SkepSun #86 (04_13_2014)

Today’s show:  Communicating the scientific, naturalistic worldview on television. When I was a kid two shows hugely impacted me:  Cosmos hosted by Carl Sagan and Life on Earth with David Attenborough.  Two shows now on television now will hopefully have the same significance for some of today’s young people. The first is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on the FOX networks, the much-talked-about successor to the show of 24 years ago, and the second is Your Inner Fish now on PBS. We’ll hear Josh Zepps, host of the Point of Inquiry podcast, interview writer of both Cosmos series, widow of Carl Sagan and Ithacan Anne Druyan. She discusses the relevance of pre-Socratic materialist philosophers, her early memories of Carl Sagan, the possibility of life on other planets, and how shows like Cosmos can change culture. Then, when you look at yourself in the mirror should you see the image of God, or the image of…a fish?  A fish, says Neil Shubin professor at the U. of Chicago, who with colleagues found what you might call the real Darwin fish, a fossil of a transitional stage between fishes and tetrapods in the Canandian high Arctic. They named it Tiktaalik roseae. Shubin then wrote the book Your Inner Fish and there’s now a 3-part TV series of the same name on PBS.  The scientific worldview is about valuing evidence he says, in a wide ranging interview with Chris Mooney on the Inquiring Minds podcast. But first, on Freethought Radio we listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s response after she was disinvited to give the commencement at Brandeis University for her remarks critical of Islam. Then Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor celebrate the birthday of the freethinking Charlie Chaplin and talk with Ellis Felker, owner of Red Oak Greeting Cards.

Created in the image of ... fish!  Transitional fossil fish Tiktaalik roseae.

Created in the image of … fish! Transitional fossil fish Tiktaalik roseae.

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