SkepSun #38 (05_12_2013)

On Freethought Radio, we’ll hear about FFRF’s graduation prayer victory in Georgia, and learn about the May 2 full-page Washington Post ad challenging the National Day of Prayer and Annie Laurie and Dan talk with high-school senior Daniel Koster, who distributed freethought literature at Wekiva High School, Florida, as a way to protest Bible distribution in 11 Orange County schools. The “New Atheists” were by no means the first public intellectuals to promote freethought. May 18 is the  birthday of mathematician, logician, philosopher and humanist Bertrand Russel, and we’ll celebrate by playing a recording of him reading his classic essay from 1927 “Why I am not a Christian.” We end Skeptical Sunday with the Center for Inquiry’s Point of Inquiry podcast. Hosts Indre Viskontas and Chris Mooney interview Professor of Geography at the University of California and Pulitzer Prize winner Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel about his new book, the World Until Yesterday.

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell: Mathematician, logician, philosopher, peace activist, freethinker.

SkepSun #33 (04_07_2013)

This week on Freethought radio Dan and Annie Laurie of the FFRF celebrate their victory in Jackson, Ohio where a Jesus painting hung up in the  high school has been taken down and also the April 8 birthday of Yip Harburg, the famous nonbelieving lyricist (who penned “Over the Rainbow,” “April in Paris,” “Paper Moon” and others) and catch up with Yip’s son Ernie, who relates how his dad’s socially minded legacy continues through the activities of the Yip Harburg Foundation.Then on “For Good Reason” D.J. Grothe interviews poet and historian of science Jennifer Michael Hecht. She describes how art, poetry and literature can serve as an entree into skepticism and critical thinking and explores how poetry and ritual may enrich the skeptical life. Many believe you can’t really be moral without religion.In the final segment of Skeptical Sunday we’ll have a Point of Inquiry, in which primatologist Frans de Waal says that they really ought to take a look at our close cousin the bonobo. He has a new book out —The Bonobo and the Atheist– in which he calls for a more secular morality, but is also harshly critical of  the so-called “New Atheists.”