Show 623: Skeptic, Bob Novella

Jessica Schab interviews skeptic podcaster, Bob Novella!

Bob Novella, is a co-founder and Vice-President of the New England Skeptical Society. He co-hosts along side his brothers Steven and Jay Novella the very popular Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast – the show is dedicated to promoting critical thinking and science literacy through insightful content and resources including an award-winning weekly podcast.

Bob is the writer of the blogs for SGU’s Rogues Gallery, a Youtube channel called Alpha Quadrant 6 and he is a speaker at NECSS -New York City’s Biggest Celebration of Science & Skepticism. He has also written numerous articles that are widely published in skeptical literature.

Bob’s scientific interests lie in the extremes, from the gargantuan to the infinitesimal: astronomy and cosmology to particle physics and quantum mechanics. He is especially fascinated by the human capacity for self-deception and anticipated future technologies such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and human augmentation.

Listen to the show here!

Show 622: Physicist Sean Carroll

Could there be another “you” out there, living another life almost like yours? Could there, in short, be other universes? It sounds like science fiction, but this week’s guest argues it’s not only possible but likely, the most straightforward conclusion to draw from Quantum Mechanics. Join us as we speak to Caltech Theoretical Physicist Sean Carroll, author of the new book “Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime”

Audio can be found here!

Show 609: Tom Clark on the State of Naturalism, 2018

Tom Clark on the State of Naturalism, 2018. A discussion hosted by Arnell Dowret

What does a naturalistic worldview mean for how we treat each other, how we understand our social interactions, and what sort of society we build? One of the key elements to fostering naturalistic relations is to avoid “judgmentalism” in how we interact with others as well as the narratives we play around with in our own mind.

Audio can be found here!

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.