A highlight from The Skeptics Guide #804 - Dec 5 2020
Jay novella. Hey guys in. Evan bernstein evening folks. God is december. Already man away. The twenty twenty seem like forever by the same time. Yeah these at the same time because we mark the date every week like toys for december. Ready yeah this definitely one year. I won't be sad to see put into the history books. That's for sure that were you know So just a very quick covert update this week. The bottom line is the the pandemic is raging at least in the us worse than it ever has been worldwide as well but i mean it's a country by country but in the us it's worse than it's ever been. We broke two hundred thousand cases in one day some areas starting to are going back into shutdown of one type one degree or another you. I'm sure there's gonna be a surge on top of a surge because of thanksgiving and the cold months are coming. Christmas is coming and most hospitals are back at capacity dangerous. I know jay is laughing because you said christmas is coming. Not because it it right just to be clear but i was just waiting for one of you guys to say. Say it wasn't gonna say during the way during the covert segment jay. another way. Chris was covering with talking about christmas in covid. How many of you guys have heard that there is a increase in uptake in suicides. during the holidays. Oh i heard of that. But i don't know if that's had really been proven it's a complete myth really. Yes in the united states the cdc tracks these numbers if you go month by month december is twelve out of twelve. It's actually has the lowest suicide rate of any month. Number two is november number. Three is january so the three lowest months are november january december january. Why is that the. That's a separate question. The peaks are actually still happy from halloween. You know it's complicated. Actually you have a decreased energy like the seasonal set this thing. That actually could make you too depressed to to do that right. That's why is wondering if they also just like you often see that with suicides and bipolar individuals is when they coming up from a depressive swing. That could be owned yeah. Yeah that's why. I figured that maybe post holiday. But you're right. It's still cold. It's still that seasonal affective products in years. It's like spring fall but then some your summer like two thousand eighteen to three hottest highest months. Were over the summer. June july august. So it's kind of flipped to what people think but the the holiday suicide risk thing is a complete myth. There's never been a correlation. There not really sure where. I came and the idea that it would be a risk also kind of strange like even if there have been you know a change in the numbers like it being the holidays does not lead to suicide risk and there's no correlation nothing to explain that but the question is what has the suicide rate been due to the covid pan demining and so the short interest. It's too early to tell because they're still sort of gathering information but we do have data for the spring the spring when it started when the shutdown was occurring and in fact during the shutdown at least in the countries for which we have good data which is like the us other western industrialized nations. The answer is there was either no change or a decrease if anything in the suicide rate no increase so no increase. There's data for japan over the summer. So japan had a twelve percent decrease in the spring and then a thirteen percent increase over the summer and experts so debating on why that occurred and then in terms of other parts of the world. We're still gathering data so maybe in a month or two we'll start to get published studies looking at like the summer and fall. Certainly there is an increase in things that are known to be risk of suicide like depression and anxiety and 'isolation and stress and socioeconomic stress and all those sorts of things so it wouldn't be surprising we just haven't seen it yet and if it is happening we haven't got the data to document it yet. So that's where we are right now but it's interesting there's no no holiday thing that's a myth but the probably the effect of the pandemic is going to be complicated. Deny she has a severe. It's having a significant impact on mental health. Yes absolutely that's what's expected and may just be. There might have been like a little band together kind of effect in the spring when it was first happening but as it lasts longer and longer longer and people get pandemic fatigue and the isolation starts to wear thin and financial sorts of really starting. And you know in the us again. We're sort of getting to the end of the subsidies and and we don't know what's going to happen there so that could that could have a huge impact. Oh i think. I read somewhere that the stimulus package that was originally offered to individual americans at this point amounts to something like four dollars and thirty five cents a day. Yeah yeah all right. So let's go right into some news items and we're going to start with something that we sort of spoken about before but i had to talk about the reporting on. It was just so bad so the most of the headlines are saying one of two things of the better ones are saying. This has the childhood home of jesus. Christ actually been founded nazareth. They basically put it as a question. Mark oh gosh are just well. The other ones are just saying. Archaeologists says they've found jesus home and even like popular mechanics and the bbc Did horrible write ups of this. Like i just haven't found anything yet. Maybe the more skeptical ones will come in a bit. From where academic sources but the all the the mainstream reporting on. This has been horrible. Sounds more like a christmas fluff piece. Kind not well. It's you know it's a serious archaeological researcher who's been working on this for fourteen years and there's a legitimate archaeological site. It's just that the claims here are just ridiculous. you know. This is an archaeological site. That is under a convent in what is believed to be the nazareth's of the the bible the new testament nazareth place where jesus was. We're his family. Lived where he grew up his parents had to be in bethlehem for the census and he was born there according to the new testament but it but he's really is families from nazareth. Jesus of nazareth. Right yeah exactly and then this is. That's one of the lines of argument. That scholars say this wasn't a story that was made up out of whole cloth because the prophecy was that you know he had to be born in bethlehem and so in order to make the story work for somebody who was from nazareth. They just had his parents. Just go to bethlehem for a census and give birth. There is a. Why would they do that if they weren't trying to make it work for a real person you know But i which i think is a very weak argument. I think it's more likely that they were just making different. Narratives worked together. You know they could all be fake any case so we have the potentially historical location of nazareth and apparently the conduct the even going back hundreds of years. The nuns in the convent said. Yep this is. Jesus home that underneath us where we're built so the new evaluation is not a new excavation. And this is ken dark. Dark is the the archaeologists there. I didn't do a new excavation. I just reinvestigated the existing evidence and the existing excavation and there was. I think one of the floors caved in to is able to get access to some new material. But he didn't do any new excavation. And here's this line of argument. So what what they're finding was yet definitely underneath. There was a roman era home. Right and nazareth was supposed to be a jewish settlement during roman occupation so you would expect there to be roman structures and maybe evidence that it was jewish people who were living there and he said. Yeah the constructions limestone and at the time. Jewish people like to build their homes. When i'm stone because they believed to protected them from the vapors or whatever so okay whatever but now here's here is his argument for why. This is not only a home not only a home in nazareth from one. Ad despite the fact you know around that time the first century ad despite the fact they haven't been able to carbon date anything but the home of actual. Jesus you're ready. Here's his line of argument. Okay in the bible. It says that jesus is father. Joseph was a carpenter although the word they use could actually just mean craftsmen so he was some kind of craftsmen and the house. They found had pretty good stonework. Compelling wow that's it that is it so maybe judy's father worked the.