more black body radiation than they receive, and the moon is not just hot enough to make up for the rest of the very cold outer-space sky. Whereas, the Sun is hot enough to make up for the very cold outer-space sky, and objects in the open air during the day receive more black body radiation from the sky than they emit. The Sun is very, very hot.

    PPS: Of course, this analysis makes the assumption that the night air (and ground) is an infinite heat sink / source of constant temperature. Of course, if there was no sun, then the air and the ground would also lose heat to outer space via black body radiation. (There’s also the point of energy from nuclear decay of elements in the Earth, which is a significant source of energy apart from the Sun.)

  89. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    In effect, the cover acts like a blanket, or insulator. It’s a blanket for black body radiation. The cover has a temperature in the middle of the temperature of outer space and the temperature of the night sky / ground, which allows the covered thermometer to be hotter than its cover.

    Normally, we use blankets to provide this same sort of effect for conduction and convention. However, here, it’s serving a very similar role – acting to slow down heat transfer – heat transfer by radiation.

    I should add to this: It’s acting as more than a mere insulator. It’s doing more than just slowing down the heat transfer by sticking something in the middle. Because the “blanket”, or cover itself, is inside the atmosphere, inside the air, it’s also receiving heat from the air.

    What I wrote would still be true even if the cover was above the atmosphere. It would still act to slow down heat transfer, and it would still be hotter than outer space, in this simplistic level of analysis. If you’ve taken some calculus, specifically differential equations, it’s a simple differential equation setup. Assuming outer space and the air are infinite heat sinks of a constant temperature, then a cover in outer space would be above the temperature of outer space, but below the temperature of the air. That the cover is also in the air allows it to receive additional heat by conduction just makes the cover a little hotter still, which makes a more pronounced effect on the covered thermometer.

    I hope I’m getting this right. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve had a proper physics class. I think I am.

  90. X.E. Jellico says

    I suspect that the guy who talked about the cooling moonlight experiment is a full fledged flat earther. Early in the call he mentioned a dome over the earth. These guys do their research by watching youtube instead of watching a sunset. If they did watch a sunset they’d notice that the sun goes below the horizon and doesn’t go off into the distance. Also they don’t seem to accept that reality could be counterintuitive. The moon and the sun appear to be the same size so therefore it must follow that they are the same size and about the same distance. All kinds of science denial is required to make this world view work. Gravity is not real. NASA is a misinformation organization. The Sun travels in a circular path about 3000 miles above a flat earth. Antarctica is not real, it’s a giant ice ring holding in the oceans, and it’s protected by international treaties and no one is allowed there to protect this secret. As a conspiracy theory it’s gotta be one of the most extensive out there, and it necessarily has to incorporate the moon hoax conspiracy.

  91. Kenny De Metter says

    Thanks, that is very interesting. I appreciate your detailed explanation.
    I really like your analogy with an insulator. Made it much more clear to me.

  92. gshelley says

    If moonlight did have a cooling effect, how would that even work? Would the rays somehow decrease the energy of things they hit? Out-compete the “positive energy” from normal light-sources? The ability to cool something by exposing it to a light source would be of huge interest to science, the idea that it would be suppressed because it supports a particular interpretation of a holy book is just not feasible.

  93. Kimchi says

    To Kenny De Metter and anyone for whom the eloquent response of EnlightenmentLiberal was TLDR:

    “It essentially has nothing to do with the moon, the place would be warmer even if there was no moon. The moon just allows you to see the shade.

    Is my understanding correct ?”

    Yes.

  94. BillBo says

    #95 An interesting thing is that scientist actually do cool things with light. They use lasers to achieve near absolute zero temperatures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_cooling

    Now if the moon was giving off a special type of light that was able to cool things I think the way you could easily test it would be to put a radiometer in moonlight and see if it spins backwards. A sensitive radiometer will spin in moonlight in the expected (forwards, black side trailing) direction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crookes_radiometer

    I would think you could also check the spectrum of the light coming from the moon and see that it exactly matches the spectrum of light from the sun. Thus proving it is reflected sunlight.

  95. Monocle Smile says

    @BillBo
    Not sure the second thing would work…depending on the composition of regolith, it is highly likely that some bands are reflected and others are mostly absorbed. The reflected spectrum likely does not match the Sun, at least not entirely.

  96. G Squier says

    He said ” man the booth”
    She said ” host the booth”

    Kinda funny.

    Have always loved the show, thanks 🙂

  97. JH says

    @Bilbo Not that this comment will matter. But speaking as an amateur astronomer, and pilot with the basic eterology nailed down, the ‘cold moon light’ is well known.

