critical thinking

SkepSun #51 (08_11_2013)

Actress and story-teller Julia Sweeney gets a lot of airtime on Skeptical Sunday again this week. We hear the conclusion to her wonderful autobiographical monologue “Letting Go of God” in the second hour of the show.  But we also learn about her current project with Jill Sobule, the “Jill & Julia Show” on Freethougtht Radio. Ms. Sweeney will be a featured speaker at FFRF’s annual convention in Madison, Wisconsin at the end of September. Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor report on an FFRF victory in the Ball State University “intelligent design” controversy and talk with FFRF summer legal intern Chuck Rostof, who tells us about the problems resulting from the growing trend of Catholic hospitals acquiring secular ones across the country. We’ll also hear a song from another entertainer appearing at FFRF’s upcoming convention, Australian singer-songwriter Shelley Segal.
 Shelley Segal
 Atheist singer-songwriter from Down Under,  Shelley Segal.
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SkepSun #43 (06_16_2013)

On a day on which we celebrate the important contributions of earthly, non-imaginary fathers in all of our lives, we begin Skeptical Sunday, as we do each week, with Freethought Radio. On today’s show Dan and Annie Laure talk to their staff attorney, Andrew Seidel about a new lawsuit  in federal court challenging censorship of freethought literature in Orange County, Florida high schools and then celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 Abington v. Schempp decision by the U.S. Supreme Court by talking with Ellery Schempp, who was a high-schooler in 1956 when the case got started. Next, in the “you must be kidding” segment of Skeptical Sunday, infectious disease MD Mark Crislip addresses acupuncture and laser therapy for sea turtles at the New England Aquarium. Apparently, now not even marine life is safe from their needless needling. Finally, on Point of Inquiry, host Indre Viskontas interviews philosopher Dan Dennett about his lastest book Intuition Pumps and other Tools for Thinking.

And it’s the late spring/early summer fundraiser on WRFI. Contribute $60 or more and get a flying fish logo t-shirt!  Go to WRFI.org for information.  And Happy Father’s Day!

Sea Turtle Acupunctur_Angu

A Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle being tortured receiving acupuncture at the New England Aquarium.  What have we come to?

SkepSun #37 (05_05_2013)

There is hope after faith! On Freethought Radio we  listen to former pentecostal minister Jerry DeWitt “preach” his story of conversion to atheism at FFRF’s 2012 Convention. Then Dan and Annie Laurie talk to another former preacher, Robert Price—scholar, author, Jesus Seminar fellow, and professor of theology—who tells us why many scholars doubt not only the resurrection, but also the very existence of Jesus.  For that matter, what about God?  Philosopher Austin Dacey lays out an empirical case why God’s existence is very improbable.  We’ll hear Steve Baughman’s Theodicy Rag and then the Skeptics rogues let us know if there’s anything to people behavior strangely during a full moon. On the last segment of Skeptical Sunday, we’ll get a 30 minute crash course in critical thinking from Dr. Peter Boghossian of Portland State University. Boghossian says it’s all about having the right attitude. Finally, what’s better, Christianity or beer?