Show 479: Niles Eldredge

Our guest was Dr. Niles Eldredge, a paleontologist who served as a curator at the American Museum of Natural History from 1969 until three years ago. He is well-known for his once controversial and now widely accepted evolutionary theory of “punctuated equilibria,” which he developed with Stephen Jay Gould. He is the author of many books, including The Pattern of Evolution, Life in the Balance, Why We Do It, and Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life.

Show 415: Darwin Day Special!

Darwin Day Special!

It’s that time again to raise funds for Listener-Sponsored Radio, WBAI-NY! This time, we’ll do it with Darwin and the theory of evolution with Reverend Michael Dowd, a stanch advocate for evolution (against Creationism), and author of Thank God for Evolution!

Dowd has been on ETFF before, and is an interesting guest for us because of his interest in uniting religion with science (and evolution, in particular).  The ‘New Atheists’ probably don’t like him much, and secular humanists may scratch their head, but if there is a man who can bridge the huge gap between Evangelical and/or Fundamentalist Christians and Naturalists – which is a big step towards a more progressive humanistic society – Dowd may be him.

We also offered a great DVD called Race: The Power of an Illusion!

Show 405: “Thank God for Evolution” w/ Michael Dowd

“Thank God for Evolution” w/ Michael Dowd

This Saturday, evolutionary evangelist – former pastor and author of ‘Thank God for Evolution’ – Michael Dowd, will speak with host Matthew LaClair on the subject of evolutionary theory and the sciences.

Since 2002, Reverend Dowd and his wife have traveled across the country, addressing more than 1,500 theistic and secular groups alike on the subject of evolutionary theory. How can the sciences be communicated to those with varying religious and political views? Should “religious” language be a part of this discussion? Is it hypocritical to believe in a Supreme Being with no factual information, while simultaneously accepting evolution? Can secularists and theists learn some things from one another?

Show 325: Creation w/ Carl Zimmer

Two-Hour Fund Drive Special!

Creation w/ Special Guest, Science Writer Carl Zimmer

“A psychological, heart-wrenching love story starring Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) as Charles Darwin, the film is based on “Annie’s Box,” a biography penned by Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes using personal letters and diaries of the Darwin family. We take a unique and inside look at Darwin, his family and his love for his deeply religious wife, played by Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Requiem for a Dream), as, torn between faith and science, Darwin struggles to finish his legendary book “On the Origin of Species,” which goes on to become the foundation for evolutionary biology.”

Join us in support of WBAI-NY and feel free to donate to the station so ETFF will always have a home!

Show 319: Creation

One-Hour Fund Drive Special!

Creation

“A psychological, heart-wrenching love story starring Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) as Charles Darwin, the film is based on “Annie’s Box,” a biography penned by Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes using personal letters and diaries of the Darwin family. We take a unique and inside look at Darwin, his family and his love for his deeply religious wife, played by Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Requiem for a Dream), as, torn between faith and science, Darwin struggles to finish his legendary book “On the Origin of Species,” which goes on to become the foundation for evolutionary biology.”

Show 315: The Texas Textbook Controversy

The Texas Textbook Controversy!

This Sunday, Matthew LaClair will talk with controversial figure Don Mcleroy, a Christian literalist and Creationist member of the Texas Board of Education. They will discuss the Texas Board of Education’s curriculum changes that are likely to pass this May which, as the New York Times explains, “Stress(es) the superiority of American capitalism, question(s) the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government, and present(s) Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.”

Show’s 311: “What’s all the Fuss About? Darwinism and its Discontents”

Two-Part (belated) Darwin Day Special!

“What’s all the Fuss About? Darwinism and its Discontents”

Featuring Dr. Joseph Graves, Jr. and Dr. John Bellamy Foster

As we’ve just bypassed both the 200th anniversary of the great Naturalist Charles Darwin’s birth on February 12th, and the 150th anniversary of perhaps the most influential scientific text of all time – “On the Origin of Species” (11/24/09) –  the humanist and Freethought community in general, and the world at large, has once again grappled with the significance of the scientific theory of evolution via natural selection.

In most of the developed world, and elsewhere, Darwin’s theories have not only been understood and championed, but put to the real tests of understanding not only the origins and complexity of life forms on Earth, but via the treatment of diseases for which evolution’s tenets are absolutely vital.  Still, populations  – usually those where religion still carries great meaning for many people (particularly the Abrahamic religions), including many states in the US – have not only been reluctant to embrace evolutionary science, but have actively fought against the teaching of evolution and it’s very existence.

The strong hold of Creationism in both Christianity and Islam has swayed more people in these areas then Darwinism ever had, and many freethinkers tend to believe the core of these problems lie in the supernaturalism and “scared” texts of which religion is built.  But does there lay a deeper, more systemic reason for the sway of Creationism over Darwinism which scientific advocates fail to, or don’t wish to discuss when combating anti-evolution sentiments and activism?  Indeed, can understanding one of the core reasons Charles Darwin himself sought out the science behind life’s’ diversity – especially with regards to human beings – shed some light on the vehemence aimed at evolutionary theory?

Show 288: Special: Evolutionary Biologist and practicing Christian, Dr. Kenneth R. Miller

Special: Evolutionary Biologist and practicing Christian, Dr. Kenneth R. Miller

Matthew LaClair will be interviewing Dr. Kenneth R. Miller, a biology professor at Brown University and the lead witness in the case regarding Creationism in Dover, PA in 2005.  Dr. Miller, also a practicing Roman Catholic, believes that Evolutionary Theory and religious beliefs such as his are not contradictory.  Matthew will talk with Dr. Miller about his advocacy of science, his involvement in debates and controversies surrounding Creationism, and his arguments supporting the idea that religion and science do not contradict one another. Can religion and science coexist? Furthermore, do science and religion (theology) explain the natural universe?

Show 284: Church & State in Kearny, New Jersey; The Saga Continues…

Call-In Special: Church & State in Kearny, New Jersey; The Saga Continues…

Matthew LaClair will be conducting a special call-in program on a topic which he was first introduced to ETFF’s audiences as a guest speaker on.  Matt will be updating and discussing the latest chapter in the ongoing saga regarding his former U.S. History Public High School teacher who, back in 2006 in Kearny, NJ, he recorded and challenged for preaching religion during class.  That incident garnered worldwide attention, and was reported on in the New York Times.

This time, the teacher, David Paszkiewicz – who is also the adviser of a Christian Club in the school – is taking the club to the Creation Museum in Kentucky this weekend. This field trip was initially supposed to occur in part during school hours using taxpayer money with the educational rationale being to expose students to the “science behind creationism.”

Matthew will discuss his actions this past week, and talk about what can be done about this breach of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. What do YOU think about this issue?  Should religious clubs in public schools be allowed to use taxpayer money to promote something that directly opposes the educational curriculum?  Should this teacher be appeased or admired?  Or is this yet another way the religious right uses back door tactics to turn American schools into mini-theocracies, and thus teachers like Paszkiewicz be removed from public service?  Call Matt to chat abut these questions Sunday at 212-209-2900!