    As Monocle says; the reflected light wont match the suns spectrum, not even remotely. It is reflected light, and whatever reach us is telling a story about the composition of the moon. Infrared is mostly absorbed, so is UV. Can you find that there is temp diff? Sure. That has to do with meteorology. When you have a bright moon light, you usually have a cloudless sky which means that the earth radiates its heat to space. Th effect is actually measurable. Sure it depends on a host of factors (such as the materials in the ground and so forth, bu the net effect is there. Shade usually implies an obstructed view to space which usually means a measurable slow down in the radiation to space. The effect is very pronounced when cloudy (which is like setting up an insulation filt).

    The moon light argument is common in the subculture dealing with flat earthers. A special kind of breed stupid.

  98. corwyn says

    @97:

    The spectrum of the Sun minus the absorption spectrum of the regolith should give what we see in moonlight. We can measure the absorption spectrum of regolith from the samples we brought back.

  99. Monocle Smile says

    Watched again. Ali appears to blatantly lie at least twice and I missed it the first time.
    Once when he claims to have done the experiment himself, because he not only hesitates, but then doesn’t describe how he conducted the experiment despite being asked.
    The second one is more obvious…when he claims to have worked on part of Curiosity after Jen did. Something is seriously wrong with this tool.

    This is a huge reason why I haven’t engaged with conspiracy theorists in a very long time. They aren’t beholden to even the appearance of honesty. They have no shame about lying about absolutely everything, even things that are very obviously on-the-spot lies. I could do the Liar Liar thing and hold up a blue marker and they would say it’s red with a straight face. I wonder half the time if it’s a pathology.

  100. A McCormack says

    To totally blast the “Cooling Moonlight” hypothesis out of the sky, you could run the pointless experiment once when the moon is out and once when the moon is under the horizon. The result will be the same: The exposed thermometer will be cooler than the non-exposed thermometer.

    So what would the caller say is the reason then? Refracted moonlight in the atmosphere? The cooling effect of the moving goal posts?

  101. X.E. Jellico says

    Here is a video posted by a flat earther that shows the setup for the moonlight cooling experiment. (go to 6:30 in the video) The difference in temperature is only 0.3 degrees C. They used a towel draped over the thermometer to provide shade for the moonlight. Maybe using an infrared camera would lead to a better explanation of why the thermometer under the towel is higher than the thermometer under the moonlight. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4DTaSU4ZaU

  102. James Henderson says

    Everybody loves TAE when Matt is on, but Damn if this wasn’t one of the best Eps purely because he wasn’t!

    Russell and Jen were absolutely brilliant against all Callers because they gave them the space that Matt wouldn’t.

    I am so lucky to live in a country where I can stand on a Street Corner and declare myself an Atheist and few, if any, would care. So I watch TAE more often-than-not, for entertainment value. Forgive me Russel, but I am guilty for being disappointed when you are the Host.

    I will never commit this “Sin” again. Give the caller as much rope as they need to be hilarious!

  103. Questor says

    Greetings everyone. I am a long-time AE listener, but am just finding this comment board. Two points:
    First point, I’m afraid Russell and Jen missed a golden opportunity. The next time you ask a caller like Tony to define “natural,” and they say something about things being found in the animal kingdom, your very next words should be, “So is worshipping a god natural?”
    On a (on slightly more) serious tone, if they start talking about homosexuals having made the “wrong choice”, try some Socratic questioning focused around when they think they “chose” to be straight. As a young adult, did they ever say to themselves, “hmmm..boys .. girls…boys .. girls…ermmm, I think I’ll choose girls” ? It should hopefully get them to realize that our sexuality is not a choice we make – at least so far all the gay friends I have say the same thing here.

    Secondly, regarding moonlight. It was a simple procedure, so I just went ahead and did the damned experiment. I used two equivalent thermometers (nothing fancy, just a run-of-the-mill glass tube wall-hanging thermometer. Measurement was visual, so not amazingly accurate, about +/- 0.5 degrees. I conducted a variety of controls. One was to measure the temperature in the shade with both thermometers being a few inches apart. They registered the same reading. I swapped both thermometers, and unsurprisingly saw no difference. I then used the same setup during the day in sunlight, such that one was in direct sunlight, and the other was shaded by the roof of the house. Equilibration time was under 10 minutes, so I used that time throughout. The sunlight thermometer was 10.5 degrees (+/- 0.5 deg C.) hotter then the shaded one. I swapped them as before, and the readings on both reversed as expected (with the final temperature difference being 10.5 degrees C). I then performed the experiment at night on Thursday, Jun 21, one day after the official full moon, but it was still fairly full. I repeated the first control, both thermometers shaded from the moonlight. They registered the same temperature, and there was no change when swapping them. I then placed them in the same location as the daylight version, one of the thermometers in direct moonlight, the other shaded by the house as before. There were no artificial light sources shining in the area. They continued to read the same temperature, and there was no difference when swapping them. Rinse, Lather, repeat a few times. No difference was seen. Q.E.D.
    I noticed above some people commenting on the heat associated with “covering up” the thermometers. Perhaps this was what tripped up the caller (if he really did the experiment as he says… I am still keeping my “troll” vote on the table). In my case, the shade was provided by the house, so nothing was laying on top of the thermometers and both were exposed to the same air, which is certainly the greatest contributing factor to their readings (at night).

