Show 592: The Journey of Chad White: From True Believer to Scientific Skeptic

The Journey of Chad White: From True Believer to Scientific Skeptic

Chad White went from a being a spiritual believer to an atheist after an encounter with a non believer at a Rainbow Tribe Gathering. This led to him questioning more of his beliefs, even the ones that were near and dear to him. In this interview we will discuss Chad’s story…and his disillusionment. We will also talk about how he went from being anti-GMO to Pro-GMO, and what happened after he started to go public with his discoveries.

Audio can be found here!

Show 583: Susan Blackmore

Equal Time welcomes Susan Blackmore back to the show!

Where can you draw a line between spirituality and (scientific) skepticism? Is there a way to find a balance between the two without believing in supernaturalism? How does the new work in consciousness studies and neuroscience help us better understand what is “real” or imagined?

On this show, ex parapsychologist, current psychologist and scientific skeptic Susan Blackmore will discuss her own experience as well a her recent books, The Meme Machine, and Seeing Myself (about OBE’s).

Audio can be found here!

Show 569: The Big Picture w/Sean Carroll

This week we will be acheterdufrance.com speaking with theoretical physicist and cosmologist Sean Carroll who returns to the show to discuss his new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. His book is every bit as ambitious as it sounds, delving into philosophy, physics, biology, chemistry, and much more as he seeks to tie what we know into a “big picture” of existence itself.

Carroll is a research associate in the department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology where he specializes in Dark Energy and General Relativity.  He’s been published in scientific journals such as Nature and New Scientist, and has appeared on episodes of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, the History Channel’s The Universe, and the Colbert Report. He’s written several popular science books including From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.

Audio can be found here!

Show 562: The Future of the Catholic Church w/ Pope Francis

Author, professor, and historian Garry Wills speaks with Matthew LaClair on American politics, religion, and this history of the Catholic Church. Northwestern Prof. Emeritus Garry Wills is the author of around 40 books, the latest being The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis. Wills has received numerous prizes for his work including the Merle Curti Award of the American Historical Association, the National Book Critics Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. He is also a reviewer for the New York Review of Books. His most recent review discussed the new book Why The Right Went Wrong by E.J. Dionne Jr., who will be our guest for April 23rd.

A life-long Catholic, Prof. Wills has grappled with the inconsistencies and irrationality of certain beliefs, such as the literal story of Noah’s Ark, Transubstantiation, and other supernatural claims, while maintaining a core belief in Heaven, Hell, and the divinity and resurrection of Jesus on Earth. ETFF opens the door to Wills to explain how he and other theists distinguish the symbolic from the literal. What do theists and non-theists of all stripes have in common? What makes us different? Are our differences important?

Audio can be found here!

Show 554: Michael Shermer: Skeptic

Michael Shermer: Skeptic

From a 10-step “Baloney Detection” guide to investigations into alien abductions, 9/11 conspiracy theories,  Creationism, therapeutic magnetism, and Bigfoot, Dr. Michael Shermer has made it his life’s work to think critically about — well — everything! His new book, Skeptic, presents readers with the tools necessary to do the same concerning a variety of innocent but misguided assumptions, baloney, bunkum, balderdash, and bullsh*t.

Host Matthew LaClair interviews Dr. Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine, founder of the Skeptics Society, and author of over 15 books including Why Darwin MattersThe Believing BrainThe Moral Arc, and the subject of our discussion, Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye.

In addition to Dr. Shermer’s books and magazine, he is also a monthly columnist for Scientific American, a regular contributor to Time.com and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University.

Audio can be found here!

Show 548: Thomas Levenson on “The Hunt for Vulcan”

Thomas Levenson on “The Hunt for Vulcan”

It was believed for decades that our Solar System had an extra planet, closer to the Sun than Mercury: the planet Vulcan. The planet doesn’t exist, of course, but it took quite a while to figure that out. Why is that? What does this episode say about science and how it works? Is this a laughable mistake or a blunder in the history of science, or was science doing its job?

Today we’ll be speaking with Thomas Levenson, whose new book, ‘The Hunt for Vulcan: . . . And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe‘, addresses these questions while telling the compelling story of the “discovery” of a false planet.

Thomas Levenson is a professor at MIT and head of its science writing program. He is the author of several books, including ‘Einstein in Berlin’ and ‘Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist.’ He has also made ten feature-length documentaries (including a two-hour Nova program on Einstein) for which he has won numerous awards.

Show 514: Fund Drive Special: How We Got to Now – Steven Johnson

Fund Drive Special: How We Got to Now – Steven Johnson

In How We Got to Now: Six  Innovations that Made the Modern World, science author and media theorist Steven Johnson examines key scientific innovations which not only created the modern world as we know it, but that without, we’d probably be a very different species at this point. How did these innovations come about? What were the historical determinants which allowed some to invent entirely new technologies, and what was the relationship between advances in science as a research endeavor to know the world around us, and these inventions.

For this special 2-hour Fund-Drive program, we will speak to Steven Johnson about his book, a 6-part PBS television series based on his book, and will be offering both the book and video as thank-you’s for donating to WBAI-NY to both keep the station on the air, and keep ETFF a part of the important line-up of programing you won’t ever find on corporate radio or any corporate media

Johnson is the author of eight books on the intersection of science, technology, and personal experience. He has also co-created three influential web sites: the pioneering online magazine FEED, the Webby Award-winning community site, Plastic.com, and most recently the hyperlocal media site outside.in. A contributing editor to Wired, he writes regularly for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and many other periodicals. Johnson also serves on the advisory boards of a number of Internet-related companies, including Medium, Atavist, Meetup.com, Betaworks, and Patch.com.

Show 499: Theoretical cosmologist, Sean Carroll

Image result for Sean Carroll

Theoretical cosmologist, Sean Carroll

On today’s ETFF, Sean Carroll will discuss with us the nature of time and space, and some of the newest ideas in modern theoretical cosmology and physics. He will also discuss time travel, the god hypothesis, and the origins of the universe.

Carroll works at Caltech in Pasadena, California. He does research on theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, gravitation, and quantum mechanics as well as work on dark matter and dark energy, modified gravity, topological defects, extra dimensions, and violations of fundamental symmetries. Carroll has written a couple of popular-level books: ‘From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time‘, and ‘The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World.’

Show 497: Brian Greene

Theoretical Physicist, Brian Greene

Our guest this week is Brian Greene, a string theorist and theoretical physicist with a lengthy resume. Known as a science popularizer, he is the author of four books including ‘The Fabric of the Cosmos’ and ‘The Elegant Universe’, both of which became PBS specials that he hosted. He is co-founder and current Board Chairman of the World Science Festival, co-founder of the new and free online series of science courses at World Science U.com and a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University. We will be discussing his work and how best to communicate science to the general public.