66. 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense, Michael Brooks

Guest: Michael Brooks, science journalist and author of 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time.

Micheal’s blog post on his dialog with Rupert Sheldrake

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On this episode of Skeptiko, science journalist and author of 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time, Michael Brooks.

“People might say come on science give us the truth about this. I’m not sure people actually want the truth. I think a lot of the time, in science and religion studies, people want validation of their original viewpoint.”

Stay with us for Skeptiko.

 

Alex: Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris.

On this episode of Skeptiko, we have coming up an interview that I did with Michael Brooks, author of 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense. I’m really glad that Dr. Brooks took the time to sit down and do the interview because I was motivated especially to talk to him because of a public presentation that he did with Rupert Sheldrake, the whole topic of the Dogs that Know and the Wiseman debunking came up. I think that my opinion was that Dr. Brooks really missed the point on that. I had a chance to dialog with him and he really was pretty tolerant of me probing that issue quite a bit along with several other interesting topics that came up about his book. So stay with us. I think it’s a pretty interesting chat, no real news report on the experiments although everything is moving forward and as a side note with reference to Dr. Sheldrake and the Dogs that Know experiment, I can tell you that we’ve kind of resumed our efforts in trying to get that experiment going again. The one participant we had was just not able to really put it together so we’ve kind of started the whole thing anew and then moving in that direction again and everything else is going along too much more to report on that in the future but for now, my discussion with Michael Brooks, author of 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense.

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(Start of interview with Dr. Michael Brooks)

Alex: We are joined today by science journalist and author of the very popular and very entertaining book, 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time. Michael Brooks, welcome to Skeptiko.

Michael: Thanks very much for having me on.

Alex: The book has become quite a sensation and I think it’s kind of interesting that it really grew out of an internet article that you wrote that became quite a sensation. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to write a book?

Michael: Yes, sure. It was actually an article written for the print edition of New Scientist magazine that I was working for full time at that time back in 2005. The idea was really just to kind of look at things that scientist can’t explain. We’ve spent a lot of our time at New Scientist going over the things that scientist can’t explain. It seems like its fun idea to do the opposite. When the article was put up on the website, it just seem to go crazy, everybody really went for it and it became the sixth most circulated article on the internet that year, which is quite a shocking statistic really. So I think what it showed was there is a kind of hunger for science and understanding science. But perhaps a lot of the times we sort of go by it in the wrong way, and people are really interested in the mysteries.

Alex: I think that’s a fascinating topic. How did you come to be a writer at New Scientist and what was the little bit about your background that drew you to science writing in general?

Michael: Yes, my background; I did a PhD in quantum physics and shortly after that I kind of realized that I was far more interested in what everybody else were doing and one of my pet subject is when you get too involved in one particular subject, all of a sudden you kind of compare and lose a little bit of interest. I found as a science journalist, it gave me the right to kind of go and wander to everyone else’s lap and see what they were up to and it just kind of peaked my interest much more as to kind of get an overview of what was going on in science than to look specifically for years at one-detail kind of aspect of science.

Alex: That’s an interesting background and I think also one thing I picked up on is that you are not afraid to kind of get in there and mixed it up a little bit with the scientist and I think that’s obviously, because your background, you feel confident in your own foundation in science background, but how has that ability to kind of get in there and mixed it up helped you and particularly helped you in writing 13 Things?

Michael: Well, I think it was essential for 13 Things to be able ask maybe some difficult questions or to be able to stand back and look at the piece of research and not just take it at face value but kind of dig deeper than it went and then also know the motivations of the scientist. I mean, when you work in the scientific laboratory, you’re not certainly a non-human being. You’re still a human being and you take your humanity into that lab with you. I think that’s often forgotten in terms of what people researched and how they go about it, what their prejudices are. Having sort of been on both sides of it as it were, I did kind of feel it was useful to know that scientists are human beings and they’re flawed and they make decisions that wouldn’t necessarily fit in the normal kind of [inaudible 00:05:18] with science if you like.

Alex: I want to pick up on the point you mentioned earlier about the book and originally the article just striking accord with people and I think there are two ways of looking at that, the one way that you said I think is definitely true is that there is this underlying interest in science that sometimes isn’t picked up on by the popular media and all we here about is declining interest in science. I think there is a flipside to that and there is a certain public disenchantment with science that I sense and then I think that your book also taps into by kind of going out there and saying, “Hey, these things don’t make sense and science can explain them.” I think that touches a nerve in people too where they feel that science in some ways isn’t relevant or maybe is condescending in the way it approaches topics that they care about, any thoughts on that?

