SkepSun #39 (05_19_2013)

What will incite more wrath on Ithaca’s airwaves than criticizing religion? How about an expert with something good to say about fracking! But first, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, hosts of Freethought Radio, celebrate Bertrand Russell’s birthday on May 18 by listening to his own voice commenting on Christianity and the afterlife. Then Annie Laurie reads Russell’s “Ten Thoughts” alternative to the Ten Commandments, and Dan’s song “Reincarnation” about the after-life. They then talk with FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott about the successful removal of Ten Commandments displays from Oklahoma and Kentucky public schools, and (it’s that time of year) the ongoing problem with the distribution of Gideon bibles in public schools. Then, what are the consequences of believing in alien abduction? (How about needless, overwhelming fear and sleep deprivation?) On the JREF podcast Consequence host Brian Thompson talks to his friend Richard who grew up inundated with pop culture that convinced him not only that extraterrestrials were visiting earth, but that they were also abducting innocent people for strange experiments. Finally, is there such a thing as an energy policy moderate? On Point of Inquiry, host Chris Mooney talks to energy security and climate change expert Michael Levi about fracking, pipelines and science. Levi is author of the new book The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America’s Future—in which he has some favorable things to say about “fracking” for natural gas and even, yes, the Keystone XL Pipeline. Decide for yourself if he has a point or not.