SkepSun #102 (08_03_2014)

Atheism, albinism and artificial intelligence.  What do they have in common?  They’re all subjects of this weeks show. On Freethought Radio we’ll hear how the religious right and FOX News are upset about the FFRF’s IRS church-electioneering victory, we’ll hear Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talking about the Hobby Lobby decision, and we’ll celebrate the birthdays of freethinkers James Baldwin and Rupert Brooke. Then Annie Laurie and Dan talk with author and professor Anthony Pinn about his new memoir,Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better AtheistThen, what do you know or think you know about albinism? Horrifically, people with albinism are still murdered for their body parts in some parts of Africa, but even in the developed world certain myths about albinos live on. Brian Dunning has a look at facts and the fictions associated with albinism on Skeptoid. Did you know that an artificial intelligence named “Eugene Goostman” recently passed the Turing Test, the gold standard criterion for whether an AI is conscious? At least, that’s what many media outlets reported. In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Julia Galef and Massimo Pigliucci take a critical look at Eugene and at the Turing test in general as a standard for consciousness. In the process they debate what it would mean for an AI to be conscious, and how we could ever tell.

Alan Turing, of the "Turing test."

Alan Turing, of the “Turing test.”