Show 258: The Scientific World View and Its Enemies

2-Hour Fund Drive Special w/Ann Druyan and Dan Agin

“The Scientific World View and Its Enemies”

Global Warming is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.

Evolution and Darwinism are seriously flawed and thus alternatives must be taught in schools across the nation.

Humans walked with Dinosaurs.

“Alternative medicines” are scientifically sound, but scientific medicine is bogus.

Genetically engineered food will kill us.

Pharmaceutical companies have your best interests in mind.

Humans are born lazy, greedy, selfish and violent … so a powerful state, war, and market capitalism best fits our nature.

Evolutionary Psychology is good science.

There is such a thing as race, and some races are smarter than others.

Welcome to the ideologies of thousands of Americans in the 21st Century; the Age of Reason seems to have taken a wrong step somewhere, and filling the void are fundamentalist religions, New-Age healthcare, techno-phobia, governmental manipulation, and corporate capitalist greed. Science and the scientific method have been the first casualties in this new century, and each of us will be the second, third, and so forth.

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Show 233: Darwin Day Special Featuring Holistic Darwinism w/Peter Corning

On February 12th, many will be celebrating the birthday of the father of modern evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin. Darwin Day, as the celebration is aptly called, was initiated by Dr. Robert Stephens at Stanford University and the Stanford Humanist Student Group in 1995. According to the official website – www.DarwinDay.org – “the objective of the Darwin Day Celebration is to encourage existing institutions worldwide, such as municipalities, public and private schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums, etc., – and individuals – to celebrate Science and Humanity every year, on, or near, February 12th.”
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Show 219a: “Understanding and Defending Evolution” with Sam Datta and Massimo Pigliucci

This two-part conversation with Sam Datta and Massimo Pigliucci will dig into how evolution takes place, including by taking on popular misconceptions about evolution, and explore why understanding the science of evolution matters. We will touch on the escalating attacks on evolution and science in general, and explore more fully why these are happening now, and visit the intersection where science and morality meet.

Since its publication last fall, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism; Knowing What’s Real and Why it Matter, by Ardea Skybreak, has received increasing recognition from renowned scientists like Richard Leakey, Kevin Padian, Taner Edis and David Seaborg as well as educators… and from many people who are ordinarily denied access to science, including a large number of prisoners.

The book is unique in the way it popularizes the science of evolution and the scientific method and in the very non-defensive way it takes on religious superstition. It combines uncompromising scientific rigor with an accessible style which gives it the ability to connect with a broad and diverse audience.

Recently, Skybreak’s book was named as one of three finalists for the 2007 Benjamin Franklin award in the category of Science/Environment.

After reading this book a prisoner described the debate going on over evolution inside his prison, and remarked that, “A lot of these bible bangers who have been misled think this debate is about ‘winning or losing.’ I tell them this debate is about struggling for the truth.”

Skybreak was unavailable for this interview, but has connected us with one of her publicists, Sam Datta, whom we will be speaking with about her book.

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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
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Show 209: Call-In Special w/Chip Walter – Humanity through a Naturalistic Lens

One Hour Call-In Special w/Chip Walter – “Humanity through a Naturalistic Lens”

To be skeptical merely about the value of religion, faith, and belief in the supernatural, and not call into question the overwhelming influence which such ways of seeing the world have had upon our understanding of what it means to be human, is to ignore their most damaging aspects. What happens if we discard traditional assumptions of human sinfulness, and cynical beliefs about human’s inherent tendency to be corrupt and greedy, and try to find a more accurate description of the human experience?

Helping us explore our topic will be Chip Walter author of Thumbs, Toes and Tears and Other Traits That Make Us Human; we will be opening the phone lines to hear your ideas on this crucially important topic.

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.

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Show 174a: “The Science of Peace”

First of Three Parts!

Is it within human nature to be aggressive, or is aggression the result of environmental circumstances? Is war inevitable because humans have a natural tendency to inter-societal violence, or is there something unique in modern culture which brings out the soldier in many of us, particularly our males?

What if Hobbes got it wrong?

What if women were in charge instead of men?

What if peace was closer to the “natural state” of human nature, and we have lived though an aberration of violence over the last few centuries?

And if cooperation and beneficence is prevalent in Homo Sapien Sapiens, how can we cultivate the human potential for peace … particularly when many people, even some scientists, are so pessimistic about our fate?

On Sunday, July 30th; Sunday, August 6th; & Sunday, August 13th, we will be talking with anthropologist Douglas Fry, author of Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace, and biologist Judith Hand, author of Women, Power, and the Science of Peace. Humanity’s history is not so “primitive” as some might argue, and our present day situation may not be as dire as it sometimes seems.

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.