On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura give a primer on some astronomical pseudosciences, including astrology, the expanding Earth theory, the hollow Earth hypothesis, and the effects of the full moon on human health.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Astrology: Is Astrology Real? Here’s What Science Says (Scientific American) | Astrology and Horoscopes Uncloaked (Relatively Interesting) | Astrology is bullsh*t. NASA’s scathing takedown perfectly explains why. (Mic) | Horoscope (Wikipedia) | List of astrological traditions, types, and systems (Wikipedia) | Astrology (Wikipedia) | Zodiac (Wikipedia) | Free Astrology Reports: Natal Chart, Compatibility, Future (Cafe Astrology) | Understanding the Free Natal Chart Report (Cafe Astrology)

Lunacy: Full Moon Effects: What Research Has Discovered (Healthline) | Lunacy and the Full Moon (Scientific American) | Lunar effect (Wikipedia)

Expanding Earth: Alfred Wegener’s Hypothesis on Continental Drift and Its Discussion in Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) | Limits to the expansion of Earth, Moon, Mars and Mercury and to changes in the gravitational constant (Nature) | What’s Hitting Earth? (NASA Science Mission Directorate) | It’s a small world, after all: Earth is not expanding, NASA research confirms (ScienceDaily) | Debate with Hollow-Earth Proponent Neal Adams (NeuroLogica Blog) | Expanding Earth (Wikipedia) | Continental drift (Wikipedia) | Plate tectonics (Wikipedia) | J. Marvin Herndon (Wikipedia) | Neal Adams (Wikipedia) | Finally: The Utter Insanity of ‘Batman: Odyssey,’ Part 6 (Comics Alliance)

Hollow Earth: Hollow Earth (Wikipedia) | John Cleves Symmes Jr. (Wikipedia) | John Cleves Symmes: Believer in hollow Earth theory sent this open letter (Slate) | Our Rich History: The Earth’s not flat, it’s… hollow? (Northern Kentucky Tribune) | Canadian Geography (Statistics Canada)

Face Mite Update: Human Follicular Mites: Ectoparasites Becoming Symbionts (Molecular Biology and Evolution) | Face mites are losing genes (Popular Science)

Correction: Meteoroids are not “converted to energy” as they combust. Ram pressure results in atmospheric ablation, vaporizing some of the meteoroid material and reducing a good deal of it to meteoric dust. This dust can remain in the atmosphere for months, and some of this vaporized material may persist in the atmosphere indefinitely, but it does add mass to the Earth system—just not enough to cause any meaningful growth in the diameter of the Earth.

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About Gem Newman

Medical student and former software developer. Host of the Life, the Universe & Everything Else podcast. Past organizer of the Winnipeg Skeptics. Former board chair at Bad Science Watch. Writer of things. Grower of beards. He/him.

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