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|BoA:Audio welcomes microbiology professor Dr. Tyler Kokjohn back to the program for an extended jam session that covers a myriad of topics ranging from the strangely paranormal to the fantastically and frighteningly real. Over the course of the conversation, we delve into the challenges and potential breakthroughs associated with DNA and the paranormal, issues surrounding paranormal research being dependent on propagating mysteries as a means of titillating its audience, and how the paranormal often eschews research in favor of simply promoting untested theories.
Additionally, we spend quite a bit of time talking about diseases as well as our food production in America and abroad. We talk about autism and the debate over vaccines, modern day measles outbreaks, mad cow disease brought on by nefarious conditions at factory farms, and the dangers of chemical additives being used in so many food products. Plus, we discuss ancient aliens, genetic tinkering, skeptics, experiencers, and a whole bunch more.
Altogether it is an enlightening and, at times, disturbing edition of the program which draws from the world of real science and applies it to both the paranormal and our everyday lives as Tyler Kokjohn returns to BoA:Audio.
Highlights: We kick things off by learning if any research in the world of the paranormal has piqued Tyler's interest since his last appearance on BoA:Audio in May of 2013. He details the recent DNA work being done on the Paracas Skulls and how that is an avenue which may eventually lead to some data that scientists can properly study. That turns into talk about how DNA is being applied more often to paranormal mysteries and Tyler talks about the Starchild Skull as well as the Ata 'alien' from 2013.
This leads to some talk about what can be done with DNA and the limitations on drawing conclusions from DNA data. Tyler details the strange phenomenon known as epigenomics, which outside influences modify a person's genetics and this altered genetic material gets passed down in subsequent generations. We then break from tradition and bring a caller into the mix as John in upstate NY asks Tyler if physical modifications, such as cradle boarding, can be passed down in subsequent generations.
Our conversation then turns towards abduction research and Tyler talks about how the field has missed several instances of getting good, solid DNA data from alleged hybrids. He also talks about the 'great disconnect' of abduction and paranormal research where hypothesis are created and promoted but never get tested. This leads to some talk about how paranormal research seems to be increasingly driven by propagating a mystery rather than solving the enigma.
Continuing our meta examination of issues facing the paranormal, we look at how the financial challenges facing the field seems to have led to the additional complications for researchers. We then circle back to the Ata alien story and the work of Dr. Gary Nolan, getting a little more background on how that all came together and where the story seems to be heading next. In light of Tyler's standing in the academic community, we find out what the reaction has been from his school and colleagues to his interest in the paranormal.
We then get briefly interrupted by Lobo, of Project Archivist fame, who trolls us with inside jobs and laughs. This allows us to segue into some talk about the strange explosion of autism in children and the longstanding debate over whether or not it is caused by vaccines. In turn, we learn about how, in recent years, there has been an unsettling rise in measles perhaps as a result of parents not vaccinating their children or kids who medically cannot be vaccinated.
The discussion of vaccines and diseases continues as we talk about polio and the potential for it, or other diseases, to mutate from an unvaccinated person and spread into the general population. Tyler also tells us about the CIA's attempt to find Osama Bin Laden via a clandestine vaccination program.
The conversation then pivots to some talk about mad cow disease and how it was exacerbated by horrifying practices at slaughterhouses such as feeding dead cow parts back to the still-living cows. This leads to a question, from the chat room, regarding 'mad chickens,' the horrifying mistreatment of 'downer cows' in slaughterhouses, and how the Federal government is trying to make it illegal to document these mispractices. We also learn about the dangers surrounding the pervasive nature of hand sanitizers as well as emerging realm of fecal transplants.
Entering the final quarter of the live program, we ask Tyler about the oft-cited statistics surrounding the high number of human deformities as evidence that the species was genetically engineered by aliens. We also find out if it is possible, in modern times, for scientists to determine genetic tinkering that had been done in ancient times. This leads to some talk about skeptics and the skeptical community and how, at times, they behave in a fashion similar to paranormal researchers. We also lament the reliance on debunking 'low hanging fruit' paranormal stories as well as the deferential treatment that science gets from skeptics.
Closing out the live program, we talk about the need for patience in science and how that can be a burden for a ragtag research community like the paranormal field. We also reflect on the challenge of the experiencer or witness to convey what happened to them to others and, for others, to accept their experience. Wrapping up the live show, we find out if Tyler thinks we'll ever solve any paranormal mysteries or if their enigmatic nature combined with their marginalization will lead to them continuing well into the future. We also find out about potential future projects from Tyler in the realm of the paranormal.
In our post-live show chat, we reflect on the discussion surrounding issues with factory farms and meat production. Tyler also muses about how the mad cow epidemic was caused by one small change in production. We also talk about the vast amount of chemicals being used as food additives and how we still don't know the long term effects of the use of these chemicals. We then welcome Lobo back to the program for a question about Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and what needs to be done to change the public perception of the food industry.
Wrapping up the program, we talk to Tyler about Alzheimer's Disease and find out how big the field of research is around the world. Additionally, we learn about the troubling cases of early onset Alzheimer's Disease, the origins of studying the disease, how it got its name, and the evolution of trying to find a cure for it.
He first became interested in UFOs after hearing Frank Edwards talking about his book, “Flying Saucers, Serious Business” on TV early in 1967. He put those interests aside for decades, until reaching a point in his career where he could begin to examine and investigate UFOs and the paranormal taking full advantage of his scientific training and experience. All he knows, for certain, is that there are few easy answers.
Tyler can be found online at twitter.com/TylerKokjohn