Michael: Yes, I do have lots of thoughts on that. I think that people do feel the sense of distance from science. When they come across a scientist, a party or whatever, they don’t expect to be able to understand what these people do for a living. We’re talking in generalizations obviously because that’s the only way you can talk about these issues. But there is a sense in which people think scientists for the scientist and is not something that kind of access for themselves and I think that is damaging to science and I’m sure scientist don’t like that either. The fact that the way things have been set up and the way scientists have become almost like the new high priest as it were, it’s been very difficult to avoid that since. I think one of the most important things to do is to try and break that down now, after all it’s taxpayers money that’s going into funding the research. Why shouldn’t a taxpayer know what’s going on and be able to kind of question what’s going on as well?

Alex: Well, I think again that’s interesting and that putting scientist on a pedestal, I think there’s a real dichotomy there. On one hand, you have there the high priest, on the other hand I think as you pointed out in one of your articles about the inferiority complex that scientist have in some cases. I think you’re on target with that and I think maybe that taps into – we don’t really hold them as high priest in some regards, in some regards we hold them as out of touch and really irrelevant to some of the real debates that we’re having in our society and that they maybe are not offering us the best guidance that they could as scientist, any thoughts on that? Do you think I’m off on that?

Michael: I mean, I would completely agree. There is this kind of scientist seem to react to certain things like they’re always moaning about how students don’t want to take up physics anymore and they’re moaning about how you don’t get good science on TV anymore. There’s kind of sense of society isn’t treating us as we deserve. At the same time, I still think the high priest thinks then. I think people generally have quite a good opinion of scientist in terms of the work that they do and the value that science has. I think the problem is that people just don’t know how to kind of interpret it and that they have to live with it as part of their society. I think what we’ve got is a kind of a double-edged sword where people recognize that scientist brought us lots of benefits for instance in the modern world, almost everything can be traced back to scientific development.

At the same time, the scientist are saying, “Well, we don’t get enough credit.” They don’t say that overtly, but with this kind of attitude when you get scientist together where they kind of do certain things that they should get more credit than they do and at the same time, I think people generally, things that science, certainly in the UK and I know that there’s a difference between UK and the US that science can be a force for good. It’s complicated, it’s not polarized and it’s not easy to analyze but there are certain things that you kind of get the sense. There is something in the air about whether science is a good thing or not, people aren’t sure in many ways.

Alex: Yes, you’re right, it is complicated and as soon as you try and pin it down you can come up with the counter example and kind of post that the other way. I think one thing that I draw a distinction from and I think that you are doing it in the process, I think there is a difference between how people feel about and think about technology as opposed to science and I think it’s almost separated in their mind. I mean, I know there are some really bright engineers out there that will crank out the next iPod, internet, wonder drug and I think in some respects, they see that is different from “science,” what used to be science 50 years ago and Sputnik and Formula and Particle Physics and all that. So I want to kind of delve into because I think maybe we’ll bring the discussion or at least my point to a head, you know you participated in a lecture there in London titled, What Science Can’t Tell Us. I read about it on your blog and I was just fascinated because it really drew out some of these points and part of the discussion there degraded, I guess a debate about Sheldrake’s telepathic dogs, can you tell us a little bit about what happened with that public lecture and what was supposed to be the purpose and maybe what came out of it?

Michael: I think the idea really was to kind of explore the limits of science. I mean, Rupert and I both are in positions where we’re kind of asking maybe what people might call difficult questions of science certainly, questions that not many people are asking. The idea was to get us together I think and talk about whether there are things that science can’t tell us, whether there are things that science shouldn’t be claiming and whether there are in a new and unexplored field of research really that are unexplored because of some kind of prejudice is inherent in science.

Now, I think Rupert and I have different views on the last question. I know he’s very strongly into his ideas of telepathy and actually a distance in that kind of thing, and thinks his evidence is very good. I’m not an expert on that field but reading around I think, there’s not many people who agree with him in mainstream science. But I think it’s interesting and I said to him at the time that I think it’s really important that people like Rupert and do the work and everything because they constantly kind of probing and poking at science and science needs that, it can become very complacent and very self-satisfied and I think it’s not bad to be kind of challenged by people asking questions that you don’t really feel comfortable answering.

