SkepSun #79 (02_23_2014)

Today: the social impact, neuroscience and psychology of conspiracy theories. We’ll hear Michael Shermer, author of The Believing Brain, on the John Stossel Show, talking about why people so readily take to conspiracy theories and why we should think twice. Then David McRaney on his You Are Not So Smart podcast interviews Jesse Walker, books editor for Reason Magazine and author of the new book, The United States of Paranoia, a Conspiracy Theory and Steven Novella, host of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, and an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. Also, Brian Dunning of Skeptoid will look at a popular urban legend that holds that marijuana became illegal in the U.S. as a result of a conspiracy involving newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst.  What’s the evidence? But first, on Freethought Radio, Dan and Anne Laurie celebrate the birthdays of Victor Hugo and W.E.B. Dubois. We’ll hear about student activists in North Carolina who get to have a freethought club at their high school after FFRF sends a letter and FFRF has success at getting bibles removed from a state-owned hotel rooms at Iowa State University. We’ll hear the unflappable Annie Laurie Gaylor interviewed about it by the obnoxious Sean Hannity. Then they talk with executive editor of MS Magazine, Katherine Spillar, about the religious war against women.



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