Show 424: The Republican Brain w/ Chris Mooney

The Republican Brain w/ Chris Mooney

For the Equal Time for Freethought Spring Fund-Drive Special, we will be discussing science journalist Chris Mooney‘s new book, The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science–and Reality.

Why do conservatives and Libertarians think differently than liberals and anarchists/socialists? Why do those on the Left seem ambiguous and often disunited or overly nuanced in their attempts to engage the political landscape while those on the Right seem close-minded and unwilling to accept objective scientific facts?

We discussed these issues and more with author Chris Mooney and will be offering his book and the entire interview we conducted with him as thank-you’s for contributing to WBAI-NY during our program! All proceeds go to the radio station so that it can continue to bring you programming you won’t find elsewhere.. especially programming like Equal Time for Freethought – the ONLY humanist/atheist/freethought broadcast program on the East Coast (and perhaps nation-wide)!

Show 413: Merchants of Doubt: When Scientists Lie

Merchants of Doubt:  When Scientists Lie w/ Naomi Oreskes and Joel Kovel

Science is most likely our best way of knowing and navigating our universe. It is a self-correcting method by which bias is filtered through research, experimentation, and via objective means so that we can get as close to “truth” as any human endeavor might. But science is also a human construct, so it can’t help being influenced by not only our own human brains, but by the cultures our species develop in which science operates. And while science is our best method of separating human bias from fact, there can often seem to be a very thin line between each of these.

Today we want to focus on a relatively new book called Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.  Merchants of Doubt focuses on how some scientists have, and still do, misuse and misrepresent science itself – for either ideological or economical reasons – in such grave areas such as concerning the effects of tobacco smoke on human health, the Star Wars missile defense program President Reagan championed, and the current concerns around global warming.

Also joining us today will be Joel Kovel, an American politician, academic, writer, and eco-socialist.  Kovel feels the rapid economic growth encouraged by globalization has caused our current, acute ecological crises. He argues that capitalism’s expansion “exposes ecosystems” to pollutants, habitat destruction, and resource depletion. He is the author of the environmentally focused book, The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World.

Show 392: Fund Drive Special w/ Kelly McGonigal

How can we cope with chronic pain, and how is it tied into memory and our outlook in ways that other sensations are not? How can cultivating self-compassion help us achieve our goals and cope with life challenges? And, most important, where is the empirical evidence that shows how well, and for whom, these mind-body systems work?

This Saturday, ETFF once again hosts Kelly McGonigal, PhD, who is a health psychologist at Stanford University and a leading expert on the mind-body relationship. She teaches for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program and is a senior teacher/consultant for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Her popular public courses through Stanford’s Continuing Studies program including the Science of Willpower and the Science of a Calmed Mind demonstrate the applications of psychological science to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change.

Please call in during the program to donate to WBAI-NY to keep the station on the air, and support Equal Time for Freethought. You can call at 212-209-2950; and as a special “Thank-You” for donating, you can receive any number of gifts including Kelly’s book, Yoga for Pain Relief!

Show 390: Transhumanism – Understanding Our Technological Future

Transhumanism – Understanding Our Technological Future w/ James Hughes

Humans are inextricably linked to the technology we create, and the technology we create in turn shapes us.  In the next few decades a confluence of high technologies including nano-tech, bio-tech, info-tech, and cognitive science will bring humankind into territory previously unimagined, and largely still unimaginable.

Future technologies may empower human kind to eliminate or significantly reduce the serious existential threats we presently face such as environmental collapse, nuclear disaster, and worldwide pandemic.  On the other hand, our new technologies themselves could bring an entirely new set of challenges with which we will have to struggle.

To help us examine what our future relationship to technology might involve we will be joined by Dr. James Hughes, a scholar of futurism with the ability to discuss complex ideas about our future in a manner that is uniquely clear and accessible.  Dr. Hughes is a sociologist and bioethicist at Trinity College, and producer of Changesurfer Radio, a weekly half hour public affairs program on the impact of future technologies.  He is also the co-founder of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and currently serves as its Executive Director.

Show 375: The Morality of Abortion…

The Morality of Abortion and the Immorality of Those Who Would Force Women to Bear Children Against Their Will

For the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, join Sunsara Taylor for a special hour of Equal Time for Free Thought celebrating the right to abortion, celebrating the doctors and health care providers who risk their lives every day to provide women access to this essential right, and to examine the state of abortion rights today.

The hour will begin with Dr. Leroy Carhart, one of the few doctors left who provides second trimester abortions.  After the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, Dr. Carhart stepped out even further – and became targeted by the anti-choice fascists as “enemy # 1” – by declaring that he will continue to serve the women who need abortions in his area.  Further, he has expanded his practice to Baltimore and is working to train more doctors in later term abortion services.

Then, the show will feature a three way conversation between:

Merle Hoffman, the President and Founder of Choices Women’s Medical Center and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of On the Issues Magazine.  She has been on the front lines providing abortions since 1971 and an outspoken activist and women’s rights advocate.

Debra Sweet, the National Director of World Can’t Wait.  She was central to organizing clinic defense against Operation Rescue across the country throughout the 90’s and continues to expose and mobilize against the attacks on women’s right to abortion and the providers who serve them.

Carole Joffe, author of “Dispatches From the Abortion Wars: The Cost of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us,” as well as, “Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion Before and After Roe V. Wade.”

Together, we will look back to the days before abortion was legal, examine the changing moral discourse surrounding abortion, confront the full scope of the danger now posed to women who so desperately need this right, and celebrate – and draw inspiration from – those who have committed themselves to fighting to protect and expand abortion access.

Show’s 326: ‘Nonsense on Stilts’ w/ Massimo Pigliucci

‘Nonsense on Stilts’ w/ Massimo Pigliucci

(from book description)

“Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 per cent of Americans believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, despite it being one of science’s best-established findings. More and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link has been consistently disproved. And about 40 per cent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, despite near consensus in the scientific community that manmade climate change is real.

“Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices?

Continue reading “Show’s 326: ‘Nonsense on Stilts’ w/ Massimo Pigliucci”

Show 294: Chris Mooney on the State of Science Literacy in America

Chris Mooney on the State of Science Literacy in America

Why is it that in such a technologically advanced country, science is not taken seriously by so many? What is so dangerous about an illiteracy of science, or for that matter, a literacy of science? What role does religion, political economy, and fear play in the current attack on science in America? Will the current affront to scientific method become even more problematic as the effects of climate change become far more serious?

Equal Time for Freethought welcomes back Chris Mooney, author of multiple books including the New York Times bestseller “The Republican War on Science,” and most recently, “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our future.”  Mooney is also a contributing editor to Science Progress, and publishes in many publications including Wired, Slate, and The American Prospect.  This week, Matthew LaClair will chat with Mooney about the issues that America faces regarding scientific acceptance and understanding in the 21st Century.

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 287: Social Science Under Fire

Is Social Science bunk?

Were Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience Experiments,” and Philip Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Experiments,” unscientific and immoral?

Is Social Science even science?

Join us as ETFF focuses in on questions such as these with three extraordinary guests for this one hour special presentation!

Challenging the value and accuracy of the social scientific enterprise will be Dr. Barbara Oakley, author of “Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend.” Dr. Oakley has been doing interviews (including for the Center For Inquiry’s podcast, ‘Point of Inquiry’), attacking social science and some of its seminal studies.

Standing up for social science in general will be Dean of Social Sciences and University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University, Dr. Dalton Conley.  And back with us for a second time to address criticisms regarding his Stanford Prison Experiment will be Social Science legend, Dr. Philip Zimbardo.

The Sequel to this program can be found here!