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.”

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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’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 273: Race & Racism in the 21st Century: A Humanist Approach

Race & Racism in the 21st Century: A Humanist Approach w/ Tim Wise & Joseph Graves

It can be argued that perhaps the key issue which separates the United States from the other 17 world democracies is that this nation was built in no small way on the backs of chattel slavery, an institution which has had an impact not only on the “race” of people whom were enslaved, but the entire sociopolitical structure of the nation itself.  Not only has slavery, and the justification of slavery and domination which we know today as racism, affected the relationships between those of African-Americans and the dominant “race” (Caucasians) – as well as other people of color whose entrance and experiences in this nation, however problematic, were different by the very nature of how they came to be in America – but it has also blurred the line between the powerful and rich and the rest of us who share a class consciousness’ (or who should!)

And now, with the rise of Barack Obama to the most powerful position of power on the planet, many Caucasians – especially conservatives, but many liberals as well – have decided that the U.S. is a post-racial society, and that the only thing that really stands between other African-Americans and their potential Obama-like success is what whites perceive of as a lack of “personal responsibility” on behalf of blacks in America.

Continue reading “Show 273: Race & Racism in the 21st Century: A Humanist Approach”

Show 211: Fund Drive Show – “Evolution, Religion & the New Atheism” w/ David Sloan Wilson

Fund Drive Show – “Evolution, Religion & the New Atheism” w/ David Sloan Wilson

What does the Judeo-Christian, Islamic religious world view tell us about human nature and our place in the universe?

What does Evolutionary Biology and Scientific Naturalism itself tell us about human nature and our place in the Universe?

Where do these two worldviews merge – if they merge – and where do they differ… and how important is that difference?

And that all said, what does religion have to do with humanity’s evolution and how ought we view religion as our troubled societies move into post 9/11 times?

PODCAST/AUDIO for Interview Only
Continue reading “Show 211: Fund Drive Show – “Evolution, Religion & the New Atheism” w/ David Sloan Wilson”

Show 193: Darwin Day Special: David Buller

Darwin Day Special: Adapting Minds:Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

From the Publisher:

Was human nature designed by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch? The dominant view in evolutionary psychology holds that it was — that our psychological adaptations were designed tens of thousands of years ago to solve problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. In this provocative and lively book, David Buller examines in detail the major claims of evolutionary psychology — the paradigm popularized by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate and by David Buss in The Evolution of Desire — and rejects them all. This does not mean that we cannot apply evolutionary theory to human psychology, says Buller, but that the conventional wisdom in evolutionary psychology is misguided.

Continue reading “Show 193: Darwin Day Special: David Buller”

Show 156: Matthew Chapman (Great, Great Grandson of Charles Darwin)

Trials of the Monkey: An Accidental Memoir w/ Matthew Chapman (Great, Great Grandson of Charles Darwin)

Matthew Chapman was born in England… The great, great grandson of perhaps the most significant scientist of the last 200 years.. Charles Darwin.

Chapman ventured to the U.S. in 1980, and headed straight for Hollywood, where he directed several indie films with such actors as Johnny Depp, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Peter Coyote.  He also wrote the screenplay for “Consenting Adults,” starring Kevin Spacey, and co-wrote the screenplay for John Grisham’s “Runaway Jury,” which starred Gene Hackman.

In 2001, Chapman went back to his roots, so to speak, and wrote “Trials of the Monkey – An Accidental Memoir” – a book about a trip he took to the town where the Scopes Monkey Trial took place.

Most recently, he has a new essay in the February issue of Harpers Magazine called, “God or Gorilla,” which is an account of the new monkey trial in Dover, Pennsylvania.

On Equal Time for Freethought this Sunday, February 5th – one week before Darwin Day, Chapman will discuss with us things from religion in the US, evolution, ID, superstition in Hollywood, and what’s its like to be the descendent of perhaps the most feared scientist .. In Red State America, at least.