skepticism

SkepSun #176 (02_07_2016)

This week Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin and the 90th birthday poet Philip Appleman (a Darwin scholar) on Freethought Radio. Annie Laurie interviews Dan about his best-selling new book, GOD: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction. Then Dr. Abby Hafer champions Darwin’s ideas by discussing her new book, The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not.

The Skeptic Rogues of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast discuss a recent peer-reviewed study that mathematically modeled large conspiracies (involving more than 1000 people) and showed that these are inherently not sustainable and prone to quick failure, even with the most generous assumptions made about the secret-keeping abilities of conspirators.

However, not everyone’s gotten the memo that huge conspiracies can’t work and some are speculating that the Zika virus we’re hearing so much about is a hoax and/or a genetically engineered biological weapon. Gordon Bonnet of Skeptophilia looks into it.

Sadly, this will be the last Skeptical Sunday, at least for the foreseeable future, and I’ve chosen two final segments which eloquently summarize the worldview and values of skepticism, naturalism and humanism that this show has been promoting for the past 3.5 years.

First, we’ll hear Carl Sagan from what turned out to be his last television interview from the May 27, 1996 Charlie Rose show on which he talks about what was his final book The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark and lastly we’ll hear Jeremy Beahan’s wonderful “Atheist Sermon.”

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SkepSun #152 (08_23_2015)

After honoring the life of famed freethinking civil-rights leader Julian Bond and catching up on state/church news in Texas and New Mexico, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker treat us to part of John Oliver’s hilarious take-down of greedy churches and evangelists taking unfair advantage of lax IRS codes. Then they talk with FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel about FFRF’s letter of complaint to university athletic departments that hire evangelical chaplains who turn the football field into a mission field. After Freethought Radio, should high school students read books which expose them to different worldviews? Some parents and the principal of a high school in Tallahassee, Florida apparently don’t think so. Gordon Bonnet, author of the Skeptophilia blog begs to differ. Then, Brian Brushwood is a magician, podcaster, author, lecturer and comedian known for the series Scam School, a show where he teaches the audience entertaining tricks at bars so they can “scam” a free drink from their friends. Brushwood performs his Bizarre Magic stage show across the United States and is the author of six books and has a video on YouTube worth watching called Scams, Sasquatch and the Supernatural. We can learn from Brian how we all can be better skeptics: David McRaney interviews him on the You Are Not So Smart podcast in hour two of the show.

BrianBrushwood

Magician, scam artist and skeptic Brian Brushwood