Alex: Absolutely, and I don’t want to totally degrade into recreating that debate but what really – what was so fascinating to me is it brings out some of the points that I guess I was trying to get across before about the disenchantment with science. I think that the whole Sheldrake thing with the telepathic dogs, the first thing that I pulled out of that is just how we treat observations like this. So somebody comes along and says, “Hey, dog seem to be telepathic” and when people say that or say that about near-death experiences or after life encounters or things like this that are kind of widely reported among the public, the first reaction among science is this kind of condescending, “We don’t really have to look at that, that cant possibly be true,” even if there is a pretty good natural history for it in the case of dogs.

I mean, Sheldrake gave one out and surveyed people and said, 50% of people said that “Yes, they do see this in their dogs.” The part that I think is particularly interesting about that is I think scientist can sometimes have this again condescending kind of “Well, you can’t really evaluate that properly because you’re not a scientist.” What I found from my own kind of looking into this and researches it, people particularly dog owners are quite able to evaluate whether or not their dog knows whether they’re coming home.

Michael: I mean, this is again I would say, one of the limits of science and this is something that scientist aren’t very good at admitting I would argue and one of the limits of scientist that you take a lot of data like people’s reports of their dog’s behavior and then you have to educate those away and try to make sense of them, try to account for all possible explanations before you go to the most extraordinary explanation which is the telepathy. But it does seem very difficult to know that you’ve kind of ruled out everything. Even with statistics, and scientist kind of swear by statistics, but you can use different kinds of statistics to get different kinds of results. I think this is one of the limits of scientist of where things are not clear cut. Actually, it’s very difficult to make definite pronouncement.

Now, science is obviously a conservative and tends to be on the side of caution with this kind of result and say, “Well, we can’t see any mechanism for it therefore, it probably isn’t really happening, it’s just not the fact to the data.” But that’s a prejudice based on what we currently understand as being the limits of what can be understood. I think we see the same thing happening with [inaudible 00:14:32] in many ways, people assume that because there is no mechanism and the data are not as clearly convincing, therefore it should just be dismissed and not be discussed. I had somebody say to me about my book, they’re very eminent, it contained issues that just should not be discussed, and that’s a very unscientific attitude.

Alex: It sure is, yes. Well, I think that that taps into something else I want to bring up is the nature of scientific debate. I feel like in some respects, it’s really degraded almost to the point of like political debate. When you hear two politicians debating, you know how it’s been, and so you really kind of start discounting everything automatically. I wondered, it seemed to me again that the Sheldrake and Wiseman example because I’ve dug into it quite a bit and really have interviewed both of them. I’ve dug into that enough to know that to me, it just seems like spin. I don’t know how you can really, if you look at it, see it in any other way when Wiseman says that Sheldrake has re-analyzed the data, I mean, it’s just complete non-sense.

Michael: Right, well I mean, that’s a whole other debate but I agreed that there’s a kind of polarization and I know that Rupert Sheldrake would say that Wiseman is coming from a skeptical position why he cannot possibly agree with Rupert therefore and he will always find evidence against the reasons not to agree with Rupert’s interpretation of data.

Alex: Right, what about that? I mean, do you think that goes on not only in this example but in science in general where someone really comes in with such a strong predisposition to see things one way or another that you’re not really going to have any progress.

Michael: Yes, I mean, we see it all over the place. I mean, it’s particularly relevant in psyche research; encyclical research but actually it must happen. It’s an aspect of human nature in the sense and this where that goes back to our saying that scientist being human beings. You know, [inaudible 00:16:41] said that science is all about falsification of ideas. So, you set up the theory and then you try and falsify it. Now, proving yourself wrong goes against the grain in terms of human nature. Scientist these days, you know they have mortgages to pay, they have careers to build and that the important thing really is for them to be right. So that doesn’t really quite work in the way that it appears as it say it does and people set up a theory and others might try to knock it down but that people will then defend their theory to the hills. So you become aware of your particular viewpoint on any particular subject in science. So of course, you’re going to see this kind of sense of your failing to disprove my data. I’m clinging to what I’ve got and it’s quite rare I think, these days to see a scientist back down and say, “You know what, I was wrong.”

