How many skeptic podcasts are there? Please help me find them all

UPDATE in October 2013: Work is underway to update this census, please go to this newer post.

Last May I attempted to measure the amount of skeptic podcasting being produced. We learned a number of interesting things in that post, one of which was that there are over two hours of new skeptic podcast material being produced every day.

It is almost a year later, and we are coming up on the end of the seventh year of skeptical podcasting. It seems appropriate to revisit the census and see where the current numbers are. Unfortunately, there’s no one place to go to find all the skeptical podcasts. Last year I had to create my list by hand, and I definitely missed several.

This year I have that list to start with, plus some known announcements of new podcasts. But I’m sure I must have missed a few. Check out the list in the rest of this post and let me know which ones I’m missing.

Hey, you forgot my favorite atheist podcast!

I must explain that I have arbitrarily decided to exclude purely atheist podcasts from this list. No judgment is implied. I just had to keep the project down to a reasonable size. Plus I’m more familiar with the science-based podcasts (what I call “skeptic” podcasts). I define these as podcasts which:

  • Discuss testable claims from pseudo-science and the paranormal often
  • Emphasize critical thinking, cognitive biases, logical fallacies & other skeptic concepts
  • Regularly feature known skeptic personalities as hosts or guests

Many do touch on atheism issues, some quite extensively. But unless they also do a fair amount of the above things as well, I’m leaving them out. And so, the podcasts that focus purely on issues of religion, church/state separation, philosophy, anti-atheist prejudice and so on have been omitted. Pure science podcasts, that never touch on critical thinking, pseudoscience or the paranormal are also excluded as well.

If someone out there wants to duplicate my technique to create an all-atheist podcast census, I’ll be glad to share my scripts and techniques, watch for links when I post my results in a few weeks.

Please review and help

Below are two lists. One is active podcasts, the second lists the ones that seem to have stopped producing new episodes. In many cases the defunct podcasts are still available to download. (Also, I’m interested in historical growth estimates so it is useful to include them for that purpose).

Here’s what I have so far for active podcasts. The date is for the first episode. Most are produced in the United States, excepted as noted otherwise in the last column. The podcasts listed in bold were not included in my survey last year.

