About This Episode
Is there something about the human brain that makes us particularly susceptible to magic and illusion? Is skepticism the antidote to pseudoscience? All will be revealed when Neil deGrasse Tyson interviews Penn & Teller, two of the world’s most popular magicians, who also happen to be world famous skeptics. In studio, Neil is joined by co-host Chuck Nice and neuroscientist Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde, Ph.D., who co-wrote the book on magic and the human mind. You’ll learn how it’s possible to practice honest, moral magic – and also how a magic trick was once used to further the goals of colonialism through racism and misogyny. Find out why Harry Houdini went from believing that you could communicate with the dead to becoming the scourge of phony mediums. Michael Shermer, the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, calls in to discuss what magical thinking is, and why we should be wary of superstition, psychics, astrology, and other flavors of pseudoscience. Plus, Bill Nye explains why we want to believe in magic, and Penn Jillette lets us in on the only secret in magic.
NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: The Science of Illusion with Penn & Teller