Alex: Yes, I hear you and I have to push this a little bit further and then we’ll move on because I don’t know that the data ever really comes out. I mean, you take the case of Sheldrake and Wiseman, and just dig into it just a little bit. I mean, first Sheldrake did the experiments for couple of years, run 200 trials. Wiseman run four trials and Wiseman’s trials, I interviewed him on my show and for the first time he admitted that his data almost exactly matches Sheldrake. Both of them found that the dog waited 80% of the time by the window when the owner was coming home and only 20% of the time when the dog wasn’t coming home. So all these nonsense about reanalyzing and it doesn’t agree, it just seems like again such a low level political, let’s just kind of throw up something that sounds good so that everyone leaves with this impression that “Well, it sounds like both sides have some points so we’ll just call it a draw and move on.” I think that it comes up again and again in science. It comes up in the US, the whole ID intelligent design debate or any kind of stem cell research, climate research.

I think what comes up again and again is that you have someone who isn’t really in a very good position but is able to kind of threw this really debating techniques and logical argument techniques, throw up the smokescreen and everyone says, “Oh gee, it’s just another debate that both sides are represented on, let’s just move on.” It seems to me that science is the one place where we ought to be able to go and say, “We can really go to the bottom of things if we just follow the data.” I’m not sure that science is as passionate about really getting to the truth as maybe we felt it used to be and maybe it was never like that.

Michael: Yes, I would agree with your last point. I don’t think it was ever like that. When you look at the history of science, what you find is that people’s ideas and the truth kind of comes out either a period of decades if not longer and there are countless examples in the history of science where people have presented data and it’s just being ignored or it’s just being kind of twisted and so this is nothing new I would say. Maybe with Sheldrake and Wiseman, we’ll have to wait 50 years before the definitive experiments are really done or before everything has been ruled out. But I would say in that debate that what we’ve got is as I’ve said a kind of polarized position, very difficult to get a resolution from that starting point anyway. But there are so many factors that one might work in and to explain away the oppositions data and even when you got both got the same data, you can both put a different spin on it and this I think, one examples of the limits of science, although we like to think that it can arbitrate between things just by analyzing data, that’s not always true, that’s only true in some cases.

Alex: I think you’re absolutely right and I think your book, back to 13 Things does an excellent job of kind of pointing out how these controversies arise and how difficult they are to really pin down in a lot of respects.

Michael: Yes. I mean they certainly are, and you know the history of science, it’s full of these things but you know so is modern science. Today’s science is riddled with stuff that actually, when you start something that isn’t anywhere near as people would like it to be and I have to say, it kind of got into a lot of trouble if you read around on the blogs that even mentioning this. There seems to be a kind of sense that scientist shouldn’t add their dirty laundry, and that includes me. There’s been a one blog I think, there was a claim that I should be stripped off my PhD for just even writing the stuff.

Alex: Yes, you know it’s funny because really we should be moving or it seems like we should be moving in the opposite direction. I mean, the whole internet revolution and everything that it’s brought in terms of access to information suggests that transparency is the way to go and this intermediation between the people who have the data and have the research and those who want is really the way to go. So that’s kind of an interesting position that we should kind of maintain the old guard kind of thing.

Michael: Yes, I mean, there is a sense of that, the internet has done strange things to science in a sense. Physicist can post off their papers on this thing called the archive and the physics pre print archives and everybody’s kind of posting papers up there and it’s almost bypassing fairer view in many ways. As a fair view system, it’s kind of clanking along quite – it was kind of a difficult life because there are family journals now, and who’s got time to read every else’s papers and judge them when you got your own to produce. So you’ve got internet journals that are coming out with papers that are being produced in order to create maximum impact. The search is being assessed by the number of papers that it produces, what kinds of journals they can get into. So there’s all kind of political and economic issues sort of creeping into science now and of course career issues about “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” I think science is just – the story always been like this. I think it’s probably magnified by the communications technology in the sheer volume of space there is to post them from the internet now.

Alex: Right, it’s hard to know whether it’s better or worst but I get the sense that that’s really bad or that more is better as long as we have the way to filter it, but that just puts the honest on us, which is really where it should have always been anyway, to just blindly accept what anyone is saying, a scientist for anyone else was never really the way to go.