Podcast Name Started Where
Amateur Skeptics Jan 26, 2010
Audio Martini 2002?
The BadCast Mar 6, 2010 UK
BEASTcast Mar 2, 2011
Big Picture Science (formerly Are We Alone?) Mar 8, 2006
The Bogosity Podcast Mar 20, 2011
Brain Science Podcast Dec 15, 2006
Brains Matter Oct 16, 2006 Australia
Caustic Soda Mar 29, 2010 Canada
Cognitive Dissonance Apr 13, 2011
Consilience Mar 16, 2011 South Africa
The Conspiracy Skeptic Oct 22, 2007 Canada
Cosmic Boondocks (Nirmukta) May 15, 2011 India
Cosmic Tea Party Nov 30, 2008 Australia
The Critical Eye Podcast Mar 5, 2010
The Critical Thinker Podcast Jun 15, 2010
Critical Wit Mar 28, 2011
The Cusp (Completely Unnecessary Skeptical Podcast) Jan 21, 2010 New Zealand
Desert Air Jun 19, 2011
Dr. Karl and the Naked Scientist (BBC) Nov 25, 2010 UK
Dr. Karl Science on Mornings (triplej) Mar 12, 2009 Australia
Drunken Skeptics (Michigan Skeptics) Oct 3, 2010
Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge Dec 8, 2010 Canada
Escépticos Apr 25, 2010 Spain
El Esceptiradar (The Skeptic Radar) Apr 23, 2011 Spain
The Evolving Scientist Jun 20, 2011
Exposing PseudoAstronomy Aug 1, 2011
For Good Reason Jan 23, 2010
Fundamentally Flawed Jun 22, 2011
Geologic Podcast Feb 14, 2007
Hoaxilla May 18, 2010 Germany
In Vino Veritas May 28, 2011 Australia
The Inconvenient Truth Nov 12, 2011
InKredulous Feb 8, 2010 UK
Invisible Sky Monster Sep 26, 2011
Ja é skeptisk… Oct 8, 2010 Sweden
Just Skeptics May 16, 2010 UK
Kritisch Denken (Critical Thinking) Feb 21, 2009 Dutch
Kvack! (Quack) Oct 17, 2011 Swedish
Legion of Reason Dec 30, 2011 Canada
Life, the Universe & Everything Else Nov 20, 2011 Canada
Little Atoms Jul 21, 2006 UK
Magonia Apr 25, 2010 Spain
La media hostia (The half blow) Dec 21, 2009 Spain
Meet the Skeptics Sep 13, 2010
Mile High Sanity Project Dec 26, 2011
Monster Talk Aug 24, 2009
Occam’s Barbershop Oct 27, 2010 Ireland
Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Mar 10, 2011
Penn’s Sunday School Feb 19, 2012
Pensando Críticamente (Critically Thinking) Nov 8, 2010 Spain
Podcast Irreductible (The Irreducible Podcast) Jul 23, 2008 Spain
The Pod Delusion Sep 18, 2009 UK
Point of Inquiry Dec 11, 2005
Pseudocast Oct 2, 2011 Slovakia
The Pseudo Scientists Apr 13, 2010 Australia
Quackcast May 4, 2006
Radio Freethinker Mar 24, 2009 Canada
Radio Ratbags Nov 5, 2011 Australia
Rational Alchemy Feb 3, 2009
Rationally Speaking Feb 1, 2010
Reality Check (Melbourne) Jul 28, 2009 Australia
The Reality Check (Ottawa Skeptics) Sep 9, 2008 Canada
El Rincón Prohibido (The Forbidden Corner) Apr 17, 2008 Spain
Safek Mar 13, 2010 Israel
Saltklypa Oct 21, 2010 Norway
Sceptici în România Oct 20, 2010 Romania
Scepticisme Scientifique Jun 15, 2009 (In French)
Science On Top Mar 24, 2011
Scopes Monkey Choir Nov 2, 2010
Skeprechauns (Irish Skeptics) Jun 18, 2010 Ireland
The Skeptic Wire Apr 13, 2011
The Skeptic Zone Sep 26, 2008 Australia
Skeptic’s Testament Jan 23, 2010 Australia
Skepticality May 9, 2005
Skeptically Speaking Mar 20, 2009 Canada
Skeptics Guide to Government Aug 27, 2011
Skeptics in Mormonville Oct 27, 2011
Skeptics in the Pub (Atlanta) Aug 15, 2009
Skeptics in the Pub (Birmingham) May 15, 2010 UK
Skeptics in the Pub (Cambridge) Jun 2, 2010 UK
Skeptics With a K Sep 1, 2009 UK
The Skeptics’ Guide 5×5 Jan 6, 2008
The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe May 4, 2005
Skepticule Sep 6, 2009 UK
Skeptikerpodden Mar 29, 2010 Sweden
Skeptoid Oct 2, 2006
Skeptoskop Sept 25, 2011 Germany
Smart Enough to Know Better Jun 20, 2010 Australia
Strange Frequencies Radio Nov 23, 2008
Strange Quarks Nov 1, 2010 UK
Token Skeptic Dec 25, 2009 Australia
Warning: Radio Aug 13, 2007
Weird Things Oct 19, 2009
Why You’re Wrong Apr 1, 2011 Canada

Here are the podcasts that seem to be finished.  Please correct me if I’ve prematurely put one in this set, or if there are podcasts above that should be moved into this list.

