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.
Are science and religion compatible when it comes to understanding cosmology (the origin of the universe), biology (the origin of life and of the human species), ethics, and the human mind (minds, brains, souls, and free will)? Do science and religion occupy “non-overlapping magisteria”? How do the various faith traditions view the relationship between science and religion? What, if any, are the limits of scientific explanation? These are some of the questions put to 33 of the world’s most influential and prominent philosophers, scientists, theologians, apologists, and atheists in a recently published book entitled Science and Religion: 5 Questions. The editor of Science and Religion: 5 Questions is Professor Gregg Caruso of Corning Community College-SUNY, and I sat down with him to discuss this unique book. I have that complete, one-hour interview for you starting about 55 minutes into the show. But first…On Freethought Radio Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor inform us that the FFRF’s “Parsonage Allowance” brief was filed with 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and that a television ad featuring Ron Reagan, son of the former President, will be airing next week during “Cosmos” in major cities. They celebrate the birthdays of four freethinking composers and songwriters, including Cole Porter. Then they talk with the film-making brothers Gus and Luke Holwerda, whose documentary “The Unbelievers,” follows Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on a world-wide science tour.
On Freethought Radio we hear the latest on the FFRF’s Florida school freethought literature distribution lawsuit. Then, Annie Laurie and Dan discuss a bill signed into law in Texas this week by Governor Rick Perry, dubbed the “Merry Christmas bill” that encourages public schools in Texas to promote religious holidays. Afterwards they talk to Arizona State Representative Juan Mendez, who opened a session of the Arizona House of Representatives recently with a freethought invocation instead of a prayer, not to everybody’s liking. Next, from the Johann Hari podcast, we’ll hear British journalist Johann Hari’s review of Lisa Miller’s book, Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife. Johann suggests that its high time we learn, as did the Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh, to imagine “living for today” as John Lennon put it. Finally, a debate on Skeptical Sunday: are religion and science compatible? In one corner, arguing in the affirmative is theologian John Haught of Georgetown University. In the other corner, arguing in the negative is Jerry Coyne, evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. You be the judge of who wins the belt. Your Comments are welcomed!