Michael: I think I’d agree with that. Maybe we just got to be a bit more savvy these days about what constitutes a good science. But I think, there’s so much science that goes on and so much of it, it’s kind of details, it’s filling in blanks, it’s dodging the eyes and cutting the trees. Some of them actually has argued, it’s actually quite boring in many ways. Who wants to read the kind of 17 Decimal Places Physical Constant, and I think it’s easy to do media than science these days. What I’d long for is the kind of, the role for the revolutionary breakthroughs and that and I speaks for many of those these days and again, maybe that sort of kind of rose into spectacle view and it was ever thus but you got the sense that the major breakthr0ughs are further and further between.

Alex: Let’s move on to a topic that did generate a lot of stir and did generate a lot of interest in a lot of people’s mind and that’s an article that you wrote for the New Scientist titled, Born Believers: How your brain creates God. I guess that created quite a stir.

Michael: Yes, as far as comments go, I mean, New Scientist webpage, it’s gone a bit crazy. I think it went up to 780 or something now, which is kind of unheard of for one of these features in a week. Yes, it’s a really fundamental question and it tend seem to be the big question of the moment which is where the science and religion meet and can science say anything about religion. The research that I’m reporting on really is kind of saying that religion cannot or could be explained as a byproduct of some brain circuits that would have evolved for other purposes. So it’s a kind of byproduct if you like of how our brains are configured.

Alex: That really struck a nerve with me because it’s a topic that I think, needs more coverage but I’m just uncomfortable with the way that it gets talked about. It seems to miss the point in so many ways when we fall back into that false academy of science versus religion. I mean, we have so many unexplained spiritual experiences across time, across culture, scientific spiritual experiences. So we have near-death experiences with hundreds of thousands of people experiencing those after cardiac arrest. We have encounters of death bed visions; we have no explanation for that. We have the power prayer; we have no explanation for that. So we have all these different hands of science that are pointing toward some transcending spiritual experience. It just seems kind of dorky to then say, “Well, why do people go to church on Sundays because there’s some gene here?” I don’t know, I can’t write up around that.

Michael: Well, I mean the risk of sounding dorky, I think its okay to ask these questions. Why do people go to church on Sunday? What’s interesting about the research that I was reporting on is that some of them I believe and then some of them are not. Some of them are quite sort of hard line believers in some ways and some aren’t but they’re coming to very similar conclusions and their point is really not to denigrate people with faith or people without faith, but it’s a kind of look for explanations of where this arises from. I mean, I happen to think that my articles in New Scientist is a kind of a great call to tolerance of people with and without faith.

Alex: But Michael, why do we want to tolerate it? I just want to know if it’s true. I want to know if the fundamental transcendence spiritual experience that these people are pointing to, I want to know if that’s real and that to me seems to be the 700 pound gorilla sitting in the corner that everyone just wants to ignore.

Michael: Well, I would say first of all, you can’t define real, what is real. Real is something that –if you have an anecdote or subjective experience of pain for instance. Pain is real and yet you can’t define it as some kind of physical quantity. I think when people are having near-death experiences or other kinds of spiritual experiences, it’s just a subjective thing, it’s of the moment. It’s not in a controlled scientific environment. I think these things are another [inaudible 00:27:36] or something that seems to act beyond the limits of science. Science that can only act with and analyze repeatable objective experiences in many ways. What you can do with people’s anecdotes is take them and kind of accept them but it doesn’t mean that these experiences are definitely real.

Alex: I just can agree with that all and I don’t really understand. Let’s go to the journals and take for example of pain. Let’s look for how many studies and scientific reports have been done on pain, you want to take the last six months, the last six years, thousands and thousands and we can basically…

Michael: Yes, now, I’m not saying that pain is not something that science can analyze, but we can inflict pain.

Alex: I understand but hold a moment. You were talking about this subjective experience. I mean, we can shut down the social science departments so we can rid our universities about 35% of their entire budget in entire school if we were going to not worry about the subjective experience that people have. I mean, it’s so much a part of the soft sciences, psychology, sociology; we can’t get away from that. So I just don’t buy that we can’t creep closer. We may never know completely what is real or what isn’t real but there are all sorts of work we can do there. We just don’t do it because it’s a taboo subject that we are somehow uncomfortable with.

