In this episode, I am joined by Natalie Newell and Chad Hayes, MD, hosts of the new Parenthetical Science Podcast, to discuss the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle fear-based marketing techniques used by the alternative medicine and organic-only lobby movement in the various food and healthcare products they want to sell to gullible and vulnerable people.
Our discussion covered Zooey Deschanel’s recent series of woo-based food videos, Gwyneth Paltrow’s kinky pseudoscience that advises putting things in every orifice to cure whatever ails you, the “clean food” craze capitalized on by brands such as Panera Bread, why Triscuit snack crackers do not in fact grow naturally in Midwest wheat fields (despite what its advertising slogans might tell you), the B-horror-movie-grade anti-GMO propaganda of Stonyfield’s organic yogurt advertising and how it backfired beautifully on them, the craziness that is homeopathy, whether Tide Pods are GMO- and gluten-free, and more. The central theme of the discussion that ties it all together is the question: What can consumers do to equip themselves to recognize pseudoscience in advertising?
Natalie Newell is the director and producer of the Science Momsdocumentary, holds a Master of Education degree, and for a decade worked in the field of Montessori education. She now spends her time raising two children, traveling around screening her documentary, and pursuing interests in the areas of science communication and secular activism.
Chad Hayes has a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and currently practices as a general pediatrician in Charleston. According to his website, he takes “a science-based, skeptical approach to medicine” and is “passionate about science communication and helping parents make well-informed decisions about their children’s health.” He authors a blog called Demystifying Pediatrics.
Natalie Newell on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncnewell
Chad Hayes on Twitter: https://twitter.com/chadhayesmd
Parenthetical Science Podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ParSciPod
Parenthetical Science website: https://www.parentheticalscience.com/
Chad Hayes’ “Demystifying Pediatrics” blog: http://www.chadhayesmd.com/blog/
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The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.
The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. Audio edited by Callie Wright of The Gaytheist Manifesto podcast and Answer Media LLC.
This week I am very excited to bring you an interview with Karen L. Garst, PhD. She writes for the Faithless Feminist blog and website and is the editor of the book Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion(published in 2016). She has also edited a new book which has just been published, titled Women v. Religion: The Case against Faith – and for Freedom. She joins me on this episode to talk about the intersection of atheism and women’s rights and to make the case that religion is the last cultural barrier to gender equality.
My guest on this episode is Dr. Abby Hafer. She holds a doctorate in zoology from Oxford University and teaches human anatomy and physiology at Curry College. She is the author of the 2015 book The Not-So-Intelligent Designer—Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not.
Why has the belief in a single, all-powerful, and dominant male god been so widespread and pervasive throughout human history, and why does it continue to be so influential and intuitive to human beings today? In this episode, I interview Dr. Hector Garcia, a clinical psychologist and author of the 2015 book Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression, to tackle this question. Garcia traces monotheistic religious belief to our primate origins and points to religious differences and our evolved psychology as the common denominator underlying most of the world’s violent conflicts. We talk about religious violence and oppression within the context of Darwinian natural selection and about the ways in which religion is built upon and exploits the human obsession with dominance and submission dynamics and sex.
There are all manner of misconceptions and potentially harmful myths surrounding what women want, what men want, and about how best to navigate romantic relationships, from flirting to dating to long-term relationships. On this episode, I speak with special guest Harris O’Malley, aka Doctor NerdLove, to dive into these issues and set the record straight on the complications and nuances of love, sex, and dating in the 21st century.
Where should we look to find the origins of political violence and crisis? Is political crisis and conflict inevitable? If so, what can we possibly do to improve the human condition and ground a rationale for effecting change in a universe that really is devoid of any ultimate, transcendent meaning? For this week’s episode, I am very excited to welcome Nabila Jamshed as my special guest to talk about these questions and how they bear on the nature of existential crisis in overwhelmingly disastrous times of global confusion and how we might face the world being on fire without being inundated by despair.