TRC #320: Bradford Hill Criteria + Cold Reading + Does The Earth Orbit The Sun?

Fortune tellerWhat a show!  First Elan loads our skeptical rifles with the Bradford Hill Criteria.   Next, special guest Julian Janes gives us an excellent overview of the dark art of cold reading.   Lastly, Darren asks does the earth really orbit the sun?

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Bradford Hill Criteria

Science Based Medicine – Causation and Hill’s Criteria

Skeptical OB – If Correlation is not Causation, What is?

Wikipedia – Bradford Hill Criteria


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2 Responses to TRC #320: Bradford Hill Criteria + Cold Reading + Does The Earth Orbit The Sun?

  1. Pat - no not your Pat says:

    A couple of comments on the cold reading piece. For a short period a long time ago I did tarot readings for money. At the time I believed that what I was doing and that it had value to the client. Being older and wiser now, it was very interesting to see how many of the cold reading techniques brought up in your segment I was unwittingly using. I think though one important technique was missed. The person on the other side of the table will usually tell the reader what they want to hear – that makes it very easy to give a “good and accurate” reading.

    One last observation, while the world of psychics is filled with cynical fraudsters, there are also many true believers who, though misguided, are not out to fleece people. Ignorant perhaps even dangerously so, but not evil.

  2. Kelly says:

    This is one of my favourite episodes because it has really helped me navigate a lot of the bad advice I’ve been given as a diabetic — ‘eat cinnamon,’ etc. I’ve returned to it a few times now.

    An example of biological gradient where an inverse proportion is observed might be when a measure is effective in preventing a disease or illness. For example, consuming fruits containing vitamin C reduces the chances of developing scurvy.

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