    I have my PhD in Physics and BS in Astronomy, so of course I knew what the outcome would be. But the more important point to be made here is that not only was the outcome as expected, but we can explain why this must be so. If someone 1,000 years ago told you they dropped an iron bar and a soap bar in some water, and the iron bar floated and the soap sank, we could be incredulous (we can repeat the experiment and consistently observe the opposite). But after Newton comes along, we can actually explain why the results are as they are, based on our knowledge of forces, gravity, surface tension, buoyancy, etc. Similarly, we know why moonlight cannot have any such cooling effect. We know what photons are, and that they carry momentum (and therefore energy) Thermal motion can only be increased by something as incoherent as moonlight (incoherence in the physics sense, not the logical sense 🙂 ) ( laser cooling, as some above have pointed to, is a special physical setup with coherent light). The total amount of moonlight striking the earth is so minimal that we can expect it to be extremely difficult to even detect with thermometers.

    Sorry for the tome, I’ll keep it shorter next time.
    “If the moon gives off its own light, why isn’t it full all the time?” Love it.

  104. Ronald Kappes says

    I’m coming to this conversation a little late because I just listened to the podcast. The first caller, Tony, made a remark that I’ve heard many times: “if everyone was homosexual the human race would die out.” All evidence so far has shown that sexual preferences are inborn, not chosen. This was discussed by Russell & Jen. But, let’s look at the “extinction” issue from each perspective.
    1. Assume it’s a choice. The “Gay Lobby” mounts a ferocious propaganda campaign so effective that every human on earth decides to become a homosexual with extreme contempt for the opposite sex. All heterosexual activity ceases. Even in this case, the human race would not disappear because most humans would be so terrified at the prospect of the Human Race disappearing that they would propagate or find some way to pass on their genes. The Existential Angst would eclipse the sexual urges.
    2. Assume it’s a genetic trait. I think it’s been shown that the natural occurrence of homosexuality in the population is about 10-15%.. For 100% of the population to have the homosexual trait we would need a period of about 50 or so years during which all the Earth’s births would just happen to have the homosexual trait. This would be enough time for all heterosexuals to die out or at least be past the fertile period. The probability of this happening in a population of 7.4 billion is very small
    I think anyone can see that both of these scenarios are absurd.

  105. says

    Ali was SUCH an inspiration to me…I misplaced the links I had for OTHER great Muslim minds.

    Like the cleric who said LAST YEAR that the sun DID INDEED rotate around the earth….

    Or the one who said the earth WAS flat, and anyone who said otherwise was an atheist who deserved punishment….

    Or the one posted last month on Twitter, who said the earth’s rotation had slowed down over the millennia…from **4-HOUR DAYS to 24!!**

    I’d tip my hat to Muslim science…IF they HAD any. Or could make up their minds which science fallacy about the planets they wanted to push.

  106. Vivec says

    @100
    I think you might be a little hyperbolic. Plenty of scientific achievements came from the muslim world. Off the top of my head, Ibn Sina’s book was a definitive medical textbook for nearly seven hundred years, Al-Battani calculated the solar year and made some more accurate measurements than Copernicus, and Ibn Khaldun was one of the first recorded social scientists.Wikipedia has a decent but not comprehensive list of them

  107. Questor says

    Hmm…posted a comment here yesterday about the show, some commentary on texts above, plus a summary of actually having done the moonlight experiment. The original site reply was that it was “awaiting moderator approval.” It now seems to have dissappeared into the ether. Did I put something in there a moderator didn’t approve of?

  108. Robert,+not+Bob says

    @100, 101

    Depending on how you define it, it could be argued that Muslims invented science. Lots of advances were made-centuries ago. Though I’m sure there are Muslim scientists, the Muslim world today is about as anti-scientific as it’s possible to get.

  109. Monocle Smile says

    @Questor
    All new posters’ first posts are put in Limbo. They get spambots and trolls here. Did you post a bunch of links? That sometimes borks things.

  110. Monocle Smile says

    @X.E. Jellico
    So all the hoopla was over 0.3 degrees Celsius? Are you kidding? That falls within the uncertainty of most household thermometers. Of course, we’re dealing with people who use the internet to scream that everything we’ve been taught in science is a lie, so expecting anything other than Insane Troll Logic is probably asking too much.

  111. Max says

    @Ali -Boomaye (#86, July 19, 2016 at 3:31 am)

    “Funny how no-one wants to talk about how “moon hoax guy” mentioned that spheres cannot reflect light the way the moon allegedly reflects light from the sun…umm its impossible.”

