SkepSun #163 (11_08_2015)

This week is the first of two WRFI Fall Fundraiser Skeptical Sundays, recorded live in the WRFI studio in Ithaca’s historic Clinton House. If you listen to the show via this webpage or the podcast instead of over the airwaves, please give to WRFI this week. This show will only continue to exist if the people for whom it’s important pledge their support to WRFI. Call the station during the day at 607.319.5445 and give what you can.  Consider a monthly recurring donation to spread your gift out over a year. Give $120 or more and you can have your choice of t-shirt or tote-bag. You can make your pledge online here.  But if you do so, please call the station so that you are in the running for one of the great daily prizes we’re offering during the marathon.  When you call the station be sure to say that Skeptical Sunday is one of your favorite shows!  Thank you so much to everyone who called in during the Nov. 8 show. Radio listeners will get another chance to give next week when Gordon Bonnet of the renowned Skeptophilia blog will join me live in the studio.

On this show we get started with Freethought Radio on which Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker announce Brooke Mulder as the winner of FFRF’s “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” contest for her secular invocation before the Glendale, Arizona, city council. Then we hear veteran Steven Hewett talk about his successful lawsuit to remove a Christian War Memorial from the city of King, North Carolina.

In hour two, we celebrate Carl Sagan birthday which is tomorrow, November 9. We’ll hear a wonderful 2007 interview of author and producer Ann Druyan, Carl’s widow, on the release of “The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God” an collection of Carl Sagan’s 1985 Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow that she edited.

Become a supporter of independent, non-commercial, volunteer-powered community radio in Tompkins and Schuyler Counties. Please give what you can this week. Thanks again to everyone who has already given!  607.319.5445 or give at

Carl Sagan, November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996

Carl Sagan, November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996


SkepSun #145 (07_05_2015)

On this Independence Day weekend Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, co-Presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation celebrate the Supreme Court decision recognizing gay marriage, and the July 4 birthday of American songwriter Stephen Foster. They talk with FFRF attorney Katherine Paige about the Colorado Supreme Court nixing vouchers to private religious schools. Then they interview Brady Henderson, legal director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, about their state supreme court victory this week calling for the removal of the Ten Commandments from the state capitol. After Freethought Radio, Gordon Bonnet says  we need resist our natural tendency to surround ourselves with the like-minded in a piece from the Skeptophilia blog called “Leaving the Echo Chamber.” We’ll hear an inspiring outtake from Carl Sagan’s last interview before his death with Charlie Rose, from a YouTube video entitled “A Way of Thinking.” And in hour two, a real treat, we continue our profiles of 19th Century Freethinkers featured on the West-Central New York Freethought Trail with Melinda Grube, Adjunct Lecturer in History at Cayuga Community College who spoke at the Robert Green Ingersoll and Reform Imperative Conference held at the Center For Inquiry in Amherst, New York last year.  She will, at least at the start of her talk, “channel” first-wave feminist and Freethinker Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of Seneca Falls, NY as she leads us through Stanton’s extraordinary life.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)  of Seneca Falls, New York. Feminist,  Abolitionist, Freethinker.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) of Seneca Falls, New York. Feminist, Abolitionist, Freethinker.

SkepSun #105 (08_24_2014)

On Freethought Radio, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor celebrate Women’s Equality Day, and observe the 100th anniversary of the predecessor of Broadway’s “Book of Mormon,” a musical entitled the “The Girl from Utah,” that included the first hit  by freethinker Jerome Kern, then we’ll hear the audio from 20 short videos from FFRF’s new “Out of the Closet” Freethinker video campaign. After Freethought Radio we’ll hear  the late Christopher Hitchen’s response to someone who asks him why, if he doesn’t believe in a god, does he spend so much of his time arguing against the belief. We’ll hear Carl Sagan, reading an excerpt of his book, Pale Blue Dot, that is used in a new tribute video entitled “A Universe not made for Us.” We’ll hear Dr. Steven Novella reviewing a recent study looking at the association of strokes with chiropractic cervical manipulations from last weeks Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast. Then finally, Daniel Fincke is a professor who has moved out of the university setting to teach philosophy online using interactive video conferencing technology (Google Hangouts) to offer affordable, private philosophy classes to people around the world. He joins the hosts of Atheist Talk, a radio show and podcast produced by Minnesota Atheists and talks about his personal journey from faith to a naturalistic worldview and how he’s pioneering this new model of instruction.

Dr. Dan Fincke, proponent of philosophy for everyone, online.

Dr. Dan Fincke, atheist & proponent of philosophy for everyone, online.