In this 68th in a series of live discussions with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (both PhDs in Biology), we discuss the state of the world through an evolutionary lens.In this episode, we begin by discussing ice storms and electrical outages, and what it suggests about differing ecologies. We review Daniel Schmactenberger’s categorization of “1st, 2nd, and 3rd person epistemics”, and discuss what they suggest about education. Meanwhile, the NYT argues for skipping the critical reasoning and going right to the answer. Modern fact-checkers are an existential threat to civilization. The NYT also thinks that ClubHouse’s “unfettered” conversations are a problem. The House Committee on Energy & Commerce is having a(nother) meeting on misinformation with big tech CEOs. Also, a group of activists got Wikipedia to take down a page on the lab leak hypothesis. Peter Embarek of the WHO commission explains why the lab leak hypothesis is unlikely (or does he?). Another new paper suggests that lab leak should be the default hypothesis. And finally: dung beetles, and what else they can offer us besides cool field projects.
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Theme Music: Thank you to Martin Molin of Wintergatan for providing us the rights to use their excellent music.
Q&A Link: https://youtu.be/k7Qw3JbcwzM
Mentioned in this episode:
Bret’s conversation with Daniel Schmactenberger, at the 1:50:58 mark where Daniel discusses 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person epistemics: https://youtu.be/YPJug0s2u4w?t=665
New York Times op-ed, Feb 18, 2021: Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole: Critical thinking, as we’re taught to do it, isn’t helping in the fight against misinformation. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/opinion/fake-news-media-attention.html
House Committee on Energy & Commerce is having a hearing with Facebook, Google and Twitter CEOs on “misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms” (Feb 18, 2021 Press Release): https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/ec-committee-announces-hearing-with-tech-ceos-on-the-misinformation-and
The Lab Leak hypothesis wikipedia entry was “fact-checked” out of existence by a small band of motivated activists. Here’s a WayBackMachine version of it: https://web.archive.org/web/20210210045619/https:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_lab_leak_hypothesis
Peter Embarek interviewed by Science Magazine the WHO commission that was in Wuhan (Feb 14, 2021): https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/02/politics-was-always-room-who-mission-chief-reflects-china-trip-seeking-covid-19-s
Latham & Wilson 2021. Why China and the WHO Will Never Find a Zoonotic Origin For the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus. Feb 16, 2021: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/why-china-and-the-who-will-never-find-a-zoonotic-origin-for-the-covid19-pandemic-virus/
Humble dung beetles may be ideal DNA detectors for animal surveys. Feb 19, 2021: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/02/humble-dung-beetles-may-be-ideal-dna-detectors-animal-surveys
Heather on Meghan Murphy’s channel: The Same Drugs: Heather