    Unless you have any evidence, your unsubstantiated claims are probably going to be ignored.

    “Funny again the absolutely nonsense arguments about ‘outer space radiation’ somehow explaining this away.”

    Except that radiative heat transfer is a well known and explained phenomena that is easy to demonstrate (not to mention its predictive capabilities). Your claims vary from baseless to complete misinterpretation of data. How do you think spacecraft control their temperatures (i.e. dump their heat)? Satellites point their radiators to space, purposefully *not* at the moon because that would cause heating (this has been demonstrated).

    “Any object exposed to the moonlight will be cooler than objects that are not exposed to the moonlight but are in the same environment, if you were to concentrate the moonlight, it would cool faster and cool more (with limitations).”

    Again, a claim without backing. And demonstrably false.

    “Check mate.”

    That’s not how it works

  112. Monocle Smile says

    @Ali – Boomaye
    Russell’s link as well as the explanations of lots of posters prove you completely wrong.
    I don’t know what you’re going on about with this “spheres can’t reflect light this way” bullshit. Seriously, have you ever passed any class in school?

    @Max
    This guy doesn’t think space is what it is. He thinks the moon isn’t a sphere and that the sun and moon are waaaay closer than we know them to be. He’s probably a flat-earther.

  113. Kevin KuyKendoll says

    This has probably been addressed already, but I have a counter-hypothesis to the Moonlight Temperature Experiment.

    Even if moonlight is cooler than “moonshade,” that doesn’t mean that the moon’s light is having a cooling effect; the shaded area could actually have a warming effect! For example, if you are using the shade of a tree, the canopy of the tree actually tends to trap heat from the daytime, keeping the tree’s trunk and surrounding area warm at night. On the other hand, if you’re using a telephone or power line post (so as to avoid the canopy effect) the post itself may be radiating warmth,either from internal current or from heat that it absorbed during the day. Thermal dynamics are – as the name implies – rather dynamic. You can’t do a single observation that only controls for the variable you’re testing and then declare a conclusion; you must instead control for all possible variables and then manipulate only one. And even then, if your experiment does show a difference in temperature, it does not mean that the moon’s light is a “cooling light” unless you can conduct other, different experiments that examine that effect.

    Oh, and the obvious question: what the hell is a “cooling light?”

  114. crocdoc says

    Re: Ali – Dubai

    I realise I’m a few weeks late but have just listened to the podcast. As soon as I heard Ali talk about the glass dome, the moon as a light and his doubts about the moon landing I picked him (as did X.E. Jellico and one or two others) as a bona fide flat-Earther. It’s almost a shame he didn’t get a chance to elaborate on his world view as it would have been very entertaining, in a ‘watching-a-slow-motion-train-wreck’ kind of way.

  115. MartinH says

    I’m not sure exactly what feature of the moon’s appearance Ali –Boomaye is referring to in comment 86, but the way it looks when illuminated by the sun tells us about its surface.

    It is correct that a perfect sphere would not look the way the moon does, but no one thinks the moon is a perfect sphere, nor even perfectly smooth if not perfectly spherical.

    A perfect sphere cannot exist in a universe of atoms, but even an atomically smooth ball would not look like the moon, it would look like a curved mirror and light would not be scattered but reflected and possibly transmitted. Think of a marble or ball bearing.

    The moon has a surface which is rough on a range of length scales – on the larger scale this roughness creates shadows and bright spots like Baily’s beads, and on the smaller scale it scatters incident light over wide angles. It is interesting that the surface does not behave like an idealized “Lambertian” scatterer; this is seen from the fact that the moon’s light does not drop off quickly near the terminator (the line between the lighted and dark halves).

    I agree with the other commenters that the two-thermometer experiment is ill-constructed (thermometers should be well coupled to a heat sink) and likely to be plagued with problems of accuracy and precision. And radiative cooling to the night sky should in principle make the exposed thermometer cooler, without the need to invoke any mysterious lunar light cooling.

    It is frustrating that people hold on to such ideas and are so arrogant that they communicate such trivialities as unanswerable challenges to a robust edifice of scientific work.

  116. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Depending on how you define it, it could be argued that Muslims invented science. Lots of advances were made-centuries ago. Though I’m sure there are Muslim scientists, the Muslim world today is about as anti-scientific as it’s possible to get.

    I’ll go with Richard Carrier on this one, and say that science had its birth in classical Greece.

    Of course, Europe had The Dark Ages, where scientific progress came to a halt, and reversed. During that time, the Muslim world continued to make great progress in science. IIRC, a lot of the reason that science came back so quickly to Europe was they reimported a bunch of ancient Greek work from the Muslim world where it was preserved, and in addition they imported a bunch of Muslim work based on / inspired by / improving on the ancient Greek work. (And then the Muslim world had their own Dark Ages where scientific progress stopped, and reversed.)