Podcast Name Start End Where
Actually Speaking Dec 1, 2009 Apr 21, 2011
The Amateur Scientist Podcast Sept 1, 2007 Dec 24, 2011
The Amazing Show starring James Randi Sep 24, 2007 Dec 11, 2008
Beer, Bullshit & Brains Jan 27, 2009 Sep 8, 2010
Cold Beer for the Skeptic’s Mind Dec 2, 2010 Sep 16, 2011
CORIcast Sep 3, 2009 Nov 18, 2011
Digital Bits Skeptic 2008? earlier? Feb 10, 2011
Double Meat Podcast Jan 11, 2010 Apr 24, 2011
Evolution 101 Feb 4, 2006 Jan 24, 2007
The Ghost Field Guide Dec 3, 2010 Jan 18, 2011 UK
Good Skeptic, Bad Skeptic Jan 16, 2010 Jan 16, 2010 UK
Hunting Humbug 101 Oct 7, 2008 Jun 6, 2010 Australia
Incrédulos (Unbelievers) Aug 8, 2009 Aug 17, 2010 Spain
The Infidel Guy Show Jan 1, 1999 Apr 29, 2010
Inside Belief Jun 25, 2011 Sep 5, 2011 Canada
Irregular Climate May 27, 2010 July 9, 2011 Australia
Logically Critical May 28, 2006 Oct 28, 2007
I Misteri di Massimo Polidoro Jan 2006 Sept 2009 Italy
Nonsense Podcast Apr 14, 2009 Feb 26, 2010 Australia
Parenting Within Reason Feb 28, 2010 June 11, 2011
A Ration of Reason Sep 27, 2010 Aug 21, 2011
Rational Capital Oct 3, 2010 Apr 25, 2011 Australia
Righteous Indignation May 31, 2009 March 26, 2012 UK
Science Talk Jan 10, 2011 Oct 25, 2011
Skepchick Podcast Dec 23, 2008 Dec 23, 2010
Skeptech Apr 27, 2008 Nov 26, 2009
Skeptical Viewer Mar 3, 2008 Nov 16, 2010
SkepticPod Feb 22, 2010 Aug 19, 2011 UK
Super Woo Fighting Duo Oct 29, 2010 Feb 12, 2011 UK
The (Skeptic) Tank Sep 15, 2005 Dec 4, 2007 Australia
Three Thinkers May 31, 2010 May 29, 2011 Australia

Please respond in the comments. I’m interested in skeptic podcasts I’ve missed, of course, but also corrections to the data you see here or perhaps objections to which ones I’ve included based on my stated criteria. (I freely admit my criteria are arbitrary, so I’m open to discussion).

Oh, and as I post this, the answer to the title question is 100! There are 79 active and 21 defunct skeptic podcasts.  Congratulations to Chris Barry who correctly guessed this last night!

You win nothing, unfortunately.

Thank you to the awesome catalog site Skeptics on the .Net as well as Luis García Castro, who helped me immensely already.

Update 1: Added Legion of Reason, count is now 101.
Update 2: Added Desert Air and Inside Belief, count is now 103: 81 active, 22 inactive.
Update 3: Added Why You’re Wrong, count is now 104: 82 active, 22 inactive.
Update 4: Added BeastCAST, count is now 105: 83 active, 22 inactive.
Update 5: Added Scepticisme Scientifique, count is now 106: 84 active, 22 inactive.
Update 6: Added Evolution 110, count is now 107: 84 active, 23 inactive.
Update 7: Added Caustic Soda, count is now 108: 85 active, 23 inactive.
Update 8: Added The Ghost Field Guide, count is now 109: 85 active, 24 inactive.
Update 9: Added The Critical Thinker Podcast, count is now 110: 86 active, 24 inactive.
Update 10: Added Mile High Sanity Project, count is now 111: 87 active, 24 inactive.
Update 11: Moved Amateur Scientist to dead list. Count is now 111: 86 active, 25 inactive.
Update 12 (April 18): Added Irregular Climate, Bogosity, Kritisch Denken, Parenting Within Reason. Count is now 115: 88 active, 27 inactive.
Update 13 (April 19): Added Weird Things. Count is now 116: 89 active, 27 inactive.
Update 14 (April 20): Added Life, the Universe & Everything Else. Count is now 117: 90 active, 27 inactive.
Update 15 (April 24): Added Massimo Polidoro & Evolving Scientist podcasts. Count is now 119: 91 active, 28 inactive.
Update 16 (April 27): Added Skeptoskop, Tank/Skeptic Tank. Count is now 121: 92 active, 29 inactive.
Update 17 (April 30): Added Three Thinkers. Count is now 122: 92 active, 30 inactive. 
Update 18 (May 6): Added Dr. Karl on triplej, Dr. Karl & the Naked Scientist. Count is now 124: 94 active, 30 inactive. 
Update 19 (May 12): Moved Righteous Indignation to dead list. Count is now 124: 93 active, 31 inactive.
Update 20 (June 15): Added Kvack! and Pseudocast. Count is now 126: 95 active, 31 inactive.