Michael: It’s definitely a taboo subject and everybody I worked with in this article said that we know so little about the psychology of religion because nobody would touch it for decades and people are only just starting to do that now. Now, I mean that’s progress. So, that’s a step forward. That’s on both sides that the people who are religious and the people who aren’t religious, they go on saying, “You know what? We haven’t looked at this really.” All I am saying is it’s a very difficult thing to do and we may come out here. If scientist were to come out and say, “You know what? We’ve proved that religious experiences just kind of this brain state that you go into.” That would not convince anybody who’s had a religious experience because it’s such a real and a visional thing to anyone who’ had an experience.

Scientist couldn’t turn around and say it didn’t work and actually convince anybody about that. So what I’m saying is the fact that human beings are religious and they are subjective and we have psychologist and we’ve evolved as well to have these experiences obviously. So, all I’m saying is I’m not convinced that science can actually give us fine answers in the way that you want them to. I know the girl that is in the corner of the room, but actually there are some things that we have to accept that we probe them but we may never get that final answer.

Alex: First of all, the article is extremely well-written as is your book, very entertaining and enjoyable and I encourage everyone to read both the article and the book. I’m going to push this a little bit further because I just had a very, very delightful, interesting discussion with Dr. Peter Fenwick. Are you familiar with Dr. Peter Fenwick?

Michael: Only very vaguely, yes; near-death experiences.

Alex: Yes, he’s one of the leading authorities on near-death experience. He’s a neuropsychiatrist based in London and very, very well-written and successful with his books. I just think the point that he made was that we have this whole issue of death that we’re just not at all approaching or engaging with and there actually is quite a bit of data; quite a bit of good data and quite a bit of good research that can be done in terms of investigating what happens, what’s the phenomenology of death and exploring that and I think that to me, that’s so much more relevant to the central question underneath this than poking around about religion, but I guess, I’ve made that point and you’ve made that point. I certainly understand where you’re coming from which is I think, one doesn’t preclude the other and more is better, but back to our disenchantment with science, we can creep a lot closer to these fundamental questions that people are really looking to science to and sciences in coming up with any answers. I think we can get a lot closer than we have them.

Michael: It’s in that part of you that things that people are looking to science for answers that science just can’t provide.

Alex: Sciences are method, it’s not a position so the fact that science is just a set of tools and the notion that we can’t apply those same tools to any area of human experience that we want to look at I had to completely reject that and I think that that’s the false bargain that we’ve made in this debate; false debate of science versus religion. I think religion or spiritual people have just as much to do with that responsibility and what they should be doing is joining him with scientist in saying, “Look, we only want the truth. Study what we know, study what’s experiencing, what we are experiencing and if it’s not true, if it’s not real then we’ll change,” and that is essentially I think the position that the Dalai Lama has taken and it totally disarms this whole false debate between science and religion.

Michael: I think that is the position that the Dalai Lama has taken and he said that if science were to disprove somehow the Buddhist approach as any of those value in terms of spirituality then he would happily kind of disavow Buddhism. I mean he had an interesting discussion with a [inaudible 00:32:49] was saying that all event happen randomly. The roots of reality is randomness, and this is something that the Dalai Lama just couldn’t accept. Said everything actually happens for a purpose, but he did say I had to become convinced about what you’re saying, then obviously I would have to examine the roots of my religion. I mean, he’s an extraordinary open to changing his views. I think he’s in the minority as far as religious viewpoints go. People might say common science give us the truth about this. I’m not sure, but actually people want the truth. I think a lot of the times in science and religion studies, people want validation of their original viewpoint.

Alex: I think you’re right and I think that’s the phony bargain that’s in the background.

Michael: I think that’s right.

Alex: Well, I tell you what, it’s been absolutely delightful talking to you. I really appreciate the time and the book is fantastic, it’s doing great, I know. What is the follow on to13 Things?

Michael: That’s a good question. I’m not sure yet. I’m still kind of working very hard on various things with New Scientist that I haven’t yet come up with that killer idea.

Alex: Well, we’ll look forward in the future. Michael, thanks a lot for joining us.

Michael: You’re very welcome, I’ve enjoyed it.

(End of interview with Dr. Michael Brooks)

Alex: Thanks again to Dr. Brooks for joining us today. If you’d like more information on his book or more information about any of the previous broadcast we’ve done exploring the Sheldrake – Wiseman dogs that no experiment which we’ve covered quite extensively, those of you who listen all the time now, check out our website at Skeptiko.com. You’ll also find all our previous shows, our forum and a link to send me an email. That’s going to do it for today, until next time, bye for now.

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