On Freethought Radio, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker talk with evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne (author of the best seller Why Evolution is True) about his new book, Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible. Then we hear excerpts of Chris Johnson’s new film, A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God. After that, Gordon Bonnet has some thoughts about detoxification: about when it’s necessary and when it’s just, well, woo, as in activated charcoal lemonade…yum. Then, a topic we touched on a few weeks back: the future of artificial intelligence and whether we should worry about a robot apocalypse or singularity when machines become smarter than we. First Sam Harris weighs in from his “Ask Me Anything” podcast and provides some reasons why he takes this issue very seriously and then Philosopher David Chalmers discusses the philosophical implications of the singularity with Nigel Warburton on the Philosophy Bites podcast. Finally on Point of Inquiry, host Josh Zepps interviews Alex Garland, writer and director of Ex Machina, a new film, now in theaters, that tells the story of a billionaire programmer who creates an artificially intelligent female robot. They discuss the science and philosophy behind consciousness, the future of self-aware machines, and ethical considerations we’ve barely begun to ponder.
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 Atheist. Then, 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.