50 thoughts on “How many skeptic podcasts are there? Please help me find them all

  1. sgerbic

    I looked over my podcast list and you have everything I subscribe to, except I have “inside Belief” which only had two episodes and now is defunk. They interviewed Anita Iokenen and a psychic healer and that was it. Bart Farcus out of Canada.

    Desert Air from Arizona, but I suppose that is more atheist than skeptic.

    Would Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s podcast count? Can’t think of the name of it at the moment, as well as the SETI one, I think its called Are We Alone?

    Rational Alchemy podcast should be put on the inactive list. We have recorded 6 episodes but none have been uploaded with the new crew. The last released was with Jeff Wagg in late last year.

    1. Tim Farley Post author

      I thought about including Tyson’s Star Talk Radio, but I couldn’t find any instance of him really spending any time on skeptic stuff. Seth Shostak, on the other hand, does an entire episode of skeptic stuff about every fourth episode or so on Big Picture Science.

      I’ll check out Inside Belief and Desert Air, thanks!

    1. Tim Farley Post author

      Oh Jean-Michel I feel so bad! We cross paths on Twitter nearly every day, and somehow I overlooked your podcast. I have fixed this terrible wrong.

    1. Tim Farley Post author

      That would go in the defunct pile, right? The feed I found ran from February 2006 to January 2007, about 42 episodes. Is that the one you’re thinking of?

    1. Tim Farley Post author

      You’re right, I had it on my notes to add and totally goofed up. They even mentioned me in an episode, you can find a link back to them if you search this blog. I’ll fix that.

  2. tavirider

    Reasonable Doubts is “Your skeptical guide to religion”. Its mission is “to investigate the claims of religion from a fair-minded yet critical perspective.” Let me explain with a quick Venn diagram:

    ( Skepticism ( [Reasonable Doubts] ) Atheism )
    They discuss various religions using their own teachings, locating their logical inconsistencies. Therefore I think they meet your criteria for inclusion on this list.

    1. Tim Farley Post author

      Hmmm, I guess I’m going to have to listen to an episode or two, because just scanning their feed on FTB I only see one episode (the one with Barbara Ehrenreich) that I wouldn’t say fell in my “atheist podcast” bucket. I’ll give it a listen later and consider.

      1. tavirider

        I suggest that you pay particular attention to their “counter-apologetics”. I think that’s when they most apply structured, logical, critical thinking.

      2. tavirider

        Depends on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go. Episodes 97 and 98 include “Presuppositional counter-apologetics”, which provide a rigorous response to “presuppositionalist” arguments for religion. IIRC, most of the time the presuppositional arguments are tautologies or null statements. However, these are relatively esoteric topics and may be difficult to follow. Episode 96 has a much more approachable counter-apologetic segment that debunks the “King James only” bible movement.

    1. Tim Farley Post author

      Oh interesting, definitely adding Critical Thinker Podcast.

      Not so sure about that Reality Check, I just looked through the episode list and it seems like progressive politics with a dose of atheism. (Which is fine, but not part of my remit here). Am I misjudging?

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  4. Tim Farley Post author

    Thanks! I’m adding both Bogosity and Kritisch Denken, they will show up shortly. Perfect timing, I was planning to remind everyone of this on Twitter today.

  5. Nicole

    How about Weird Things Podcast?:

    Andrew Mayne, Brian Brushwood, and Justin Robert Young talk about science, pseudoscience, fiction, and anything weird in a completely inappropriate and hilarious manner. Love these guys!

    Also, Parenting Within Reason was once upon a time called Podcast Beyond Belief as well. So a lot of episodes may still be searchable under that name.

    We were just discussing podcasts at the CVille Skeptics meeting. I’ll be sure to share the list over there!

  6. Shane Phillips

    This is a great list. I have some new podcasts to try out! Thought, “Reality” podcast playlist is up to 20 now. Also, Rational Alchemy and For Good Reason have not had episodes in months. are they “finished” too?

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  9. Shane Phillips

    I have created an OPML file of the active podcasts. All but 2 I could find in iTunes US. Let me know if you want me the file to help people with subscribing.

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  12. sgerbic

    Tim, Luis just reminded me of this list. I’m going to be using it for outreach for all the non-English podcasts. Just wanted you to know that this is a very important list and hopefully you will keep it updated with all our help.

    BTW you can move Rational Alchemy to the “finished” list. :(

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